Hype and the Fighter: UFC Sao Paulo’s Ariane Lipski

Ariane Lipski
Ariane Lipski Credit: KSW

‘The Violence Queen’ will attempt to reclaim her place in the flyweight kingdom at UFC Sao Paulo, in a fight that clearly has her back to the wall.

After capturing the KSW flyweight title back in May 2017, Ariane Lipski was considered as one of the very best flyweights on the planet. So understandably when she made her debut in the UFC earlier this year, she had a considerable amount of hype around her. She was standing with a record of 11-3, which included wins over the likes of former UFC fighter Sheila Gaff. Being marketed for her looks by KSW (once decked out in a full gown) simply added more excitement around her already-anticipated debut.

In her octagon debut, she was pitted against veteran Joanne Calderwood. Though a tough opponent, Lipski was expected to get the job done. She was a decorated fighter and in some independent rankings was ranked as high as number three in world for female flyweights. The fight, however, saw Calderwood walking out with a unanimous verdict, much to the disappointment of fight fans. Or at least Lipski fans.

The loss didn’t really kill off the hype behind her, but established that she wasn’t ready for the elite of the division. Yet she was still 25-years-old and had time on her side. Plenty of time to improve. Then things took a nosedive for “The Violence Queen” at UFC Greenville. Lipski lost to the unheralded Molly McCann. McCann herself was a prospect who had a sour debut, but she was never considered in the same league as Lipski. This should have been a rebound fight for Lipski but instead, she found herself on the wrong end of another strong unanimous verdict.

What was predicted to be a glorious run for the “The Violence Queen” ended up becoming a series of disappointing performances.  Entering her fight against Veronica Macedo this weekend, Lipski has little momentum on her side. One of the most highly touted female prospects to enter the UFC in years, she’s lost a lot of credibility and will have to build herself back up.

However, by the looks of it, the UFC doesn’t really seem interested in going that direction. At least, there’s no “gimmie” fight on the horizon. Going from Molly McCann to Veronica Macedo isn’t really a step-down in competition. While on paper, McCann does have a better record it is Macedo who’s faced far more experienced opponents. Macedo not only won her last fight, she also secured a Performance of the Night bonus. The journey thus far for Ariane Lipski has been very rocky, and how she fares here is crucial for the journey ahead.

UFC Sao Paulo (UFC Fight Night 164) will be live on ESPN+ in the USA, TSN 5 in Canada on November 16, and Sony TEN 2 and Sony TEN 2 HD in India on November 17.