Carina Damm is back in Brazil, and she doesn’t miss the old days in the United States.
Riding a three-fight win streak for the first time since 2010 after an unanimous decision victory over Daiane Firmino at Standout Fighting Tournament 2 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the MMA veteran hopes to compete again in international promotions, but has some demands.
"I was boycotted in the U.S. market," Damm told MMAFighting.com. "I suffered two losses there, both in fights that I took on one week’s notice, and in the last fight, I was robbed by the judges against Jessica Eye. They didn’t post the fight on YouTube so people wouldn’t see I clearly won the fight."
Damm is 6-7 in her last 13 bouts, and six of her losses took place in the United States – including losses to Jessica Eye, Cat Zingano and Tara LaRosa. And she blames the athletic commissions for some of those setbacks.
"I was deluded to the U.S. thinking that I would have more opportunities and training there, and it was frustrating because the training is really great, but I didn’t get many opportunities to be able to dedicate myself to fighting only," she said. "I can get better opportunities here in Brazil, and I have a better structure. I’m more focused now.
"I’m at the same level of the Americans, but the athletic commission always benefits them. They should be there to help and protect us when we get robbed. I still plan to fight again in the U.S., but I won’t take any fight on short notice."
The growth of MMA in Brazil has helped the athletes with better opportunities, and that’s why Damm decided to move back to Brazil. Damm’s last nine wins were over fighters that had only one or no professional victories at all, and she says it’s not her fault.
"Women’s MMA is growing a lot in Brazil, but I still have a hard time finding an opponent to fight here because most of them want to pick opponents to build their records," she said. "Most of them don’t want challenges, they just want easy fights."
Damm plans to drop to the 115-pound division "to get more opportunities," and signing with the UFC isn’t an obsession for her.
"Every fighter wants to be in the UFC, but I don’t have preferences," she said. "I will fight wherever I get a good opportunity. I’m one of the best fighters in the world. Most of my fights are the best of the night."