On February 18, Lívia Renata Souza will make her Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 126 in Austin, Texas against renowned veteran Jessica Aguilar. A former champion of Invicta FC, the Brazilian went undefeated for the first three years in her career before losing a split decision to Angela Hill in 2016 but has since rebounded with two more wins. Now, “Livinha” is looking forward to her UFC debut full of confidence.
“I was surprised that it took a bit longer to get to the UFC”, Souza told AG. Fight. “Especially after my fight against DeAnna Bennett [in a 2016 title defense at Invicta FC], who was also an unbeaten athlete with eight wins, and I knocked her out in a strong way. But, regarding the UFC, I think I got there at the right time. I walked in through the front door, with a good contract and in good spirits, and they gave me a very tough opponent.”
“I’ve had my eyes on the UFC since we knew they would open up female divisions”, Souza said. “The focus has always been on the UFC. Invicta was a means, a tool for me to get to the UFC. So, I’ve reached one of my goals already, because the goal has always been to be [with the UFC].”
Set to fight in the strawweight division, Souza said that she’s looking forward to competing in a weight class that she thinks has become remarkably strong since its introduction in 2014.
“I think that strawweight is the strongest female division in the UFC. It’s where the most evenly matched and talented girls are. I don’t want to disrespect the other divisions, but I think there’s a lot of disparity in terms of talent.”
Set to face an experienced opponent who has more than twice as many fights on her record as Souza, the Brazilian praised the Mexican veteran and feels like the fight is going to be evenly matched.
“There is no such thing as a bad or an ideal fight”, Souza said. “They are all hard fights, so I don’t think about how difficult it might get. I think it’s a fair fight, one where everyone comes in with a 50 percent chance of winning. During the fight, we’ll see who is superior in the fight, especially since our styles are even a little bit alike. She’s a grappler just like me. I came from jiu-jitsu, so, it’s going to be a great fight, and anything can happen.”
An MMA fighter since 2013, Souza has accumulated title belts in Brazil as well as for Invicta FC, where she was the strawweight champion between 2015 and 2016. At the age of 26, the Brazilian sports a career record of eleven victories and one defeat.