Virna Jandiroba wants to be a UFC champion, but she plans on a slow, steady progression up the strawweight rankings.
Washington, D.C. — Former Invicta FC champion Virna Jandiroba picked up her first octagon win Saturday night at UFC on ESPN 7. The strawweight bounced back from a loss to Carla Esparza by submitting short-notice replacement Mallory Martin in the second round of their preliminary card bout.
The rear-naked choke finish came in a fight that originally had Jandiroba scheduled against two different fighters, including fellow Brazilian Livia Renata Souza.
Instead it was Martin in the end, who tried to keep up with Jandiroba on the ground until a rear-naked choke ended her night.
Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight, Jandiroba, now 15-1, said that the switch in opponents was just something that happens in the sport. “This is a part of MMA. We know that accidents happen and that kind of thing can pop up. Cortney [Casey] was the one with the most different style out of the bunch. Once she changed to Livia, then okay, she’s more of a grappler, so it’s an easier one to prepare for. When it changed to Mallory, it wasn’t that much of a change from Livia. A little bit here and there, but still more of a grappler, so it wasn’t that bad.”
Mallory put up a fight, particularly by defending with her own guillotine. But, said Jandiroba, she “it wasn’t that bad,” and she wasn’t in any real trouble. Instead, Mallory simply tried to prevent her from improving position. In the second, Jandiroba took that back, and then it was all over.
With the win coming right at the end of the year, moving into 2020, Jandiroba’s focus is on moving up in the division. “For now, the goal is just to keep advancing in the rankings. Get ranked, and advance slowly. The goal is to get a top five position, eventually maybe get a title fight and become a champion.”
“That’s what I’m here for,” she added. “I’m not here to be just another one. I’m here to try to be a champion. Hopefully slowly I can get to that position.”
But does she need to progress slowly? Jandiroba thinks her previous fight with ex-champ Esparza was a good measuring stick of where she stands in the weight class. “I think I’m at a good position career wise and skill wise. But you’ve got to give time for these things. There are people that have been at this longer than I, and when it’s my time, it’s going to be my time.”
Watch the full UFC DC post-fight press scrum with Virna Jandiroba above!