Nothing is better than a training partner who has been there.
Over the past 6 months we have seen some movement in terms on where female fighters have been training. Many are seeking something new in terms of mind set, or simply a bigger challenge than their local gym can accommodate. Some just simply want to train with some of the best on the planet.
The advantages are great if you can find a female team you can click with. Questions can be answered that no male fighter can answer. Plus if you get with a top notch team, you can take your training to a whole other level.
Female fight teams are nothing new. Jackson’s MMA was the first women’s team to gain national attention, with American Top Team and CSA not far behind. All three have gained new members over the past year. Xtreme Couture had a solid female team as well until late 2012, when a lot of behind the scenes happenings saw a mass exodus of both female and male fighters. Miesha Tate has helped the team rebuild. With TUF 20 cast member Alex Chambers, TUF 20 hopeful Heather Clark, and UFC fighter Leslie Smith taking up training with Xtreme Couture, it’s becoming the go to place to train in Vegas.
Both gyms saw some fighters make friendly visits during “The Ultimate Fighter” tryouts, so we look for more fighters to make Vegas their home in the near future.
Another growing female team is the MMA Lab in Phoenix, which has seen InvictaFC champion Lauren Murphy take up residence recently. The Lybarger twins have been training there for the past year or so.
Several noteworthy teams you may not know about is Grudge Training Center in Denver (Cassie Robb, Stephanie Skinner, and Rose Namajunas among others) and Reign MMA (Jessica Penne, and Justine Kish among others).
Least we not forget the most popular team of them all at the moment – “The Four Horsewomen” of the Glendale Boxing Club; UFC champion Ronda Rousey, UFC fighter Shayna Baszler and Jessamyn Duke; and Marina Shafir.
We are positive there are more female teams out there and we only expect this to grow as the sport does.
It has been over 5 months since Julie Kedzie retired from competition and taken a new job as InvictaFC matchmaker, and so far she has taken to the role well.
Kedzie so far has brought some insight from a fighter’s prospective, and helped sign quite a few new fighters from across the planet. Although there has been a learning curve, she is excited to help book InvictaFC 7 coming in June.
We talked to Kedzie about how her new job is going, scouting new talent, Invicta’s partnership with Tuff-n-uff, and developing the InvictaFC women’s divisions.
Considered one of the best amateur MMA promotions in the U.S., Tuff-n-uff has done a lot for the female fighters and have turned out stars that are currently in the UFC and Invicta.
The promotion is continuing their efforts to make world class fighters even after the tragic passing of founder and CEO Barry Meyer. His brother Jeff has taken his mission to continue producing talent and put on solid shows.
Saturday, the promotion announced their 20th anniversary show is set for June 7th at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, in hopes to break the arena’s attendance record. You can get a free ticket by going to Unlvtickets.com. They are also seeking donations for the Three Square Food Bank and people are encouraged to bring a canned food item to the event.
The card will feature several female bouts including the finals of the Tuff-n-uff strawweight tournament. The winner between Jamie Moyle and Molly Wren-Holms will earn an Invicta contract and be declared tournament champion.
We talked to Jeff Meyer about the impact of the promotion throughout the years, the new partnership with Invicta, and what the future brings.
We can tell you also the already announced eight cast members will be in town next week for medicals. (Juliana Lima, Paige Van Zant, and Claudia Gadelha won’t be doing the show.) It will be a quick turnaround in terms of those eight chosen at tryouts who will be picked Monday night. There will be a total of 16 fighters in the TUF house.
If the UFC stands to form, we won’t know the rest of the cast until filming ends in late June/early July.
Make sure to follow our twitters @WombatSports & @Wmmanews for updates. We plan in posting some interview with the hopefuls and a few surprise guests.
Mei Yamguchi (11-7-1) will make her long awaited DEEP-JEWELS debut on the promotion’s 4th card May 18th.
The former Valkyrie champ is coming off back to back split decision losses at PXC, which could have gone either way. She dropped to 105 in her last fight and looked impressive at her new weight.
Yamagucho will face journeywoman Yukiko Seki (12-23) who is coming off a decision win last November over Madoka Ebihara.
The card will be main evented by Shizuka Sugiyama and Takayo Hashi battling for the inaugural D-J 135 title.
Charmaine Tweet hopes to average a loss May 21 as she takes on Anna Barone in Montreal, Canada.
Barone (2-3) KOed Tweet in 18 seconds in the first meeting in October 2011. Barone only fought once since then, losing to Kaitlin Young via doctor’s stoppage.
Tweet (4-4) was on a three fight win streak before debuting for Invicta last year, losing a decision to Julia Budd.
The fight will take place at 155 pounds and will main event the card. It is expected to be streamed.
Featherweight prospect and Dane Maria Hougaard Djursaa will look to gain some gold as she faces Italian Annalisa Bucci at European MMA May 23rd in Falconer Salen in Denmark.
Djursaa (5-4) is on a three fight win streak with wins over Jorina Baars and Alexandra Buch. Bucci (6-2) is on a five fight win streak, finishing all but one opponet during her streak. She will face undefeated Pannie Kianzad May 3 before taking on Djursaa.
No word on if the fight will be streamed.
The CJ Report did an interview with InvictaFC vet and former JEWELS 115 title holder Ayaka Hamasaki. She is currently rehabbing a nagging knee injury she had before her last fight with Claudia Gadelha. She went under the knife a month after her last fight and seems to be recovering well. She hopes to return in late summer or early fall for DEEP-JEWELS. Contrary to early reports, she stated a drop to 105 is an option, but she is sticking to 115 for now.
In the interview, she talked about the retirement of long time training partners Megumi Fujii and Htiomi Akano, and the current WMMA scene in Japan. You can watch it here.
Amateur prospect Sarah McLeod will make her pro debut May 16th at Prize Fighting Championship in Williston, North Dakota against Shawna Lang.
McLeod (7-5-1) has won her last three fights. Not much is know about Lang, but has a win over Brittany Weis in 2012. She has also fought for Fusion Fight Legaue out of Billings, MT.
World boxing champion Cecillia Braekhus has parted ways with her promoter according to an article on NRK Sports.
Braekhus has had problems with her promoter, Sauerland, for a while. She was waiting for her contract to be up to get rid of the promoter so she can fight more often and help pave the way to a possible superfight with Holly Holm.
The Americana MMA clothing line has announced they have put a $5000 KO bounty on UFC Champ Ronda Rousey.
The company specified that they will give the award to the first fighter who gets a knockout over the champ in a sanctioned fight.
Wimp2Warrior Season 2 is in the can and will debut in Australia in June. The series, which takes ordinary men and women and turn them into MMA fighters, will also post videos as the series progresses for foreign viewers. They are planning a third season, which will feature a U.S. vs. Canada cast.
As we mentioned several times before, Juliana Lima and Claudia Gadelha won’t be taking part in the Ultimate Fighter 20. A major reason is due to the language barrier. We are hearing that Gadelha will be making her octagon debut in Brazil in June.
InvictaFC vet Danielle West has stated she is dropping to 125 and is preparing a test cut in the next few weeks. She plans on returning to action in August.
Alexis Davis will spend part of her upcoming fight camp at Team Alpha Male to help with her wrestling.
ADCC and world BJJ champion Gabi Garcia stated she will make her MMA debut at Real Fighting Japan August 17 against a yet to be named opponent according to an article on DamadeFerro.com. She also mentioned being given an offer to fight for XFCi.
Two undefeated fighters will battle in Baltimore at UFC 172.
Ultimate Fighter vet Jessamyn Duke and Brazilian Bethe Correia are both seeking their second UFC win. Both came Correia (135) and Duke (135.5) came in on weight.
Duke (3-0; 1NC) is coming off a decision win over TUF castmate Peggy Morgan. She has been training with champion Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler to prepare for the fight.
Correia (7-0) is coming off a decision win over Julie Kedzie. She trains with the Pitbull Brothers of Bellator fame.
The fight will air on the televised prelims on Fox Sports 1 Saturday.
Kalindra Faria looks for her 11th straight win as she takes on Sanja Sucevic at XFC International in Sao Paulo ,Brazil.
Faria (14-3-1) made a successful transition strawweight in her lat outing, submitting Laura Balin in the second round at MMA Super Heroes. She has finished six of her last 11.
Sucevic (4-2) is coming off a loss last year to TUF 18 contestant Colleen Schneider at 125 pounds. She is making her way back to strawweight and has wins over Lena Ovchynnikova and Irene Cabello.
The fight will stream for free on XFCMMA.com Saturday.
In other pro bouts:
In a pair of fights at Spartan Combat League in Denver, CO, Brittney Elkin faces Amanda Bell and Shannon Sinn takes on Courtney Himes
Angela Hill makes her pro debut against Stephanie Skinner at USFFC in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
At DakotaFC in Fargo, North Dakota, Mariah Prussia battles Shannon Gunville
Pamela Boveda fights Elen Torres at Rhino Fight Combat 6 in Alto Parana, Paraguay
At Barracão Fight Championship 3 in Ponta Grossa, Brazil, Jessica Suelem dukes it out with Jaquelline Santana
Aline Sério faces Paula Baack at GSF in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
At Jason Fight Championship 1 in Brazil, Ana Maria Índia takes on Ilara Joanne
In amateur action this weekend:
In a pair of bouts at Gladius Fights 11 in Cortland, New York, Hannah Grable takes on Andrea Lee and Alyssa Vasquez faces Janice Meyer.
Ashley Jackson battles Nichole Usko at NAAFS – Akron, Ohio
At Warrior FC in Corbin, Kentucky, Elizabeth Richardson dukes it out with Alannah Arnett
Aspen Ladd fights Cynthia Calvillo at WCFC in Sacramento, California
At Rage in the Cage in Staffordshire, England, Anya Lynette Hynes takes on Amy O’Mara (120)
Sinead Kavanagh faces Aoifé Murphy at Cage Contender in Belfast, Northern Ireland
At FiveStar in Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada, Robin Combs battles Elyse Stevenson
Yesica Yolanda Bopp is looking to be a two division champion as she takes on Daniela Romina Bermudez for the vacant WBO flyweight title in Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Bopp (26-1) is the current WBO/WBA light flyweight champion having won the title last July. She successfully defended the title in December against Ana Fernandez.
Bermudez (16-2-2) is on an eleven fight win streak and hold belts at bantamweight and super flyweight.
Also on the card, Adela Celeste del Carmen Peralta faces Maria Angelica Ruiz.
Nicole Boss looks to defend her EBU lightweight title for the first time as she takes on Sopio Putkaradze in Berne, Switzerland.
Boss (11-4-2) in on a four fight win streak and won the vacant title with a decision win over Kremena Petkova in December.
Putkaradze (10-1-2) has won four straight and is looking for her first boxing title.
In other boxing action:
In a pair of bouts in Polanco, Distrito Federal, Mexico, Maria Ramirez takes on Sonia Osorio, and Viridiana Ramos faces Estefani Casilla
In bouts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ruth Stephanie Aquino fights Tamara Marianella Nunez and Stefany Bizquiazo battles Norma Elizabeth Diaz Caucota
In Panama City, Panama, Zuliana Mendoza dukes it out Jocelyn Edwards and Iliana Bonilla faces Zuseth Hoyte
Ericka Rousseau takes on Bilitis Gaucher in Charente-Maritime, France
In Saint-Maur, Indre, France, Jessica Tamara Vargas fights Cindy Bonhiver (122)
Anne Sophie Da Costa dukes it out Fleis Djendji in Saint-Just en Chaussee, Oise, France
In Haute-Vienne, France, Myriam Dellal faces Wendy Gervois (135)
Jessica Balogun takes on Edita Lesnik in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
In Kielce, Poland, Ewa Brodnicka fights Kremena Petkova
Anna Donatella Hultin battles Karina Kopinska in Malmo, Sweden
In Buchs, Switzerland, Vivian Fontana dukes it out with Katarina Vistica
Eggink (4-1) is one of the top prospects in the strawweight division, having won the last year in a match against Angela Magana via triangle choke. She has wins over Heather Clark and Brianna VanBuren.
No word on when she will make her Invicta debut. InvictaFC 8 is targeted for June.
A Brazilian website is reporting the World Series of Fight is looking to book Cyborg Justino versus Holly Holm for sometime next year.
Justino is currently sign with Invicta, and she is at the end of her contract after her next match. InvictaFC president Shannon Knapp has told us that Justino will defend her 145 title against India Gomes in June.
As of now, Justino’s management has stated they are not interested in signing with the WSOF anytime soon.
Speaking of Invicta, Knapp is expected to make an announcement next week about the June event and a possible tv deal.
Should be noted the Fox and the UFC not only recognized InvictaFC in their graphics and commentary Wednesday, but they also used Invicta footage to pump up the fight between Sarah Kaufman and Leslie Smith. UFC and Fox never does this…
According to Dana White, Ronda Rousey requested to defend her title on the July 5th card. White noted that Cat Zingano was still dealing with “personal issues” and was the reason she wasn’t available. Miesha Tate stated this week she is picking Rousey to win over challenger Alexis Davis. Liz Carmouche refused to pick.
White also mentioned he is working on getting the Strikeforce fights on Fightpass. Due to a provision in their Strikeforce deal with Showtime, they aren’t allowed to air the complete fights anywhere. They would also need to edit sponsors out of the fights.
Fox will air it’s first female bout on national broadcast television as Miesha Tate and Liz Carmouche will face off in the co-main event on the “UFC on Fox 11” card in Orlando, FL. Both Tate (135.5) and Carmouche (135) made weight.
Both coming off losses, a win will get the one of them back in the title hunt.
The match will air on Fox Saturday night.
In other pro bouts:
At Kansas Fighting Alliance in Kansas City, MO, Trisha Clark takes on Amanda LaVoy
Crystal Stevens faces Rebecca Ruth at ShamrockFC in St. Louis, MO
Steelfist will have seven amateur bouts plus one pro bout in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Rachel Kemker vs. Killastina Matatohi (pro heavyweight)
Rianne Whiting vs. Danielle Donaldson (ammy 135 title)
At Fight Hard MMA in St. Charles, MO, Susie Wyatt faces Ronni Lawrence
Kelly Wisecarver takes on Kayla Kipp at EAC in Fredericktown, Ohio
In Absolute Action MMA in Williamstown, Kentucky, Kia Peppard battles Desiree Wilson (135)
Jennifer Darr fights Stephanie Alba at NFC in Duluth, Georgia
In UFA in Denver, CO, Selina Valdez-Montoya faces Latrisha Breidenbach
Erica Anabella Farias will defend her WBC lightweight title against Delfine Persoon Sunday in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Farias (19-0) is looking for her 20th win and her 9th defense of her title. Persoon (28-1) is looking to put a fourth belt around her waste, as she is the current WIBF, WBF, and WIBA lightweight champion.
In a pair of bouts Buenos Aires, Argentina, Julieta Andrea Cardozo faces Maria Cecilia Roman and Alicia Monica Machaca battles Laura Soledad Griffa
Undefeated flyweight Alex Grasso looks to step up in compeititon at Invitca.
The Mexican fighter has signed to the promotion as of Monday. Grasso (4-0) finished her first 3 opponents in under 36 seconds. She won the Xterme Kombat Mexico flyweight tournament back in August, defeating Karina Rodriguez by unanimous decision.
Grasso joins fellow Mexican Irene Aldana on the Invicta roster.