Donna Vekic suffers mid-air fright ahead of Guadalajara victory
SALT LAKE CITY — Mid-air fright was all Donna Vekic had when she was in the air during her first-ever professional fight before stepping into the cage to face three-time world champion Giselle “Carmen” Dieudonné.
The fight took place in Salt Lake City at the Utah Valley Exhibition Center last Saturday. Vekic, who is from Sweden, came to the United States as an immigrant when she was 14 years old.
She went on to become one of the most exciting women fighters in UFC history, winning three of five UFC world championships in four separate divisions.
“I went to the (National) Team Championships and everything was amazing. I got to travel, met people, competed in the Olympics, and everything was great,” said Vekic, who came to fight Dieudonné under the UFC banner. “Then my manager told me the UFC would be looking for top female fighters. So, I didn’t think twice and signed up for them to fight.”
Dieudonné was the first UFC women’s champion since Ronda Rousey in 2012 and is widely considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters not in mixed martial arts. Rousey was the first woman in history to win three world titles.
In her first UFC fight, Vekic was defeated by Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 218 in Portland. After the bout, Vekic took part in a press conference and tearfully stated to the media that she wanted to return to the UFC, but the UFC put a stop to that.
Dieudonné, who did not start fighting until she was 33 years old, had a perfect record against Vekic.
Vekic, who came to America as an immigrant when she was 14 years old, came to Salt Lake City as a coach for the women’s team at the Utah Valley Athletic Club and was able to attend the fight.
Vekic said her fight with Dieudonné was the first time she was in the air during a fight, and was the