Having parted ways with the UFC and dropping her Invicta debut, Viviane Pereira finally got back in the win column at Invicta FC 35 on Friday.
The co-main event of Invicta FC 35 saw Alesha Zappitella taking on Viviane Pereira at atomweight. Pereira, however, had missed weight for the fight. The Brazilian was dropping to atomweight after three straight losses at 115lbs, two of which came under the UFC banner.
Over the course of her UFC run, Pereira went 2-2, with wins over Valerie Letourneau and Jamie Moyle. Two straight losses to Tatiana Suarez and Xiaonan Yan, however, sent her packing from the promotion.
Zappitella, meanwhile, was 5-0 as a pro and quickly approaching title contention. Friday, however, was not her night.
Friday night, Zappitella was the more mobile fighter early, while Pereira fired off a combination, and looked in particular to land her looping right hook. The issue for Alesha Zappitella from the outset was finding a way inside, as the Brazilian had a noticeable reach advantage. Pereira, meanwhile, connected solidly with her right hand. A takedown attempt by Zappitella saw Pereira sprawl, staying up. The pair finished the first round on the feet, trading right to the bell to end the round. Heading into the second, Zappitella was going to have to adjust.
Round two had Zappitella swinging early, but Pereira was still using her length to her advantage. Zappitella had yet to shoot for a takedown, and was being kept on the outside, circling. Finally, she shot in, but once again, the Brazilian easily sprawled. Zappitella was going to have to find a way to set up that takedown, and so far, that hadn’t happened. Instead, the fight remained standing, Zappitella’s face slowly became more and more bloodied, and Pereira picked her apart. Zappitella hung in there, but was losing the fight.
An early takedown attempt by Zapitella in the third went nowhere once again, Pereira stuffing it. Zappitella flashed a front kick, as Pereira was leaning in, but the Brazilian was out of range. Once again, it was Zappitella on the outside, circling, struggling to find a way in, though her movement was constant, and she was continuing to throw single strikes. Another takedown attempt was stuffed, but Zappitella launched and landed a knee as she came up. With three minutes to go, however, it wasn’t looking good for her. Still, with just under two minutes remaining, an exchange came, with a flurry from Zappitella. Pereira, though, continued pressing forward. Another takedown was stuffed just after Zappitella ate a right. No question as to who won this one as it headed to the judges, despite some late offense.
The only downside to the performance was that Pereira missed weight for the fight. However, if she gets a handle on the cut to atomweight, she could be a real threat at 105lbs.
Viviane Pereira def. Alesha Zappitella by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)