But to paraphrase a famous line, “Just when we thought he was out, they pull him back in.” Last week Boylan talked to the Cage Warriors’ management and after all was said and done, he now owns one of the top MMA promotions on the planet.
Cage Warriors has a long history of supporting the female divisions. Having groomed the career of the legendary Rosi Sexton, they had developed several women’s divisions in 2013. A who’s who of female European fighters have gone through their ranks including current UFC champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk; former InvictaFC champion Katja Kankaanpää, TUF 20 vets Aisling Daly and Joanna Calderwood; and current CWFC bantamweight champ Pannie Kianzad, who will be fighting at InvictaFC July 9th.
Several of the CWFC talent has signed to Invicta during the Cage Warrior’s hiatus including the aforementioned Kianzad, Catherine Costigan (who is also fighting at InvictaFC 13), and Laura Howarth. It is not unheard of for them to make an appearance back at CWFC, as Invicta has let Calderwood fight for them in the past.
Matchmaker Ian Dean will continue his role in the company.
The possibility of re-brand is in the works, but Boylan stated it would “make sense” in the long run.
Boylan wants to have an October and December cards this year, but he has yet to sit down and lay out an exact plan for the promotion.
With the announcement, European fighters will have platform once again in what has become an incubator of future stars of the sport.
As 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.
With InvictaFC out for eight months and The Ultimate Fighter 20 keeping a lot of strawweights on a hiatus, you would have expected 2014 to be a slow year.
As it turns out, it was busier than ever with multiple promotions introducing women’s divisions and throwing their hat into the cage. Demand saw a lot of fresh new faces in the pro ranks, and more matches than ever before.
We compiled stats from multiple sources throughout the year and were able to get a nearly accurate accounting of the year that was 2014.
563 – The number of fights this year. This was a 24% increase from last year (415 in 2013). With Invicta doing more cards in 2015 and the UFC gaining a strawweight division, we expect a huge increase next year.
253 – Pro debuters this year, 72 more than last year. With the newly found demand and opportunity pressing for more pro debuts this past year, we actually suspect this number to go down due to the drain of amateur talent.
211 – Number of first round finishes. It more than doubles second round finishes. There was four finishes in championship rounds this year, two in both the 4th and 5th rounds.
211 – Number of fights that went the distance. 78% of that total were unanimous decisions. We saw 4 majority decisions and a record 6 draws.
202 – How many fights were in the U.S. a 22% increase from last year. It topped the list of countries who had female fights. Brazil (152) came in second and Japan (35) third. Brazil increased its total by 44%.
184 – Total submissions this year. It was the most popular way to win a fight edging TKOs by 34. More than half (109) happened in round 1. There was 4th and 5th round subs this year, which are rare.
165 – Fights at flyweight this most of any division. It edged out strawweight by 14 fights but with the 115ers busy with TUF 20, expect them to rebound. Bantamweight (120) came in third with atomweight (50) and featherweight (40) taking forth and fifth. For those interested, eight fights took place at the newly forming lightweight division.
150 – TKOs this year. This is a 32% increase from last year’s total. The first round remains the most popular round to get a TKO with 73% of them happening then.
83 – Armbars – the most popular submission. This increased by 75% from last year. Rear naked chokes came in second with 69. There was two bulldog choke submissions this year.
41 – Number of countries that had female fights this year. Although the actual number went up to 9, six countries didn’t have pro female fights this year but had them in 2013 – Scotland, Spain, India, Paraguay, Croatia, and Belgium. Several newcomers to the list are Moldova, Romania, and Thailand. If you include amateur fights, the number jumps to 47.
32 – Pro female fights in California, the most by a US state, smashing 2013’s mark of 9. It also nearly doubles the 2nd place finisher, Texas (18). In third was Nevada with 16 with all those fights happening in Las Vegas.
31 – Female fights in the UFC, the most by any organization. The UFC more than doubles their 2013 total (13). It only beat DEEP by one fight. Even though they came late to the party this year, Invicta managed to take the third spot with 27. With a new strawweight division in the UFC, it will be a horse race between them and Invicta in 2015.
15 – Recorded knockouts this year. Although several we didn’t consider “pure KOs”, this was less than last year’s total of 22.
6 – “Official” tournaments happened this year. Two XFC tournaments will crown season champions next year. There were 3 one night tournaments; two for MMA Super Heroes and the other was for Princesses of Pain. (TUF 20 was considered an exhibition tournament and only the finals were on the official records.)
6 – New world champions crowned this year. Two champions lost defending their title (DEEP-JEWELS 116 champion Emi Tomimastu and InvictaFC atomweight champion Michelle Waterson). Three won newly created titles – Carla Esparza (UFC strawweight); Pannie Kianzad (Cage Warriors bantamweight), and Takayo Hashi (Jewels 135 title).
1 – Heck of a historic year. UFC adds a new division, Invicta rises again, and Brazil grows its WMMA scene.
Next Wednesday, the finally two quarterfinal matches as Carla Esparza faces Tecia Torres in a match a year in the making, and Rose Namjunas takes on Joanne Calderwood.
Irene Alana has an unknown illness and is out of InvictaFC 10 next weekend against Marion Reneau. A replacement has yet to be named.
Two female bouts have been announced for MMA Super Heroes last card of 2014.
Tournament winner Renata Baldan looks to recover from her first loss as she takes on unbeaten Luciana Treze in a strawweight contest, and Karina Santana de Oliveira looks to gain her second win as a pro against flyweight prospect Mariana Leonardo.
Australia’s XFC (not to be confused with XFC International) will start its flyweight tournament February 28, 2015 in Brisbane.
The opening round features Terissa Wall (1-0) taking on Kate Da Silva (7-2) and Jaz Walker (1-0 ammy) battling Hera Tamati (0-1).
We wish a speedy recovery to InvictaFC vet Jasminka Cive as she is battle a staph infection.
Still some heavy rumors that InvictaFC 11 will be in Denver.
Princesses of Pain is back as they are set for their all female MMA card this weekend in New Zealand.
In the main event, champion Kate da Silva will start her drop in weight classes, taking on Rhiannon Thompson in a 132 pound catchweight bout.
In the co-main event, Tairi Ford and Gaela Nixon duke it out in a flyweight contest.
Amateur standout Roma Pawelek will make her long awaited pro debut as she takes on the undefeated Ashleigh Heustis at Beatdown in Newtown, ND.
Also on the card, InvictaFC vet Kathina Catron battles Rachael Smith.
In other pro bouts:
In a pair of bouts at It’s Lanna Time 2 in Germany, Katharina Lehner takes on Sandra Redegeld, and Ania Fucz faces Cinja Kiefer
Karine Silva battles Sarah Silva at AFC 14 in Lages, Brazil
In amateur action:
In a pair of bouts at Spar Star in Inglewood, CA, Danielle Mack fights Farren Romero and JaShonna Owens faces Selena Lorigo
Jady Larissa takes on Paula Eletrica at Copa Striker’s House 44 in Brazil
Pound for pound queen Cecilia Braekhus will defend her four titles this weekend in Frederiksberg, Denmark.
The 26-0 WBA/WBO/WBC/IBF World welterweight champion will take on #1 contender Jennifer Retzke.
Retzke (15-1-1) has only lost once in the past 4 years. She is the current IBO welterweight champion, but will not be defending her title.
Both Brækhus (64.6 kg) and Retzke (66 kg) made weight.
Also on the card, Klara Svensson will defend her interim WBC World light welterweight title against Lucia Morelli.
In Guanajuato, Mexico, Jessica Gonzalez will defend her interim WBC World female bantamweight title for a second time against Magali Rodriguez.
Gonbzalez (5-1) won the title last year, and is coming off a split draw to Estrella Valverde this past August. Rodriguez (14-5-1) is coming off a TKO win over Marisela Landa in August and is looking for her first win.
In other boxing bouts:
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Fernanda Soledad Alegre takes on Ana Laura Esteche
Enis Pacheco faces Paola Rojas in Montelibano, Colombia
In Samobor, Croatia, Ivana Habazin battles Galina Gumliiska
Megan Ouvrard fights Cyrielle Hebert in Charente-Maritime, France
Jessica Eye looked impressive in her win against a very game Leslie Smith at UFC 180 in Mexico City, Mexico, which aired live on Fox Sports 1.
Eye’s striking proved to be the factor in the fight, as Eye damaged Smith’s ear. After the first round, the doctor looked at the ear and let it go on. In round two after a heated striking exchange, the referee paused the fight and the doctor declared the damage to the ear was too much to continue, much to the dismay of Smith. Officially, Eye defeated Smith by TKO at 1:30 of round 2.
Eye improves to 11-2-1.
The top strawweight on the planet has defended her title and position in the rankings.
Jessica Aguilar took Kalindra Faria to a unanimous decision win at WSOF 15 in Tampa, FL which aired on NBC Sports Net.
Faria hung in the pocket with the champ, but was out classed by Aguilar’s precision striking. The final round saw Faria push for the win, but it was too little too late.
Aguilar hands Faria her first loss in 11 fights and improves to 19-4.
Cage Warriors has crowned its first bantamweight champion.
Undefeated Pannie Kianzad (7-0) defeated last minute replacement Eeva Siiskonen by unanimous decision to win the initial 135 title in London, England. Siiskonen, who took the fight on 10 days notice, was able to get a tight armbar attempt in the opening stanza, but the striking was the key throughout the rest of the match to give Kianzad the win.
It is expected Kianzad first title defense will be against the fighter Siiskonen replaced, Agnieszka Niedzwiedz, next year.
In a preliminary bout, Anna Elmose defeated Emma Delaney by TKO 0:19 round 1.
MMA Super Heroes returned to action as they crowned a strawweight tournament champion.
Virna Jandiroba submitted Camila Lima by rear naked choke in round 2 in what was the tournament final.
Marília Santos came in over weight for the tournament and and faced Aline Sattelmayer. If Sattelmayer would have won, she would have advanced. However, Santos won by unanimous decision but would not advance due to the weight discrepancy.
In a non-tourmanet match, Daiane Firmino defeated Ariane Lipski by TKO round 1.
In other pro bouts:
At PXC in Manila, Philippines, Cortney Casey submitted Gina Iniong by rear naked choke round 1
In a pair of pro bouts at Sugar Creek Showdown in Hinton, OK, Delaney Owens submitted Amber Stautzenberger by rear naked choke 4:05 round 4 to win their 115 title and Anita Rodriguez defeated Jade DeHaas by TKO (doctor’s stoppage broken nose) 5:00 round 4 to win their 135 title. In amateur action, Emily Ducote defeated Wendy Simmons by TKO 1:05 round 1
At LegacyFC in Houston, TX, Stephanie Alba submitted Maria Lopez by rear naked choke round 1
Mariana Moraes submitted Stephanie Bragayrac by head and arm choke round 1 at Explosion MMA in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
In a pair of bouts at Steefist in Salt Lake City, Utah, Brenda Enriquez submitted Mallory Rogers by rear naked choke round 1 and Chelsya Howard defeated Alysa Westergard by TKO round 1
Jessica Fresh submitted Cynthia Bottelberghe by armbar 0:46 round 3 at A-Town Throwdown in Austin, MN
At West Coast FC in Sacramento, California, Ashley Medina defeated Melissa Wang by unanimous decision
Samantha Gilliland defeated Kathryn Yost by TKO 0:42 round two at Spartan Combat League in Loveland, Colorado
At Gladiator CF in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, Morgana Silva and Vitoria Ferreira fought to a draw (125)
Tori Nelson gained another world welterweight title as she defeated Victoria Cisneros by unanimous decision to win the vacant UBF belt in Fairfax, Virginia. Nelson also successfully defended her WIBA welterweight title
Nelson (13-0-3) has yet to taste defeat.
In Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, Erica Anabella Farias defeated Alejandra Marina Oliveras by split decision to gain the WBC World light welterweight title.
Farisa (21-1) is the former WBC lightweight champion and snaps Oliveras’s 12 fight win streak.
A new IBF World super bantamweight champion was crowned in Cordoba, Argentina as Yulihan Luna Avila defeated Carolina Marcela Gutierrez by unanimous decision for the vacant title.
Avila (12-2) wins her first world championship.
In other pro boxing action:
In Kotka, Finland, Eva Wahlstrom defeated Fatuma Zarika by unanimous decision
Hye Soo Park defeated Dorkmaipah Kiatpompetch by unanimous decision in Daegu, South Korea
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Anahi Esther Sanchez defeated Betina Gabriela Garino by unanimous decision
Debora Rengifo defeated Luzmeri Zacarias by TKO in Turmero, Venezuela
In Pathum Thani, Thailand, Kanittha Kokietgym defeated Saobangrajan Kkp by unanimous decision
Amy Montenegro defeatd Diana Rael by TKO in round
2 at King of the Cage in Idaho.
Ava Knight defeated Guadalupe Martinez by unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC International flyweight title in Washington D.C.
Tyrieshia Douglas gains the vacant WIBA World bantamweight title with an unanimous decision win over Christina Ruiz in Baltimore, MD
In Westbury, New York, Amanda Serrano defeated Carla Torres by TKO round 1
In amateur MMA action at Gladiator Fighting Association in Topeka, KS:
Tabby Patterson def. Cara Jo Wesemann by unanimous decision to win the 145 title
Julie Murray def. Katherine Grasshopper by TKO 1:18 round 2
Savannah Self def. Alexis Cheatham by TKO 2:32 round 2
Jessika Brown def. Jennifer Dunn by KO 0:23 round 1
Holly Holm is out of her match with Raquel Pennington at UFC 181 next month.
Holm has suffered a neck injury and will be taking it “day by day” to see if it will heal on its own. No word if Pennington will get another opponent.
Also in the injury front, UFC Strawwweight Tina Lähdemäki has to undergo shoulder surgery and will be out for 9 months.
After losing to Randa Markos, Tecia Torres advanced to the quarterfinals of “The Ultimate Fighter 20” tournament by defeating Bec Rawlings by unanimous decision. Torres will face former InvictaFC champion Carla Esparza in the next round.
The episode itself drew 578,000 live viewers – one of the best ratings of the season. Wednesday’s broadcast saw the most drama and cattiness of the episodes thus far.
Next week, Randa Markos and Felice Herrig square off in the quarterfinals.
The Princesses of Pain female fighting promotion will return to action November 29 will a docket of exciting fights.
The main event will feature Kate da Silva defend her 60 kg title against Dawn Chalmers.
In other pro bouts:
Tairi Ford vs Gaela Nixon
Gentiane Lupi vs Alex Sorthis
Hera Tamati vs Catherine Drinnann
Charlene Watt vs Bridget Lords
Barbara Verlinden vs Tracey Burns
More matches to be announced soon.
A pair of bouts have been announced for OneFC December 5 in Manilla, Philippines.
Ana Jualton looks for her second win of her MMA career as she takes on Egypt’s Walaa Abas, while local favorite Jujeath Nagaowa will battle Tharoth Sam of Cambodia.
Two new fighters have signed to Invicta.
Texas’s Tessa Simpson signed this past week. The 3-1 atomweight returned to action last year with a win over Paulina Granados.
German strawweight Daniela Kortmann signed Thursday to the promotion, The first from Germany yo be signed, she went 3-1 as an amateur and won her pro debut in 2012.
World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo told us during the WSOF conference call Thursday to expect more expansion of the women’s division in 2015. Sefo stated “timing” had a lot to do with not doing it this year. (We can only assume he meant TUF 20.)
He also is looking to develop a bantamweight division.
However, XFC is not too pleased with Kalindra Faria signing to the promotion.
XFC has filed a lawsuit against WSOF in the US over the Brazilian strawweight. Faria had signed an exclusive contract with the XFC before signing to WSOF. Faria will face WSOF champion Jessica Aguilar Saturday. More on that below.
Come December 22, Ashlee Evans-Smith will be able to “seek other opportunities” as her “6 month inactive clause” in her WSOF contract will kick in.
Despite her ACL and meniscus tear, Heather Clark is insisting she will still fight on the TUF 20 finale.
The UFC will make it’s debut in Mexico City, Mexico with a much anticipated scrap in the bantamweight division.
Jessica Eye (10-2; 1NC) and Leslie Smith (7-5-1) look to make their way up the 135 division rankings as they will be the featured bout on the UFC prelims on Fox Sports 1 Saturday. Both tipped the scales at 134.
Eye is coming off a loss to Alexis Davis, while Smith is coming off a win over Jessamyn Duke. Both seem acclimated to the higher altitude and look to entertain the fans in Mexico.
The #1 ranked Jessica Aguilar will defend her WSOF title for the second time against the #8 ranked Kalindra Faria in Tampa, FL Saturday, which will air on NBC Sports Net. Both Aguilar (115) and Faria (114.8) came in on weight.
Aguilar has won 9 straight including her title win over Alida Gray and her title defense over Emi Fujino. With The Ultimate Fighter 20 almost ready to crown a champion, Aguilar need a solid win the stay at the top.
Faria is riding an 11 fight win streak and is looking to make an instant impact at 115. She has finished in 5 of her last 11 wins and is ranked in both the flyweight and strawweight divisions.
Cage Warriors will crown its first women’s bantamweight champion in London, England Saturday, in a fight that will stream on MMAJunkie.com.
Sweden’s Pannie Kianzad and Finland’s Eeva Siiskonen will duke it out for initial 135 title. Both Kianzad (134.8) and Siiskonen (134.3) came in on weight.
Kainzad (6-0) is undefeated having finished Megan van Houtum in her CWFC debut. This will be the debut of Siiskonen in the promotion, having two finishes t her credit.
Also on the undercard, Anna Elmose (134.6) will take on Emma Delaney (135.7).
MMA Super Heroes will feature another tournament heading to their card in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In the strawweight grand prix semi-finals, Camila Lima takes on Virna Jandiroba and Aline Sattelmayer faces Marília “Chocolate” Santos. The winners will square off later that night for the tournament crown. Howver, Santos came in at 125 pounds, so may have disqualifed herself from the finals.
In a non-tounament bout, Ariane Lipski battles Daiane Firmino in a strawweight encounter.
Cortney Casey looks for her third profession win as she takes on Gina Iniong at PXC in Manila, Philippines. This will stream on PXC’s livestream channel.
Arizona’s Casey (2-1) won her PXC debut this past June. The former Tuff-n-uff amateur champion has finished in both of her pro wins.champion.
Hometown fighter Iniong (3-1) is coming off a very close split decision over veteran Mei Yamaguchi at her last PXC bout.
In other pro MMA bouts:
At LegacyFC in Houston, TX, Stephanie Alba takes on Maria Lopez
In a pair of pro bouts at Sugar Creek Showdown in Hinton, OK, Amber Stautzenberger faces Delaney Owens and Jade DeHaas fights Anita Rodriguez. In an amateur bout Wendy Simmons battles Emily Ducote
Stephanie Bragayrac takes onm Mariana Moraes at Explosion MMA in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
At USA MMA in Lafayette, Louisiana, Jazmine Hargrave faces Brooksie Bayard
Intense Cage Fight returns to Great Falls, MT and will feature an amateur flyweight bout between Hannah Kampf and DJ Morrision.
Wombat Sports will be there live to cover the fight, so follow us @WombatSports for results.
In other amateur action:
In a pair of bouts at Steefist MMA in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mallory Rogers takes on Brenda Enriquez and Alysa Westergard faces Chelsya Howard
At Ultimate Beatdown in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, Samantha Tan battles Goh Shee Han
Morgana Silva fights Vitoria Ferreira at Gladiator CF in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
In Chertsey, Surrey, England at Too Much Talent, Louise Hiller takes on Samantha Taylor
At A-Town Throwdown in Austin, MN, Cynthia Bottelberghe faces Jessica Fresh
Sereina Comstock battles Megan Wallace at IFC Fight Night in Owensboro, Kentucky
In Sacramento, California at West Coast FC, Ashley Medina fights Melissa Wang
At Spartan Combat League in Loveland, Colorado, Samantha Gilliland takes on Kathryn Yost
Tori Nelson (c) vs. Victoria Cisneros – WIBA welterweight title & vacant UBF World welterweight title
Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Alejandra Marina Oliveras (c) vs. Erica Anabella Farias – WBC World light welterweight title
In other boxing action:
In Daegu, South Korea Hye Soo Park takes on Dorkmaipah Kiatpompetch
Anahi Esther Sanchez battles Betina Gabriela Garino in Buenos Aires, Argentina
A rib injury has sidelined undefeated Polish bantamweight Agnieszka Niedzwiedz in her title match with Sweden’s Pannie Kianzad. However, the promotion will crown a champion this Saturday in London, England.
Finnish fighter Eeva Siiskonen will make her Cage Warriors debut in a battle for the belt. Siiskonen (3-1) will fight outside her home country for the first time with two finishes to her credit.
Th undefeated Kainzad (6-0) finished Megan van Houtum in her Cage Warriors debut. She has three finishes in her wins.
It will be on the main card, and will stream on MMAJunkie.com in the US Saturday.
Yesica Patricia Marcos defeats Estrella Valverde at 1:48 round 1 to retain the WBA World super bantamweight title in Mendoza, Argentina
In Trnava, Slovakia, Zita Zatyko defeats Szilvia Szabados by unanimous decision to win the vacant WBF super middleweight title
Ronda Rousey versus Cat Zingano has been moved to February 28.
UFC President Dana White made the announcement this week of the change of date, which was originally set for January 3rd. The match will now co-main event the UFC 184 pay per view in Los Angeles, the hometown of champion Rousey.
The Ultimate Fight Finale will feature all but Justine Kish competing in December 12 in Las Vegas. Most of the matches won’t be announced till the week before the finale.
UFC fighter Bethe Correia sustained a minor eye injury and won’t be available to compete until February.
InvictaFC president Shannon Knapp told MMA Mayhem Radio she will do all in her power to help Cyborg Justino get her a match with Ronda Rousey.
Cyborg seems to be “on schedule” for her cut to 135 for her match December 10 at Invicta.
Tabby Patterson announced her next fight will be against Cara Jo Wesemann at Gladiator Fighting Association in Topeka, KS for their amateur bantamweight title November 13th.
With Leah Letson turning pro, Florina Moeller will step up to take part of the Tuff-n-uff/InvictaFC featherweight tournament next weekend.
We will talk to Moeller on the Wombat Sports podcast Sunday to discuss preparing for her first semi-final match and her career as a fighter.
At King of the Cage in Highland, CA, Danielle Taylor defeated Maria Andaverde by unanimous decision, Taylor goes 4-0 as a pro.
Naomi Staller defeated Cinja Kiefer by TKO in round 1 at German Cagefight Championship
At Circuito de Lutas Fight Night 4 in Brazil, Ketlen Vieira defeated Juliana Leite via TKO at 1:36 round 2
Cage Warriors has announced two more female bouts on their upcoming cards.
At Cage Warriors 73 in Newcastle, England on November 1, Spain’s Irene Cabello (1-2) will take on Germany’s Vanessa Reinsch (1-1) in an atomweight match. This will be Reinsch’s promotional debut.
Two weeks later, Denmark’s Anna Elmose will battle Emma Delaney in an bantamweight contest at Cage Warriors 74 in November 15 in London, England. This will be Elmore pro debut and her first cut to 135.
XFCi will start their strawweight tournament November 1 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Participants to be announced in the coming weeks.
Expect an announcement on WSOF champion Jessica Aguilar’s next opponent next week. It will be her toughest test she has had in a long while.
Angela Hill has been stating she will be on the TUF 20 finale card in December.
India’s Super Fight League will make it’s US debut with two female bouts in Tacoma, WA Saturday.
Colleen Schneider will make the first defense of her SFL flyweight title against Brenda Gonzales. Schneider (5-5) won four straight before losing to DeAnna Bennett at Showdown Fights in June. Gonzales (5-1) has finished in all but one of her wins and her only loss was to UFC fighter Rina Nakai.
Also on the card, Cheryl Chan and Hadley Griffith look to get their records back on track.