After a 20 month absence, Paige VanZant made her time away from competition count as she handed Kailin Curran her first professional loss at UFC Fight Night this past Saturday in Austin, TX.
In what has become a Fight of the Year candidate, the opening round saw the audience give notice as both had their moments. Curran used her wrestling to stay on top, but VanZant would attack with armbar attempts. Curran hit a strong punch to the grounded VanZant, but VanZant would ankle pick Curran and get ground and pound before the round ended.
VanZant used clinch work to take round 2, leveling short elbows and high knees to Curran. Curran would throw VanZant, but VanZant would battle her way back up and continue her clinch work. One more takedown by Curran towards the end of the round saw VanZant once again try for an armbar as the bell rang.
VanZant again worked strikes in the clinch, and her foot stomps eventually helped her secure a takedown and some ground and pound against the fence. The referee has no choice but to stop the match. VanZant gets the win at 2:54 of round 3, and is the first strawweight to finish her opponent.
The match, which aired on UFC Fight Pass, gained both VanZant and Curran the Fight of the Night bonus, with banked them $50,000 each.
Molly Helsel has made a successful return to the cage as she defeated Lori Agins by armbar in round 2 at WFF 17 in Tuscan, AZ
Helsel (8-13-1) came back after an over 2 year absence from the cage and gained her first win in five years.
In amateur action on the card:
- Tracy Cortez deafted Arianne Christiansen by rear naked choke round 1
- Adriana Martinez defeated Nicole Sontag by majority decision
In other pro action Saturday:
- At King of the Cage in Carlton, MN, Christina Jobe defeated Leah Letson by split decision. In amateur action, Katheryn Bassignana submitted Elizabeth McKenzie by armbar round 1
- Katarzyna Lubonska submitted Inga Kaledaite armbar 4:20 round 1 at Fighters Arena 10 in Poland
Victory VII held a joint Muay Thai and amateur MMA card in Madison Square Garden in New York City this past Friday. The event is the first time mma has been held there.
In the only female MMA bout on the card, Katalina Morales submitted Viktoria Makarova by armbar round 1.
Molly Dupertuis ended her career on a high note as she defeated Adriene Rainey by TKO 1:30 round 1 at V3 Fights in Nashville, TN. Dupertuis has been diagnosed with M.S. and has decided to hang up the gloves. She thanked everyone in a tearful goodbye on the mic post fight. You can watch the match here.
In the other female match on the docket, Jamie Milanowski recovered from her first loss to defeat Erica Fincher by rear naked choke round 1. She improves to 6-1 and is one of the top flyweight prospects in the country. You can watch the match here.
In other amateur fights this weekend:
- At XFO in Chicago, IL, Shaena Cox defeated Ricarda Gomes by unanimous decision
- Jodie Struzik defeated Elizabeth Warner by unanimous decision at UCU 3 in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
- At Shock’n’Awe in Portsmouth, England, Ffion Davies submitted Jade Barker by shoulder lock at 2:41 round 1
- Alyse Anderson defeated Danielle Huff by TKO 0:34 round 1 at Total Warrior Combat in Lansing, Michigan
- At Jordan Amateur Championship 1 in Amman, Jordan, Leena Fayyad def. Karmel Ghaith by TKO round 2