Lahdemaki Wants to Welcome Van Zant to UFC in Stockholm
Tina Lahdemaki may have lost her UFC debut by decision at UFC Fight Night 45, but she feels that she has what it takes to really prove herself at her second chance fight.
Lahdemaki made history that night as being a part of the first strawweight bout in UFC history, along with her opponent Claudia Gadelha. The unbeaten 12-0 Gadelha was the favorite for the bout, but Lademaki came out better than many expected when she made it through all three rounds but ultimately saw defeat that the decision. Now, Lahdemaki just wants to prove that she has octagon-worthy power, and she wants the chance to prove it close to home when the UFC returns to Stockholm on October 4, 2014.
“I’m hoping, praying and doing everything I can to get on that card,” Lahdemaki told MMAjunkie. “I’m already training hard so that if Stockholm happens, I will be ready for that. Getting on that card would be another chance for me to prove myself and to get that victory I didn’t get the last time.
“I want to fight harder than I did last time, I want to perform better than I did last time, and I just want to win so bad.”
And while she didn’t come out with the victory this time, she is still happy with the way she fought, and sees nothing but opportunity in her loss.
“I think I did fight well, but of course I’m disappointed that I lost because I don’t think that Gadelha is unbeatable,” Lahdemaki said. “I could have won, but that night she was better. But considering that no one knew who I was and thought that I was just this nobody from a country the size of a peanut and I could still impress them with my fighting, that’s where I think I did well. But I do have a lot to improve and next time I will be better.
“As sad as it is, you learn from losses more than you can ever learn from your victories.”
While she is happy to take any and all challengers, she does have a few fighters in mind.
“I’m ready to fight anyone that the UFC sees appropriate,” Lahdemaki said. “But now that [Juliana] Lima also has a loss from her debut, I could see myself fighting her. And I heard that Paige VanZant was also signed by the UFC and hasn’t got a fight yet, so I would be more than happy to welcome her to the UFC.”
Whomever she receives, fighting in Stockholm is her prize and her ultimate goal is to bring a definitive win to her hometown fans.
“Fighting in Sweden would mean that I could get my own fans out there and I could get that victory for them. Finns love MMA and by getting on that card I could give them something they desire. “I will be more aggressive, I will be more determined, and I will put on a show. I have already proved that I will not give up no matter what happens, so I can promise that when I get in that cage there will be a war.”
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