Livinha Souza and Maycee Barber had two of the most impressive debuts among female fighters in the UFC in 2018, and the Brazilian is targeting an ex-Invicta FC champion vs. undefeated prospect clash in 2019.
Souza (12-1) steamrolled Alex Chambers in her Octagon debut last September, submitting “Astro Girl” with a guillotine choke in just 81 seconds. Two months later, Contender Series’ Barber (6-0) stopped Hannah Cifers by TKO in the second round.
The UFC is scheduled to return to Brazil on Feb. 2, hosting an event in Fortaleza, Ceara. The company has yet to announce any bouts to the Fight Night show, so “Livinha” volunteers to be part of the lineup.
”I want to fight Maycee Barber,” Souza told MMA Fighting. “She was asking for a fight, she’s coming off a win.”
Barber in Fortaleza would be Souza’s ideal scenario for her next step in the promotion, but reality is, she’s bringing the “anyone, anywhere” mentality to the strawweight division.
”Bring her, or any other girl, to fight me in my home country, or anywhere else,” Souza said. “Whatever the UFC wants, I’m in, but if I could choose, I really wanted to fight here to get more intimacy with the Brazilian audience. It was incredible to fight here. I’m sure I will give the Brazilian people more joy in the sport.”
Souza fought in Brazil for the first time in four years when she beat Chambers in her hometown of Sao Paulo, a stretch that included a 4-1 run under the Invicta FC banner with wins over Katja Kankaanpaa, DeAnna Bennett, Ayaka Hamasaki and Janaisa Morandin, and a split decision defeat to Angela Hill.
”All my Invicta fights were in the United States, and I was welcomed in a positive way in Sao Paulo,” Souza said. “The UFC staff, ‘Minotauro’ (Nogueira) and (UFC Brazil official) Denis (Martins), give me confidence to continue to grow in the organization and be part of the new generation of fighters.”
Looking to add another championship belt to her resume in the near future, the 27-year-old strawweight promises to honor fighters from the “old generation” inside the eight-sided cage and make the sport more popular in Brazil.
”I will give my life to do at least one percent of the history that the old generation has done and, if possible, win more belts and put the sport where it belongs, at the top,” Souza said. “We have to prove we’re talented, that Brazil is a country of warriors. If they come here thinking that we’re dead, we’ll prove them wrong.”