Friday, April 6, 2018

March MMA Athlete of the Month: Virna Jandiroba

Photo Credit: Invicta FC/Dave Mandel

For a long time, Virna Jandiroba was considered of the best female fighters that U.S. fans didn't know. Fighting in her home country of Brazil, Jandiroba had gone undefeated with wins over great competition that included names like Lisa Ellis, Ericka Almeida and Aline Sattelmayer. Amongst all those wins were many submission victories for the Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu ace.

Photo Credit: Invicta FC/Dave Mandel

But in December of last year, American fans were finally introduced to Jandiroba. She made her Invicta FC debut with a quick submission of highly regarded Amy Montenegro, a win that put fans on notice. The fight went to the ground quickly and from there it was all Virna. After that bout, with Invicta's titles mainly vacant, Virna became an immediate contender for the strawweight title. However people were unaware just how soon she would be fighting for that title.

Initially, Jandiroba was to face Janaisa Morandin at Invicta FC 28 but after some changes to the card, she was to face the popular Mizuki Inoue for the vacant strawweight title. The fight was considered a toss-up going in, but it was quickly eveident, Jandiroba was just too much for Inoue. Jandiroba dominated the majority of the fight, showing once again her amazing Jiu-Jitsu game as any time the fight went to the ground, Jandiroba was able to ensure she was in the dominant positions, confusing and frustrating her opponent. After five grueling rounds, Jandiroba was given a split decision win, as one judge who didn't appear to actually watch the fight, scored in in favor of Mizuki.

Photo Credit: Invicta FC: Dave Mandel

Whether Jandiroba stays with Invicta or is called upon to go to the UFC, fans who hadn't heard of Jandiroba before, surely know her now and can't deny she is among the sports elite at strawweight. If she were to go to the UFC, she would for sure be a contender in that division. If she stays in Invicta for the time being, you will be hard pressed to find an opponent who can take that title from her.

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