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Virna Jandiroba pulled off a ‘true miracle' before Invicta FC debut

Virna Jandiroba improved to 12-0 in MMA with a first-round submission.
Dave Mandel, Invicta FC

Virna Jandiroba put on an impressive performance in her first appearance inside the Invicta FC cage in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 8, but getting to the cage was no easy task.

Jandiroba was making her highly anticipated international debut after racking up a perfect 11-0 record on the Brazilian circuit, and made quick work of TUF 23 veteran Amy Montenegro. “It was better than I imagined,” Jandiroba admits, as she predicted a second-round victory.

“Apparently she was intimidated because she was trying to avoid takedowns, wasn’t attacking that much,” Jandiroba told MMA Fighting after seeing Montenegro “too defensive” in the cage. “I think she was scared of throwing punches and kicks and getting taken down.”

Jandiroba was close to not making it to Kansas City, though, as she was still dealing with visa issues just two days before the official weigh-ins.

Jandiroba was told to go to the United States consulate in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday to get her passport, but a miscommunication almost ruined her Invicta FC debut.

“I kept myself optimistic,” Jandiroba said. “I’m not a very optimistic person [laughs], but I stayed optimistic. There were moments where I thought it wouldn’t work. I had a few little problems and though ‘holy sh*t, it won’t work’ [laughs].”

“I got at the consulate on Wednesday morning and they told me to get back in the afternoon, but didn’t tell me an exact time,” she continued. “I got there at 4:05 p.m., but it closed at 4:00 p.m. It was a true miracle that I was able to go to the fight because they didn’t want to listen to me. I cried in front of them, everything, and they decided to work even though it was already closed and gave me my visa.”

Jandiroba was dehydrated during this entire process, since she wouldn’t have enough time to cut weight in the United States before the official weigh-ins. “Carcara” made weight 24 hours before the weigh-ins, and flew for 14 hours to get to Kansas City.

“I got there 40 minutes before the weigh-ins,” she said. “I think that made my victory even more impressive.”

Jandiroba went through hell to make get to Kansas City and make weight, but saw her opponent come in almost two pounds over (117.6 pounds).

“After everything I went through, I didn’t care about that,” Jandiroba said of Montenegro missing weight. “I just wanted to fight, I didn’t care about that, but it’s a mistake as an athlete. We have responsibilities and must respect our opponent. She came to me afterwards and apologized, but it’s a mistake.”

Victorious in her promotional debut, 12-0 overall in MMA, and overcoming every obstacle in her fight week, Jandiroba hopes that it was enough to guarantee a shot at the vacant strawweight championship.

“Not only my performance, but my commitment with the company, everything I went through, I think I deserve it,” she said. “The fight wasn’t cancelled, I put on a dominating performance. I think I’m one of the biggest names in Invicta. There are a lot of girls, but none of them have the same number of fights I have. I’m a strong name to fight for the belt next year."

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