A legend exists about a Brazilian woman who beat a Brazilian man in a bare-knuckle mixed martial arts match. Actually, it’s more of an anecdote than a legend. Or, to take it even further, this fight did take place a few years back and the woman won decisively. Any disbeliever can simply hop on YouTube and search “Ediane Gomes Fights Man,” and there is a 4:39-long video of her engaging in a match against a male fighter at a gym in Brazil.

The match actually took place as part of the Rio Heroes fights, which are basically just a series of controversial bare-knuckles, no-rules vale tudo matches, which, to put into John McCain’s terms, are riding the line to human cockfighting. Jorge Pereira is the creator and moderator for the fights, which pay little prize money to relatively impoverished fighters who basically engage in a street fight with no time limit.

Pereira, himself, was an actual pro MMA fighter for a while who racked up a record of 9-4 and was UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes’ 15th opponent as a pro.

In the video, which doesn’t identify an actual date even though it definitely took place prior to June 2007, Gomes and her male opponent meet in the center of a puzzle mat with a decent size audience of gym-goers standing around watching. The “announcer,” Pereira, introduces the fighters to the camera, and they get right to it.

Gomes (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Immediately, the man Gomes was fighting didn’t seem to take her seriously, engaging with his hands down. So in three seconds, she popped him in the grill with a straight right. That visibly got his blood flowing, but he still attempted to toy with her. Then, at about 18 seconds into the fight, Gomes got a body lock and took him down with ease, and basically controlled the remainder of the fight. At one point, they were stood back up, but she immediately took her battered opponent down again and secured a juji gatame armbar, causing the man to tap out at 3:38 of the fight.

One can easily wonder how a woman got involved in such a rudimentary form of competition in a room full of men. Some media outlets reported in the past that Gomes needed the money and would receive $250 to show and $250 to win. While that hasn’t actually been confirmed, Gomes did provide some insight as to what went down.

“It wasn’t really pre-planned,” said Gomes in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “It was just in the gym in Brazil. We were all sparring, and they were filming, and they just said, ‘Why don’t you fight him?’ That’s pretty much how it happened.”

Regardless of money or not, Gomes did not just win that fight. Over six years ago, before her pro career had even begun, this female MMA talent stood toe-to-toe with a male opponent, looked really solid with her leg kicks, punches, maneuverability and aggressiveness, and earned herself a nice victory. The fact that it was over a man wasn’t really a big deal for her.

“I train with men,” Gomes stated. “They make me stronger and better.”

Whether it’s the training with men or not, Ediane “India” Gomes’ pro record speaks for itself. Now, at the age of 31 and a seasoned six-year pro, she has built a 10-2 record with wins over notable opponents like Katalina Malungahu, Leslie Smith and Hiroko Yamanaka. Her only losses are to UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and 11th-ranked bantamweight Amanda Nunes, another Invicta fighter. Both of those losses were fights taken on short notice.

The Yamanaka fight took place in January, and that win, her second in as many fights under the Invicta banner, automatically catapulted her into the ranking of third best featherweight in the world. This earned her a shot at the legendary Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, another bad-ass Brazilian female fighter, at Invicta FC 5 on April 5. Unfortunately, that fight didn’t come to fruition.

On March 19, it was announced that Gomes had to pull out of the fight due to a rib injury. While there were rumblings in social media about Gomes ducking Justino, that was not the case. Had these folks watched her Rio Heroes match, they wouldn’t be making those claims. Gomes did not want to pull out of that fight.

“I was very upset,” admitted Gomes. “I really wanted to fight Cyborg. That was a huge fight for me.

“I was training and got hit in the ribs extremely hard. Afterwards, it looked like two ribs were sticking out of my stomach. The doctor said I had a severe contusion and I was unable to train for three weeks.”

Fighters get injured all the time in training. The proverbial “injury bug” that has been plaguing all of MMA is usually legitimate, as it was with Gomes. Even if she wanted to push through the pain, as some fighters try to do, it just wasn’t physically possible.

“I was unable to breathe and it was really difficult to move for many days,” Gomes explained. “There is no way I could have fought Cyborg like that. For an opponent like her you have to be better than 100 percent.”

So, out of the fight with Cyborg on short notice, Gomes had to sit on the bench, heal, and wait for her next shot, one which the Invicta brass did not hesitate on offering. Fresh off her injury, Gomes was ready to go and offered to fight Julia Budd at Invicta FC 6, this Saturday night, live from Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Mo. However, the injury bug struck again.

About two and a half weeks before Invicta FC 6, Budd had to pull out with a neck injury, which is ironic, considering Budd fought a third-scheduled opponent at Invicta FC 5 due to injuries. With Budd out, and on a little over two weeks’ notice, Gomes was offered Charmaine Tweet. Gomes was a little bummed about the change of opponent.

Gomes (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

“I was very excited to fight Julia Budd,” admitted Gomes. “That was a good fight for me.”

However, Gomes is equally glad that someone stepped up. She had been on the bench too long as it was.

Unfortunately for Gomes, she will no longer be facing Tweet either. On July 10, it was announced that Tweet was not allowed entry into the United States, because the border control had not received her work-visa paperwork. On July 11, it was confirmed that Invicta was able to quickly find a replacement in up-and-comer Tamikka Brents.

At only 24 years old, Brents has amassed an undefeated 8-0-2 amateur record in less than two and a half years. She has followed that up with a 2-0 record as a pro, with her most recent win coming in her Invicta debut in January. Brents is an amazing grappler, having won a gold medal at a NAGA tournament last year. Her gym, Team Warrior Concepts, is a well-rounded MMA gym, and she has proven that she is a force to be reckoned with. Brents’ game is very much a “wrestle down for ground-and-pound” style, but that shouldn’t pose much of a problem for Gomes.

“I’m hoping to prove myself on the feet either way,” explained Gomes. “I think I would have been able to overwhelm Budd, and there are only a few fighters with grappling as good as mine right now.”

Regardless of Brents’ skill level, Gomes has mastered the part of the game at which her opponent excels. Gomes is no stranger to fighting girls who can stand and bang, but who also have great ground skills. Either way, Brents has her hands full with this one, especially on short notice, and Gomes will most likely come out on top.

With Cyborg set to fight veteran Marloes Coenen on the same card Saturday night, one would assume that Gomes will get the first shot at the newly crowned inaugural Invicta FC featherweight champ, but she hasn’t really gotten that far in talks, yet.

“I don’t know,” said Gomes. “Invicta has not said anything to me about that.”

Even though Gomes believes Cyborg will win the belt, she doesn’t really care who wins that fight. She just wants a shot at the title.

Ediane would like to thank her manager, Tina Vidal-Smith; American Top Team and her coaches; and her sponsors: Dawgs 4 Ever 4 Ever Dawgs, Fight Chix, Bas Rutten, MMA Overload, Faction Mouthguards, MMA Owl and Aratrop. Follow Gomes on Twitter: @IndiaGomesMMA

Top Photo: Ediane Gomes (R) throws a kick (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)