Viewing Priority based on relevance, significance and entertainment.. and my opinion
- #1 Jessica Aguilar vs. #10 Alida Gray
- Justine Kish vs. Randa Markos
- Lynn Alvarez vs. Amber Stautzenberger
- Paula Baak vs. Amanda Torres
- Jozette Cotton vs. Jessica Halverson
- Brianna van Buren vs. Patricia Vidonic
- Maddy Simmons vs. Santa-Marie Venter
There's not much too say here. Gray got the call to fight Aguilar because all the 115 talent is with UFC/Invicta. Aguilar showed that there's a gigantic difference between #1 in the world and starting your career this year. She got Gray down immediately, and the only consolation for Gray is she got back to her feet once, but as soon she got back up she was down again. I don't know, but I'd say a lack of understanding/experience in the ground game led to the round 1 arm triangle finish. Gray could have locked up half guard, and she even almost had Aguilar in full guard preventing the arm triangle.
Emi Fujino might be next. But, seriously what are you doing in WSOF, @jagatt? I pray that before 2014 is over she either cements herself as the #1 Strawweight or is uncontroversially defeated.
115lbs: Aguilar def. Gray via first round submission.
Brianna van Buren upsets #12 Patricia Vidonic
The dimunitive (4 ft 11) 1-1 van Buren took it to Vidonic. A lot of the fight was on the cage, but van Buren attacked with flurrying punches and some nice kicks. Vidonic got her placement on the heels of a controversial decision win over Mei Yamaguchi, where I thought it was a clear 29-28 win for Yamaguchi. You'll probably see van Buren get ranked and Vidonic move slightly out of the top 15. I'll be honest, Vidonic never looks good to me. She's not that athletic, or fast and isn't a beast on the ground.
It's rare we get an HD video of a full WMMA fight. Unfortunately the camera angle work might as well have been a fan cam, and a big blue block apears in round 2. We take what we can.
115lbs: van Buren def. Vidonic via unanimous decision
Justine Kish and Randa Markos remind me why I love MMA
Oh... Where do I begin? Let's start with Justine Kish is an absolute physical specimen at 115lbs. She weighed in at 117lbs on the first try, but was able to get down. She is a monster at strawweight. Kish seemed to be fighting at the same pace even in round 3, but couldn't stop the takedowns as well. Not sure if that was a combination of fatigue and knowing she was up 3 rounds cause she emphatically won the first two rounds, bludgeoning Markos with some textbook (head movement-less) Muay Thai.
Seriously though, Kish had zero respect for Markos' stand up. Setting up full powered switch right kicks, and eatting a punch, that did not even faze her. You probably didn't know this, but Kish was abandoned in Russia as a baby, and I get this "Mother Russia, must destroy, annihilate by any means necessary" vibe from Kish's demeanor and fighting style.
Just love fighters like Kish and Markos. If you're aspiring fighters, both these girls have qualities worth emulating. Kish actually using elbows, and angles, and cutting the cage off. Markos knowing she was down 2 rounds heading into the third and coming out with everything she had. Tell me if I'm wrong, but did the fight seem like both fighters were a little ‘slow'? It reminded me of the Alexis Davis - Rosi Sexton fight where both fighters seemed to be moving at like 0.75 speed or something. But, regardless both girls showed a technical prowess, a desire to actually ATTEMPT to finish the fight and entertain... and yeah. Here are two fighters I can get behind and support their future endeavors in this sport.
This fight is worth 20 minutes of your day
Sidenote: Markos' hair should be a violation, and I'm not even joking.
115lbs: Kish def. Markos via unanimous decision
Lynn Alvarez shuts the lights off on Amber Stautzenberger
Alvarez did right by her nickname "lights out" with a tremendous performance over Stautzenberger choking her out with a rear-naked choke in less than a minute after dropping her twice. This was a HUGE statement fight for Alvarez. She hadn't fought since 2012 getting a 1st round blasting at the hands of Carla Esparza, but returned emphatically. I've never seen someone drop while catching someone's kick (Stauzenberger catching Alvarez's kick). Stauzenberger kind of went on auto-pilot going for the armbar while on her back, but Alvarez swarmed her with hammer fists, and took her back, instantly sinking the choke in.
Alvarez has never been to the score cards, and has some nice name wins over Michelle Waterson and Michelle Ould. Over a year is lots of time to improve your game, and it seems Lynn Alvarez did just that.
115lbs: Alvarez def. Stautzenberger via 1st round technical submission
Jozette Cotton clowns her opponent in 160lbs affair, fight with Cyborg on the rise?
I'll leave this short and sweet. Julia Budd isn't going to test Cyborg. Ediane Gomes isn't going to test Cyborg. Fiona Muxlow and Marloes Coenen at the same time isn't going to test Cyborg. I'd love to see Cyborg move up and fight 145+ girls and see how she does. It's like when Fedor was fighting the Hong Man Chois and Zulus. I mean at least it creates an "aura of invincibility" if Cyborg can keep crushing like she's been crushing her whole career.
Jozette Cotton has what it takes to make it a fight with Cyborg. I feel that. But, I also thought Gray would give Aguilar more of a test, and we saw what happened there.
160lbs: Cotton def. Halverson via unanimous decision
Brazilians throwdown at all-female event "Pink Fight 3"
I would have to say this is the Fight of the Year so far, at least in terms of action. If only there was sound, and not circa 2007 youtube video quality.
135lbs: Amanda Torres def Paula Baak via round 3 submission
Real life surgeon unsuccessful in MMA debut
You gotta love that debuting amateur women's MMA. Santa-Marie Venter picked up considerable buzz for a debuting amateur fighter due to having a background that isn't just "I was broke and I only know how to fight." With her orthopaedic surgery credentials as well as being the first female South African MMA fighter to compete in America. She headlined on a "USA vs. South Africa" card and picked up a split decision lost to Maddy Simmons. It was the right call, despite her having success striking, but ultimately her inability to defend the takedown or reverse position once on bottom led to her loss.
Hopefully she keeps training and improving as she can only bring good "first impressions" to the MMA nay sayers. She has some real "natural" aka coordinated athleticism to her striking.
Someone (I'm assuming she knows Santa-Marie) was filming the fight... How about that accent? She was complaining to, I think, Maddy Simmons' corner to sit down, a lot. Unreasonable, but her accent kind of made it okay.
135lbs: Maddy Simmons def. Santa-Marie Venter via split decision