What’s good fight fans? I had the pleasure of speaking with world kickboxing champion Barbara Nepomuceno ahead of her planned transition to MMA. Let’s ask her some questions and get to know her a little bit better.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Barbara: Being a fighter is not a choice, it’s a gift. I was born to be a fighter and it’s my mission in this life. To be a fighter you must train hard and believe that you can be the best version of yourself every day. You have to work hard for this and never quit.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Barbara: I began kickboxing when I was 19 years old.
Nick: What camp do you currently train out of and how long have you been with them?
Barbara: I train at Team Big G since 2013.
Nick: Have you switched camps for the transition to MMA?
Barbara: No, my team trains kickboxing and MMA.
Nick: What disciplines have you been training leading up to your MMA debut?
Barbara: Kickboxing of course. I have also trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and submission wrestling.
Nick: Have you competed professionally in any other combat sports besides kickboxing?
Barbara: Not professionally. As an amateur, I did compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, boxing, kung fu, and sanda.
Nick: With being successful at your current craft what made you decide to transition to MMA?
Barbara: The opportunities of growth in my career. I live only to fight. WMMA is growing fast and I want the opportunity to show the world that I’m ready for this.
Nick: What would you say your best attribute is as a fighter?
Barbara: I’m very resistant, smart, and strong. I learn very fast and I have a great connection with my master Guto Nasser and my team.
Nick: With WMMA coming along quickly do you think the middleweight class will go mainstream sooner than later?
Barbara: Of course it will. That’s the future of WMMA. More fighters and more weight classes.
Nick: I have read that you have asked to fight Gabi Garcia many times. Why do you think that she has refused the fight?
Barbara: I asked for a chance to make a great show with Gabi Garcia. She said that she can’t find any women to fight against her and that everyone is afraid of her. I issued her a challenge and I think she is afraid of me. I’m a real fighter and your opponents so far have not been.
Nick: If Gabi would accept a fight with you do you think the difference in weight would play a major factor since she is a heavyweight and you are a middleweight? How would that fight work?
Barbara: The weight would be an issue according to the rules. I think it is fine. She has power and I have intelligence and velocity. We could always fight at a catchweight and meet in the middle.
Nick: Gabi has literally destroyed every opponent she has faced so far. What game plan would you bring to the table that is different from any she has seen before?
Barbara: She only destroyed people because her opponents are not real fighters. Check it out and see for yourself. She beat up a WWE actress, a football player, and a grandmother.
Nick: Once you come over to the MMA side of combat sports what promotion will you be fighting for?
Barbara: I will fight for any one of them for my debut.
Nick: I know that you have already stated you will be fighting MMA and continuing kickboxing. How hard do you think that will be to maintain with training camps being very different?
Barbara: I think that will be easy. I already train everything now. When I have a kickboxing fight I will focus on kickboxing. If I have an MMA fight I will focus on everything.
Nick: Who is your favorite fighter of all time?
Barbara: I don’t have a favorite. There are so many that I like. I do have some that I like to use as a reference which are Tyrone Spong, Anderson Silva, José Aldo, Mike Tyson, and Muhammed Ali.
Nick: Barbara have you submitted to the takeover?
Barbara: This is Barbara Nepomuceno and I have submitted to the takeover.
Barbara would like to thank her friends and family for supporting her on this journey. A big shout out to all of her sponsors and fans who have followed her throughout her career. Lastly huge thanks to teammates and coaches for making her what she is today.
I have to thank Barbara for making time to talk with me since we are so far apart in time. It was my pleasure to get her insight and her transition to MMA. Keep an eye out for her on social media to keep up to date with her fight announcement, signing off for theMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA