Viviane Araujo doubled therapy sessions ahead of first UFC main event with Alexa Grasso


Seeing your face on a UFC poster for a main event can change your approach to a fight, and Viviane Araujo felt that going into her UFC Vegas 62 headlining bout with Alexa Grasso on Oct. 15.

“Vivi” was given the opportunity after defeating Andrea Lee via decision this past May, while Grasso tapped Joanne Wood in the opening round earlier this year to go 3-0 since 2020. As soon as the call came for the main event clash, Araujo decided to double her therapy sessions to be mentally ready for such challenge.

“We used to do one session a week, and now we’re doing it twice a week, because we have to be on point,” Araujo said on this week’s Trocação Franca podcast. “I felt a big difference in my training with that extra session, the way my mind worked in training, my focus, controlling my anxiety and ego.

“I left things outside the gym now, I’m 100 percent focused. I breathe fighting today, everything to make sure I get better one percent every day to make me more confident on fight day, believing I did everything had to be done. October 15 is the day I’ll have fun and let everything go.”

Araujo said UFC President Dana White congratulated her after her decision victory over Lee in May, and that’s why she was offered a main event spot now.

Araujo is feeling calm and focused after so many sessions with Luciana Castelo Branco, the same psychologist that works with UFC fighters Vicente Luque, Gilbert Burns and Herbert Burns.

“We’ve done a pretty solid work already, but hearing about the UFC main event, then it’s a bit different,” she said. “I was starting my career [in 2016] but already had a pretty long carer in jiu-jitsu, and my coach Daniel Evangelista felt the need to add a psychologist [to my routine] because MMA was becoming more professional every single day and people were looking for ways to bring improvements inside the cage. It has made a huge difference in my life, not only in MMA.”

Grasso and Araujo are currently ranked No. 9 and 11, respectively, in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, and the Brazilian hopes to be a couple of wins away from a shot at the 125-pound championship if victorious at the UFC APEX.

“This is our goal,” Araujo said. “I already dreamed of fighting for the UFC belt, becoming champion and making history even before I entered the UFC, so I think I’ll be even closer to a title fight after this win over Alexa Grasso. The top of the division is a bit packed, but I’m on my way up and it will change things up. I think two more wins leave me really close to a shot at the belt.”