Virna Jandiroba has campaigned for a chance in the UFC after every single one of her last MMA fights, but her first international opportunity will come at Invicta FC 26.
The undefeated jiu-jitsu ace signed with Invicta FC back in May, and will finally make her promotional debut at Friday’s event in Kansas City, against Amy Montenegro. It took a long time for the strawweight talent to finally step foot inside the cage, and she believes that could be thanks to fighters turning down bouts against her.
“Maybe that happened, I don’t know,” Jandiroba told MMA Fighting. “It wouldn’t be fair if Invicta matched me up against a less experienced girl, like 4-0 or 5-0, since I’m 11-0 in MMA. I think it was hard for them to find someone that experienced to fight me.”
Montenegro, who competed on the 23rd season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2016, brings an 8-2 MMA record with four stoppage victories to her fight with “Carcara.”
“I believe she’s well-rounded, moves forward all the time, but I’m ready,” Jandiroba said of her opponent. “I have my strategy set, and it’s going to be a good fight for me.”
Jandiroba trained for her Invicta FC debut with the likes of UFC strawweight contender Jessica Andrade and coach Luiz Carlos Dorea, boxing trainer of the likes of Anderson Silva and Junior dos Santos, and feels “more than ready” for Friday’s fight.
Aside from her perfect 11-0 record in MMA with nine submissions, Jandiroba’s jiu-jitsu credentials shows what she can do on the ground.
“Carcara” says she has competed three times in grappling matches against UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, winning two of those matches, and is 2-0 against UFC strawweight Claudia Gadelha.
“I think that’s good in terms of attention for me, and maybe that intimidates my opponents,” Jandiroba said. “Although it’s a different sport, Claudia Gadelha and Amanda are two big names in MMA, so I believe that’s a positive factor for me.
“Claudia and I fought as blue belts in Teresopolis a long time ago, in 2006, I think, and we met again as black belts in 2013. It was my last competition in jiu-jitsu, at the Mundial in Sao Paulo, and I won again.”
“I think it shows the world how good I am,” she continued. “I already know I’m one of the best, but the world can see that. People question when you talk about blue belt jiu-jitsu matches, but competing as a black belt and winning, that’s different.”
Jandiroba already expects to be close to a shot at the Invicta FC 115-pound championship with a good win in her debut. And how about those post-fight messages for UFC president Dana White?
“I’m focusing on my career here in Invicta, this is where I am now, and whatever comes it’s consequence of what I do next,” “Carcara” said. “Of course that every athlete wants to be in the biggest promotion in the world, the UFC, but I think that’s the consequence.”