Karine Silva’s Faith-Driven Leaps

Karine Silva’s journey to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was far from easy, filled with doubt, potential pitfalls, and many sleepless nights. With no financial support from her family, she had to make numerous sacrifices and work multiple jobs to follow her passion for martial arts.

“I didn’t have any money. I used what little money I had after quitting my job to move into my academy. My family didn’t like the idea. I didn’t have their support, moral or financial. I quit my job at a sex shop to go live at the academy, and I had to learn how to teach martial arts. I also worked as a security guard at night clubs,” Silva said. In addition to her various jobs, she would sell candy at stoplights during training breaks to afford new gear.

Transition to MMA and Pro Debut

After initially dabbling in “Chinese boxing,” Silva transitioned to mixed martial arts and made her professional debut at the age of 19. Despite suffering a knockout loss to Elaine Albuquerque at a Sparta MMA event in June 2013, she didn’t let this setback deter her. “I didn’t plan to become a professional,” Silva said. “I was only seeking a better quality of life. I barely knew the sport, but I fell in love with it, so here we are.”

After her first pro fight, Silva joined the same team as her opponent and began learning various martial arts disciplines. She went on to win 13 of her next 16 bouts, ultimately securing her spot in the UFC with a guillotine choke submission of Qihui Yan on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2021.

UFC Success and Upcoming Fight

Silva views her victory on Dana White’s Contender Series as a turning point in her career. “It was one of my toughest fights,” she said. “It lights up my eyes when I watch it.” In her first UFC assignment at UFC Fight Night 207, she defeated Poliana Botelho with a brabo choke in the second round of their June 4 pairing.

Now, Silva is set to return to the stage to face former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Ketlen Souza in a UFC on ESPN 46 women’s flyweight showcase this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. “I always keep an eye on my weight class,” she said. “My team and I sat down and put together the best strategy for my next bout. We’ll do what must be done to be victorious. I don’t have anything to say about my opponent. She deserves to be there, and I’m going to do my job.”

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