Bellator’s Colombian flyweight on her unconventional approach to life and fighting.
This article was originally published in Fighters Only March 2020 – Issue 189
You said your fight at Bellator 225 was perfect. What are your takeaways from the stoppage of Taylor Turner?
Yeah, actually everything that I was working for and my game plan, it was all perfect. I was expecting a little more fight but it was really great.
You bested Veta Arteaga by unanimous decision at Bellator 235. How happy are you with the outcome of the fight?
This fight was a great match for me. It was a great opportunity to show what level I am fighting at now. I knew it was very different from my last fight. It was an awesome fight.
You are a very artistic person. That artistic side of you carries over to your walkouts. Do you plan the dancing routine or any other part of your walkout?
No I don’t plan any of it. It’s just something that comes out naturally.
On Instagram you list yourself as an aerial dancer and art lover, among other things. What art are you inspired by most?
When I was a kid I started doing all kinds of artistic disciplines. I was working in musical theatre for eight years. Dance actually wasn’t my strength but I started doing it when I was at university. I just wanted to connect all of my strengths. I wanted to be flexible and fluid. I was connecting everything because at the same time I was doing my aerial work I was also training in the martial arts. I love all kinds of art. I love to paint. I love everything!
You pursued a degree in dance but you stopped to pursue MMA full time. How did you come to that decision?
I was pursuing that career because I loved to teach. At the beginning, I started at the university in a career for teaching children. I changed it up because I needed to be more physical. I wanted to move more! I started out pursuing the degree in education but I didn’t project myself as a teacher. Martial arts was my other career, then it became my full time career.
Where do you draw the most inspiration from?
It’s not from the outside. I always feel really powerful just inside myself. Since I was a little kid, I was a little bit destructive. I liked any game that was very physical. I knew that I loved to do combat sports at a young age. When I fight it’s because I love to feel that power. I love to face someone else and have the courage to enter the cage. It’s all a part of the experience. That’s the stuff that motivates me. I like to break the stereotype of being a typical fighter. I like being myself artistically but I also like being a strong, physical person.
You said MMA happened by accident. How so?
Yeah, at the time I was doing various martial arts. I was doing karate and then I started doing kung fu, just out of curiosity. I was competing at a national level in other disciplines. It was pretty natural when someone asked me if I wanted to fight. I didn’t even have an amateur MMA career. It just started with that first fight. For me, it was like, why not?
It was also reported that you didn’t even know how long the rounds were in an MMA fight and you had never trained in any ground arts. Is that true?
It’s true. In that first fight I just went in there with the experience I had in karate and kung fu. I had some thoughts or ideas of how it might go but I just went in there, for the most part, with just my standup experience.
Another way you have expressed yourself is at weigh-ins. You have hand-written messages on yourself about the Amazon rainforest. Do you plan on spreading other messages that way and do you plan on using your voice in any different ways through MMA in the future?
Like I said earlier, when I come out dancing, it’s not something I plan. It just comes from inside of me. It’s just all about timing. The first time I fought Ilima-Lei I did the same thing. I did the make-up and bikini. It was the same meaning. I think that we can make a better world if we think a different way in some ways. I feel that I have to do it. If I can use what I am doing to spread a good message and help make people more conscious I will do it.