We’ve had a couple of UFC cards now without female fight and as you know, every fight in a still growing division can cause a mixup in the rankings.
Let’s break down the two upcoming female fights in the bantamweight division for UFC Fight Night 83.
The card takes place February 21st at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Donald Cerrone takes on Alex Oliveira in the welterweight main event.
The first matchup is Canadian Sarah Moras (4-3-0) vs. Lauren Murphy (8-2-0). These ladies haven’t had the start to the UFC that they would like, especially Murphy who had a perfect record before joining the UFC.
On the floor dead after sprints this morning and a nice shiner from last night pic.twitter.com/l1f925W0a0
— sarah moras (@sarahcheesecake) February 2, 2016
Moras went through the TUF house, and showed how her grappling put her ahead of the pack. However, they are unranked and not standing out amongst the bantamweights yet. Considering they are both basically in the same situation, they both need to go out pushing their game plan for this match. Lets look at what gameplans to expect. Moras, her key to success is her grappling and submission game. Moras doesn’t use her striking for anything other than to close the gap. Her hands are always a little low, and she is known for rushing in right at the sound of the bell.
Using this approach, she will rush Murphy, take things to the mat and pound out a TKO finish or ground-and-pound until a submission opens up. That’s what Moras will do. For Murphy, she is a striker. She throws a jab or single strike simply to close the gap or to corner her opponent. When cornered, she pounds her opponent with fists and elbows. She will continue to pound until the ref steps in. Blood? Murphy doesn’t care. She has brute force and will use it. What will make this fight entertaining is that both of these ladies will put it all out there.
— Jocelyn J Lybarger (@mmajocelyn) February 4, 2016
Moras will push the pace and Murphy will throw strikes and elbows. There will be blood, submission attempts, etc. I see Moras having the upper hand though, as Murphy doesn’t do well with people who grapple or wrestle her at a high pace. We saw that in her fight against Sara McMann. Murphy likes to have her distance when she wants it, to be controlling where the fight goes, to use her weapons. Moras doesn’t give her opponents time to think and I don’t see her changing that for Murphy. It should prove to be an exciting decision, as neither lady quits.
— Ashlee Evans-Smith (@AshleeMMA) January 21, 2016
The next fight has #12-ranked bantamweight Marion Reneau (6-2-0) vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith (3-1-0). Evans-Smith is coming off a nine-month suspension from her positive drug test in her UFC debut, so this fight is going to be like unleashing a caged animal. Evans-Smith is a powerful striker who can defend off her back. She has heart and a chin which we saw in her match against Fallon Fox.
She will come out and try to throw a flurry strikes right from the beginning. What will happen is Reneau will use one of her strengths, her ground game. Reneau is sneaky off her back, as well as powerful. Reneau will catch someone when they are sloppy which is something that tends to happen to Evans-Smith after firing a flurry of strikes. Reneau will weather the flurry and put Evans-Smith in some trouble.
Entertaining? Absolutely. These ladies are coming out to prove something, especially Evans-Smith. There may not have been many female fights in awhile, but the fights that are coming up are statement fights. It’s up to the ladies to to realize the Fight-of-the Night potential written all over their matchups.