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Silvana Gomez Juarez has kept mentality sharp in attempt to rebound off rough UFC debut

Silvana Gomez Juarez hasn’t had the best luck when it comes to UFC-related endeavors in her career. She intends on changing that come Jan. 15.

At 36, Argentina’s Juarez has been competing professionally for 10-plus years and began her run following some time playing Rugby at university. In 2010, there was no amateur scene in her country – the only option was to jump straight to the pros.

Juarez quickly earned the nickname “La Malvada” in her debut by defeating Ana Mancinelli who was known as “The Barbie.” In English, “La Malvada” roughly translates to “The Wicked” or “Evil One” and Juarez’s 10-3 record can support that.

The UFC long-eluded Juarez but never left her far from unique opportunities. Wins over notable names like Vanessa Melo and Saray Orozco were accrued during her rise – the latter under the Combate Americas banner (now Combate Global).

The Orozco win acted as Juarez’s rebound performance off a hard-fought battle with the then KSW flyweight queen and future UFC contender, Ariane Lipski. The Argentinian managed to put together a three-fight winning streak that was good enough to catch the attention of the UFC and Dana White.

However, that winning streak was never supposed to happen.

Set to do battle with Antonina Shevchenko in 2018 on the Contender Series, Juarez would be forced out due to injury.

“It was very hard for me because it was a goal of mine,” Juarez told MyMMANews. “But I’ve been working very hard to get this opportunity.”

Fast-forward to 2021 and Juarez’s opportunity came once more. A matchup with Maria Silva was to take place on the most recent season of the Contender Series only for Juarez to be called up one week prior. Lupita Godinez needed an opponent and the San Miguel de Tucuman native wasn’t about to pass it up.

“I was very proud and very happy because it felt like I was realizing a dream,” Juarez said of signing with the UFC. “It had always been a dream for me to get there since I had started fighting.

“[The Godinez loss] absolutely pushed me to work harder and it did motivate me because things didn’t go my way. However, the mental component was extremely important for me. It’s really important for me to keep the emotions and keep the mental component in check so I can win future fights.”

Godinez managed to spoil the debut parade of Juarez finishing her by first-round armbar and becoming the first to do so. The very minimal moments on the feet allowed Juarez to tease her strong striking acumen, but obviously, nothing near to the effect she would have desired.

Despite being a 125-pound flyweight for most of her career, the Juarez will push forward in the 115-pound strawweight ranks. “La Malvada’s” sophomore Octagon appearance comes opposite Vanessa Demopoulos.

“My coach told me that if I fought at strawweight it would give me more advantages because the other athletes were bigger and taller,” Juarez explained. “So fighting at strawweight would give me a better advantage.

“I know she’s very strong and that it’s gonna be a hard fight. She has her strengths and I’m going to strategize. But it’s going to be a good fight because we both have our strengths.

“I’m very proud to represent my country,” she added. “I always wanted to go and wanted to fight so I feel I needed to represent my country.”

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