Queen of Violence. The nickname says it all for Ariane Lipski and if you never saw the Brazilian flyweight compete before, it makes you want to know more. And yeah, it’s accurate. That doesn’t mean everyone loved it at first.
“I loved the nickname,” said Lipski through a translator. “The reaction of my fans, especially in Europe, was great. In Brazil it was not so well received at first because we're living in a moment where people just think about being politically correct. But after a while they realized I am a violent kind of fighter, but a very nice person.”
Curitiba’s Lipski also has “star” written all over her. Just 24 years old, the 11-3 fighter comes to the UFC with a nine-fight winning streak, plenty of hype, and the seal of approval from two of her city’s finest MMA exports who she worked with in the lead-up to her Saturday bout with Joanne Calderwood: women’s MMA icon Cris Cyborg and Chute Boxe graduate and Kings MMA coach Rafael Cordeiro.
“My camp was done by Renato Rasta in Curitiba with our team, Rasthai,” said Lipski. “Rasta is a great coach and I really trust all he does with me. He was taught by Rafael Cordeiro and he thought it was good to finish the camp here with some athletes that I didn’t know so I had to adapt myself to other styles. Rafael Cordeiro is the master of the masters, and being able to train with him and getting this blessing was an honor, for sure.”
For those who don’t know, Curitiba was the home of the Chute Boxe Academy, the place where fighters like Cordeiro, Cyborg, Wanderlei Silva, the Rua brothers and Anderson Silva made their bones. To even be in the same sentence with that crew speaks volumes, and if you’re a fighter from that city, you have big shoes to fill, and Lipski is well aware of who came before her.
“I feel a responsibility, but I don’t carry this kind of weight on my shoulders,” she said. “Actually, I don’t worry about others’ expectations when I’m fighting. I know I am prepared and I know I gave all I had to be here; that is all that matters to me.”
She fights accordingly, and it’s why UFC fans are excited about seeing her in the Octagon.
And yes, Lipski has heard the buzz.
“There are many people talking to me and sending messages on my social media,” she said. “I feel great that my work with my team, Rasthai, is getting so much attention. One of my goals me and Renato set is to make an impact in UFC and that’s what we are going to do.”
She has the opportunity to make that impact immediately, given her matchup with the high-profile Calderwood, the Scottish striker who is expected to team up with Lipski for a Fight of the Night-quality war.
“I believe it is a perfect fight to entertain the fans,” said Lipski. “Nobody likes to watch fights where fighters just try to hold their opponents instead of finishing the fight. I think we will both try to finish the fight and the audience will love it.”
So we’ve established that Lipski, the former flyweight champion for Poland’s KSW promotion, is a must-see. But does she have championship potential in the Octagon? She may find out sooner rather than later in the UFC’s newest weight class, one the Brazilian is excited to be a part of.
“I see it as a division with a great future because a lot of fighters can adapt to this weight,” she said. “I think that in the future it will be the most competitive weight class in the UFC.”
And Lipski expects to be in the mix as soon as she gets the phone call.
“I think the timing was perfect,” she said of her signing with the promotion. “I feel ready to fight in the UFC and I think it wouldn’t be worth it to sign if I wasn't as ready as I am now. The experience I have now can take me to the title and that is what really matters to me right now. Our plan was to be ready to fight against anyone when we signed to the UFC, and I’m at this level right now. I’m ready if the opportunity comes.”
There’s really nothing left to say but “Hail to the Queen.”
“For the fans that don’t know me yet, you can expect a fighter that fights with her heart and who goes for the finish from the beginning until the end,” said Lipski. “For those who like a technical and aggressive fight, I’m sure you will love my fights. I promise knockouts and submissions inside the Octagon. The ‘Queen of Violence’ is here to stay.”