By Caoilte de Barra
IMMAF medallists Brena Cardozo (3-0) and Michele Oliveira (2-0) will compete at Rio MMA Fight Night 1 on Saturday 27 March. Both women represented Brazil at amateur level and are currently thriving in the pro ranks. Not only are they both undefeated as pros, neither have yet to see a second round.
Oliveira turned pro in 2018 following an impressive run as an amateur that saw her take home a gold medal at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships. During the tournament, two consecutive finishes in as many days lined up a semi-final bout against two-time European champion Alexandra Kovács. The Brazilian put on a dominant display to get the nod from judges, handing Kovács the only loss of her career to date.
The final was the last time she saw an MMA bout go to the judges’ scorecards. That win rounded off her undefeated amateur career. Oliveira currently trains out of Nova Uniao and is renowned for her grappling ability. Between her two pro fights, she competed in numerous Jiu-Jitsu events. Taking home one Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medal along with a gold medal at the 2019 European IBJJF Jiu-jitsu Championship.
The BJJ black belt has finished both of her pro fights via rear-naked choke and will be looking to extend this run against Alexia Thainara on Saturday.
Joining her on the card is Brena Cardozo, a bronze medalist at the 2019 IMMAF-WMMAA world championships, where she represented Bahrain, rather than Brazil. Two consecutive wins secured a semi-final spot at the tournament. Unfortunately, Cardozo failed to fight her semi-final bout at the competition and opted to turn pro in the following months. Cardozo’s transition to the pro ranks has seen her continue the success she enjoyed as an amateur. She is now hoping to make it two wins in two weeks with another quick victory, this time over a new foe in Karina Oliveira.