#MMA @mgattomma: Patient for her UFC debutTweet
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu monster, Melissa Gatto, is ready to make her UFC debut. A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt and 6-0-2 as a professional MMA fighter, Gatto was scheduled to face Mariya Agapova at UFC APEX. Due to COVID-19, Gatto was denied a travel visa to get to Vegas. Gatto missed out on three fights in the UFC due to various reasons.
Despite her visa issues, Gatto is still a great prospect in the women’s bantamweight division. Her start in the sport is one of a family origin. She looked to her older brother and followed his footsteps on her start in mixed martial arts.
“I started in martial arts, still small, at 8 years old. My older brother trained and I wanted to try it too. After that I fell in love and I am still in this world today.”
Melissa Gatto hasn’t fought since September of 2018. She won that fight via kimura in the first round at Nacao Cyborg 3, a Brazilian promotion belonging to current Bellator champion, Cris Cyborg. While the long layoff hasn’t been easy for Gatto, she feels ultimately in the long run, she will benefit from the recovery time. Gatto believes that she’s the best version of herself.
“This time away from the octagon was very complicated for me, both financially and personally. But at the same time, it was very important for my mental, technical, and physical growth. I believe that today I am much more prepared than before.”
Melissa Gatto and the Pandemic
Melissa Gatto is dating Joao Paulo Santos, a professional fighter in his own rights. Before the pandemic, she was training with him, preparing for her UFC debut. But due to the COVID-19 epidemic, she’s moved her camp to Rio de Janerio and modified her camp a little bit with an all-women team. That team is MSP, a small, all-women camp that focuses on all aspects of martial arts, including MMA, boxing and wrestling.
“Because of the pandemic, at the beginning of this camp I did more training with my boyfriend. He is also an MMA fighter, which helped me a lot to keep the pace. Now, I’m in Rio de Janeiro training with the girls from MSP. This is a female-only team and we train all modalities.”
Gatto seeks to constantly improve and make herself better as a fighter. Improvement is the only way to stay at a level worth competing at. Striving to become better and be the best is what makes a martial artist tick. She’s happy to be at MSP and enjoys working together to improve as a team.
“I believe that we are always evolving, I am happy to be here with the girls being able to evolve even more in all areas.”
While the original fight for Melissa Gatto was canceled, she will absolutely make her UFC debut soon. When she does, it will be a long time coming.