Over the last week, much of the talk has been around the men’s flyweight division, with the UFC trading away its longtime 125-pound champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson to the Asia based ONE Championship promotion. While much of the industry is bracing for the removal of the men’s flyweight division from the UFC, the organization has been quietly building its women’s 125-pound category with quality prospects, showing that the market has changed. Let’s take a look at some of the recent acquisitions.
Mayra Bueno Silva (6-0-0) may only be six fights into her professional career but she has one of the strongest resumes of any flyweight outside of the UFC. She began her domination over the top prospects in Brazil when she faced Marilia Santos in her second professional bout, forcing Santos (5-0-0 at the time) to retire after just five minutes of action. She followed that up with wins over Daiane Firmino and a submission triumph over the previously unbeaten Mayana Kellen (7-1-0), submitting Kellen via Ninja Choke in the first round. A little over a month later “Sheetara” made her UFC debut, hurting Jillian Robertson on the feet before submitting her on the ground with five seconds left in the first. With six victories that include five first round finishes and a strong resume Silva is a fighter to watch in 2019.
Sarah Frota was one of the hottest prospects on the international scene before signing on with the industry-leading UFC. Frota (9-0-0) began her career just over two and a half years ago and has already amassed a respectable resume. After capturing multiple titles on the Brazilian regional circuit that came with triumphs over standouts Viviane Araujo Gomes and Maiara Alves, Frota finally punched her ticket to the UFC, quite literally. “A Treta” knocked out Alves in the pair’s rematch in August. The Astra Fight Team representative trains alongside the likes of Invicta FC competitor Janaisa Morandin and fellow flyweight prospect, Taila Santos. Frota is a great pickup for the UFC’s women’s 125-pound weight class.
Speaking of Taila Santos (15-0-0), she was also picked up by the UFC recently. While her record looks impressive being unbeaten in fifteen professional outings Santos has been criticized for not consistently facing the best opposition, at no fault of her own. She has excelled when stepping up in competition, as her wins over Gisele Moreira and Estefani Almeida attest. Santos has done most of her work at bantamweight, winning the Aspera FC championship at the weight before defeating Almeida at 125-pounds. Her superior striking and impressive streak have made it hard for her to find bouts consistently in Brazil, seeing many scheduled fights get cancelled for a variety of reasons. Now with the UFC expect to see more of her in 2019 as she tries to climb the ranks of the promotion’s flyweight division.
The biggest signing over the last few months has to be former KSW champion Ariane Lipski. Known as “The Violence Queen” Lipski (11-3-0) has lived up to that moniker thus far. After opening her career at 2-3-0 as a professional the 24-year-old has gone on a nine-fight streak. Out of her eleven victories eight have been finishes with six ending in the very first round. Recently, “The Violence Queen” has humbled Silvana Juarez, Mariana Morais, Diana Belbita, Sheila Gaff, Juliana Werner and Katarzyna Lubonska. Her UFC debut is currently scheduled for UFC 233 in January, where she will face Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood in an interesting stylistic matchup.