Sunday, August 26, 2018

Samara Santos sees success as way to reciprocate her family’s support

Brazilian women’s strawweight contender Samara “Marituba” Santos will have the opportunity of a lifetime in her ONE Championship debut. 

At ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON on Saturday, 8 September at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China, Santos will be challenging reigning titleholder and hometown favorite “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship. 

After mainly competing in her home country of Brazil, Santos is on the brink of making a name for herself on the international stage as capturing a world title will definitely be the highlight of her young career. 

While Santos’ mixed martial arts career could be headed to new heights in Shanghai, things were not always this promising for the Marituba native. 

As is often the case, Santos’ parents were not exactly thrilled that their daughter was a mixed martial artist. 

“In the beginning, they didn’t like it,” Santos shared. “My mother and father thought martial arts wasn’t for women. In their minds, only men could compete in the sport.”

Fortunately for Santos, her parents had a change of heart.

“Now, they’ve accepted my career choice and give me a lot of support,” she stated. “In my mind, I always knew they would approve. They see how much I love the sport and how good it makes me feel.”

The support of her family has translated into a fruitful career for Santos, who has amassed a 12-5-1 professional record, which includes a run as the Salvaterra Marajo Fight Women’s Strawweight Champion. 

What began as skepticism has now transformed to support and encouragement from her parents, and it is fuelling Santos to work hard for her aspirations. 

“My father said that if it is something I like, if it is my dream, go for it,” she stated. 

Now with an opportunity to showcase her skills on the biggest martial arts promotion in the world, Santos hopes to be able to find success at this level so as to be able to use the sport as a means to give back to her family. 

“I think that I can be successful and achieve many dreams through sport,” she quipped.

“If I can win bouts and get many victories, I can earn a good wage to support my family,” Santos continued. 

A win over Xiong at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON would no doubt be the most significant of Santos’ career as it will definitely open even more avenues for the Brazilian newcomer. 

Should Santos defy the odds and emerge victorious in Shanghai, not only does she puts herself on top of the ONE Championship women’s 56.7-kilogram division, but she also sets herself up for a champion-versus-champion match against one of the best female mixed martial artists in the world in reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela “Unstoppable” Lee at ONE: HEART OF THE LION in Singapore this coming 9 November. 

Before thinking of the future, Santos needs to deal with the present in the form of Xiong at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON. 

“Xiong is a great fighter and a great champion,” she stated. “But she is the one that is standing between me and my dreams, and in Shanghai, I will do whatever it takes for me to reach my dream of becoming a ONE World Champion.” 

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