What to watch in August 2013?
If you frequent any MMA sites you likely know about the UFC’s inclusion of the 135 pound bantamweight division and the rise of all-female promotion, Invicta FC. However, it seems a lot of people know only a few names in WMMA. Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Cris Cyborg are names that often come up. Maybe some know pioneers, like Marloes Coenen or Megumi Fujii. However, other than a handful of names the vast majority of WMMA is not followed or unknown.
This write up is my attempt to separate the relevant and the not so relevant in WMMA. Because, in my honest MMA watching opinion, there are 5 weight classes of relevancy in WMMA that should be more known and I feel not watching WMMA is akin to a tennis fan that only watches the men. The depth is definitely still developing, but talent is there.
There are a few people in the MMA community that do a big part in contributing to the WMMA scene (MMArising.com/Robert Sergent, WombatSports, WMMAToday etc), but it’s information overload. Even when a popular site like MMAjunkie puts out a monthly WMMA report, I feel, it doesn’t help the casual, just starting out, WMMA watcher to know what to watch or who to watch.
My plan is to put one of these out every month or so…
These are fights I definitely would be keeping tabs on
First Edition: August
Aug. 3 – UFC 163
Both fighters are coming off a loss against superior grapplers. The 25 year old, Nunes, makes her UFC debut against 23 year old, Gaff, who lost her debut against Sara McMann. Gaff was obliterating her European competition at 125lbs, knocking out Invicta fighters, Aisling Daly and Jennifer Maia, before moving up to fight at 135. While Nunes actually has success at 145lbs scoring knockouts over Invicta fighters, Ediane Gomes and Julia Budd. This should be an interesting striking battle as it is rare to have two WMMA fighters that have knockout power fight. Also, the winner becomes one of few women to earn a victory in the UFC.
Here’s an Amanda Nunes highlight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys3ELmbf4FM
Aug.9 Pacific Xtreme Combat 38
Kailin Curran (1-0) vs. Emi Tomimatsu
Curran, 22, returns to Filipino and Guamanian promotion “PXC” for her 2nd professional fight. In her first bout, she took on Invicta vet, Kaiyana Rain, winning a very entertaining decision. Curran has a long range striking style throwing lots of straight punches, nice combinations with pin point point ground and pound. Tomimatsu has lost her last two fights, and this is me speculating, but I think she was brought in to lose and because of her looks.
and some gifs from Kailin’s fight with Kaiyana Rain
Aug.10 – Nitrix Champion Fight 15
Kinberly Novaes (6-2) vs. Jessica Suelen
Novaes is one of the best up and coming fighters at 115 pounds. Creative combos, mixing in punches, elbows, knees… the full Muay Thai repertoire. She hit a speed bump in her latest fight against Herica Tiburcio, who was able to expose Novaes’ still developing ground game. She is an exciting volume striker and if she was competing in Invicta would get the hype of a Rose Namajunas or Tecia Torres.
Aug. 28 – UFC Fight Night 27 (on Fox Sports 1)
Sara McMann (7-0) vs. Sarah Kaufman (16-2)
Two of bantamweights finest competitors. McMann crushed Sheila Gaff in her debut, and Kaufman is coming off a close split decision over Leslie Smith in Invicta. This is a strange fight. If Kaufman wins she kills off McMann’s undefeated momentum, and takes off the luster of a potential “undefeated vs. undefeated/Olympian vs. Olympian” match with Ronda. At the same time Kaufman was steamrolled by Ronda and is not marketable at all. This is a huge test in McMann’s development.
Aug. 31 – DEEP JEWELS 1
Celine Haga (5-11) vs. Sadae Numata (4-1-1)
The Norway based, Haga, has seen a career resurgence over the last year seeing her pick up 4 straight wins including one over one-time Invicta atomweight title challenger and Jewels atomweight champ,Naho Sugiyama, at 115lbs. Haga was 1-11 before that streak and has found new life at 105lbs. She fights Numata, a 41 year old, that burst onto the JWMMA scene in 2012. Fun fact: Celine Haga is dating Shooto, Pride, Dream etc etc veteran, a true veteran, Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen.
125 - Rhiannon Thompson/Kenani Mangakahia - FWC 15 - Aug. 3
Thompson is an Australian standout with her most notable victory being an out-of-nowhere headkick knockout of fan favorite, Bec Hyatt. Thompson looks to improve to 4-0.
125 - Justine Kish/Christine Stanley - RFA 9 - Aug. 16
Kish is Muay Thai Champion, last competing in MMA in 2010 with a win over Bellator fighter Munah Holland. She has been training with some Blackhouse fighters, such as Jessica Penne and Lyoto Machida.
140 - Pannie Kianzad/Milana Dudieva - Pro FC 50 - Aug. 25
Kianzad is a 3-0 Featherweight fighter, and in the extremely shallow 145 division she has made her way on to a few top 10 rankings. Dudieva was last seen losing out to eventual UFC fighter, Jessica Andrade.
135 - Agniezka Niedzwiedz/LJ Adams - Immortal Fight Promotions 1 - Aug. 31
Only 18 years old, Niedzwiedz, has racked up a 3-0 record in her native Poland all by way of TKO. She is still very unpolished in her striking, but she’s only 18.
This is my first time doing something like this, so please let me know what can be improved on or if people even give a little bit of fucks about WMMA other than Ronda and pics of Gina Carano