In the wake of a presidential election in her native country of Brazil, Lemos (12-2-1 MMA, 6-2 UFC) was unable to fly to the United States as she planned Tuesday morning. Her fellow Brazilians competing on Saturday’s card at the UFC Apex, Polyana Viana and Tamires Vidal, also experienced delays.
Luckily for the three women, they made it to Las Vegas, even if a day late.
“It was very difficult,” Lemos said. “It was a bit stressful at the airport. We spent the night at the airport and we only managed to get a hotel on Tuesday, after 5 a.m.. Then, they rescheduled our flight to 11:50 p.m. on Tuesday. … So we stayed at the hotel. I trained there, but I left Belem with a good weight already. So I was able to manage it well and thanks to God, we arrived here well.”
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Regrouped and refocused, Lemos centers around the task at hand. That’s five rounds against Marina Rodriguez, in a potential title eliminator bout. The preparation tweaked slightly in anticipation. In other facets, it remained the same.
“Training changes for every opponent,” Lemos said. “For each one, there is one training, one strategy. With Marina, I am also a striker. We are both strikers. But I have been improving a lot in grappling, in wrestling, in jiu-jitsu. My strength is also striking. We changed a few things. We have watched Marina’s fight. We have watched my fights and noticed my mistakes, and noticed Marina’s flaws, which we will try to take advantage of, not letting her do her thing.”
Days ahead of perhaps the most high stakes bout of her career, Lemos indicated she’s not concerned with the stakes or the future beyond Saturday.
“I am happy with the opportunities that I’ve been getting,” Lemos said. “And this is what I train for, to fight the best, to give my best. And it makes me happy to know that I have been showing that. People are enjoying and they are giving me tough fights, which is what I want. … Right now, my focus is on Marina. But after Saturday, we’ll see what happens.
This interview was conducted using an interpreter and distributed by the UFC after travel delays canceled Lemos’ media availability. For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 214.