Roberta Samad, formerly known as Roberta Paim Rovel, is looking to make her Bellator MMA return following a two year hiatus from MMA competition.
The 29-year-old last competed at the Bellator 146 event in 2015 when she suffered the first loss of her career, a close decision to the current Bellator MMA featherweight champion, Julia Budd. Since the loss the Brazilian has had a life changing and very busy two-years, getting married, moving to the United States, as well as the birth of her daughter who is now 9-months-old.
Samad (4-1-0) recently took part in an interview with WMMA Rankings and discussed in detail what she’s been up to over the last two years, as well as her upcoming Bellator MMA return and what she thinks of the current roster. The “Crusher” didn’t hold back and revealed how she really felt.
What does it mean for you to be a member of the Bellator MMA featherweight roster?
I’m very happy and grateful to have a contract with such an established organization. Bellator has the best featherweight division. I think that there are other skilled girls out there in other events of course but no other event has as much talent in one spot.
You have been away from MMA competition for almost two years. Where have you been during this time?
I was out for 2 years after my Bellator fight because of big changes in my life. My husband Evan Samad and I had our daughter who’s 9 months old now. I was in the gym as soon as we got out of the hospital. Evan supported me a lot on top of his own training and agendas. He is someone I admire and try to be more like. He always gives me encouragement and I really needed it at that point. Moving to a new country, getting married, getting pregnant, along with the everyday ordeals that come up seemed like too much to handle. We were able to pass those challenges together and I’ve been able to focus on fighting again. Now i’m more hungry than ever to win that belt.
You last competed at the Bellator 146 event in November 2015, suffering the first loss of your career after losing a unanimous decision to eventual featherweight champion, Julia Budd. Two years on, how do you feel about the fight and what was the biggest lesson you took away from it?
I had a great camp for that fight. I had some problems recuperating after the weigh ins and butterflies with it being my first fight in Bellator. Since I’m a grappler as well she was able to use more experience tying me up on the cage. Two years later I can tell you I’m a completely different fighter. When I have my next fight with Julia I can promise a completely different athlete and a new champion.
Arlene Blencowe will challenge Julia Budd for the featherweight title on December 1. Do you have any predictions for the fight and could you see yourself eventually challenging the winner?
I’ve seen Arlene fight before and I can tell you she is one of the weakest girls in the category. I don’t know why she’s fighting Julia. I think Julia will win hands down but of course it’s unlikely they will give me a title shot on my first fight back after so much time.
Is there a particular opponent from who you want your return bout to be against?
I’d like to fight with Talita Nogueira, she’s also a black belt and we’ve met before in some grappling competitions in Brazil.
What are your goals in MMA when it comes to from now and this time next year?
I’ve found some great training here in the states, sharpening my boxing skills with Rob Radford. I’d like to be fighting for the belt in my next two or three fights, within the next year. I can’t wait to get back to brazil to see my family, and my teammates and my coach Marcelo Brigadeiro.
Thank you Roberta, is there anything you’d like to add?
I’d like to thank my training partners, family, friends, and fans for sticking with me throughout all the transitions, with much love and support!