Tag Archives: WMMA Press

Katja Kankaanpää Takes WMMA Press Award for Submission of the Year

Katja Kankaanpää 01
Courtesy Esther Lin/InvictaFC

In what was one of the closest votes among the WMMA Press Awards committee, InvictaFC strawweight champion Katja Kankaanpää is taking home the “Submission of the Year”.

The champion got the award for her d’arce choke finish over Stephanie Eggink in round 5 to win the vacant 115 title in September. This was a come from behind submission, as Eggink was up on the score cards. Fifth round submissions are rare, as is a d’arce choke in pro MMA bouts in general.

Kankaanpää has tasted defeat only once in her career, and has yet to be finished. It was her forth submission and her second d’arce choke win.

We talked to Kankaanpää about her award win.


Wombat Sports: Congrats on the winning the “Submission of the Year”. What does it mean for you to get the award in what was a hard fought match?

Katja Kankaanpää: I´m very taken about the award. The fight and opponent was very hard. I´m happy I won. It´s gives me extra pleasure that I won by choke what is my favorite technique.

Wombat: The submission win gave you the Invicta strawweight title. What does it mean to bring then title back to Finland?

Kankaanpää:  I have received a lot of encouragement from back home and when I managed to win in tough place and bring the title to Finland, it was a pretty awesome feeling. MMA is marginal sport in Finland and with my victory MMA has received positive publicity in the Finnish media which is really great for increasing awareness of the sport.

W.S.: You just signed a new three fight contract with Invicta. How excited are you for 2015 and defending your title?

K.K.:  I`m very excited. I can´t wait for my next fight. I know that the other girls from our division want to win the belt from me so it gives me extra motivation.

W.S.:  Is there anyone you’d like to thank/add?

K.K.: Thank you for the award and thanks to fans and everyone who voted me. i`m really honored.

Amanda Lino Takes WMMA Press Amateur of the Year Award

amanda_linoIn what was a hotly contested race, Amanda Lino is the first fighter outside of the United States to be named the WMMA Press Awards Amateur Fighter of the Year. The WMMA Press committee announced their selection Monday.

The South African Lino went 6-0 in 2014, this includes winning the initial IMMAF World Featherweight title in Las Vegas this past summer. She had finished in all of her wins, never seeing a third round.

She accepted the award on the Wombat Sports podcast Monday morning. You can hear her accept her award here.

Tuff-n-uff Creator Barry Meyer Honored with WMMA Press Legacy Award

barry meyer 03The WMMA Press committee will from time to time on a deserving basis give out the “Legacy Award” to honor an individual who has helped shape and pioneer women’s MMA.

This year we will give that honor to Barry Meyer (posthumously), who helped run Tuff-n-uff MMA helping develop female amateur mixed martial arts and helped create stars such as Ronda Rousey.

Meyer started the promotion in 1994 but would hold his first amateur MMA event in 2003. He held what would be one of the first all female amateur events in July 2009. Since then, Tuff-n-uff has helped groom Rousey, Marina Shafir, Tonya Evinger, Jessamyn Duke, the Lybarger twins, among others to become stars in MMA.

He also was instrumental in helping Mia Hayes fight for the promotion. Hayes, a cancer patient, wanted to live the dream of being a mma fighter, and Meyer was able to set up a fight under the Tuff-n-uff banner.  Meyer established the “Might Mia” Inspirational Fighter of the Year award, an award the WMMA Press has also adopted.

Meyer passed in 2013 but his legacy still continues with his brother Jeff, who has established tournaments to help develop stars for Invicta.

Barry Meyer touch so many involved in the women’s divisions that he more than deserves to be our Legacy Award winner this year.

You can listen to Jeff Meyer accept the award here.