Malaysian fans might have been wondering who Rayane Bastos was when they saw here name on the fight card for last week’s ONE: ‘Mark of Greatness’. But the Brazilian introduced herself in style with an emphatic win at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.
It was her first time fighting outside of Brazil. But Bastos emerged as an immediate contender in the flyweight division after submitting the previously undefeated Sovannahry Em in the opening round.
It was a huge step into the unknown for Bastos, whose previous four fights took place on small regional shows in Brazil,
“I’ve never fought in a set-up like this, everywhere I’ve fought before was very small,” she said.
Bastos won several karate tournaments before transitioning to BJJ, becoming a five time state champion in her native Para. Those submission skills were on display in Kuala Lumpur as the 19 year old sunk in a guillotine choke to finish the fight.
The 20 year old says it was a moment she will remember for the rest of her life,
“It was the first time that I have finished a fight in the first round so it was unique, memorable and something special. I’m happy with the win and I cannot wait to fight in ONE Championship again.”
She is the youngest fighter on ONE Championship’s roster of female flyweights but her 4-0-1 record speaks for itself. She also holds a submission win over Samara Santos who would go on to challenge for the promotion’s strawweight title.
The composure that Bastos showed in her ONE Championship debut was impressive. She was clearly not overawed by the occasion and says that her instincts kicked in once the bell sounded to start the fight,
“Everybody feels nervous, but once I’m in the ring, that’s where I feel at home. Every martial artist truly shines at what they do best in the ring,” she said.
Her opponent also came into the bout with a perfect professional record to protect and Bastos says there was no complacency coming into this contest,
“When I left Brazil, my family and friends already told me I was going to be the underdog so I came extra prepared. I feel like all my hard work during training paid off,” she said.
She finished the fight in emphatic fashion with Em caught in a guillotine choke so deep she had no option but to tap. For Bastos it was all part of the plan,
“I did not want to rush like her so I patiently waited for an opening. When her neck fell into place there was only one thing I knew I was going to do. I knew that was my time, it was now or never. I got hold of the neck and I knew I had the finish as soon as I locked it in.”
With the Christmas holidays approaching Bastos knows she won’t be fighting again this year. But she doesn’t want to wait too long for another opportunity to establish her title credentials in ONE Championship’s flyweight division,
“I’m going to enjoy the rest of the year without skipping my training, of course. I feel good, and I want to compete as early as possible in 2020. I can’t wait to return and fight again.”