“The Violence Queen” is not that type of fighter that will give up everything for a chance to be in the UFC, but she’s smart enough to negotiate something in return.
One of the rising stars of KSW’s stable, women’s flyweight champion Ariane Lipski, is slated to once again defend her crown in Poland, taking on Silvana Gomez Juarez at KSW 42 on March 3. It will put Lipski in an interesting position if victorious in Lodz.
It was official for a while that Lipski would put her title on the line at KSW 42, but her opponent was only selected two weeks before the fight.
”They usually find opponents on three or four weeks’ notice, so I just train everything up until that point and then I focus on my opponent and on my strategy,” Lipski explained in an interview with MMA Fighting.
Lipski is 4-0 under the KSW banner, and is not surprised anymore with the difficulties of having a fight booked. She doesn’t think it’s KSW’s fault, actually.
”Now that the UFC has created the flyweight division, the best fighters are either there or in Bellator, so it’s hard to find a free agent with a good record,” Lipski said. “They are having trouble finding girls, and they have to pay them good money, it’s the negotiation takes a while.”
The Brazilian striker will have one fight left on her contract after Saturday’s title defense, but says that the promotion has already reached out with an offer to add two more bouts to the deal. Lipski won’t close the door on the possibility of re-signing with KSW, but knows her terms.
”I really enjoy fighting for KSW,” Lipski said. “I’d like to fight in the UFC, because they have more challenges, but I would have no problem re-signing with KSW. Financially, they will give me better conditions to invest in my life as an athlete. Maybe that postpones my departure a little, but that would force them to have a division.
”They only have me under contract, and they sign other girls to build a division. If they re-sign me, they will have to sign more girls and match them up and who wins earns a title shot. They’ve talked about headlining a card with women, but they can’t do a title fight with a random girl that came from another promotion.
”KSW is more popular than the UFC in Poland. The UFC can’t get more than 8,000 fans in their events there, and the KSW put like 58,000 fans in one of their shows in a soccer stadium. Polish fans are excited for it because it’s a local show and they are very proud of it. Previous generations of my family are from Poland, too, so they welcome me in a whole other level here.”
KSW was able to keep some of its biggest stars away from the UFC so far, the likes of Mamed Khalidov and Michal Materla, so would a good amount of money offering convince Lipski not to leave?
”Right now I’m not making that much more here than I would’ve been making in the UFC,” Lipski said, “but when I signed with KSW there was no women’s flyweight division in the UFC, and I wasn’t a champion as well.
”They made an offer now that is way better than the UFC’s, and I see that as an opportunity to invest in myself. I still have to teach classes in Brazil, and if I sign this new contract I would be able to dedicate 100 percent to training, doing camps in Thailand and more travels, so I see that as an opportunity to get more mature as a professional athlete. I’m still 24, so I’d rather maybe postpone a move to the UFC and evolve in those areas.”
Lipski is still young, but thinks it’s unlikely that she would have an entire career without ever stepping a foot inside the Octagon.
”It’s harder for women,” Lipski explained. “There are a lot of male fighters to fight Materla and Mamed, but there aren’s so many women available. It would be possible if the UFC wasn’t that big and other promotions would gain more space and sign more girls. If other promotions grow and do that, maybe, but I can’t see that today.”
Her goal is to become the best flyweight fighter in the world, but can’t look past her upcoming opponent, who brings a 6-1 record to the table at KSW 42. Lipski admits she was surprised when the promotion offered the fight, but thinks Juarez is better than most of her recent opponents — except for Sheila Gaff.
”She’s technical, has heavy hands, and is a striker like myself. It will be a great fight,” Lipski said. “She gave (UFC fighter) Poliana (Botelho) a lot of trouble. I will never underestimate my opponents. I know she’s explosive, but I am explosive too, and I’ve done a few camps for five rounds, while she has only done one. I’m younger, I’ve been more active and I’m evolving, so I have many advantages over her.”