UFC: The champions that represent Latin America in 2022
2022 began with five Latino UFC champions as the highest representatives of Latin America. Here we take a look at who they are and how they got their title.
Photos: IG-charlesdobronxs, IG-venezuelanvixen
LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón
Mixed martial arts have a large fan base around the world since it is a sport that not only moves masses but also a lot of money. This 2022 had the peculiarity of starting with five Latino UFC champions representing the region, something that certainly fills more than one with pride.
Who are they and how did they get that coveted championship? At LatinAmerican Post we tell you. As a relevant fact, four of these five fighters won their titles in 2021. Meet the heroes and heroines of today!
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If there is a woman who represents the UFC and Latin America with greatness, it is the one born in Bahia, Brazil. Amanda started in mixed martial arts in 2008, but it was not until five years later that she made her debut in a UFC octagon, winning after a TKO (technical knockout). She is recognized for being the first woman in the company's history to have been champion of two different categories simultaneously (Featherweight and Bantamweight).
On December 29, 2018, during the UFC 232 event, the Brazilian faced Cris Cyborg for the Featherweight Championship, which she won after giving her a KO at 51 seconds of the first round. It is worth mentioning that since 2016 she remained champion of the Bantamweight division, after beating Miesha Tate by submission. She currently has a record of 21 wins for 5 losses.
This is the oldest champion on the list. The 42-year-old Brazilian has been active in the UFC since 2012 when he won his debut by submission to Kyle Kingsbury. Coming off 20 straight wins, Glover lost his first fight in 2014 to Jon Jones for the Light Heavyweight title, but that would only be the beginning of his extensive career.
During UFC 267, on October 30, 2021, the Brazilian did not miss his opportunity to win the Light Heavyweight championship, this time defeating Jan Blachowicz by submission in the second round. Currently, his statistics indicate 33 wins and 7 losses.
At just 12 years old, the man born in São Paulo, Brazil, began practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu. By 2010 he was already considered the third-best prospect in his country, and after signing with the UFC he made his big debut by winning his fight by submission at 41 seconds. Since then he has maintained memorable performances, to the point of winning various individual awards.
On May 15, 2021, UFC 262 was held, where he faced Michael Chandler for the Lightweight title, which he ended up winning by TKO. Months later, at UFC 269, he emerged victorious in his first championship defense by submitting Dustin Poirier. He currently registers 31 wins for 8 losses.
The current monarch of the Flyweight Championship hails from Tijuana, Mexico. It was in 2011 when he made his first hits in MMA, having a notable evolution that took him to the UFC in 2016. After three years in the company, the Mexican headed to Legacy Fighting Alliance where he won the Flyweight title, which he dropped out a month later upon re-signing with the UFC.
His first opportunity for the championship was in 2020, but the fight ended in a majority draw that benefited champion Deiveson Figueiredo. However, during UFC 263 held on June 12, 2021, Brandon made history by becoming the first Mexican to win a UFC title after defeating Figueiredo via submission. Currently, their statistics indicate 19 wins, 5 losses, and 2 draws.
Although she was born and raised in Washington, Julianna is of Venezuelan descent on her father's side and Mexican on her mother's, thus representing doubly the Latin American community. Her professional debut was at the age of 20 in MMA in 2009, but her biggest challenge was in 2013 when she participated in and won "The Ultimate Fighter", a reality show organized by the UFC.
After overcoming an injury that kept her out of the octagon in 2014, and subsequently taking an indefinite hiatus in 2017 due to her pregnancy, Julianna came back with everything in 2019. On December 11, 2021, at UFC 269, she had her first title fight. (Peso Gallo) and it was against Amanda Nunes, whom she defeated and ended her double reign after applying a rear-naked choke. She currently has 11 wins and 4 losses.