American Top Team’s Edinae Gomes will take to the cage this Saturday night at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City to face Japanese fighter Hiroko Yamanaka at Invicta FC 4. The Brazilian fighter has gone from the streets to being one of the better women’s featherweight prospects in MMA. Gomes spoke with MMAFrenzy’s Steve Barnes prior to Saturday’s fight to discuss her evolution as a fighter and her fight day preparation.
When did you first start training in martial arts? What was your first martial art?
I began BJJ in San Paulo, Brazil in 2000 and in 2008 I began training MMA. I was a brown belt back then.
When did you decide you wanted to do MMA?
I was fighting in the streets and wanted to turn things around so I started fighting professionally. I got my black belt in 2009 and then came to the US to train at ATT.
How did you get involved with American Top Team? Do you have difficulty finding training partners?
My former manager brought me to the US to train at ATT. For the first 6 months I could not find a fight because no one wanted to fight me. I went back to Brazil for 3 months and I went through a lot of personal issues. Then Master [Ricardo] Liborio contacted me and suggested I return to the US to turn my life around so I did.
It is hard to find women my size to train with. Most of the girls at ATT are in a smaller weight class so I only can work technique with them. With the men I am able to use my strength and power.
Which of the guys at ATT is your favorite to spar with in camp?
Definitely Master Liborio.
When did you find out about Invicta FC and how did you become involved with them?
I heard a lot about Invicta and my manager, Tina Vidal-Smith with ML Management, had been talking to Invicta for awhile about having me on the show and it finally happened.
What was it about Invicta that convinced you to sign with them as opposed to one of the other promotions?
I think what they are doing to promote women’s mma is awesome and they are doing a great job promoting the female fighters.
What do you believe are your biggest strengths as a fighter?
What have you needed to work on most to improve as a fighter?
My stand up but it has gotten so much better!
How far out do you begin training before a fight? How is training going?
I train every day and never stop. I like to have 8 weeks to train but sometimes you don’t get that much notice. Training is going good now. I’m so ready to fight her.
What is your usual fight day routine?
The day of the fight all I am thinking about is a victory. I am going to do the same as I do in the gym, just this time I am going all in 100%. I am calm because I believe in the cage it is fun for me. A game of strength and adrenaline.
You mentioned you think about victory the day of the fight. What do you physically do? As in your routine when you wake up, then what up until you get to the arena for the fight?
I try to relax. I will get a little workout in just for cardio but mainly I take it easy and try to stay calm.
What do you think of your opponent for Invicta 4, Hiroko Yamanaka, and is there anything in particular that makes her tougher opponent for you?
She’s got great stand up and a background in wrestling and grappling. Stand up is of course my challenge but I am ready for her either way.
Be sure to tune in this Saturday as Invicta FC 4 will air live at 7PM ET from the Memorial Hall in Kansas City on January 5. The billing will be the promotions first online PPV, costing only $7.95 for 13 fights.