The Kazakh flyweight Mariya Agapova (7-1) will face off against Brazil’s Marilia Santos (10-3), Agapova didn’t even hesitate on accepting a quick turn-around fight, the awarded purse is what keeps her in the U.S.
“I fight so often just to have enough money to afford a living in America. If I am destined to get into the UFC, I will definitely get there,” Agapova said. “I want to keep the mood from my last fight. I just want to go to fight as a party, and fight for my pleasure.”
This will be the Kazakh’s third fight in the span of four months. Agapova submitted Alexa Conners via rear-naked choke last month at Invicta FC’s Phoenix Series 2.
Agapova suffered her first loss on Dana White’s Contender Series against Tracy Cortez via unanimous decision on July 30. Meanwhile, Santos lost to Lucrezia Ria on DWCS via split decision back in August.
“Everyone kept telling me that the DWCS fight was the most important one in my life, and I just can’t lose it. I went into the cage with great fear of letting my people down,” Agapova said. “I went out with big fear of losing, fear fettered my whole body, and I just could not fight at full strength.”
American Top Team’s coach Gabriel de Oliveira started training Agapova after her appearance on DWCS. Alex Davis, a founding member of ATT, requested Oliveira to start working directly with Agapova.
Coach Oliveira and his corner made a few adjustments on Agapova’s posture and leg movements. He emphasized on her lower center gravity and her motor coordination.
“In her last fight, she showed the evolution of her game and we’ll see her soon in the UFC squad,” Oliveira said in Portuguese. “She is still young at age 22 and already developed as a fighter.”
Agapova has spent time wrestling, grappling and sparring with Marina Moroz, Amanda Ribas and Gillian Robertson.
Facing adversity and experiencing a loss against Cortez on DWCS was an important lesson for Agapova to learn from. A solid victory over Santos may earn the Kazakh a UFC contract, Oliveira added.