It took almost 20 hours for Viviane Pereira to travel from Brazil to Singapore to fight Yan Xiaonan at Saturday’s UFC Singapore. A long flight days before a MMA fight is not fun, but the lengthy wait since her last appearance in the Octagon had its benefits.
“Sucuri” fought for the last time in November, losing a decision to TUF winner Tatiana Suarez. Now 13-1 as a professional mixed martial artist, the Brazilian strawweight is excited to see “a beautiful country” in Singapore, but only after she gets the job done inside the cage.
“It was a learning experience,” Pereira told MMA Fighting of her loss to Suarez. “It was my first defeat in 13 fights. It basically took the weight of the responsibility off of my shoulders. We know that the responsibility is big when the reward is big, so I’m feeling lighter now. My goal is to come back stronger and bring this victory to Brazil.”
A former champion in the regional circuit in Brazil, Pereira won a couple of fights in the UFC before her loss to Suarez, scoring decision victories over Valerie Letourneau and Jamie Moyle. Yet, for her, not being unbeaten anymore is a good thing.
“It takes that weight off your shoulders, yes. But, actually, I don’t consider myself a prospect, I’m already a reality,” Pereira said. “I think everyone saw my potential. Not anyone can take a fight with the No. 9 ranked fighter on 20 days’ notice and come out victorious, so that’s important for me. I’m sure I’ll get to the higher level and fight for the UFC belt one day.”
Like Pereira, Xiaonan has also only lost once in MMA, but still has a perfect UFC record after defeating Kaitlin Curran in her promotional debut in November. For “Sucuri,” it’s a battle of different fighting styles that will be won by hers.
“We both haven’t fought since November, but I’m prepared and strong for this fight,” Pereira said. “Her style is very technical, she has a karate background, so I will do everything I can to get this victory.
“No matter what happens, I want to impose my game. We can trade standing, but if she makes a mistake, I’ll take her to the ground. What matters to me is getting back on track and getting this victory for Brazil.”
UFC Singapore will take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday and is headlined by a welterweight bout, Donald Cerrone vs. Leon Edwards. Pereira vs. Xiaonan will be featured in the preliminary portion of the Fight Night card.