XFC SPOTLIGHT: Women's Flyweight Tournament Champ Poliana Botelho Honored With Citywide Parade & Ceremony
Wed. March 25th, 2015 - Another dream came true for Muriaé native Poliana Botelho. After winning the fight that earned her the Season II XFC Women's Flyweight Tournament Championship, she said that her dream would be parading through her hometown in a fire truck.
On Monday morning, Poliana was accompanied by her family and friends as she climbed into the Muriaé fire department's truck at the Municipal Administrative Center and toured the main streets of the city, being applauded by the fans and fellow residents.
Poliana Botelho has become the first local athlete to excel in the sport internationally, and became a celebrity in the city, which is inhabited by just over 100 thousand people. The celebration concluded back at the Municipal Administrative Center, where Botelho received tribute from the Mayor of Muriaé Aloysio Aquino and the Secretary of Sports and Leisure, Vander Gonçalves.
"I am very happy for the tributes. Many thanks to the city government and all who were involved. The whole town stopped, everyone commented that it was the city's largest event and I feel very honored by this. When I left here, I did not imagine that I would return one day and be received this way. It is a great recognition, as I have worked very hard and dedicated myself to achieve my dream. It's not every day you get to enjoy moments like this," vibrates Poliana.
The city of Muriaé has started to follow MMA ever since Poliana Botelho debuted in the XFC, in September last year. In her tournament debut, she knocked out Mexican Karina Rodriguez in the third round, and advanced directly to the final after Taila Santos, her opponent in the semis, did not make weight. In the finals, the people of her hometown stopped everything to watch her fight against Antonia Silvaneide, where Poliana also won by knockout, this time in the first round. The support was surprising to Poliana.
"I did not know so many people here had seen the fight, many people stopped me in the street to congratulate me, talking about the fight and the excitement of it. My friends and family were also all here with me today. As I got off the Firefighter's Truck, I took a picture with them. I am thankful they could be here with me. It is very good to know that the city embraces me like this. Now I want to keep up this pace, and challenge for the XFC World Championship Belt," she concluded.
Boasting a solid gold medal, Poliana Botelho focus turns to a few days of rest. Soon she will return to Rio de Janeiro to train at Nova Uniao and prepare to be one of the top prospects entering the XFC Flyweight Superfight Series. "I want to face the Argentine Silvana 'La Wicked' Juarez. She won the first tournament series and I won the second, I think it will be a great fight," Poliana stated.