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.

WMMA Press 2015 Fight of the Year: Andrea Lee and Rachael Ostovich

Courtesy Scott Hirano/ Invicta FC

When Andrea Lee versus Rachael Ostovich was announced at InvictaFC 14, most fans expected a Fight of the Night match-up. The bout didn’t disappoint.

Two of the up and coming flyweights put on a show for the fans, starting with a war on the feet with Ostovich proving her toughness against the amazing striking of Lee. Lee did not let up in round 3 as she continued to look for a finish and got the armbar under the wire at 4:58.

Both will look to be flyweight champion this year as Invicta looks to crown a new queen in a tournament that will begin at InvictaFC 15 in Vegas March 11.

Congratulations to Andrea lee and Rachael Ostovich, winners of the WMMA Press 2015 Fight of the Year.

You can hear Andrea Lee accept her award here.

Holly Holm Takes the WMMA Press 2015 Fighter and KO of the Year

holm winnerIt took one match to change the landscape of the bantamweight division.

UFC champion Holly Holm shocked the world in doing something no one else had: beat Ronda Rousey. The win and her year at 3-0 sealed her not only to win the WMMA Press Award for Bantamweight of the Year, but overall Fighter of the Year for 2015.

Holm took only nine months in the UFC to become champion. With wins over Raquel Pennington and Marion Reneau, the UFC jumped Holm in front of the line to face Rousey for the belt. The decision didn’t disappoint.

Holm ‘s knockouts by kicks were well known before her UFC run, and hear head kick KO of Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 this past November also garnered her the KO of the year.

Congratulations to Holly Holm – WMMA Press Awards 2015 Bantamweight, Knockout, and  Fighter of the Year.

Angela Lee Takes WMMA Press 2015 Newcomer & Submission Award

angela lee 01One Championships has one of the top prospect in MMA and she has taken home two WMMA Press Awards.

Angela Lee made her pro debuted in 2015 with four straight wins. Her nickname “Unstoppable” is an apt one as she has finished in all of her fights. This was more apparent in her submission of Natalie Gonzales Hills at One Championships 33 this past November, pulling off the rare twister submission.

The Hawaiian strawweight has found a solid home at One Championships, but we won’t be surprised if the UFC or Invicta comes knocking on her door.

Congratulations to Angela Lee – the 2015 WMMA Press award winner for Newcomer and Submission of the Year.

You can watch her Submission of the Year below.

Nunes vs. Shevchenko Added to Now UFC 196

Valentina Schevchenko

A match that could see a new contender for the UFC bantamweight title has been booked for the now re-named UFC 196.

Amanda Nunes looks to solidify her spot as she takes on up and coming Valentina Shevchenko in Las Vegas March 5th.

Nunes (11-4) has won back to back fights since her loss to Cat Zingano, and finished in all of her wins. The American Top Team member has been in the hunt for a title shot.

Shevchenko (12-1) was impressive in her UFC debut, defeating a ranked Sarah Kaufman on short notice. Having won multiple kickboxing world titles, she has an underrated ground game.

With the renaming of the February 6th card to a UFC Fight Night, UFC 197 has changed its name to UFC 196, which will feature bantamweight champion Holly Holm defending her title for the first time against Miesha Tate.

The Nunes versus Shevchenko fight will most likely air on Fox Sports 1.

Wombat Watercoler: Invicta Announces Tenative Year Schedule; Ham vs. Rawlings Booked


Invicta has mapped out its year according to President Shannon Knapp on Sherdog’s “Beatdown”.

Five dates were announced, with a possibility to add another if the promotion decides.

The first was already known, March 11 at the Joint in the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Eight fighters have been announced for the card, while matches will start to be announced this week:

  • Irene Aldana
  • Alex Grasso
  • Andrea Lee
  • Stephanie Eggink
  • Vanessa Porto
  • Kelly McGill
  • Jennifer Maia
  • Roxanne Modafferi

The card is expected to be the beginning of

The rest of the years pans out this way:

  • May 7 – Orange County, California (tentative)
  • July 2 – Las Vegas, Nevada (set)
  • Sept 23 – Orange County, California (tentative)
  • Nov. 18 – TBA (tentative)

Alexa Connors has signed to Invicta.

Connors (7-1 amateur) has won four straight, all by finishes. The South Carolinian is much needed in the Invicta bantamweight division. Her debut is yet to be announced.

Charmaine Tweet will not be on the InvictaFC 16 card, but will see action that same weekend.

Tweet will face featherweight standout Jesse Miele for the inaugural Prestige featheweight title at their second event March 12 in Regina, Canada. Top MMA News broke the news Monday.

Tweet (7-5) is coming off a  TKO win over Anna Baron in their trilogy match in October on Prestige’s debut event. Miele (5-2) has been making strides of her own, coming off a submission win over Jamie Driver earlier this month.

No word on if this will be streamed.

Tweet also announced she has signed a new four fight deal with Invicta and looks to fight again for them soon.

12552831_10207591612443661_8772681610839050160_nThe worst kept secret in MMA was finally announced.

Joanna jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha will coach the Ultimate Fighter 23, which will air on Fox Sports 1 starting March 20. The cast will be made up for female strawweights and male light heavyweights. The cast will be announced soon.

The season will culminate July 8th in Vegas on the live finale. The main event sees the rematch between Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha, this time for Jedrzejczyk’s strawweight title. The match will air on Fox Sports 1.

Bec Rawlings will once again fight in her home country.

Rawlings will face Seo Hee Ham at UFC Fight Night in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia March 20th.

Rawlings (6-4) is coming off a win over Lisa Ellis after dropping her official UFC debut to Heather Clark. She is returning from a leg injury.

Ham (16-6) is the former JEWELS atomweight champion and is coming off a fight of the night performance win over Cortney Casey in a short notice fight for Casey. Ham would lose her UFC debut to Joanna Calderwood in a three round war on short notice.

UFC Fight Night Brisbane will air on Fox Sports 1 March 20.

DEEP JEWELS has announced its full card for its card March 6th.

Deep Jewels Strawweight Champion Mizuki Inoue, fresh off her win at Invicta, will take on Nori Date in the co-main event.

Shootbox champ Yukari Yamaguchi will lok for her second win in MMA as she takes on Hana Date.

The main event will feature Emi Tomimatsu taking on Saori Ishioka.

Here is the complete card:

  • Emi Tomimatsu vs Saori Ishioka (105)
  • Mizuki Inoue vs Nori Date (115)
  • Yukari Yamaguchi vs Hana Date (105)
  • Mina Kurobe vs Renju Date (105)
  • Pan Hui vs Real Date (105)
  • Natsumi Sugie vs. Kana Inamura (100; amateur bout)
  • Tomo Maesawa vs. Natsumi Mukai (115; grappling)
  • Satomi Takano vs. Mei Umeo (Kickboxing)

The Kansas State Athletic Commission has made a sweeping change to their weigh-in policy.

Starting with Bellator 150, fighters can officially weigh-in early between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  Kansas time before the streaming ones at 4 p.m. If they miss weight when they do hit the scales, even if they do it early, they will have two hours to make weight.

Bellator 150 sees Lena Ovchynnikova take on Rebecca Ruth in a flyweight match that will air on Spike February 26.

Ronda Rousey’s coach Edmond Tarverdyan may not be able to corner fighters for quite a while.

News came out last week Tarverdyan’s corner’s license has been revoked in California and he is looking to appeal the ruling. The California State Athletic Commission noted that Tarverdyan lied on his application for a license, as he put “No” under  regarding his past criminal offenses in his April 2015 application. In December 2010, he plead “no contest” 2 counts of misdemeanors identity theft and one count of resisting arrest. He was sentenced to one day in jail, 30 days community service a $610 fine, and was put on three years probation, and .

The appeal hearing will be February 2.

Sports Droppings is reporting UFC star Juliana Pena will be in court February 23 in Spokane, Washington on charges pending from an incident at the Zola Bar & Grill December 20th. Pena is charged with two misdemeanor charges of assault in the 4th degree . The maximum sentence is 1 year in county jail and $5,000 fine.

The UFC have yet to make any formal comment on the matter, but we expect Pena will be out of action until the matter is resolved.

Cyborg Justino Takes the WMMA Press 2015 Featherweight of the Year Award

Cris Cyborg Justino vs Charmaine Tweet
Justino Courtesy Esther Lynn/InvictaFC

Hard not to say Cris “Cyborg” Justino had a stellar, but brief year inside the cage.

The most dominate woman in MMA only fought 91 seconds last year in MMA, having gone 2-0 as InvictaFC featherweight champion. With Ronda Rousey losing in 2015, the “Baddest Woman on the Planet” defaults to the current 145 title holder.

Hard to see anyone topping Cyborg in 2016, but the prospect of superfights may give her at least some action.

The WMMA Press Committee congratulates Cris “Cyborg” Justino as its 2015 Featherweight of the Year.

2015 WMMA Press Promotion of the Year – UFC

ufc-logo-silverThe UFC continued to expand its roster and female fights in 2015.

The promotion held 44 female bouts his past year, more than any promotion. With two high profile divisions and one of the biggest upsets of the year happen inside the octagon, it was a banner year for the UFC.

2016 already sees two title matches with Holly Holm defending her belt against Miesha Tate in March and Joanna Jedrzejczyk defending hers against Claudia Gadhela. Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha will also be coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 23, training a new crop of strawweights.

The WMMA Press Committee is happy to award the Promotion of the Year to the UFC.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk Takes Home 2015 WMMA Press Award for Strawweight of the Year

joanna-flag b

The UFC strawweight champ had a breakout year in 2015.

Having won her belt in only her third fight in the promotion, she would defend it twice this past year.

The champ also became a media darling outside the cage. Her confidence and swagger along with the friendliness and access to fans has made her one of the most popular female fighters around in only a year’s time.

Jędrzejczyk looks to continue her run in 2016 and contributing back the female divisions. This includes coaching The Ultimate Fighter 23 and defending her title against Claudia Gadhela 0n July 8th.

The WMMA Press Committee is honored in giving Joanna Jędrzejczyk the Strawweight Fighter of the year.


Ashley Cummins and Celine Haga – 2015 WMMA Press Inspirational Fighters of the Year

celine haga 01
ashley cummins 01

It was hard to select just one person who inspired the WMMA community this year, so the committee decided to honor two of them.

Both of these athletes are inspirations in different ways. One mounted one of the biggest comebacks in female fighting history while the other helps keep the streets safe while putting on great fights in the cage.

Police Detective Ashley Cummins fought in Invicta only weeks after the the Ferguson riots settled down. InvictaFC president Shannon Knapp offered Cummins a chance to fight on another card, but Cummins didn’t want to disappoint the fans.

Cummins is usually quiet about what she does, but she is a prime example of a great police officer. She helps abandoned and abused animals, she has made several heroic saves in her career, and is a mentor to several young fighters in the area.

You can listen to Cummins receive her award here.


Our other award winner doesn’t know the word quit. Going 1-11 in her first 12 fights, she went on to win four straight, gain a title shot, and won seven of her past 9 fights.

Celine Haga has fought around the world and has been a staple of the female fighting community for six years. Any fighter who loses four or five fights might hang up the gloves or find something else. Haga hung in there and is now one of the hottest prospects in MMA.

Haga talked to us about winning the award and her advice to athletes.


Wombat Sports: We have seen you come back from a huge losing streak to winning some big matches. How did you keep going through the losses to keep fighting and not just giving up?

Celine Haga: Sometimes I don’t even know myself. They say never give up a thing that if you can’t go a day without thinking about, and that’s how I felt. I knew deep inside that i was better than what I’ve been able to show so far, and I didn’t want all my losses to be for nothing. I used to google “worst rec in history” wondering if my pic would show up. It didn’t, but I saw a lot of bad records out there and they had one thing in common; they never started to win. They just lost and lost and lost..used as stepping stones. I wanted to be an example that everything is possible with hard work and dedication. That even after 1-11 you can turn it around. It also encourage people who do lose a “few” fights to not to give up.

Wombat: What advice would you give to a fighter who have fallen on a bad point in their career?

Haga: Best advice is to learn from your losses, but don’t look where you don’t want to be. Focus on where you want to go next. Train hard. Be consistent. Stay focused!”

Wombat: Anyone you’d like to thank?

Haga: Would thank those who believed in me when things were not going my way, especial Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA, AACC, Joachim Hansen, Valhall Gym and my family and all my true friends who know who they are.

You can read the complete winners of the WMMA Press awards and learn about the committee here.


InvictaFC 15 Aftermath: Where Do the Go from here

Cyborg vs Ibragimova_005
Cyborg Justino

With six finishes in seven fights, InvictaFC came into the year like a lion.

Cyborg retained her title in usual fashion, while Livia Souza solidifies her spot atop the InvictaFC strawweights. Schneider played bantamweight spoiler to Raquel Pa’aluhi’s title hopes, and Mizuki Inoue got a much need win.

The results brings up more questions than answers.

Here is outlook for the winners and loser of InvictaFC 15.

Photos Courtesy Scott Hirano/Invicta FC


Cris “Cyborg” Justino

Cleaning your division means you have little options in fights. Justino has pretty much bulldozed the featherweight competition in front of her. The hope of superfights are tough with Ronda Rousey out and Holly Holm and Miesha Tate set to battle for the bantamweight strap. In Invicta, Amanda Bell needs a win to be in the hunt, as does Ediane Gomes.

Then who is next?

The only top 15 fighter that would make any sense is undefeated LaToya Walker, who destroyed Peggy Morgan at InvictaFC 12.

Invicta’s July’s event makes the most sense for this fight.

Souza vs Bennett_003Livia Sousa

The strawweight champ went on record that she wants to be signed to the UFC. With her first round defeat of DeAnna Bennett, it is hard for her not to get the call. If the past few months have proven anything, she can sell herself and a fight.

If the UFC doesn’t call right away, Alexa Grasso makes sense if she wins her fight in March.

Schneider vs Paaluhi_017

Colleen Schneider

Defeating the #1 contender for the bantamweight strap, Colleen Schneider has pretty much put herself in the front of the line for a title shot against Tonya Evinger. InvictaFC 16 or 17 most likely depending on if she was injured or is on medical suspension.

Brown vs VanHoose_004

Amber Brown

Amber Brown has got to be the next one to face atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki. Like Schneider, a fight on 16 or 17 hinges on if she came out unsaved and doesn’t have a medical suspension. It is not known if Hamasaki will be on the upcoming DEEP-JEWELS in February so more than likely Brown may have to wait for 17 or the July card.


Angela Hill

Hill looked great in her InvictaFC debut, but is still a fight or two before getting into the title hunt. Amy Montenegro and Delaney Owen make the most sense as her next test, hinging on if either is TUF 23 bound. If so, Lacey Schuckman would be an interesting test.

Inoue vs Schuckman_006

Mizuki Inoue

Mizuki learned her lesson from her match with Alexa Grasso and was more aggressive in her win. She is back in the title hunt once again, but will have to wait to see if Grasso wins her fight to see her fate. Mizuki still has her DEEP-JEWELS strap to defend, so she can bide her time. A match with DeAnna Bennett could also be fruitful.

Megan Anderson

The featherweights outside of Cyborg is still developing. Anderson saw much improvement moving to the states, and looked dominate in her win. Short list includes Amanda Bell, Charmaine Tweet, and Faith Van Duin.

The Defeated

Daria Ibragimova

Ibragimova was signed a bantamweight, so after her wounds heal, she will be heading down to try her luck there. Jesse Rose-Clark or Pannie Kianzad would be a great test for her experience.

DeAnna Bennett

DeAnna Bennett suffered her first loss, but she has options. A move back to 125 isn’t put of the question and could be fruitful with the title vacant. She maybe a good option as a tournament alternate.

On the strawweight side, a match with Mizuki could get her back in the hunt for the title.

Raquel Pa’aluhi

It is back to the drawing board for Pa’aluhi to get a shot at the gold. Like Ibragimova, the two that makes the most sense are Jesse-Rose Clark or Pannie Kianzad.

Shino VanHoose

It was a last minute fight, but VanHoose hung in there against a much strong Amber Brown. Lisa Ellis would be a good match, although newcomers Tessa Simpson or a returning Simona Soukkupova would be great as well.

Alida Gray

Having two straight losses in Invicta isn’t good, especially in a stacked strawweight division. She may need to fight outside the company to get a solid win before moving back in, like Peggy Morgan has done.

Lacey Schuckman

The Mizuki loss was only a minor step back for Schuckman, who has proven to be a fan favorite win or lose. Norma Reuda Center took a last minute fight with DeAnna Bennett and lost, but would be interesting to see these two scrap. Angela Hill, Delaney Owen, or Amy Montenegro could also be likely matches.

Amber Liebrock

Gaining her first loss, it will be hard to find her a comparable opponent in what is a small pool. Andria Warwo is the one that makes sense of those who signed to Invicta, but if Invicta can bring in some more young talent to the division if would be preferable.

Russian Julia Berezikova Wins WMMA Press 2015 Flyweight of the Year

Julia Berezikova 2Flyweight was one of the most difficult awards to be decided by the WMMA Awards Committee this year.

With no lack of talent, the division seemed to shine this year and has been pushed by many fans to campaign for it to be included in the UFC. This took several votes by the committee, but it was Julia Berezikova who took home the award by one vote.

Having gone 2-0 this year, Berezikova started with a Submission of the Year nominated kneebar at XFC International 9. She would get her second win by TKO in her native Russia this past October.

Berezikova will look to win the XFC Flyweight tournament this year.

The WMMA Committee congratulates Julia Berezikova the 2015 WMMA Press Flyweight of the Year.