UFC newcomer Iasmin Lucindo shares how domestic violence fueled interest in MMA

·2 min read

SAN DIEGO – All fighters have their reasons for getting into mixed martial arts. Iasmin Lucindo’s isn’t one you’d wish on anybody.

Lucindo is just 20, and she’s set to make her UFC debut Saturday against Yazmin Jauregui in a strawweight bout at UFC on ESPN 41 from Pechanga Arena. She began training in MMA as a teenager, and she did so to protect herself and her family given her life experience.

“I debuted at 14 years old, actually fighting in the pros, and the reason I why I started going into martial arts is for self-defense,” Lucindo, who’s Brazilian, said Wednesday at UFC on ESPN 41 media day through an interpreter. “The women in my family, my mother, they suffered domestic violence. So I did (MMA) to defend myself, and I ended up liking it, and I just ended up continuing to fight, fight, fight. …

“My mom was very supportive, especially because she understood that it was a way out of the life that we had. And as an added bonus, we’re always going to have that as the defense mechanism. We have something to defend ourselves. You don’t want anything bad happening to you and your family.”

For Lucindo, MMA is about more than just fights in the cage.

“It builds confidence. I feel more confident. And you know what? It’s not just in sports, but also in life,” Lucindo said. “Being female athletes, we already have that challenge. But it helps us overcome that challenge, and it helps us beyond the realm of sports – in life, as well, to defend ourselves. I do believe that.”

Lucindo (13-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is riding a seven-fight winning streak heading into her fight with undefeated Jauregui (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who will also make her promotional debut.

Lucindo made clear her expectations.

“It’s going to be a war,” she said. “And if it’s not going to be a knockout or a submission, I can tell you it’s going to be a war. This fight promises a lot.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 41.

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie