Over the past 12 months, Virna Jandiroba has undergone a transformative journey as both a woman and an athlete. The former Invicta FC strawweight champion shared her personal struggles following a knee injury that forced her to look at life from a different perspective.
Reminiscing on this difficult period, Jandiroba shared, “I think a lot like (Miyamoto) Musashi, the way is in everything. This moment made me way more mature, making me look at other things in life, look at what I was leaning towards to and what I was not. It has given me more balance. That was very positive, slowing down and seeing (life) from a different perspective.”
As a professional MMA fighter since 2013 with a background in jiu-jitsu, Jandiroba admits that her career has taken a significant toll on her both physically and emotionally. “I spent a great portion of my life being only an athlete – and that’s great, or maybe it’s not, It’s questionable – but that has stopped me from advancing in other aspects of my life,” she revealed. However, a knee injury forced Jandiroba to take a pause from fighting and reevaluate her priorities, including her love life and quality time with her family.
While it was difficult to put other aspects of her life aside to focus on becoming a top 15 ranked strawweight, Jandiroba’s knee injury and her father’s prostate cancer diagnosis forced her to take a closer look at what’s important in life. “My father got sick and we were facing a lot of strong things. I’ve been closer to my family now and it was great, man. I feel like a person that is capable to love and be loved, and I think it will also reflect inside the octagon and everywhere in your life,” she shared.
Jandiroba is a well-respected fighter with a 4-3 record under the UFC banner, including impressive victories over Felice Herrig, Angela Hill, Kanako Murata, and Mallory Martin. However, she admits that her focus isn’t solely on becoming a top-ranked fighter or even on winning a belt. Instead, Jandiroba is focused on living a more balanced life both inside and outside of the octagon.