“It’s easy to pick your opponents. You have that choice, but it’s not the choice I wanted,” said Casey. “I never wanted to be like, ‘Oh, I’m 10-2 and I fought bums.’ I never wanted to do that. I’d rather be where I’m at now knowing that I’ve fought the top girls in the division, both divisions. My last fight was the first time I’ve ever been finished in the UFC; it was my 13th fight.
“A lot of my fights have been close, so it’s not like I’m far off; I’m just missing something,” she added. “I think that’s the frustrating part is knowing that you’re that close and it’s just by a few points that you’re missing these wins and possibly being in the Top 5, fighting for belts, and things like that.”
Now readying for her third appearance as a member of the flyweight ranks, the former collegiate soccer standout is starting to feel more settled in her new surroundings. While she still sees a road to bouncing between divisions, it’s no longer about going back down to strawweight.
“I feel like I definitely have a little more growing into that division as far as weight goes,” admitted Casey. “I’m physically as tall as most of the girls in the division, so height isn’t a problem; it’s just putting on the size and I want to make sure I do it right. This will be my third fight in six months, so there’s not a lot of time to strictly focus on strength and conditioning, but I feel like this will be the best I’ve looked at ’25 and I think we’re on the right path.
“I think it’s starting to feel a little bit more like home,” she added. “I don’t think the world is going to be changing any time soon and with everything going on as far as my camp goes and things like that, I’d rather not have to battle a weight cut. I’d rather focus on what I need to improve than stressing my body.
“I don’t know that I could make that cut right now,” she said of returning to the 115-pound ranks, which she held out as a possibility at the beginning of her flyweight adventure. “It would have to be a full camp, and normally I’m not getting those, so I’d rather take these fights at ’25 as they come. I’ve even told them, ‘If you need a short-notice ‘35er, let me know; I’ll fight at ’35.’”
Her willingness to step up another division, to fight even bigger opposition on short notice again highlights why judging Casey by her record is a mistake, and why questioning her place on the roster is an even bigger one.