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The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented fighter on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
Fifteen total fighters on this card are from Brazil, and that’s out of just a total of 24 fighters. Yet, we’re riding with one of the nine who are traveling in from out of town. Here’s why:
Affiliation – Fight Ready MMA
From – Phoenix, Arizona
Height – 5’5″
Weight – 135 lbs (Bantamweight)
Record – 16-1 (0-0 UFC)
What makes her impressive
Cortez, in a word, is gritty. Cortez grew up alongside brothers who also dreamed of being MMA fighters, as well as alongside the Cejudo family (yes, that Cejudo family), and the results show. She’s a monster with her forward pressure and the fact that she has great cardio only makes it better. She also capitalizes on the pressure with her grappling. When an opponent is willing to step forward to engage in the clinch, she’s more than happy to bully them against the cage or to take them down.
Why she has been overlooked
With just seven professional fights, there hasn’t been much time to get hype behind Cortez. In addition to the time constraint, she does only have two finishes in those seven fights, which isn’t anything that gets people hyped up. With that being said, she is exciting enough to get Dana White to bust out that contract after watching her on Contender Series, so she must be doing something right.
What makes this a good match-up
In Vanessa Melo’s debut in the UFC, she absorbed an absurd amount of strikes. In the 15 minute bout, she was hit by Irene Aldana 125 times, which translates to over eight times a minute. The lack of defense in the striking department doesn’t bode well for Melo in a bout against someone like Cortez, who loves to move forward. In addition, Melo has shown suspect takedown defense in her fights prior to signing with the UFC, which also plays into Cortez’s favor.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 187-79-1 (2 NC) (7 DNF)
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