Viviane Araujo has a rising star in her path, but believes her experience against a higher tier of competition will help her be victorious.
In a battle between Brazilian flyweights, Araujo (12-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC) will share the octagon with Natalia Silva at UFC Fight Night 235 (ESPN+) on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Silva (16-5-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) has not tasted defeat since joining the promotion, but Araujo, who has faced top-tier competition throughout her UFC tenure, plans to change that.
“I’ve only gotten some tough cookies out there, no cupcakes,” Araujo said through an interpreter at Wednesday’s media day. “When I saw the name, I know it’s an athlete that’s coming off of victories that’s tough, and it makes the fight more interesting.”
Araujo, currently ranked No. 13 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie women’s flyweight rankings, has shared the cage with current flyweight champ Alexa Grasso, and four other former title challengers. It’s a trial by fire that has allowed Araujo to become comfortable against some of the best fighters around.
“This allowed me to get better and shape myself throughout,” Araujo said. “I was forged through this gauntlet of athletes. I’ve gotten better every time with this level of competition. I’ve been in it, facing the top athletes for quite some time, which makes me a very tough challenge for Natalia. There’s going to be a bump along the way.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 235.
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