The UFC attempts to find their next crossover star by signing the former KSW champion while adding depth to their newest division
This past weekend, buried amid the endless “reaction” videos of the McGregor/Nurmagomedov press conference and the heated debates regarding USADA’s arbitration deal with Jon Jones, KSW quietly released their women’s flyweight champion Ariane Lipski, who promptly signed with the UFC. She will make her debut on November 17, when she steps in for an injured Veronica Macedo to face Maryna Moroz at UFC Fight Night 140 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
UFC Signs Ariane Lipski
Why is this particular signing so significant? —Because on paper, Lipski has all the makings of the UFC’s next breakout star.
A Blue Chip Prospect
At just 24 years old, Lipski has become the female face of KSW and one of the Polish promotion’s biggest stars since she captured gold back in May of 2017 at KSW 39: Colosseum. Having garnered a following in Poland comparable to that of former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, she has been thrust into the Slavic country’s spotlight and shined—one need only look at the Brazilian’s social media accounts to realize her mainstream crossover potential.
“There’s a lot of fan attention [In Poland],” Lipski told MMAJunkie in an interview earlier this year, “Every day, people send me messages on social media, they ask when I’m going to fight again. I can’t even answer all of them during fight week, though I always try to interact as best as I can.”
And the UFC could use some of that fan attention. With a women’s flyweight division comprising mostly of former strawweight, bantamweight and TUF contenders, the addition of a new name—especially an outside organization’s champion—will appeal to the UFC’s strategy of building an elite female 125lb. weight class, as well as finding a star to be its title holder.
A Deserving Mantle
But what is most appealing to The UFC and MMA fans regarding the Brazilian’s signing revolves around her nickname: The Violence Queen.
Currently riding a nine-fight win streak, Lipski has finished 8 of those last 9 in spectacular fashion, with 6 coming by way of KO/TKO and 2 by submission. Amassing an impressive 72.7% overall finish rate throughout her career, even her last decision win at KSW 42 against Silvana Gomez Juarez included knockdowns and plenty of action, only reinforcing the validity of her dangerous moniker. In a sport where competitors are rewarded for exciting fights, Lipski’s highlight reel is truly a thing of beauty and carnage rarely seen in women’s mixed martial arts.
And the ‘Violence Queen’ will need to add to that highlight reel if she hopes to find similar success in the Octagon. Superstardom almost always requires both excitement and supremacy, and though the Brazilian’s brutality will assuredly bring furor as she transitions into the UFC, the dominance Lipski found in KSW will be far harder to come by, with opponents such as Valentina Shevchenko and the aforementioned Jedrzejczyk waiting in the wings to derail the young prospect’s ambitions.
Up for a Challenge
That notion doesn’t seem to bother Lipski in the slightest, however, who instead relishes the idea of competing against the best the promotion has to offer. In fact, during an interview last year before her first title bout, the soon-to-be flyweight champion discussed how she believed her skills to be superior to some of the UFC’s top stars.
“Maybe, if I fought [Joanna Jedrzejczyk], I could win because I’m more complete. I’d take her down and keep her there. And standing, I think I have more power as well.” Lipski told MMA Fighting, “[Amanda Nunes] is a good striker… But I think I’m more technical than her. I kick a lot. Well prepared, I’d do a camp to defeat her.”
While some might view those statements as overconfidence, to the Brazilian it’s nothing more than making her intentions clear to fight any and all challengers put in front of her, regardless of their abilities.
“What I really want to become is the best in the world, so I have to fight them all,” Lipski said. “Whoever comes, I’ll do my best, get ready, and always believe I can defeat anyone.”
As with any potential star, only time will tell what Lipski can achieve in the world’s largest MMA organization, but one thing is for certain—there will be violence.