LAS VEGAS — Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger was a responsible driver two weeks ago.
Driving on the streets around her Arizona neighborhood, she saw her cell phone ring. She didn’t have her Bluetooth on, so she pulled over into the nearest parking lot.
On the phone was Sean Shelby, one of the UFC’s matchmakers. When that name or number displays on the phone, it’s the moment every up-and-coming fighter dreams about.
“He said, ‘Do you want this?’” Jones-Lybarger said Wednesday. “I said yes and he said, ‘All right. Welcome to the UFC.’”
And with that, the 30-year-old strawweight went from newly crownd RFA champion to newest fighter on the UFC roster.
“I just started crying,” she said. “I called my wife first, and I said we’re in. We did it.”
She called her mother and father next.
“It was a good afternoon,” she said.
That afternoon came 15 days before the fight. Jones-Lybarger replaced the injured Michelle Waterson. She will fight Tecia Torres at UFC 194 on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“Right before Christmas,” Jones-Lybarger said. “Get this call, two weeks notice, on the biggest card of the year, I’m right where I wanna be.”