Brave Women From Rio’s Slums & Mixed Martial Arts

Cynthia Maria, 28, during a physical training and preparation for her first professional fight in the Penha slum complex, Rio de Janeiro.

 

Documentary Photographer Diego Herculano is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  From the project  ‘Favela Kombat : Girls Fight Back’To see Diego’s body of work, click on any image.

 

Tainara dos Santos, 25, observes the Pavão and Pavãozinho slums in Rio de Janeiro.

 

Tainara dos Santos, 25, poses showing her callused fist from boxing and MMA training in the Cantagalo community of Rio de Janeiro.

 

Cynthia Maria cries and is comforted by her team after losing a fight to Aieza Bertolso at the event known as Favela Kombat (Slum Kombat). In Rio de Janeiro, on August 17, 2019.

 

In Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, where violence and drug trafficking prevail, a group of women who have suffered or witnessed some kind of abuse, found an unconventional and powerful way to fight back. Trying to overcome slum poverty and the prejudices of a mostly male sport, these women have learned how to punch life back.

 

Tainara dos Santos, 25, his wife, Jamilly Alencar, 22, and his niece in their small home in the Cantagalo community of Rio de Janeiro.

 

Elaine Lopes, 25, tries a video conference with her family in Sao Paulo using her cell phone in the Ladeira dos Tabajaras favela.

 

Brave and determined, they all dream in participating on the largest event of mixed martial arts (MMA) in the world: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). For most of them, unfortunately, the biggest challenges start outside the fight ring.

 

Tainara dos Santos, 25, cries as she talks about her brother murdered a few months ago by drug traffickers in the Cantagalo community of Rio de Janeiro.

 

According to a survey conducted by Ibope Repucom, 30 million Brazilians say they are fans of MMA. Interestingly, of the 30 million, 47% are women, which shows the recent female interest in this sport.

 

Daniela Silva, 30, hits a blow to opponent Aline Sattelmayer at Shooto Brasil, a national MMA competition, in July 26, 2019 Rio de Janeiro.

 

Daniela Silva, 30, celebrates her victory in the fight against athlete Aline Sattelmayer at Shooto Brasil, national MMA competition, in July 26, 2019, Rio de Janeiro.

 

Daniela Silva, 30, celebrates with friends the victory against opponent Aline Sattelmayer at Shooto Brasil, national MMA competition, in July 26, 2019, Rio de Janeiro.

 

All images (2019)  and text © Diego Herculano

 

 

See also:

Crack Addiction

By Diego Herculano

 

 

 

 

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an independent nondiscriminatory platform that has no religious, political, financial, or social affiliations.

We are committed to publishing the human condition, the raw diverse global entanglement, with total impartiality.

 

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