Ediane Gomez is currently a 145 pound contender in Invicta Fighting Championships. But back in 2007 she was recovering drug addict, that had spent many years homeless, enticed by the promise of $250 to fight for the sketchy underground fight promotion Rio Heroes.
Before she found Jiu-Jitsu and started fighting in professional MMA in the US, Ediane was a street kid that was addicted to drugs. She turned her life around when she met Vale Tudo legend Jorge ‘Macaco’ Patino and started training at his academy in Sao Paulo. It was also around this time that she decided to fight in the controversial No Hold Barred show ‘Rio Heroes’ (which has since then been banned).
Ediane was offered 250$ (+ an extra 250$ if she won) to fight a man in a No Holds Barred fight, no gloves, with headbutts. He was a Muay Thai instructor with no knowledge of Jiu-Jitsu.
Gomes told MMA Junkie about what went through her head during the fight:
In reality, at the start of the fight, he was just playing, He was going easy at first, to see what I had to offer. After I punched in, he kicked me hard on the thigh. My leg wobbled. Then I realized that he was trying to knock me out. I decided I needed to survive this. This was no game.”
She won by armbar from mount after a tough fight that left her bloodied.
After the Rio Heroes experience Gomes made her official MMA debut on August 16, 2007. After winning her first five fights Gomes was set to face future UFC women’s bantamweight competitor, Amanda Nunes. She lost via TKO in the second round.
After a quick win over Marissa Caldwell at Bitetti Combat 6, Gomes was then set to take on future UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey, which happened to be Rousey’s mma debut. Gomes lost via armbar 0:25 seconds into the fight.