UFC 255 – All You Need to Know About Jennifer Maia

Published 11/17/2020, 7:30 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 31: Jennifer Maia of Brazil poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on July 31, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

At UFC 255, Jennifer Maia will take on the biggest challenge of her career. The Brazilian UFC flyweight will take on the queen of the division, Valentina Shevchenko. ‘The Bullet’ has established herself as one of the best strikers in the entire sport, men and women’s division combined.


Article continues below this ad

Champion Valentina Shevchenko (19-3) and Jennifer Maia (18-6-1) will face off at UFC 255 this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 01: (L-R) Jennifer Maia of Brazil punches Joanne Calderwood of Scotland in their flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 01, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

While Shevchenko is a well-known champion, here is all you need to know about Jennifer Maia


Article continues below this ad

WATCH: Jennifer Maia Stuns Joanne Calderwood With a Crazy Armbar to Set up Title Fight With Valentina Shevchenko

Started martial arts at a young age

Maia started her venture into mixed martial arts at a young age.

 “At my school where I was doing bodybuilding, they started muay-thai classes. My friends convinced me to participate. I fell in love with it after the first class and never stopped,” Maia told the media.

Maia would go on to participate in boxing and muay-thai competitions, training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well.

Jennifer Maia was a boxer

Maia would get her first break in the professional boxing scene after making her debut in 2008. Her first professional fight was at Centri de Boxe in Curitiba, Brazil.

Maia went 3-0 during her stint as a boxer. However, the lure of MMA became hard to deny. “Seeing that MMA was more popular, I left [boxing] for MMA.”

Becoming Invicta flyweight Champion

Jennifer Maia began her MMA career in 2009. In 2013, she signed with Invicta FC, one of the best women’s MMA promotions in the world. She became the interim Invicta Flyweight Champ in March 2016 at Invicta FC 16.

With the champion being unable to compete, Maia would be promoted to being the undisputed champion of the division. She would defend her Invicta title twice before joining the UFC.


Joining the UFC

In 2018, Maia would make her way to the UFC. Her debut however wouldn’t go according to plan. She would end up on the wrong side of a unanimous decision against Liz Carmouche.

Maia is currently 3-2 in the UFC with her other loss being against Katlyn Chookagian. However, Jennifer would make the best of an opportunity with #1 contender Joanne Calderwood stepping in on short notice.

Jennifer would use her strong submission game to lock up Calderwood and submit her in the first round to become the new #1 contender.

Her husband is her coach

Maia was scheduled to fight Viviane Araujo (8-2) on June 27. However, the bout was canceled due to the corona-virus and Joanne Calderwood would step in.


Article continues below this ad

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 31: (L-R) Opponents Joanne Calderwood of Scotland and Jennifer Maia of Brazil face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on July 31, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Speaking from her home in Brazil, the 31-year-old discussed her training during the pandemic. 

“I am lucky that my coach is my husband and I have space in my house, so I am keeping technical and physical training at home as much as possible”.


Article continues below this ad

Jennifer Maia now goes up against arguably the greatest women’s flyweight of all time. While she has her work cut out fighting Valentina Shevchenko, Maia could end up shocking the world again.

Read : “I Don’t Look at My Opponent and Prepare”- Valentina Shevchenko Opens up on Upcoming Flyweight Title Defense



Keith Dsouza

193 articles

Keith D'Souza is part of the Essentially Sports MMA writing team. Having followed the sport since 2013, some of his favorite fighters include Max Holloway, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, and Johny Hendricks. Keith also runs PureMMAIndia, a brand that promotes MMA over social media which aims at growing the sport in India.