by Rory Robinson
I spoke with Virna Jandiroba a few days prior to her UFC debut against former strawweight champion Carla Esparza at UFC on ESPN 3 in Sunrise, Florida. Jandiroba is the former Invicta FC Strawweight Champion with an impressive undefeated 14-0 record with 11 of those victories coming via submission. Virna was kind enough to do a written interview after live weigh-ins to touch on a number of topics heading into the fight. Enjoy.
A post shared by Virna Jandiroba (@virnajandiroba) on Apr 11, 2019 at 2:35pm PDT
Note: Some of the text has been edited for translation purposes.
At what age did you realize you had a passion for fighting? Why do you love it?
I used to like Karate, my cousins used to practice and I was amazed by it. But it was when I was 13 years old that I had my first contact with Martial Arts. First with Kung Fu, then Judo, but it was with BJJ that I went pro and found my passion for fighting and for all the codes of the martial arts.
A post shared by Virna Jandiroba (@virnajandiroba) on Dec 26, 2018 at 2:43pm PST
How did you get the nickname “Carcara”?
I wanted to represent the place that I was born, and the Carcará is a bird of prey typically found in my native place (Sertão). It is an imposing and cerebral bird, resistant, and adapts itself to any scenario deal with adverse situations!
A post shared by Luciano Calafiori (@lucianocalafiori) on Apr 24, 2019 at 1:39pm PDT
What is your favorite thing about America?
I like the practicality of America.
What food do you love the most that you can’t have during weight cuts?
I love pasta!! I would eat it every day, without any sacrifice. Lol.
What is your training schedule like?
I train from Monday to Saturday, twice or even three times a day!! I train MMA, Muay Thai, and BJJ.
A post shared by Virna Jandiroba (@virnajandiroba) on Sep 7, 2018 at 8:06am PDT
Is Carla Esparza your toughest opponent?
Theoretically yes, but I’ll be able to confirm it only Saturday =)
How does it feel being undefeated?
It’s an amazing feeling, but I try not to think about it when I enter the cage. When we get inside, there’s no titles or invincibility. It’s just two people trying to win.
A post shared by Virna Jandiroba (@virnajandiroba) on Jan 4, 2019 at 5:14am PST
How do you see the fight ending?
I’ll be there to submit her!! I hope it ends like that!
How does it feel to finally be able to compete in the UFC for the first time?
I feel so much happiness, I’m fulfilling my dreams… mine and my teammates, and all of the people that surround me from the place that I’m from! I’m grateful!!
A post shared by Virna Jandiroba (@virnajandiroba) on Apr 25, 2019 at 7:26am PDT
What goals would you like to accomplish in the UFC?
I have big plans in the UFC and my division!! But at the moment, I’m thinking about winning THIS fight. Step by step!!
Will you stay in Florida after the fight? What kinds of things will you do in the city?
Yes!! I’ll stay almost a week. I wish to visit Disneyland, a childhood dream of mine! =]
A post shared by Virna Jandiroba (@virnajandiroba) on Apr 23, 2019 at 3:28pm PDT
What kind of music do you like?
I’m an eclectic person when it comes to music. I enjoy listening to all of the things that excite me. I love Freddie Mercury. My favorite song is “Don’t Stop Me Now”.
What is your favorite way to relax after training?
I love to watch movies and read about several random subjects that aren’t related to fighting.
11 of your wins come from submission? What is your favorite technique?
My favorite is the RNC (Rear Naked Choke)!! I grab the back very well, I feel very comfortable!!
What is something about MMA that most fans do not understand?
MMA is so complex. It’s not only about kicks and strikes… it is also a lot of strategy and preparation.
A post shared by Virna Jandiroba (@virnajandiroba) on Dec 17, 2018 at 3:32am PST
Is there anyone that you would like to thank? (Sponsors, coaches, teammates)
I want to thank everyone who stays with me daily. All of my coaches, managers, teammates, friends, and fans. ♥️🦅
Check out Virna Jandiroba vs Carla Esparza on the preliminary portion of UFC on ESPN 3: Romero vs Jacare 2 on April 27th, 2019 live from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.