Brazil’s Samara Santos: My parents thought MMA wasn’t for women

Samara Santos

Samara Santos

Brazilian women’s strawweight contender Samara “Marituba” Santos, 25, will have the opportunity of a lifetime in her ONE Championship debut. Recently, she shared how her parents’ thoughts about mixed martial arts changed.

Hailing from Marituba, Para, Brazil, Santos holds a professional MMA record of 12 wins, 5 losses and 1 draw. Her parents were not exactly thrilled that their daughter was an MMA fighter but fortunately for her, they had a change of heart.

“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.”

“Now, they’ve accepted my career choice and give me a lot of support,” the Brazilian MMA fighter added. “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 the Para native’s family has translated into a fruitful career for her. One of her victories as a professional MMA fighter is her run as the Salvaterra Marajo Fight Women’s Strawweight Champion.

What began as skepticism has now transformed to support and encouragement from  Santos’s parents. It is fueling her to work hard for her aspirations.

“My father said that if it is something I like, if it is my dream, go for it,” Santos stated. “If I can win bouts and get many victories, I can earn a good wage to support my family.”

On September 8, 2018, Santos will challenge reigning reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan, 30, of Beijing, China at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China. They will headline “ONE: Beyond the Horizon.”

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

The Marituba’s MMA career could be headed to new heights at  “ONE: Beyond the Horizon.” Meanwhile, get to know more about her Chinese opponent here:

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.