Ariane da Silva vows to win at UFC Vegas 91 and show ‘I’m ready’ for top of division

Ariane da Silva rides the longest win streak of her UFC career heading into her UFC Vegas 91 clash against flyweight prospect Karine Silva this Saturday, and sees the matchup as an opportunity to prove she belongs among the elite of the sport.

Da Silva, formerly Ariane Lipski, forced Casey O’Neill to tap to an armbar this past December to go 3-0 in 2023 and enter the top 15 of the UFC’s flyweight rankings. Now she aims for another big jump by stopping Silva’s fast — and thus far undefeated — UFC rise.

“I believe that I can enter the top 10 with a win in this fight,” da Silva told MMA Fighting. “I’ve trained hard to show I’m ready to go to the top of the division. I want to put on a great performance and show how much I’ve evolved and how mature I am as an athlete, to show that I’m ready to go to the top.”

Da Silva hopes to repeat her successful 2023 and score a trio of UFC victories this year, especially since things are moving “slow” in the title picture, with the belt only expected to be defended by Alexa Grasso in the fall in a trilogy bout with Valentina Shevchenko.

“I think three fights are the right number to go where I want to go,” da Silva said. “I want to go faster because things are quite slow up there in the top five. My focus is to fight and win this fight, then it’s all in God’s hands. It will happen when the time is right, but I will be ready for the opportunities that present themselves.”

Da Silva previously left American Top Team to train at Amanda Nunes’ private gym in Florida, and is now training at the UFC Gym in Miami following Nunes’ retirement, but still keeps the same group of coaches that assisted her for her recent UFC victories.

“The goal is always the same since I entered the UFC,” da Silva said. “Every time I fight is another step to climb the division. The goal and focus are always the same. Winning three fights last year obviously gives me more confidence, entering the ranking the way I did also gives me more confidence, but the mindset is always the same. I’m always training to evolve and fight the best in the world.”

Finishing O’Neill in December was “the icing on the cake” to cap off “a perfect year” in the UFC, but da Silva stills misses knocking people out.

Here opponent Silva has been victorious in her past eight bouts, a run highlighted by four submissions under the Zuffa umbrella, so Lipski knows what to expect from her.

“I almost got my first knockout in the UFC [against O’Neill], but the submission was good, it got me a [performance] bonus, and the focus now is on the April 27 fight,” da Silva said. “We always focus on standing and striking, but not because of my opponents, but for my game, to impose what we do. My goal is to become a well-rounded MMA athlete and I’m always prepared for everything. I’m always going for the finish, for a knockout or a submission, but winning if the ultimate goal.

“I have a strategy to follow and I’m trained for whatever happens, on the feet or on the ground, but I definitely want to keep it standing. That’s my zone. I want to go there and show all the techniques I’ve learned from my coach Renato [Silva]. I have so much to show, and I want to do that. Karine is a grappler with good attacks, but I’ve fought grapplers and strikers before. I’m one of the most experienced fighters in the division so I feel prepared.”

Source link

You May Also Like