Amanda Lemos is on a four-fight winning streak since cutting down to strawweight in the UFC and her team feels that the upper echelon of the 115-pound division is avoiding her.
With three first-round finishes under her belt in the UFC, capped off by back-to-back destructions of Livinha Souza and Montserrat Ruiz in 2021, Lemos worries that dominating every opponent she faces inside the octagon will lead to less fighters willing to face her going forward.
“If that’s the problem, then it’s going to be real bad because I’m in the octagon for quick finishes,” Lemos said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I don’t like wasting time in there. I don’t know what they are thinking, maybe that’s the reason, or maybe it’s because they are ranked higher than me and might think ‘it’s not a good fight for me now because I’m very tough’ for them.”
According to Lemos’ manager Wallid Ismail, “Amandinha” will return to the eight-sided cage at UFC 267, which is scheduled for Oct. 30 in Abu Dhabi, but the promotion is struggling to find a top-ranked strawweight to agree to it.
“She’s the Brazilian Chimaev,” Ismail said in reference to Khamzat Chimaev, who reportedly had a hard time finding a foe after scoring three straight finishes in two months as a UFC fighter. “It’s embarrassing that the top-5 fighters don’t want to fight her. Another one [turned it down now].
“The question is: who will have the guts to fight Amanda Lemos in Abu Dhabi? She’s confirmed on the card, we just need an opponent that has courage. A top-5 or top-10 opponent, preferably a top-5 that has courage. Who’s in? Let fans decide who will be the next opponent for the Brazilian Chimaev.”
Lemos is currently aiming at Yan Xiaonan, who sits at No. 7 in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings after dropping her first loss in seven octagon appearances, a stoppage to former champion Carla Esparza in May.
“That would be perfect,” Lemos said. “I’ve trained with her in the United States in 2017 and it was good, it was good [laughs]. We had just signed with the UFC. I’ve watched her fights since then and she has evolved, and I think it would be a good one. That would be a perfect fight. We’re waiting for an answer.”
Aiming to go 3-0 this year, Lemos believes she should be in the mix for a shot at the UFC belt in 2022 at this pace.
“I had more attention this time,” she said. “It was taking a while for them to give me a fight but then I fought Livinha in March and again in July. I’m just waiting for an opponent to agree to fight me now. All I want is to win fights and get closer to the top of the division.”