It has been a hectic week in Brazil. Since last Sunday, when president Jair Bolsonaro lost the presidential run-off election to Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, his supporters have been protesting and blocking roads all over the country. The blockades have caused massive traffic issues affecting people across the nation.
One of those Brazilians who suffered the consequences of these protests was this weekend’s UFC card headliner Amanda Lemos, who saw her initial flight from Sao Paulo to Las Vegas cancelled. In an interview with Combate, the strawweight detailed what she had to endure before finally finding another airplane to take her to the United States.
“I left Belem (Lemos’ hometown, in Northern Brazil) at noon and arrived in Sao Paulo before 4 PM. We were close to check-in time for the next flight, we wouldn’t have to hurry. So we checked in and waited for our flight and nothing happened. We were told the plane would be late because the roads were blocked, but they said it would depart at 2 or 3 in the morning. So we stayed in the airport, waiting. It was past three when they told us they were going to send us to a hotel. Picture that, a really long line to sort this situation. One line to get the voucher. Then another one to get a cab. It was past six in the morning when we got to the hotel,”
Although the ordeal threw a significant wrench in her plans, and she had to miss an entire night of sleep, Lemos feels ready for the biggest fight of her career and even more motivated. Paired up against Marina Rodriguez, the 35-year-old expects a hard battle, but is confident she can emerge victorious on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a war right from the start. I already have a story to tell. In the other fight I had to deal with a drunk passenger on the plane, now the protests. I had to remove everything from the hotel room so I could train. We trained hard in there, we can’t complain. We just have to go to war and tell the story afterwards,”
“Marina is a striker,” Lemos added. “I don’t know if at some point she’ll stray from that. I also enjoy striking, so I think the fans will really like this fight. I want a knockout or a submission. We go in there with one thing on our minds, but anything can happen in the Octagon. We found some flaws in her game and worked on those our entire camp, so we can get a win.”
In her last outing, Lemos (12-2-1) submitted Michelle Waterson via guillotine choke, back in July. The victory provided a strong bounce-back from a submission loss to Jessica Andrade, in April of the same year. Before that, Lemos was on a five-fight win streak, with victories over Angela Hill, Livia Renata Souza, Montessrat Ruiz, Mizuki Inoue and Miranda Granger.
UFC Vegas 64 goes down on November 5 at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas, NV. Alongside the strawweight main event, the card will feature a welterweight bout between Neil Magny and Daniel Rodriguez.