Undefeated in the UFC since cutting down to strawweight after a short-notice bantamweight debut, Amanda Lemos promises to make a statement Saturday night in Las Vegas, when she meets former Invicta FC champion Livinha Souza in the preliminary portion of UFC 259 at the UFC APEX.
Lemos says she respects Souza as an opponent, but sees herself as Souza’s toughest match ever in the UFC. Souza went 3-1 so far inside octagon with a decision loss to Brianna Van Buren sandwiched between wins over Ashley Yoder, Sarah Frota and Alex Chambers. Prior to signing with the UFC, Souza’s only loss was a split decision to Angela Hill.
“Her last [three] fights went the distance and I believe, because I’ve studied her game a lot and still am studying, I will definitely knock her out or submit her,” Lemos said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Her game is different from mine. She trades on the feet to close the distance and get the takedown, but I’m super prepared on the ground so she can be submitted as well. I’m training real hard for that.”
Lemos has never been finished as a professional MMA fighter, but Lemos says “I’m tougher than all other fights she has taken.”
“I’m more complete,” she said. “If my hand lands, she will definitely feel it. I believe that my punching power and the fact I’m more complete [will make the difference]. [Knocking her out] will be my opportunity to enter the top-15 and continuing fighting the best. That’s what I train for. I’ll fight hard and put on a show to get to my goal.”
Fighting once a year since returning from a two-year USADA suspension for the steroid stanozolol and its metabolite, the Brazilian 115-pounder hopes to be more active inside the cage.
“I wanna fight four times this year. Three at least,” Lemos said. “If all goes right this year, the amount of fights and wins, I’ll be pretty close to my dream in 2022.
“I want to fight now and again in May or June. I want to stay active and showcase my work and my evolution. There’s a lot of people standing on my way and I want to face them all. There’s Michelle Waterson on my way, there are some Brazilians as well. They are all my next targets.”