Rising female flyweight Viviane Araujo seems to have her priorities in place ahead of an important bout against former title challenger Jessica Eye at UFC 245. Only two fights into her UFC career, the Brazilian already finds herself taking on an opponent who just recently came up short against champion Valentina Shevchenko. However, even with Jessica Eye’s high profile in the division, ‘Vivi’ does not see their upcoming bout as a fast track to the title.
In an interview with Bloody Elbow, Araujo points out that her careers is only just beginning. She wishes to gather more experience in the Octagon before getting a crack at the belt.
“I don’t plan to fight for the title after my next fight,” Araujo says. “I really want gain more experience in the UFC first, I want to have more fights. I want to fight some tough opponents, I know there are some tough girls coming up, whom have a lot of potential. I just need to work hard, I know the belt is coming, I can see it, so I just need to keep working hard, then when the title shots comes, I’ll be ready.”
Despite getting a late start in MMA (Araujo was 28-years-old when she had her professional debut) the Cerrado MMA Fighter, now at 33, doesn’t see her age as a hindrance in her career. Instead, she’s looking to some older veterans, such as former champion Holly Holm, as role models for athletes who are still doing well after 30.
“This is just the start for me. I think I’m rising. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been. I feel good in this weight class. I’m evolving very fast. I can see my evolution after each fight. I don’t think this is much of a problem for women. We see plenty of women who are still on the top of their game after 30, like Holly Holm. I don’t think age is a problem, I feel well and I still have a lot of time left.”
Less than two weeks away from her fight against Jessica Eye, Araujo already has a gameplan ready for fight night. It’s a plan that leans heavily on outworking her opponent on the feet, using footwork and speed in order to score a dominant win on Saturday.
“I’ve been working on my cardio a lot. In my last fight, we noticed that I gassed, so I expect to have an exceptional gas tank for my next fight. It will be completely different. I’ll show a lot more gas, aggressiveness and explosiveness. I’ll use my footwork, my speed, which is my strong suit. Jessica doesn’t move around so much and she’s slower than me, so I’ll use my speed to always be one step ahead of her.”
Currently on a two-fight winning streak in the UFC, Araujo (8-1) knocked out Talita Bernardo in her debut, then followed that up with a unanimous decision win over Alexis Davis, back in July. Now, Vivi is expected to take on Jessica Eye at UFC 245, on December 14, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The card is scheduled to host three title shots: A welterweight battle between champion Kamaru Usman and former interim champion Colby Covington, a featherweight title bout between title holder Max Holloway and top contender Alexander Volkanovski, and a women’s bantamweight title fight between ‘double champ’ Amanda Nunes and former featherweight title holder Germaine de Randamie.