Ex-GLORY champ Jady Menezes inspired by ‘alien’ Alex Pereira for MMA return, dreams of UFC future

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Watching Alex Pereira shine in the UFC convinced former GLORY champion Jady Menezes to return to MMA.

Menezes, who captured the GLORY super bantamweight (121 pounds) title in 2018, is set to face Gisela Luna at Sunday’s UAE Warriors 48 event in Balneario Camboriu, Brazil. It’s her first MMA contest since 2015.

“I thought I’d never fight MMA again in my life, but life is full of surprises and it doesn’t always go the way you’re planning,” Menezes told MMA Fighting, laughing. “I’ve tried coming back to MMA before. I didn’t like it, but I’ve since switched teams and am now working with people I admire, and that has made me realize I’m good at this. That has changed my relationship with MMA. I like it a lot now.”

Menezes carries a record of 3-1 in MMA and a 14-4 record in kickboxing.

Menezes admitted she had to adapt her kickboxing to MMA after almost a decade away. A purple belt in jiu-jitsu, the 32-year-old striker looks up to UFC light heavyweight champion Pereira as her reason to believe that it’s never too late to make a transition to MMA.

“‘Poatan’ inspired me a lot,” Menezes said of the former two-division GLORY champ. “I’m a huge fan of his. Who isn’t, right? He’s something out of the ordinary. He’s an alien.”

Menezes said she works at a pet shop and has an exhausting daily routine between her job and training MMA. As she reenters the sport, she hopes to make enough money to “slow down” and change her life — “and bother the girls in my division,” she added with a laugh.

“I want to make money, wherever that is,” Menezes said, “but the UFC is a big dream for every athlete.”

Menezes vs. Luna will be contested at flyweight, however the former kickboxer plans to cutt down an extra 10 pounds to compete at strawweight in the future.

“I believe she will try to come and trade with me because she’s also a striker,” Menezes said of Luna, “but if she tries to take me down, that’s an opportunity for me to show how aggressive my jiu-jitsu is.”

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