Luana Pinheiro praises ‘fearless’ Angela Hill’s survival skills ahead of UFC Vegas 92

With 24 octagon appearances, Angela Hill is one of the most active female UFC fighters of all-time, yet Luana Pinheiro more than confident heading into their strawweight clash on Saturday at UFC Vegas 92.

Pinheiro suffered her first UFC defeat this past November at the UFC APEX, when a third-round TKO to Amanda Ribas snapped a three-fight win streak over the likes of Michelle Waterson-Gomez and Randa Markos. She, however, is in no rush to get the job done.

“Angela is very experienced and has fought everybody already so she’s a very, very smart athlete,” Pinheiro told MMA Fighting. “She knows how to fight despite being tired. She’s fearless, she just doesn’t give a damn. She survives on the feet and survives on the ground. She’s very tough. She has many losses, but those losses were to tough opponents.”

Hill was only 1-0 in the sport when she competed on The Ultimate Fighter in 2014 and then joined the UFC. Since then, Hill has dropped 13 of her 24 UFC contests, however only two of those defeats came via stoppage. Otherwise, “Overkill” has gone the distance in 20 UFC matches against future and former champions Jessica Andrade as well as contenders.

“I was able to see many holes in her striking and grappling,” Pinheiro said. “She knows how to fight despite being tired and I’ve worked really hard to fight smart. I can’t go in there trying to end the fight right away because she seems to be nearly dying but then survives. I’ve worked on my patience a lot to know when to jump on the opportunities.”

“The more you fight, the more experience you got,” she continued. “’I can’t try to kill her because she survives well. I’m there to fight there rounds and put my game at full display. If the knockout or submission comes, it will come naturally.”

Pinheiro said she was originally offered a spot on UFC 301 on May 4 but asked for a longer break between her fight and Matheus Nicolau’s. Nicolau is her coach and boyfriend, and recently headlined a UFC card the week prior to the pay-per-view show in Rio de Janeiro.

Pinheiro also celebrated the fact that UFC CEO Dana White said the promotion will likely go back on the road more often rather than sticking to the UFC APEX for future Fight Night cards, and she hopes to go 3-0 this year.

“I don’t know if the UFC will allow that, but I want to stay active,” said Pinheiro, who has only fought once outside the APEX since joining the promotion. “When you stay ready for a fight and win and have no injuries, you’re back in the gym two or three weeks later and can start a new training camp and keep the knowledge of the previous camp. It would be great if I had two more fights this year.”

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