Tamares Vidal is ready to make her presence felt in the world of mixed martial arts. The once-beaten women’s bantamweight prospect is set to make her second appearance under the Ultimate Fighting Championship banner when she faces promotional newcomer Montserrat Rendon as part of the UFC Fight Night 228 undercard on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. At just 25 years old, Vidal has aspirations of making an impact far beyond the cage.
Inspiring the Next Generation
“I’d like to be recognized in the fight world and to serve as motivation to children,” Vidal said. “I want to inspire those who feel everything is lost but still have a dream in their hearts. If God wills it, I’d like to fight for the belt one day, but I’ll take it one step at a time.”
Vidal made a strong impression in November during her UFC debut, when she defeated Ramona Pascual with a flying knee to the body in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 214 pairing. This victory extended her current winning streak to six fights and introduced her to an entirely new audience. Her Octagon debut could not have gone much better for the rising star.
Preparing for the Next Challenge
Now, Vidal faces the unenviable task of coming up with an encore against an undefeated opponent who shares her hunger. Rendon has raced out to a 5-0 start to her career. The 34-year-old Mexico City native has not competed since she was awarded a split decision over Brittney Cloudy at an Invicta Fighting Championships event nearly a year ago.
“It will be her first bout in the UFC,” Vidal said. “It’s going to be a tough fight. I don’t have any expectations about her, nor should she have any about me. I train with an incredible team, and we work hard on the ground and on my standup. I expect to get a finish against her. We were able to study her videos and pinpointed some of her mistakes. We’re training to put that into practice.”
Vidal trains with the Team Brothers camp fronted by Marcio Panda in her native Brazil. She finds comfort in her preparation and has faith in her coaches. “I have an amazing coach who’s like my father,” Vidal said. “He teaches jiu-jitsu, and I have other coaches who take care of my striking. I train in every facet of the sport. During the fight, as soon as I see an opening, I’ll get a submission or a knockout. I’m training, and I’m focused. That’s it.”