Ariane Carnelossi wants to make history in the UFC strawweight division.
It didn’t take long for the UFC newcomer to get another fight. One day after she arrived in Montevideo, the promotion’s matchmaker informed her that another spot was open. This time, it was to step in for Istela Nunes against Angela Hill.
Now, Carnelossi is just two days shy of her octagon debut at UFC Mexico City on Saturday.
The promotion has held dozens of cards in Carnelossi’s native Brazil over the last eight years. But visiting Uruguay gave her a first chance to witness what it was like to be in an arena for a UFC event.
“It took a while for me to really understand it was real,” Carnelossi told MMA Fighting. “At first, I couldn’t believe it. I’m a bit of a crybaby, so I started crying right away. When I watched it in person, up close, I finally realized I was a UFC fighter. I was so happy.”
Carnelossi, nicknamed “Sorriso,” didn’t get the chance to enter the eight-sided cage that night. But she believes it helped her prepare for her first walkout in a fight where she’s competing in her natural weight class.
“When I got in there, I looked at my coach and said, ‘This is completely different from any even we ever fought before,’” Carnelossi said. “It definitely helped me. The motivation is much bigger now. The event is much bigger, and that makes me want to fight better and make history in the UFC.”
The Sao Paulo native started her sports career through soccer in her early years, but had to give on up that after struggling to find time between physical education college and working in a restaurant. When a muay Thai school opened right across the street from home, she immediately fell in love with martial arts.
Unbeaten in 12 straight MMA bouts now, Carnelossi wants to become the first fighter to knock out Angela Hill in competition. “Overkill” has shared the cage with future UFC champions Rose Namajunas, Jessica Andrade and Carla Esparza since her debut in 2014,. But the Brazilian believes it’s time for her to go down.
“I’ll always go after the knockout, (and I’m) always doing my best,” Carnelossi said. “I want to make history. I think she’s a good opponent, a good fighter – but she’s a good match-up for me. I’ve studied every possibility, and I’ll definitely win this fight.”
“She hasn’t been knocked out before, and that’s a bigger motivation for me,” she continued. “I love to win by knockout, and that’s what I’m going to do. We saw the mistakes she makes, and I believe in my hands.”