The WMMA Press Association announced Saturday it is giving its 2014 Flyweight of the Year award to DeAnna Bennett.
Bennett went 4-0 this year, with two under the InvictaFC banner. Her promotional debut saw her get a TKO win over vertean Michelle Ould. She is currently undefeated and has set herself as a prime contender for the InvictaFC 125 title. She has finished in 4 of her pro wins.
As speculation starts in terms of who will face who in the upcoming Invicta cards, several story lines have been developing recently or lingering for years.
For those recent fans to the women’s divisions and not aware of these, we complied a list for some rivalries to look out for.
Cindy Dandois and Marloes Coenen
Cindy Dandois made her MMA debut in what was then the biggest WMMA upset of all time. Dandois defeated former Strikeforce champion Marloes Coenen by unanimous decision in 2009. Dandois is planning on dropping to 135 in Invicta and looks to make the transition to the UFC. Coenen, still stinging from a loss to Cyborg Justino, would love to avenge the loss and a drop would get be back in the title hunt at bantamweight.
Michelle Ould and Zoila Frausto
Before Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey, the most heated rivalry in WMMA was between Michelle Ould and Zoila Frausto. Their first meeting ended with Ould suffering an injury that sidelined her from competition for over a year. Ould soon blamed the humidity and sweat for the difficulty in fighting Frausto (they were fighting outside during the summer) and has wanted to avenge the loss. Frausto, who was already on Ould’s case at weigh-ins, took offence to some of Ould’s comment and a war of words broke out post fight. Even though the beef has cooled a bit several years later, there is opportunity for these two to resolve their issues.
Roxanne Modafferi and Tara LaRosa
This is a friendly rivalry that has brought some of the best matches to the cage. The two veterans and good buddies prove that you can see a great fight without any malice or hatred towards your opponent. LaRosa took their first fight in 2006 by unanimous decision. Four years later, Modafferi would avenge the loss by a split decision over LaRosa, a match the would win “WMMA Match of the Year” for 2010. Four years later, fans want to see the rubber match between the two and Invicta would be a meaningful place to settle the series.
Marina Shafir and the featherweight division
Marina Shafir may not be signed to InvictaFC yet, but it’s hard not to see the rising star of the 145 division not be a part of the top female promotion in the world. Either way Shafir has a target on her back.
The major one is the current featherweight champion Cyborg Justino, who sees a win over Shafir as way to get UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey’s attention and goat her into a fight. Shafir state she wanted several fights first, but Cyborg was the ultimate goal.
Shafir doesn’t have an easy road ahead of her. Two other featherweights are wanting their shot at the rising prospect. Tuff-n-uff featherweight tournament champion Jessica Zomchik was on the way to facing Shafir, but Shafir decided to turn pro. Zomchik recently turned pro as well, and is still pursuing a match with Shafir.
Current InvictaFC signee Tamikka Brents has stated she wants make a name for herself getting a win over Shafir.
Lauren Murphy and Miriam Nakamoto
An injury ended their first match, but the bickering has heated up more since the match. Nakamoto felt she was winning until the injury, while Murphy felt she was taking the uphand. Without a clear winner, both have been on social media thowing verbal jabs at each other. We are still waiting for Nakamoto to heal up, which won’t be until at least the end of the year.