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UFC signs two-time muay Thai world champion Tainara Lisboa

Tainara Lisboa
Marcell Fagundes, Shooto Brazil

Brazilian muay Thai specialist Tainara Lisboa is the latest addition to the UFC bantamweight division, the fighter announced on social media. The company has yet to book her octagon debut, MMA Fighting has learned.

Lisboa became a two-time muay Thai world champion before making the transition to MMA in 2016. Lisboa lost her debut to future UFC fighter Norma Dumont, but went on to win five of her next six bouts. Lisboa enters the UFC after scoring three first-round stoppages in the Brazilian circuit since 2021.

“Every athlete dreams to reach the pinnacle and the UFC is the highest place in MMA. The UFC is the World Cup,” Lisboa told MMA Fighting. “It’s been years of dedication, renouncing and a lot of financial and emotional investment so this contract would come. I can’t explain how happy I am.”

Lisboa, 31, wants to build a “solid” career “going step by step” in the UFC, but “it’s obvious that I’ll focus the belt.”

“I know I’ll get there when the time is right,” she said. “It’s a tough weight class with many experienced fighters. … I think that with my history in muay Thai and the way I’ve won my MMA fights, most on the ground, my opponents will be confused when they’re preparing a strategy to fight me.”

Asked if there’s a fighter in the UFC bantamweight class with a striking that compares to her, Lisboa praised former 145-pound titleholder Germaine de Randamie, a former world champion in muay Thai and kickboxing.

“Germaine is an excellent muay thai fighter,” Lisboa said. “We’re from the same era in muay Thai. She was already a star in muay Thai when I was in Thailand but we never get to fight, but I’ve always followed her career and admired her before the joined the UFC and showed that muay Thai hurts bad and is really beautiful.”