Brazilian rising star Bethe Correia made it two in a row against the “Four Horsewomen” stable with a convincing second-round TKO victory on Saturday night at “UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Soto” in Sacramento. Correia stopped veteran contender Shayna Baszler with a barrage of unanswered punches in a bantamweight bout on the featured main card.
Correia (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) began her rivalry with the “Four Horsewomen” in April when she posted a split decision victory over “TUF 18″ contestant Jessamyn Duke at UFC 172. Baszler (15-9 MMA, 0-1 UFC) vowed revenge for her teammate, and she got off to a good start early in Saturday’s bout, but Correia overwhelmed her with strikes in Round 2.
Correia reversed a takedown in the opening round and worked from top position, but Baszler remained very active from her back and she looked to set up a triangle choke and an armbar. Correia pulled her arm free and the fighters traded punches on the feet until Baszler shot in for another takedown. Correia countered with uppercuts and hammerfists, but Baszler still managed to get her down and she threatened with a guillotine choke before the bell.
The second round began with crisp punches from Correia, who fought off a Baszler takedown attempt and landed a knee in the clinch. She followed with standing elbows and a barrage of punches to the body and head that froze Baszler against the cage. Baszler remained on her feet, but Correia continued to tee off with unanswered shots to the head and liver until referee John McCarthy had finally seen enough and stopped the fight at the 1:56 mark of Round 2.
Following her latest win, Correia set her sights on the leader of the “Four Horsewomen,” UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. While Rousey appeared to be all for a bout against the unbeaten Brazilian, UFC president Dana White seemed hesitant to put the fight together at this time and he noted that there are a number of other potential opponents waiting for a shot at the belt. One week before Correia and Baszler clashed in Sacramento, Russian standout Milana Dudieva (11-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made a successful Octagon debut with a narrow split decision victory over Elizabeth Phillips (4-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) at “UFC Fight Night 48: Bisping vs. Le” in Cotai, Macau.
Dudieva, whose UFC debut was delayed by untimely defeats and injuries, looked to score a knockout blow early in the bout with Phillips, who kept her distance and picked her shots with jabs and leg kicks. Dudieva landed a flurry of punches and she took Phillips down to escape from a guillotine choke. She transitioned to back control, but quickly lost the position. In the final minute, Dudieva tried for an armbar and a kneebar and Phillips countered with punches.
The pace slowed in Round 2 and Phillips once again struck from a distance. Dudieva eventually scored two takedowns and she tried for a bulldog choke. Phillips later wound up on top in a scramble, but Dudieva attacked with armbar and triangle choke attempts from her back.
Phillips took Dudieva’s back early in the final round, but Dudieva spun into the clinch and landed knees. She tripped Phillips and immediately gave up top position in a scramble. Dudieva attempted a triangle choke and Phillips escaped to side control. Her offensive output was extremely limited, however, and she was warned multiple times for timidity before the bell.
In spite of Phillips’ top control in all three rounds, only one judge rewarded her for her positional dominance with a 29-28 scorecard. The remaining two judges both favored Dudieva’s strikes on the feet and submission attempts on the mat, and the Russian was awarded a close split decision victory with scores of 30-27 and 29-28. She is unbeaten in three fights this year after struggling in 2013.
An irate Phillips took to social media following her loss to Dudieva and lashed out at the judges, the UFC, Dudieva, Russia and everyone else who did not score the bout in her favor. The outburst could spell the end of Phillips’ career with the UFC, but the Washington native already appears to be planning a hiatus from the sport due to perceived corruption in judging.
Pannie Kianzad, Lina Akhtar Lansberg win big at Cage Warriors 71Though she did not get to compete in front of hometown fans as planned, Swedish star Pannie Kianzad (6-0) picked up an impressive stoppage win on Aug. 22 at Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 71 in Amman, Jordan. Kianzad finished Dutch opponent Megan van Houtum (1-2) with punches midway through the third round of a 140-pound catchweight bout.
Van Houtum controlled much of Round 1 with throws and takedowns. Kianzad rose to her feet on each occasion, but van Houtum dragged her back down and she threatened with an armbar and a toe hold. Kianzad escaped and she trapped van Houtum in an inverted body triangle.
Round 2 was a much better one for Kianzad, who reversed a throw and wound up in top position. She postured up with punches and fought off an armbar attempt. As the round progressed, Kianzad landed more punches and elbows while pinning van Houtum against the base of the cage. Van Houtum attempted a heel hook late in the round.
Van Houtum slowed way down in Round 3 and Kianzad took advantage by reversing a seoi nage throw into back control. She moved to mount and rained down punches as van Houtum struggled to defend against the cage. A final series of punches from Kianzad finished the fight and the referee intervened for the TKO stoppage at the 2:17 mark of Round 3.
Kianzad’s win was good enough to earn her a Cage Warriors women’s bantamweight title fight against undefeated Polish teen Agnieszka Niedzwiedz, which takes place at Cage Warriors 74 on Nov. 15 in London, England. Kianzad makes her 135-pound debut in the fight, which will crown the first-ever Cage Warriors women’s bantamweight champion. Earlier on the Cage Warriors 71 card, another Swedish standout, Lina Akhtar Lansberg (3-1), handed England’s Laura Howarth (2-1) the first defeat of her pro career. Lansberg overwhelmed Howarth with strikes in the clinch that forced Howarth to withdraw after Round 1.
Lansberg opened the fight with kicks to the lead leg, body and head, and she dropped Howarth with a right hook. Howarth tried in vain to get the fight to the ground, but Lansberg’s takedown defense was solid and she thwarted Howarth’s attempts each time. Lansberg landed knees and elbows in the clinch and one big elbow backed Howarth up and caused her nose to begin bleeding heavily. Lansberg finished the round strong with more elbow strikes.
Between rounds, Howarth indicated that she could not continue and Lansberg was awarded a TKO victory. She has won three straight fights since suffering a third-round TKO loss to Kianzad in her December 2012 pro debut.
Seo Hee Ham, Ji Yeon Kim victorious at Road FC 18Deep Jewels featherweight (48-kilogram/105.6-pound) champion Seo Hee Ham (14-5) earned her fifth straight victory on Aug. 30 at Road Fighting Championship 18 in Seoul, South Korea. The gifted striker showcased her underrated ground game in a lopsided unanimous decision win over Ukrainian prospect Alyona Rassohyna (10-4) in the Road FC 18 co-main event.
Ham caught two early body kicks from Rassohyna and she took her opponent down on both occasions. She mounted Rassohyna, but the Ukrainian swept into top position. Ham locked on a triangle choke and she used it to roll back into mount, but Rassohyna escaped out the back. On the feet, Ham caught a kick and knocked Rassohyna down with a left cross. She countered a leglock attempt with hammerfists and the fighters stood again. Ham reversed a takedown and tried to pass to side control. The entertaining round ended with Ham working for an arm-triangle choke as Rassohyna wrenched back on a nasty calf slicer.
Rassohyna slipped while throwing a kick in Round 2 and Ham took advantage by landing hard punches on the ground. She avoided a heel hook and passed to side control, where she secured a tight arm-triangle choke. Rassohyna eventually escaped and Ham eyed more submissions from the top. She mounted Rassohyna late in the round and dropped punches with both hands until the final bell sounded to end the action-packed fight.
All three judges scored the two-round bout for Ham, who has tasted defeat just twice in her past 13 bouts. Both losses came at the hands of former Jewels lightweight queen champion Ayaka Hamasaki, who recently dropped down to 106 pounds. A third bout between Ham and Hamasaki could take place for Ham’s Deep Jewels title in the future. Elsewhere at Road FC 18, Ji Yeon Kim (1-0-2) notched her first pro win after fighting to close draws with Japanese standouts Shizuka Sugiyama and Takayo Hashi in recent bouts. Kim submitted Japanese kickboxer Yukimi Kamikaze (0-1) in Round 1 of a 60kg catchweight bout.
Both women landed punches early in the fight and Kim scored with a nice combination to the head and body. She clinched and took Kamikaze’s back, then dragged her down to the mat. From there, Kim trapped Kamikaze in a body triangle and she landed punches until she was able to secure a rear-naked choke for the tapout win at the 1:59 mark.
Marina Moroz submits Jin Tang at Kunlun Fight 8 in ChinaFor the second straight time, Marina Moroz (3-0) entered hostile territory and upset a heavily-favored opponent on Aug. 24 at Kunlun Fight 8 in Xining, Qinghai, China. The Ukrainian flyweight submitted China’s top female fighter, Jin Tang (19-6-3), in featured action on the card.
Moroz, who previously defeated highly-touted prospect Feier Huang at Kunlun Fight 5 in June, opened the fight with Tang by landing punches and a body kick early on. Tang caught the kick and scored a takedown, and she went to work with punches and an armbar attempt from top position. The fighters fell through the ropes and the bout was restarted in center ring. Tang mounted Moroz again and she tried for another armbar, but Moroz scrambled free.
With Moroz on top, Tang remained active from her back and she transitioned to another armbar and a heel hook. However, Moroz escaped both times and she mounted the Chinese star seconds later. Moroz secured an armbar and Tang struggled to break free. She refused to submit, so Moroz switched to a straight armbar and she bent Tang’s left elbow back around her thigh. Tang could not escape and she tapped out at the 3:46 mark of Round 1.
Moroz remains young in her pro MMA career, but her back-to-back wins over Huang and Tang have vaulted her up the women’s flyweight ranks. All three of her pro fights have ended in submission victories. Tang’s four-fight winning streak was snapped with the defeat.
Larissa Moreira Pacheco steps in to face Jessica Andrade at UFC Fight Night 51Unbeaten Jungle Fight women’s bantamweight champion Larissa Moreira Pacheco (10-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes her long-awaited Octagon debut against countrywoman Jessica Andrade (11-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at “UFC Fight Night 51: Silva vs. Arlovski 2″ on Sept. 13 in Brasilia, Brazil. Pacheco stepped into the featured bantamweight bout on short notice in place of Andrade’s original opponent, Valerie Letourneau, who was forced to withdraw due to an injury.
Pacheco began her pro MMA career at age 17 in March 2012 and she knocked out or submitted each of her first seven opponents. The impressive streak of victories earned Pacheco a bout with Jungle Fight and she made a successful debut for the promotion by stopping Dinha Wollstaein in 36 seconds. Pacheco’s biggest win to date came in December when she defeated Mexican knockout artist Irene Aldana to claim the inaugural Jungle Fight women’s bantamweight title. She retained her belt with a third-round submission win in April.
Andrade also began her MMA career at a young age. Debuting as a 19-year-old in September 2011, Andrade went on to win eight of her first 10 fights and she finished her opponents in all eight victories. In April 2013, she upset Milana Dudieva at ProFC 47 and earned a UFC contract in the process. Andrade’s Octagon debut ended in a disappointing defeat against former title challenger Liz Carmouche, but she has since bounced back with decision wins over Rosi Sexton and Raquel Pennington. A victory next month would move Andrade closer to a title shot.
Pacheco has finished all 10 of her opponents to date and only two of Andrade’s 11 career victories have gone the distance. The all-Brazilian bantamweight bout could potentially steal the show on next month’s UFC Fight Night 51 card.
Quick resultsLivia Renata Souza (6-0) def. Edlaine Franca Godoy (1-3) via submission (armbar) at the 4:01 mark of Round 1 at X-Fight MMA 9 on Aug. 21 in Araraquara, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Souza has submitted five of her six professional opponents and she next faces her toughest test to date when she battles Camila Lima on Sept. 20. Glena Avila (4-2) def. Stevie VanAssche (1-2) via TKO (retirement) at the 5:00 mark of Round 1 at Conquest of the Cage 17 on Aug. 22 in Tulalip, Wash. Avila has won back-to-back fights this year since dropping a pair of close decisions under the Dakota FC banner. Suwanan Boonsorn (1-0) def. Kaewjai Prachumwong (0-1) via submission (armbar) at the 3:41 mark of Round 2 at Full Metal Dojo 2 on Aug. 23 in Patong, Phuket, Thailand. This bout was Thailand’s first professional female MMA fight between two Thai fighters. Ingrid Iasmin (1-0) def. Betina Baino (2-3) via TKO (punches) at the 2:34 mark of Round 2 at Samurai Combate 6 on Aug. 23 in Viamao, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Iasmin scored an impressive victory in her pro debut against Baino, whose two-fight winning streak was snapped. Jennifer Maia (9-3-1) def. Elaine Albuquerque (9-4) via unanimous decision at “Talent MMA Circuit 11: Sao Jose dos Pinhais 2014″ on Aug. 23 in Sao Jose dos Pinhais, Parana, Brazil. Maia picked up her second straight win in the main event fight. She has won four of her past five bouts and the lone defeat came against current UFC fighter Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 6. Christine Stanley (3-1) def. Katie Anita Runyan (0-2) via KO (flying spinning hook kick) at the five-second mark of Round 1 at “Xplode Fight Series: Tidal Wave” on Aug. 23 in Valley Center, Calif. The highlight-reel knockout victory earned Stanley a contract with Invicta FC. Luciana dos Passos Pereira (5-3-1) def. Mariana Morais (4-2) via unanimous decision at “Shooto Brazil 49: Fight For BOPE 4″ on Aug. 24 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pereira is unbeaten in her past three fights since falling to UFC contender Jessica Andrade in January 2013. Ann Osman (1-1) def. Ana Julaton (1-1) via split decision at “One FC 19: Reign of Champions” on Aug. 29 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Osman scored takedowns in all three rounds and she controlled the majority of the fight from top position. Boxing champion Julaton survived Osman’s submission attempts and rocked her with punches early in Round 3, but Osman got the fight back down to the ground and she tried for another armbar before the final bell. One judge bizarrely scored the fight for Julaton, but Osman walked away with a well-deserved win. Valeria Mejia (1-0) def. Mishell Bastidas (0-1) via submission (armbar) in Round 1 at Trujillo Fighting Championship 1 on Aug. 29 in Trujillo, Peru. Mejia made a successful pro debut with the quick tapout victory. Yolanda Arias (2-1) def. Zulena Alvarez Perez (0-1) via unanimous decision at “Extreme Fighting Combat (XFC) 5: Challenge” on Aug. 29 in Santa Tecla, La Libertad, El Salvador. Arias bounced back from a split decision loss in November by earning her second win for XFC. Jenny Silverio (1-1) def. Sarah Lagerstrom (0-4) via unanimous decision at “Fight Time Promotions: Fight Time 20″ on Aug. 29 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Silverio notched her first pro victory in the fight. She previously dropped a decision in her professional debut in February. Arlene Blencowe (5-4) def. Faith Van Duin (6-1) via KO (knee to the body) at the 3:00 mark of Round 3 at “Storm MMA: Storm Damage 5″ on Aug. 30 in Tuggeranong, Canberra, Australia. This main event rematch was originally set to be contested for Van Duin’s Storm MMA women’s featherweight title. She defeated Blencowe during a one-night title tournament one year ago. The rematch was changed to a non-title affair when Blencowe missed weight, but she scored with countless punches throughout the entertaining bout and eventually finished Van Duin with a knee to the body in the third round. Blencowe has now won three straight fights. Kaela Banney (2-1) def. Lisa Yu (0-1) via unanimous decision at Carnage in the Cage 3 on Aug. 30 in Mackay, Queensland, Australia. Banney has won back-to-back fights since dropping her pro debut at age 15 in November 2012. She is one of Australia’s brightest female prospects. Janaisa Morandin (6-0) def. Cynthia Candido (0-1) via TKO (knees and punches) at the 1:12 mark of Round 2 at Aspera Fighting Championship 11 on Aug. 30 in Curitibanos, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Morandin continues to tear through the competition in Brazil. She earned back-to-back TKO victories for Aspera FC in August. Montserrat Conejo Ruiz (1-0) def. Anely Jimenez (7-3) via unanimous decision at Xtreme Kombat 25 on Aug. 30 in Naucalpan de Juarez, Mexico. Ruiz earned a big victory in her pro debut by upsetting Jimenez, who was once one of Mexico’s top female fighters. Jingnan Xiong (1-0) def. Inna Hutsal (0-1) via submission (armbar) at the 51-second mark of Round 1 at Kunlun Fight 9 on Aug. 31 in Shangqiu, Henan, China. Xiong scored a quick and easy submission win in her professional debut. Yurika Nakakura (3-1) def. Miki Miyauchi (1-1) via TKO (punches) at the 3:33 mark of Round 1 at “Grachan: Next 1″ on Aug. 31 in Tokyo. Nakakura has put together a solid three-fight winning streak since she dropped her pro debut to Shizuka Sugiyama in September 2012. She previously handed Jade Marie Anderson her first defeat at “Jewels: 24th Ring.”
MMAjunkie.com publishes the Women’s MMA Report every few weeks. Its author, Robert Sargent, is a veteran MMA journalist who also runs MMARising.com. Feel free to email us at news [AT] mmajunkie.com with any questions, news tips or suggestions.