Category Archives: Brazil wmma

InvictaFC Phoenix Series 2 Primer

(Photo courtesy Dave Mandel, Invicta FC)

The flyweights are featured this time as InvictaFC hosts their second Phoenix Series Friday night. Set with a field of international talent, the winner has a shot of facing the winner of the Vanessa Porto and Karina Rodriguez for the flyweight title.

A group of young guns are also in line in reserve and non-tournament bouts.

For those new to the series, the tournament consists of one 5 minute round for the quarter and semi-finals, with the finals a full three round fight. Fastest finish time in the quarterfinals receives opponent choice for the semi-finals, plus any finish gets a bonus.

Weigh-ins and draws were held Thursday in Kansas City. All tournament participants made weight. Only Chantel Coates missed the mark on the whole card, and will forfeit 25% of her purse plus is now ineligible to be a injury replacement.

The card starts at 7 p.m. central time and will stream on UFC Fight Pass.

Here are the weigh-in results and bout draws for the tournament, plus some background about the participants. Continue reading InvictaFC Phoenix Series 2 Primer

IMMAF 2017 World Championships Coverage

In what will be the first time Bahrain will see a female MMA fights, 53 women athletes from across 22 countries will competing for the IMMAF World Championship. Five champions will be crown in a six day tournament November 11-19.

Two countries will be sending representatives for the first time as Tunisia and the host country Bahrain will have athletes taking part.

The US has one lone representative in bantamweight Fotini Kandris.

The fight sill be streamed on the Bahrain tv app. We will have results throughout the week. Continue reading IMMAF 2017 World Championships Coverage

Watercooler: Rousey’s Return Date? Cooper vs. Elmose Announced & More

UFC is reporting Ronda Rousey may return for UFC 207 December 30th in Las Vegas in a title match with champion Amanda Nunes.

UFC President Dana White told the press this week he is very interested now in a fight between Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Ronda Rousey. This is a vast change from hos stance on only holding the fight at 135 for the title. Continue reading Watercooler: Rousey’s Return Date? Cooper vs. Elmose Announced & More

Wombat Watercooler -Bellator, POP, and Invicta Adds Fights to a Busy Summer

No female MMA fighters made the ESPN the Body Issue this year, but women’s combat sports did get two representatives.

Olympians Adeline Gray (wrestling) and Claressa Shields (boxing; 2012 gold medalist) are both in the issue. Both will represent Team USA in Rio. Continue reading Wombat Watercooler -Bellator, POP, and Invicta Adds Fights to a Busy Summer

Wombat Watercooler: Paraguay Holds All Female Card; UFC Adds Torres vs. Namajunas Rematch

Patricia Alujas vs Pucca Gonzalez
Alujas vs Gonzalez Courtesy Anne Cha/Kuna Fight

Sunday night, Paraguay’s Fight Kuna promotion made history as they held the first ever all female card in the country.

The main event featured Paraguay trained Stephanie Bragayrac getting a submission win over Argentina’s Yazmín Marzo. The rest of the 10 fight card established some new stars in South America.

Here are the complete results:

  • Stephanie Bragairac def. Yazmín Marzo by submission (Guillotine Choke) 1:13 round 1 (140)
  • Alicia Andino def. Veronica Grenno by Unanimous Decision (115)
  • Patricia Alujas def. Silvia ‘Pucca’ Gonzalez by Disqualification round 3 (115)
  • Emilce Ortiz def. Anita Cardozo by KO 1:45 round 3 (110)
  • Monica Quiroga def. Ruth Roa by KO 3:45 of round 2 (115)
  • Angelica Bordon def. Charline Acosta by TKO 2:30 round 2 (130)
  • Laura Patino def. Beatriz Acosta by Unanimous Decision (110)
  • Sally Ortigoza def. Claudina Candia by TKO 4:55 round 1 (135)
  • Araceli Roja def. Katherin Souludre by submission 2:10 round 1 (120; amateur bout)

At World Series of Fighting in Tokyo, Japan, Japanese fighting legend Hisae Watanabe made a successful return to MMA, defeating Ye Ji Lee by TKO at 3:00 of round 2.

Watanabe (20-6) hadn’t fought MMA in nine years, but she came in like she hasn’t missed a step. The KO specialist racked up her 12th finish by that method and will look to make an impact in the atomweight division.

In the other female bout on the card, Ukraine’s Anna Bezhenar got her second win as a pro, defeating Singapore’s May Ooi by unanimous decision.

In other pro action this past week:

  • At Dragon House in San Fransico, California Jaimelene Nievera defeated Charlene Gellner by leglock round 2. In an amateur bout,  Edna Martinez defeated Maritza Sanchez by split decision
  • In Fight Night Kotka, Finland Eeva Siiskonen and Irén Rácz fought to a draw
  • At 100% Fight in France, Maguy Berchel and Maria Casanova fight to a draw

Holly Holm has taken more World MMA Awards than any other fighter.

Holm won four trophies, including Upset, Newcomer, Knockout, and Female Fighter of the Year at the ceremony this past weekend at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

The ceremony will air on Friday on Fox Sports 2.

Rose Namajunas vs Tecia Torres
Courtesy Esther Lin/InvictaFC

It is a rematch everyone wants to see, and it will be in the UFC.

Tecia Torres will looks to keep her record undefeated as she takes on Rose Namajunas on April 16 in Tampa, Florida. The match could see the next contender for the strawweight title.

Torres (7-0) is coming off a win over a late replacement in Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger in December. She is officially 3-0 in the UFC.

Namjunas (4-2) has won back to back fights, with her only losses to Torres and Carla Esparza.

The two first squared off at InvictaFC 6 in 2013, with Torres taking the unanimous decision win.

Also announced for the card, Raquel Pennington (6-5) is looking for her second straight win against former title challenger Bethe Correia (9-1).

Both matches will air on Fox Network April 16.

Jessica Aguilar and Juliana Lima have agreed to a fight. Rumor is UFC 198 in Brazil May 14.

Aguilar (19-5) was on an 11 fight win streak before losing her UFC debut to Claudia Gadelha. Lima (8-2) is coming off back to back wins.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 has started shooting this past week, with “Get in the House” matches. The cast has yet to be announced, but won’t surprise us if they are revealed during UFC 196 fight week.

Multiple WMMA Press Award winner Angela Lee will be back in action February 20th as she takes on Rebecca Heintzman at One Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Lee (4-0) has submitted all of her pro opponents with her first three in the first round. She won the “Submission of the Year” with a twister over Natalie Gonzales-Hills.

Heintzman (2-1) was undefeated as an amateur and is coming off a decision loss to Katlyn Chookagian.

Both fighters have signed multi-fight deals with the promotion.

The fight will stream on

Top atomweight Mei Yamaguchi will return to PXC to take on Tessa Simpson in Guam March 18th.

Yamaguchi (15-8-1) has won three straight since her drop to 105. She had lost back to back razor thin split decision at PXC.

Simpson (3-1) is coming off a decision win over Paulina Granados at Legacy.

The match will stream on March 18th.

Jessy Rose Clark will look to get back on the winning track by taking on Australian kickboxing star Jade Thomson at Brace MMA March 26th.

Clark (5-1; 1NC) is coming off a loss to Pannie Kianzad at Invicta this past July after winning three straight.

Thomson will be making her MMA debut after winning multiple regional Muay Thai titles. She also has a background in karate and is a purple belt in jiu-jitsu.

The fight will stream on UFC Fight Pass March 26th.

InvictaFC vet Maria Hougaard Djurssa will look to get back in the win column taking on Lina Lansberg at Odense Fight Night in Denmark March 12th.

Djurssa (5-6) has lost back to back fights including her InvictaFC debut in 2014. She has wins over  Alexandra Buch and Jorina Baars.

Lansberg (5-1) lost her pro debut to  Pannie Kianzad but has yet to lose since. A win could put her on the map for Invicta or the UFC.

XFC announced Silvana Juarez versus Julie Werner on March 19 in Sao Paulo. More matches to be announced in the coming weeks.

Zoila Frausto will make her return to Tachi Palace Fights February 18th in Lemoore, California. No word on an opponent.

Wombat Watercooler – Ansaroff vs. Kish announced; Rizen Japan News


UFC Tonight announced Wednesday that Justine Kish will make her long awaited UFC debut against Nina Ansaroff January 2nd in Las Vegas at UFC 195.

Kish (4-0) was a part of TUF 20, but didn’t fight because of a knee injury. She has a notable win over top contender Randa Markos. This will be her debut at strawweight.

Ansaroff (6-4) is coming off a decision loss to Juliana Lima, after winning five straight.

The match will air on the preliminary matches on Fox Sports 1.

After being passed up for a title shot, Miesha Tate says she doesn’t know what is next for her.

Tate was on “The MMA Hour” this past Monday to comment about her situation. Tate hasn’t been in touch with the UFC directly since the announcement or Ronda Rousey taking on Holly Holm, having her management handling communications. She stated she refused the fight with Amanda Nunes not because of Nunes, but because it would be a Fight Pass card, which would mean less money. Tate’s opinion is she is undervalued for facing tougher opponents. Nunes would be a great match for her according to Tate.

Tate’s other point was there is no clear path for her to get another title shot. After being promised the title shot after her win against Jessica Eye and having that taken away, she is weary of if she wants to continue fighting; stating a move onto the Fox analyst desk or into movies as an option out of fighting.

Tate and UFC President Dana White will discuss Tate’s future in the next few weeks in Vegas.

Bellator adds another female match for their 146th card in Thackerville, OK, on November 20.

Arlene Blencowe will look to rebound after her loss to Marloes Conene taking on Gabrielle Halloway, who is coming off a loss to Julia Budd.

Blencowe (6-5) won four straight before her loss to Coenen and is a world boxing champion. Halloway has a notable win over Andria Wawro and will fight for the fourth time this year.

The match joins Julia Budd versus Roberta Rovel on the card, which will stream on the prelims on

OneFC announces three female bouts for their upcoming cards.

  • Coming off her KO win over Ann Osman, Irina Mazepa (1-0) will take on boxing world champion Ana Julaton (2-1) at OneFC: Spirit of Champions in Manila, Philippines December 11th.
  • The OneFC card in Phnom Penh, Cambodia December 5th has a pair of atomweight bouts: Tharoth Sam (2-1) takes on Jeet Toshi (2-2), while Vy Srey Chai (0-1) battles Eh Ya Nut (pro debut).


Shootboxing champion Rena Kubota will make her official transition to MMA on New Years Eve Rizin card. Kubota will face Italian kickboxer Jleana Valentino.

Kubota is a four time shootbox champion and is now training at AACC in Tokyo with InvictaFC champion Ayaka Hamasaki. Valentino has won several regional titles in kickboxing and looks to continue what has been a wave of Italian talent making moves on the world MMA stage.

The match joins Gabrielle Garcia facing a yet to be named opponent. TNA Wrestling star Lei’D Tapa, who is training at American Top Team at present, is being considered for the fight.

World amateur wrestling champion Kanako Murata is also being consider for the card to make her MMA debut.

Part of the Rizin card will air New Years Eve on Spike TV in the U.S.

Speaking of making the transition to MMA, Mackenzie Dern has been training at the MMA Lab in Phoenix, Arizona with RFA champ Jocelyn Lybarger and  UFC fighter Lauren Murphy to get ready for her first fight in the cage. No word on when that will be.

Raquel Pa’aluhi has been training at the Mayweather gym recently to help with her striking. You can see her show some ground moves here.

InvictaFC star Sharon Jacobson is going to try to qualify for the 2016 US Olympic wrestling team. The qualifying trials are in December with the team trials being in April. Randi Miller has also expressed interest in trying for the team again as well.

Immortal FC has announced two matches for their “Road to Invicta” strawweight tournament.

  • Caroline Silva  vs.  Adriana del Vigna
  • Morgana Silva vs Nicolle Caliari

The matches will happen in Paranagua, Parana, Brazil November 11th. Winner of the tournament will get a contract with Invicta.

A few more matches announced this past week:

  • Leah Nidas looks for her first pro win as she takes on Shaena Cox November 14th at Pure FC in Wisconsin.
  • Andy Nguyen looks for her second win and first pro title as she takes on Melissa Karagahnagis for the CUFF atomweight title in Trinidad.

Wombat Watercooler: VanZant vs. Calderwood Among Fight Announcements

In what has been a busy week for news, the Watercooler returns.

In early pro MMA action Saturday:

In pro MMA action Friday, at XFN 25 in Tulsa, Okalahoma, Jaymee Jones defeated Ronni Lawrence by unanimous decision.


Paige VanZant has her next challenge, and it is against her toughest test to date.

VanZant will take on Joanne Calderwood at UFC Fight Night 80 in Las Vegas December 10th. The fight will be the main event.

VanZant (6-1) has been on a roll since entering the UFC, having won three straight in the promotion. Her only loss came to Tecia Torres, and has yet to be finished.

She will face fellow InvictaFC alum Calderwood (10-1) who is coming off a win over Cortney Casey. Calderwood went undefeated until her loss to Maryna Moroz earlier this year.

Another match on the card sees a returning Emily Peters-Kagan taking on Kailin Curran who are both looking for their first UFC win.

The event will stream on UFC Fight Pass.

As the new USADA random drug testing has started for the fighters in the UFC, Claudia Gadhela got tested this past week. The results are yet to be released.

Former UFC champ Calra Esparza stated on social media she had to fill out a schedule for the USADA just in case they wanted to test her.

barone tweet weigh in 1Charmaine Tweet has a new opponent for her upcoming homecoming match, and it is a familiar face.

Anna Barone will look to avenge her last loss to Tweet in what will be the end of a trilogy at PrestigeFC in Weyburn, Canada October 24th. They will fight at 155 pounds.

Tweet (6-5) lost her second pro fight to Barone (2-4) by KO in 18 seconds in 2011. Tweet would get her revenge three years latter with a first rounf rear naked choke.

Also on the card,  Bobbi Jo Dalziel takes on Christina Barry in a 150 catchweight bout.

The card will stream and will have more details as they become available.

Coming off her first pro loss, strawweight prospect Danielle Taylor will take on Calie Cutler has been announced for KOTC in Las Vegas October 17th.

Taylor (5-1) was the KOTC 115 champ before being defeated this August to Jamie Colleen.  Cutler’s only loss was to Kaline Mederios and has yet to be finished as a pro.

The match will eventually on Mav TV.

Di Segni
Di Segni

IMMAF 2015 flyweight champ Micol Di Segni will make her pro debut against  Danella Eliasov October 4th at EFC in Joahnnesburg, South Africa. The Italian standout Segni is helping to head a movement to again acceptance for female fighting in her home country. Eliasov won her pro debut this past February.

Alexandra Buch will face Katharina Lehner at GMC 7 on November 7th in  Castrop-Rauxel, Germany. They will fight at at catchweight for 138. Buch (8-4) is on a two fight losing streak while Lehner (3-0) is undefeated at featherweight. Lehner will face Judith Ruis October 24th in Germany before her match with Buch.

Suriname will see three female MMA bouts on Halloween.

Torarica Summer Fights announced an event this week which will see the MMA debut of world kickboxing champion Denise Kielholtz. Her opponet is to be announced. Also on the card, Natasha Ribeiro De Souza and Chavella Lee will have separate fights and in amateur action, Sandy Shara takes on Wendy Santos.

Brazil’s upcoming all female promotion AFC Athenas has signed WSOF and XFC vet Kalindra Faria. The promotion is looking to debut in January 2016.

Southern Asia will see some bouts this coming weekend:

  • Super Fight League will return home to India with top Indian female fighter Daizy Singh taking on Lalvenhimi. This will stream on the SFL youtube channel Saturday morning September 18th.
  • On Sunday September 19th, Angela Lee will return to the OneFC cage taking on Russia’s Elena Pashnina. The card will stream on the OneFC website for $10.

Keri Ann Melendez announced will make her Bellator debut in late spring.

March 2015 Unified Rankings Cyborg Returns to Mountain Top

Coming off a busy February, all the Women’s Unified Pro MMA Rankings saw changes coming off the InvictaFC 12 card , the opening round of the DEEP-JEWELS 106 tournament, and all the UFC events.

Justino Courtesy Esther Lin/InvictaFC
Justino Courtesy Esther Lin/InvictaFC


With the return of Cris “Cyborg” Justino, the InvictaFC champion regains her #1 status at featherweight after her TKO win over Charmaine Tweet. Marloes Coenen (now 2), Julia Budd (now 3), and Faith Van Duin (now 4) all drop a spot. Talita Nogueira drops off the list due to activity.

Tweet drops from 7 to 10 in the rankings due to her loss, rotating Amanda Bell (now 7),  Gabrielle Holloway (now 8) and Megan Anderson (now 9) up a spot.


With her loss to champion Ronda Rousey, Cat Zingano drops from #2 to #3, trading spots with Miesha Tate in the only change in the 135 top ten.


With Deanna Bennett’s successful drop to 115, she drops out of the 125 rankings. All of the fighters from 4-8 in the flyweight rankings last month move up a spot. Roxanne Modafferi moves from 10 to 8, with Jin Tang (9) and  Silvana Gomez (10) debuting on the list.


With her win over Mizuki Inoue, Alexa Grasso has debuted in the top ten at strawweight, taking the #8 spot. Tecia Torres (now #9) and Kalindra Faria (now #10) drop a spot.


At 105, Mina Kurobe enters the list at #9 after her win over Emi Tomimatsu at the DEEP-JEWELS tournament. Cassie Rodish drops off the list with Saori Ishioka  dropping a spot to #10.

You can see the complete March 2015 Pro MMA Unfied Rankings here.


Wombat Watercooler February 18th

In action Monday at RXF 16 in Brașov, Romania, Delia Georgescu defeated Maia Buzas by TKO round 1.

On Thursday in Tokyo, Japan, Momo Koseki successfully defended her WBC atomweight title wiht a KO over Aisah Alico in round 2.


With fight week vastly approaching, Invicta and the UFC have announced some events before the two cards commence in L.A.

The first is an open workout at the UFC Gym/Sunergy in Terrance, CA Wednesday.

Invicta Workouts

  • 11 a.m.: Charmaine Tweet workout
  • 11:15 a.m.: Alexa Grasso workout
  • 11:30 a.m.: Irene Aldana workout
  • 11:45 a.m.: “Cyborg” Justino workout

UFC Workouts

  • 1 p.m.: Cat Zingano workout
  • 1:30 p.m.: Raquel Pennington workout
  • 2 p.m: Holly Holm workout
  • 2:30 p.m.: Ronda Rousey workout

If you noticed, Justino and Rousey won’t be there at the same time. It is expected Justino will be cageside for the Rousey versus Zigano title fight Saturday. Shannon Knapp states the Justino and Rousey superfight is closer than everyone thinks.

The other UFC fight week event announced is at 11 a.m. pst Saturday at L.A. Live. The UFC will hold a press conference and fan event for the participants for the next seven events. Expected to be in attendance is Felice Herrig and Jessica Eye.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has suspended Ashlee Evans-Smith for testing positive from the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide after her fight with Raquel Pennington. Smith was fined 30% of her purse and her license is suspended for nine months retroactive from the fight. This means she will be able to return to fighting August 6th if she tests clean before she is re-licensed.

Congratulations to Society Nine on reaching their kickstarer goal. We have been helping to campaign for the company which is going to revolutionize women’s MMA gear. There is still four days left if you want to contribute and get yourself some of their great stuff including a pair of those revolutionary gloves.  Go here.

Abshire Courtesy CMT
Abshire Courtesy CMT

Congrats to amateur MMA fighter Jackie Abshire, who is the current Steve Austin’s “Broken Skull” Challenge champ. She defeated the “Skull Buster” obstacle course record by three and a half minutes. She won $10,000 and will continue to win $10,000 every episode her time in the extreme obstacle course isn’t broken.

You can watch her episode here.

England’s Helen Harper has signed with the PXC.

The undefeated fighter will take on Cortney Casey in her promotional debut March 13th in Guam. Harper has finished in all of her wins, and had trained in Thailand for several years in Muay Thai.

Casey (3-1) is coming off back to back finishes.

The fight will stream on the PXC website March 13th.

Next weekend, Finland’s Suvi Salmimies has a new opponent. Karla Benitez will step in to take on the hometown fighter at Cage 29 in Helsinki. Salmimies (2-0-1) will find her biggest challenged in the more experienced Spain’s Benitez (10-7-1). Benitez is coming off back to back losses,

Invicta fighter Cassie Crissano is asking for your help.

The featherweight is in a custody battle for her youngest son. You can read more and help her get a good lawyer by going here.

baars ughi weigh in
Ughi and Baars

Fights this Weekend

Jorina Baars returns to Lion Fight to defend her Muay Thai title against Chantal Ughi. This is a rematch of their 2009 battle (video here).This will air on AXS TV.

In the only world boxing title match this weekend, Victoria Argueta defends her IBF World minimumweight title against Nancy Franco in Hidalgo, Mexico.

The DEEP-Jewels 106 title tournament starts this weekend in Tokyo, Japan. The opening round matches are as follows:

  • Mei Yamaguchi vs. Miyoko Kusaka (105)
  • Emi Tomimatsu vs. Mina Kurobe (105)
  • Satomi Takano vs. Masako Yoshida (105)
  • Tomo Maesawa vs. Yukiko Seki (105)

Besides the quarterfinal matches,  Emi Fujino teams up with Sachiko Fujimori to face off against Ayaka Hamasaki and Yuko Oya in a tag team 10 minute grappling match.

In a rare Sunday UFC event in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Jessica Andrade will face Marion Reneau. The fight will air on Fox Sports 1.

Kowalkiewicz and Faria
Kowalkiewicz and Faria

InvictaFC star Karolina Kowalkiewicz will fight Kalindra Faria in Poland. The match was set to be a title bout for the KSW strawweight title, but Faria missed weight by 2.2 pounds. The match will now be a three round non-title affair.

In other pro MMA bouts this weekend:

Big John’s: Ogichida Spirit – Saulte Ste Marie, MI

  • Kaline Medeiros vs Chelsea Bailey
  • Raquel Magdelano vs Holly Cline

TXC – Novi, Michigan

  • Calie Cutler vs Nikki Duncan (115)

AFL – Barcelona, Spain

  • Irene Cabello vs Laïla “Lilou Dallas” Sekaf (105)

LCS 20 – Mitchell, NE

  • Rosa Acevedo vs Amanda Lovato  (115)

EFC 37 – South Africa

  • Danella Eliasov vs Zita Varju (125)

Battle on Sura – Penza, Russia

  • Natalya Denisova vs. Svetlana Gotsyk (121)

King of the Cage – Carlton, Minnesota

  • Moriel Charneski vs Christina Jobe
  • Katiel Adelman vs Katheryn Bassignana (ammy)

You can see a complete schedule of pro and amateur MMA and pro boxing fights here.

Help us Create a New Wombat Sports

writers-wantedAs I explained in my open letter, I am looking to change Wombat Sports to what it was initially meant to be. I can’t do this on my own, and that;s where you come in.

We are looking for contributors to help with writing articles and covering certain combat sports. You would also get to interview talented athletes in those sports.

The main contributors we are looking for is in women’s boxing, Muay Thai, freestyle wrestling, and BJJ. (We already have some people interested in covering the WMMA portion of the site). The cool things is I have the tools to gain news and info for these sports, just not the time to write it up. You can “learn on the job” if you aren’t an expert on these topics; but being curious is the key thing.

You can learn more about what I am expecting and what benefits come with being a part of Wombat Sports here.

Wombat Watercooler – January 22

Due to the time it takes to put together a MRS column, we have decide to split it into a few new reports. The first is the “Wombat Watercooler” which will be the places for rumors and miscellaneous newsworthy bites we find out during the week.

Cyborg and Knapp
Cyborg and Knapp

We are all waiting for a date for InvictaFC 11, which is looking like March. Last we heard, the promotion was “finalizing” the card.

As we mentioned in earlier articles, it is expect that Cyborg Justino will defend her featherweight title on the card, and Ayaka Hamasaki is rumored to fight at the event as well.

Speaking of Cyborg, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta has stated his company is back in talks to bring her to the octagon.

Bethe Correia has answered Sarah Kaufman and the two verbally agreed to fight. They are awaiting approval by UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby and then a date and place.


XFC released a statement “firing” several of its fighters.

The most notable is flyweight champion Pearl Gonzalez. The promotion stated they offered her several matches to defend her title in Brazil but she had refused. Gonzalez’s camp hasn’t made an official statement, but they seem happy to be out of the contract with the promotion.

Same can be said of Cortney Casey, who’s management stated she was “being held hostage” under the contract. Casey had fought for PXC since her last XFC match.

Other fighters let go were Andrea Lee, Stephanie Skinner, Angelica Chavez, and Andy Nguyen, all who have fought and/or signed with different promotions since the XFC was restructured and moved operations to Brazil.

Paige VanZant has been doing the media rounds to promote her fight. She did Good Day New York this last week (watch here) and the MMA Hour Tuesday (watch here).

Zoila Frausto will be dropping to 115 once again and is campaigning to be signed to the UFC. The Bellator strawweight tournament winner has notable wins over Megumi Fujii and Jessica Aguilar.

Marina Shafir will be attending a Bellator  card soon and is expected to meet up with CEO Scott Coker for a possible fight deal.

Kickboxing world champion Denise Kielholtz stated she is preparing to crossover to  MMA. The Enfusion World Champion will be training with Bellator’s Marloes Coenen to make her in cage debut sometime this year. She will most likely fight at flyweight.

BJJ standout Gabi Garcia finally has a date for her MMA debut. March 28 at Jungle Fight in São Paulo, Brazil the mutli-time world BJJ champion will face a yet-to-be-named opponent. It is expected she will fight at 185 pounds.

Suvi Salmimies will be fighting at CAGE 29 in Helsinki, Finland Feb. 28. Opponent to be announced.

Wombat Sport’s Off the Wall Predictions for 2015

What-comes-next-Technology-predictions-for-2015_SQIt has been an eventful start to 2015 after a whirlwind of fights and fight announcements to start off the year.

Before we get into any more of the year, we wanted to give you some of our predictions for upcoming 12 months. Some of these are educated guesses, some are just wacky logic.

Let us know what you agree and disagree with. Also let us know some of your predictions for the year.

UFC will be sold – if not partially; all

This is probably the most radical prediction we will make, but hear us out.

The UFC isn’t in great financial straits right now. Their credit rating has gone down which means they owe a lot of money. Part of this is bad luck with champions being injured in 2014. Another problem is that holding more almost weekly events isn’t cheap, especially with the worldwide expansion. We feel the idea of getting rid of individual sponsors to only a major one will hurt them financially due to not getting the benefits from a “sponsor tax”.

The UFC getting rid of their own in house testing was in part because they couldn’t afford it.

I won’t be surprised if they cut a deal with Fox for part ownership, but would be interested to see if Fox buys them out and keeps UFC President Dana White as a figure head.

What if Floyd Mayweather buys it? Crazier things have happened.

Ronda Rousey will end the year undefeated and will “Take a hiatus” from the sport

If the UFC champion beats Cat Zingano next month, it will be hard to find a competitive contender for her.

The next choice would be Bethe Correia but it is hard to see the smaller bantamweight give Rousey a challenge. If Sara McMann beats Miesha Tate, a rematch could be interesting but still the champ just keeps getting better a lot faster.

If Rousey fights three times this year, which seems to be the case, and goes undefeated, we think she will realize that she has basically “cleaned the division” and there is nothing else to do. She is refusing to face Cyborg Justino. With Hollywood calling, she can make more as an action star with less work. Unlike Gina Carano, if there is a person who develops in 2016 that seems to be “the next big thing” at bantamweight she will come back to MMA.

We like the idea because the division needs a year at least to catch up with the champ’s level.

Jessica Aguilar will sign to the UFC

People think this is a done deal, but a few things to consider.

With the a fore mentioned sponsorship and financial situation with the UFC, the World Series of Fighting could outspend the UFC in terms of her contract. Teammate Tecia Torres is already signed to the UFC, and Aguilar doesn’t seem to want to be in the same promotion as her. The thing Aguilar needs to consider what is worth more – being #1 in the division or the money. Not an easy choice.

We are still thinking Aguilar will sign to the UFC because there is not much the WSOF can do for her now in terms of finding credible opponents.

The questions are how she will handle with the new blood in the UFC, and is a rematch with Esparza going to happen in 2015?

Bellator will see resurgence with raising talent from the UFC jumping ship

This goes back to the UFC financial problems and more importantly, the sponsorship deal with Reebok. Fighters will get more money by having several sponsors behind them then they would with only one. The deal doesn’t take in account popularity, only rankings. Mid level talent will find “greener pastures” in Bellator as they can outspend the UFC, especially at this moment. We may see a MMA version of pro wrestling’s “Monday Night Wars” this year. That all started because the WCW got a bigger budget and brought in more popular talent.

Bellator will launch a flyweight division

This is a 50/50 shot.

Bellator already announced they will have another women’s division this year, but have yet to name a weight class. The stated it would be “different” than the UFC’s current ones. This leaves 105 and 125.

Why do we think flyweight? Three major reasons. The first deals with the pool at 125. Our stats this year saw 125 as the most active division in 2014. Invicta has been actively signing talented flyweights as fast as they can the past few months so I am sure they are trying to beat Bellator to the punch. The third reason is if a UFC female fighter leaves the organization, it will be easier for Bellator to get talent from 115 going up and 135 going down.

That being said…

Atomweight matches will double its 2014 fight numbers 

There were 50 fights at atomweight this past year, but the year also saw an influx in 105 talent.

In the past, the pool consisted mainly of a few Americans and a lot of Japanese talent. With Invicta the past few years doing its part to highlight the atomweight division with star Michelle Waterson, more smaller fighters are dropping from the ever deepening 115 division, seeing they can have a career at a more comfortable weight at 105.

Several of the TUF 20 strawweight competitors were too small for the division and it showed. We may see them circle back to Invicta and dropping to 105.

The word from Japan is most of the strawweights there have seen the light and can’t compete with American talent at 115. The divisions in the Far East are shifting to 105 with a few exceptions. There is even talk of a pinweight (100 pound) division.

An eight woman atomweight tournament for the vacant DEEP-JEWELS title is already being planned.

Invicta will Get a TV deal… of sorts

InvictaFC president Shannon Knapp has been hinting as of late of an actual tv deal through her connections with the UFC. Here is our thoughts.

One, if not two, events will be broadcast on tv this year with the rest being through UFC Fight Pass. Fox Sports 1 would make the most sense – seeing their success with “The Ultimate Fighter 20”.

With Fox and Fox Sports 1 already seeing some good female matches in the coming months, they should see the value in terms of ratings to bring Invicta into the mix.

Expect More International Talent Signed to Major Promotions

This past year, 253 fighters made their pro debuts. This is a major drain in terms of amateur talent with some making their pro debuts in the next few months.

It is going to take a year or two of the amateur division to regain the numbers, but I have no doubt those women dreaming of taking up MMA fighting will see opportunities.

In the mean time, 47 countries held female matches this year with 41 having pro bouts. The number of countries themselves have expanded since last year, and will look to get over 50 in 2015. You will get to see names you might have never heard of (unless you read our site regularly). A few we can rally off – Jessy Rose (Australian; already signed to InvictaFC), Amanda Lino (South Africa; who won the IMMAF featherweight tournament and named Ammy Fighter of the Year), and Maryna Moroz (Ukrainian; undefeated at strawweight).

Brazil itself has expanded their women’s divisions in 2014 and we can expect more talent from there to make their way to the States.