Bruna Vargas has something in common with her flyweight opponent tonight at Bellator 181, and it’s not something she’s probably happy about.
Vargas (2-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) is coming off a submission loss to Emily Ducote, just like Katy Collins (6-2 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) is. Collins’ loss came earlier this year at Bellator 174. Vargas has had nearly a year to think about her own rear-naked choke setback to Collins, which was the first loss of her career.
“It was a very different experience for me,” Vargas said. “It was near the start of my MMA career. A lot was weighing on me prior to my Bellator debut. I couldn’t do a complete camp. I arrived in Rio de Janeiro (to train) 15 days before the fight. I hadn’t matured or learned enough to be in a big organization. Over the last year, I did mature and learn. I trained twice as much, and today I know I’m ready to fight in one of the world’s biggest promotions.”
In the meantime, Ducote kept moving on and kept fighting, inclduing the win over Collins. Vargas was sidelined and couldn’t keep pressing on in the same kind of time frame she’d have liked to.
“She’s an intelligent fighter,” Vargas said of Ducote. “She kept fighting and improving. She deserves what she’s earned, and to be fighting often. I was injured at the end of last year, so that delayed my Bellator return even more. I was supposed to come back the end of December.”
At Bellator 181, which takes place at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., Vargas will have a chance to rebound against Collins on the prelims, which stream on MMAjunkie ahead of a main card on Spike.
Vargas, from Brazil, said she’s been able to have a good look at her opponent.
“We were able to study her well,” Vargas said. “Katy is a bit impatient. She tries to win in a hurry. She moves forward with strikes, looking to clinch and for takedowns. I believe that’s what she’ll do. She won’t wait long and she’ll look to close the distance. We’re ready for that.
“I don’t think her game will change much. She doesn’t have any victories or losses by decision because she always tries to win in the first round.”
But after Collins, Vargas wants to get busy. After all, going about a year between fights has her itching. She also wants another chance to fight Ducote (5-2 MMA, 3-1 BMMA), who coincidentally fights on Friday’s card against Jessica Middleton.
And don’t think for a second Vargas won’t be having a close look.
“After this fight, I plan to start fighting more often,” she said. “I would like the opportunity to face Emily Ducote again. And I have an eye out for whoever fights for the belt in our weight class.”