Viviane Araujo continued her climb up the flyweight rankings with a dominant showing against veteran contender Roxanne Modafferi at UFC Fight Island 8.
In a fight largely contested on the feet, Araujo was slick with her hands as she out boxed Modafferi at every turn, punishing the former Ultimate Fighter veteran with a nasty jab and faster combinations over the course of three rounds. When it was over there was no doubt that the Brazilian had done enough to get the win as the judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26, all in favor of Araujo.
“It was a pleasure for me to fight an opponent who is so tough” Araujo said afterwards. “Roxy is a very good athlete and I am very happy for this victory. I worked a lot on my boxing. I was just always one step ahead.”
For almost the entirety of the fight it was a mismatch on the feet with Araujo as the faster fighter where she bounced on her toes and consistently tagged Mofafferi with her hands including a stiff left jab that was landing at will. Modafferi continued moving forward but she was eating a lot of punches including a nasty right hook that dropped the veteran flyweight to a knee for a moment.
Late in the opening round, Modafferi was finally able to close the distance to look for the takedown but Araujo made her pay for that as well as she reversed positions and actually ended up looking for a rear-naked choke of her own. Modafferi survived but she had to regroup in a big way after a lopsided start to the fight.
While she was definitely ahead on the scorecards, Araujo was still attacking at with superior striking and constantly countering attempts Modafferi made to earn her respect. Araujo even managed to plant Modafferi on the mat with well-timed takedowns as her one-sided performance continued.
As time ticked away in the final round, Araujo evaded every comeback attempt from Modafferi while chipping away at the former title challenger, which eventually resulted in a cut and a nasty mouse swelling under the eye.
Araujo has now won her past two fights in a row while building a 4-1 record in the UFC overall as she continues to ascend to greater heights in the 125-pound division.