Why UFC newcomer Ailin Perez made twerking a tradition in her career

If you thought the twerking from prospect Ailin Perez was a one-off, spontaneous thing of the moment, then you thought wrong.

The Argentine fighter has been twerking long before her UFC debut at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 209 event in Paris. Through her promising rise in South America, Perez (7-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has garnered the attention of many with her fierce fighting skills and colorful personality outside the cage.

And at Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins, ‘Fiona’ gave the UFC fans a sneak peek of what she’s about, and also what’s in store for her UFC rise.

“I enjoy it and that’s the way I express my happiness,” Perez told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “Apart from being a fighter, I was also a dancer. I danced reggaeton, salsa, and bachata, so that’s in my blood.

“Many people say, ‘If you know how to dance, you know how to fight.’ I enjoy it, and that’s a way I express my happiness. I have the assassin side of me, and my happy part. That’s how ‘Fiona’ is. Princess Fiona is an ogre who dances, who’s very sweet, but when it comes time to fight, she’s firm and moves forward. That’s why they call me that.”

Perez takes on Stephanie Egger in a women’s featherweight bout to open up the event. The 27-year-old is not afraid to make her goal known. She wants to fight Amanda Nunes and become UFC champion in the future.

“She’s the best and I want to go against the best fighters,” Perez said. “Maybe it’s not the time right now, but I’m not going to waste any opportunities. I didn’t come here to play games, I come here to give it my all in the UFC. The women’s featherweight division basically doesn’t exist, and I’m fighting in that division. So Saturday, I’m going to show I have what it takes to fight Amada Nunes.”

There’s no doubt Perez has plenty of ambition. She’s eager to show her skillas and personality to the masses, and that journey starts on Saturday with Egger.

“You guys haven’t even seen 10 percent of who I am personally, so expect more from me,” Perez said. “The better I do in this journey, the more you guys will enjoy with me. And as far as inside the cage, I’m an assassin. I know I’m going to knock her out in the first round and send her home in a lot of pain.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 209.

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