Yes, in a recent interview, UFC newcomer Ailin Perez stated that she used to be a dancer before transitioning her fancy footwork into a fighting career. Perez specializes in dance styles such as reggaeton, salsa, and bachata.
The Argentinian recently made headlines after twerking at the UFC Paris weigh-ins ahead of her bout against Stephanie Egger. However, this has apparently been a tradition in Perez's MMA career, stating that the dance move is a way for her to express herself:
"I enjoy it and that’s the way I express my happiness."
While speaking to MMA Junkie, which was later translated on their website, the UFC newcomer continued to speak about her previous professional dance experience:
"Apart from being a fighter, I was also a dancer. I danced reggaeton, salsa, and bachata, so that’s in my blood."
Watch the full Spanish interview below:
Ailin Perez sadly lost her debut bout against Stephanie Egger at UFC Paris, with her opponent submitting the Argentinian in the second round. Egger later spoke out about the twerking incident at the weigh-ins and seemingly wasn't impressed with the respect shown by her opponent.
What did Stephanie Egger recently say about Ailin Perez twerking at UFC Paris?
Ailin Perez's UFC debut opponent, Stephanie Egger, wasn't impressed with the lack of respect shown by her fellow MMA fighter. Egger believes that Perez is free to dance if she wants to, but isn't a fan of showboating herself.
While speaking with MMA Junkie about Perez's twerking, Egger said:
"I have a judo background. I learned respect for my opponents. If she wants to twerk, she can twerk. But when we are in the cage, it’s all about fighting and not twerking. I don’t like to talk much. I prefer to go in the cage and fight."
Egger eventually had the last laugh, with Ailin Perez unable to beat the Swiss fighter after making her debut at UFC Paris. Perez has stated that twerking is very much one of her MMA traditions, so you can expect the Argentine to continue dancing in the UFC despite her debut result.
Perez had only lost once in her eight professional MMA bouts before joining the UFC, with Tamires Vidal issuing 'Fiona' her first loss back in 2021 at Samurai Fight House 2. The bout ended after an illegal knee, so Perez might feel a little unlucky not to have entered the UFC unbeaten.