Poliana Botelho ’s road to the octagon might have been quicker than the one taken by some of her peers. But it doesn’t mean it was easy. In fact, it didn’t get much easier even after she got there. Botelho was only three years into her MMA career when, in September 2016, a meeting with Valerie Letourneau was agreed upon for UFC 206 . But the following month, when she threw an overhand right that landed flush on the head of one of her trainers during a sparring session, an injured Botelho had to withdraw . Fellow Brazilian Viviane Pereira, the only opponent who’d ever beaten Botelho in an MMA bout, stepped in – and won.