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UFC’s Johnny Eduardo says his girlfriend fought while pregnant in Europe

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Johnny Eduardo will step back inside the Octagon on June 3, as he meets Matthew Lopez at Rio de Janeiro’s UFC 212, and has experienced mixed emotions months before the event.

Days after his second-round victory over Manny Gamburyan in November, Eduardo flew to Finland to corner his girlfriend Vanessa Melo in MMA fight. Melo was fighting Suvi Salmimies at Cage 37, but no one knew that Melo got pregnant days before the bout.

"I’m already a father of three girls (Julia, Juliana and Lorena), and my girlfriend is pregnant,” Eduardo told MMA Fighting. "It happened, we weren’t expecting it. She’s also an athlete, a MMA fighter, and we went to Finland to compete. She fought while pregnant [laughs].

"She had no idea she was pregnant. If I knew it, I wouldn’t never let her do it. That’s crazy [laughs]."

Melo and the baby girl are fine, and Eduardo embraces fatherhood a fourth time — his fourth daughter.

"I believe in God and I think if He gave me this opportunity one more time, I’m ready for it,” he says.

Melo ended up losing via split decision in Finland, dropping to 5-5 as a mixed martial artist, but Eduardo says she did enough to deserve the victory.

"She did well, man,” the Nova Uniao fighter said. "She fought hard, but they gave the win to the other girl. She lost the first round, but won the last two rounds, broke the other girl’s nose, took her down, but it’s an event in Europe, their promotion, so that changes a lot. But she fought a great fight.”

Eduardo, currently ranked at No. 10 in the UFC bantamweight division, will compete in Rio de Janeiro for the first time since the historical UFC 134, that marked the return of the promotion to Brazil in 2011. Making his Octagon debut that night, Eduardo lost to Raphael Assuncao via decision.

"I’m happy and honored to be fighting at home again,” he said. "I didn’t do well the first time, I made a mistake, but that’s part of the game. I learned a lot with this loss and the other losses I had throughout my career.”

And even though he's coming off a win over a veteran like Gamburyan, Eduardo won’t complain with the fact that he’s taking on someone who is not among the best of the division.

"I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed,” Eduardo said of Lopez, who is 1-1 in the UFC. "I'm happy to work, it doesn’t matter who I’m fighting. I don’t see him as someone who’s starting his career in the UFC, but as a great challenge, someone I have to beat to stay in a good position in the UFC. He’s not ranked and doesn’t have a big name, but that doesn’t mean I’ll underestimate him. He’s training hard to fight me and put on a show. I see him as the biggest challenge of my life."

"I hope they can give me more opportunities to work,” he continued. "That’s how I make a living. I don’t see this as a hobby or a sport, I see this as my work. I need to work. I put on a show for the fans, and I’m always asking for more fights."

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