By Caoilte de Barra
2017 IMMAF World Champion Michele Oliveira returns Friday July 16th in her first outing of the year. The Brazilian fighter will compete at LFA 111 in her native Brazil.
Over the course of three days the promotion will hold two events at the Upper Arena in Rio de Janeiro and also aired live on UFC Fight Pass.
Across from the 26-year-old will be another undefeated Brazilian prospect, Stephanice Luciano. Luciano started MMA young, debuting as an amateur at 16 and is as game as they come. She is currently 2-0 as a pro at only 21 with one of those victories via KO in 2019. This will be Luciano’s second fight of the year so far and her biggest test to date.
This bout could have been Oliveira’s second of the year in the Upper Arena, however, her previously scheduled bout at Rio MMA Fight Night 1 was unfortunately cancelled. Ultimately delaying her return to the cage until this weekend where she will look to put her stamp on the LFA strawweight division and take one step closer to her UFC dream.
It is at strawweight where Oliveira has been making waves already as a pro. Her sole two pro bouts, one in 2018 and one in 2020, both being at 115lbs. Her pro debut bout in 2018 was highly anticipated following her success as an amateur in MMA along with her continued success on the grappling circuit.
This success made her one of Brazil’s hottest prospects in the sport, something that is being proven so far with two first round finishes via rear-naked choke lighting up the resume of Oliveira.
As an amateur it was the grappling prowess that caught the eye in particular but also a good level of well roundedness. Her opening IMMAF bout proved that when she scored a TKO victory over Dee Begely via TKO after setting up the takedown with some admirable cage control, pressure and fast punches.
From then, it was evident she was going to be a problem and proceeded to dominate the rest of the tournament making the Nova Uniao fighter an amateur MMA World Champion. An accolade that she achieved through dedication to her training.
“Fighting in the IMMAF Worlds was a great opportunity I had at the beginning of my MMA career.” Oliveira began; “I still had little training time and we managed to do a short-term job. In 3 months my kickboxing teacher Rafael Vinicius dedicated himself daily with the objective of getting me prepared for this great competition. I confess that I was very happy because I had the chance to fight opponents with much more experience than me and they were already used to fighting big events like the Worlds. Everything was done with a lot of determination, planning, dedication and above all: the desire to be champion and win my first major title in MMA.”
“And after winning this title, my master manager André Pederneiras believed that the best way to go was the time to migrate to professional MMA.”
As for the grappling credentials, Oliveira has won countless medals including a gold medal at the 2019 European IBJJF Jiu-jitsu Championship. and is one of the best grapplers in her division.
Ahead of her fight she has a feeling of security, knowing that her hard work through this will be something.
“I confess that fighting the LFA I see as another great opportunity, after this long period without events in Brazil due to the pandemic, I will fight with a lot of desire to win. I have been working for the last year with excellent professionals.”
“I’m feeling great, happy, well trained and 100% ready. On Friday I will fulfill another dream!”
“I think it’s going to be a great fight, the fact that I know that everything has gone well so far, that we have an opponent and that the fight is actually going to happen, is a feeling of security. Now it’s about fighting this war and delivering all of me there. I am grandly embracing this opportunity.”