Las Vegas, NV — Born in Romania and now training out of Stoney Creek, Ontario in Canada, Diana Belbita made her return to the octagon at UFC Vegas 32 on Saturday, after sitting out a year thanks to a broken collar bone.
She returned knowing that very likely, her job would be on the line. “I lost two fights in a row, and I really wanted to win this one,” Belbita told media outlets including Cageside Press after doing just what she’d hoped for, earning a unanimous decision win against Hannah Goldy. “I knew this would not be easy, so that’s why I worked hard. Right now, it doesn’t matter how much work [it was], I’m happy because I did it.”
Belita didn’t expect to drop Goldy during the opening round of their strawweight scrap, thinking that any such moment would come later in the fight. And she feels that, as opposed to the rather buff Goldy, she might have surprised some observers with her power.
“When people see a skinny girl, they expect her to not be so strong. But guys, skinny girls are pretty strong,” Belbita opined. She was not surprised that Goldy toughed it out to the final bell, however. “I expected her to be tough, knew that Hannah Goldy is a tough fighter. So I knew she would not give up in the first round, I was sure about that. Nobody knocked her out. I was not surprised [that she was] still alive in the first round.”
Getting back to the thought of losing her roster spot with another loss, the 14-6 Belbita admitted that she was “so nervous” ahead of the fight. “I worked almost one year for this fight. Every day, every start of the training, every time that I run, I was thinking that this is my last chance here, so I have to do it, no matter what. If I don’t work after the fight, it doesn’t matter, I just want to win this fight.”
Ahead of the bout, Belbita did manage to have a little fun. On social media, “The Warrior Princess” proclaimed herself a contender for “best hair in the game.” Who else is in the running?
“I think Holly Holm has nice hair in the UFC. And I think she’s not the only one, I saw a few girls with nice hair.” But, added Belbita, she spent 40 minutes braiding her own hair for her fight. “I think I have one more point there.”
With the victory, Belbita becomes the first female UFC fighter from Romania to earn a win in the promotion.
Watch the full UFC Vegas 32 post-fight press scrum with Diana Belbita above.