Araújo has spent a lot of time thinking about adversity. When she steps into the Octagon as the featured prelim of UFC Fight Night: Blachowicz vs Rakic, it will have been precisely one year since we last saw her compete in a close decision loss to the current No. 1 contender, Katlyn Chookagian.
“I shouldn’t have left that fight in the hands of the judges,” she recalls. “I should have used my aggressiveness better. In the second round, I had gotten a submission, but I didn’t keep going because I wasn’t sure. If I had kept going with that submission, I’m sure she would have tapped and the referee would have seen it.”
365 days is a long time to sit with a loss. Araújo doesn’t need reminding.
“It’s always hard when you don’t get the win, especially the way it happened. It was a close fight, it could have gone both ways. So we rewatched it and worked on a lot of things. Being away for one year is really hard for fighters; we get very anxious. So I’ve been working with my sports psychologist to sharpen my mind in order to be prepared for any situation.”
Fight By Fight Preview | UFC Fight Night: Blachowicz vs Rakic
Of course, it was never intended to take this long.
“This week has been exactly one year since I last fought in the UFC. I was supposed to fight in February against Alexa Grasso, but unfortunately during my camp I suffered an elbow injury and I needed surgery.”
So how did she soldier through the brutal double-whammy of a loss and losing a fight to her own injury?
“Just the same things that make me feel good: being with my dogs, spending time with my fiancée, as well, going to the park with them. I think that’s what always makes me feel good.”
Fiancée? She smiles slyly like we weren’t going to notice that little tidbit.