Viviane Araujo was fighting with a lot of emotion on Saturday night as she dedicated her performance to her grandmother, who passed away earlier this year due to complications after contracting the coronavirus.
For the better part of three rounds, Araujo dominated Montana De La Rosa on the feet, putting on a striking showcase before earning a unanimous decision victory at UFC Vegas 9. The final scorecards read 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 with Araujo getting the win to move to 3-1 overall in the UFC.
“I trained a lot this year,” Araujo said following her win. “It was very hard for me. This victory goes to my grandma.
“My strategy is [to] dominate Montana all the time. She is very hard, a hard opponent so I’m happy. I want to fight this year. December or November.
Known best for her ground game, De La Rosa seemed much more confident in her hands to start the fight as she looked to establish an early jab. Her willingness to stand and trade seemed to play into Araujo’s strengths, however, as the Brazilian took advantage of the striking battle while peppering the former Ultimate Fighter contender with a series of leg kicks and then coming back over the top with a nasty right hand.
Araujo was also able to connect with a stiff left jab that had De La Rosa’s nose bleeding as the fight largely stayed on the feet throughout the opening round.
While De La Rosa was able to land some shots of her own during the exchanges, Araujo’s ability to throw with volume and accuracy just kept adding damage. Araujo’s punishing style had De La Rosa constantly on her back foot while absorbing a whole lot of punches to the face and kicks to the leg.
De La Rosa’s toughness really kept her in the fight as she continued to throw punches in the exchanges but Araujo’s lead jab was just eating her alive. When the final horn sounded, Araujo was still wearing a smile while De La Rosa went back to her corner with blood splattered across her face.
It was an important win for Araujo after suffering a loss to former title contender Jessica Eye in her last outing as she showed marked improvements while continuing her climb up the flyweight ranks.