Tainara Lisboa once shared the ring with the greatest UFC women’s flyweight champion in history.
Lisboa, a two-time Muay Thai champion who makes her octagon debut Saturday opposite Jessica-Rose Clark at UFC Charlotte, joined the Trocação Franca podcast this week to reflect on her 2010 Muay Thai clash with Valentina Shevchenko in Peru — one she still feels robbed by.
“The fight was very controversial,” said Lisboa, who was 19 at the time. “We appealed the result because she did some throws in the fight that were illegal. It was Sanda throws, not Muay Thai. There was a lot of buzz at the time. She went on with her career, and if all goes well, we can meet again in the future, right? Who knows.”
Lisboa claims the result was overturned to a no-contest days after the fight.
Shevchenko was 7-0 in MMA and had already beaten Joanna Jędrzejczyk in three separate occasions in amateur Muay Thai matches at the time when she and Lisboa fought. “The Bullet” suffered her first pro MMA loss months afterward to Liz Carmouche, but went on to amass one of the greatest run in the sport on her rise to become the UFC flyweight queen.
“She’s the best flyweight of all-time,” Lisboa said. “Valentina was able to create a solid game in MMA. I think she will be champion again [when we meet in the future]. She still has plenty of wood to burn. Even though I like Alexa Grasso a lot, I think [Shevchenko] made a mistake in that fight, and that flaw won’t exist in her game next time she fights.”
Lisboa enters the octagon Saturday for her first UFC appearance after building a record of 5-2 in the Brazilian MMA scene. She said her Muay Thai past made it hard to find fights early on.
Lisboa noted that Clark has an advantage by being a longtime UFC veteran, but Lisboa thinks not having much tape available of her own skills could level the playing field.
“She’s probably found more Muay Thai stuff online, but not much of what I’ve created in MMA,” Lisboa said. “I’m an athlete for 17 years and I’ve been training MMA for six years now, so it’s a lot of experience, even though I wasn’t fighting.”