Every fighter has their own unique circumstances that led them to competing in mixed martial arts. For 20-year-old strawweight Iasmin Lucindo, she grew up witnessing the women in her life suffering from domestic violence and she was determined to prevent that from happening to her and to her family.
She picked up kickboxing and MMA for self-defense purposes and ended up falling in the love with the sport.
“At first it was to defend myself. My mother and my aunts suffered from domestic violence,” Lucindo told UFC.com. “I got into fighting to stand out, to try to defend myself and defend them. I ended up liking it, and the professional fighter emerged.”
Lucindo’s first professional fight came when she was just 14 years old. That’s not a typo.
“Many people don’t think it’s true that I was a professional at the age of 14,” Lucindo said. “But I’ve learned to survive from a very young age, and I found myself in the fight.”
With her passion for fighting identified, it was never a matter of if she would reach the UFC, it was a matter of when. That moment is finally here as she prepares to face Yazmin Jauregui at UFC Fight Night: Vera vs Cruz this weekend.
“We waited for so long, and when the moment arrived, we were like ‘Oh my God, I’m here,’” Lucindo said. “I was very happy, and I knew that one day it would happen, but I never knew exactly when. It was special.”
At 13-4, Lucindo has quite a bit of experience for someone so young. Growing up with a fighter’s mentality outside of competition and adding the physical components have made her confident that she’ll be ready to shine on Saturday against Jauregui.
“Yazmin is certainly a tough fighter, undefeated, and I will certainly have to use my experiences against her,” Lucindo said. “She’s an athlete that has been outstanding. I will never underestimate her. I am prepared.
“The fans can expect a great fight. Yazmin and I will come with a thirst to win. We want to put on a show even though it’s our UFC debut.”
Lucindo enters the bout with Jauregui on a tear, winning her last seven fights and showcasing just how much talent she possesses. Getting a win in her UFC debut would only reaffirm what she and her team have always known – that despite her age, Lucindo belongs competing with the best strawweight fighters in the world.
“I am a very hardworking and focused person,” Lucindo said. “Even though I’m very young I could describe myself with one word: determination. And I’m determined to be the best.
“I feel so fulfilled. This is a childhood dream. I feel that I am well prepared, and I will not disappoint.”
UFC Fight Night: Vera vs Cruz took place live from Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California on August 13, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive all the action on UFC Fight Pass!