“It is very rewarding because I’ve been working hard for this moment for a long time,” says Brazilian women’s MMA veteran Vanessa Porto on returning to the United States for the first time in four years to fight at Invicta FC 2 on Saturday night in Kansas City, Kan.
“I have to thank Amanda Nunes for introducing me to Chris, my new manager, and thank Chris for believing in my work. As for the fans, I don’t know what the ratio is in the USA to my fans in Brazil, but it will be very nice to have them cheer for me and gain lots of new ones after July 28.”
Porto tells MMAWeekly.com that having the chance to redeem herself following a loss to Roxanne Modafferi in her last fight in the US in 2008 and establish herself as an international contender couldn’t be more momentous.
“It’s very important (to have a good showing because) I feel like Invicta is my opportunity to shine and change my life,” she said. “I fight a lot of good fights in Brazil, but now when I fight well it will go noticed in America.”
Porto is currently riding a four-fight winning streak since losing to fellow Invicta fighter Amanda Nunes in December 2009. She’ll have a chance to raise that streak to five when she faces Sarah D’Alelio at Invicta.
“I don’t like to comment on my adversary before any fight,” said Porto. “I give credit to anyone willing to step into the cage, win or lose. What I can say is I’m ready, very relaxed and ready for war.”
Having fought previously on all-female shows, Porto is confident Invicta is doing what is needed to become a true long-term home base for women in the sport.
“I think they are doing things a lot better than the ones before,” she said. “I’m told that (co-owner Shannon Knapp) is very smart and worked for UFC and Strikeforce before.
“They are creating different divisions with depth which never happen before. Also it’s a different era for women’s MMA then when they tried before with Fatal Femmes, with (Ronda) Rousey, Cyborg (Santos) and Gina (Carano). There are girls that have worked hard to help us reach that next level. With Invicta they create the perfect home.”
For Porto, staying active and working her way towards a championship is central in her career right now.
“(I want to) fight, fight and fight again; this is what I love to do,” she said. “I want to win impressively and move up the ranks for a world title.”
After four years away, Porto’s excitement for her American return is undeniable, and she plans on making the most of it.
“I just want to give kisses to all my fans and I want to thank my manager, Chris, and Invicta for this opportunity,” said Porto. “To all my fans I say that on July 28 I will show everyone why Invicta is my new home.
“I’m so happy I don’t know what to say. I’ll win, and it will be a great fight, just wait and see.”