UFC Fight Night 85 went down Saturday night and we were treated to two solid fights in the women’s strawweight and bantamweight divisions.
Leslie Smith, as expected, used her height and reach and just enough takedown defence to score points to defeat Japanese grappler Rin Nakai by unanimous decision.
Thanks to my Coaches and my corners and my sparring partners and my teammates, Jongsanan, Moses… https://t.co/wEVNW7yXw0
— Leslie Smith (@LeslieSmith_GF) March 20, 2016
— Cesar Gracie (@CesarGracieBJJ) March 20, 2016
— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) March 20, 2016
Nakai had a lot of good moments in the match on the ground, but it’s clear she needs to improve her striking and defence.
Rin Nakai is 8 feet 7 to opponents on the ground #UFCBrisbane
— Kenai Andrews (@KenaiAndrews) March 20, 2016
Yes she is Kenai, and she does have a good chin, but could have slipped a few more of Leslie’s punches. Once she has her opponent on the ground, she needs to be more ferocious there.
Rin Nakai will be back.
The other bout kicked off the main card. Bec Rawlings defeated Seo Hee Ham in what I thought was a questionable unanimous decision win. I thought Ham won two of the rounds, using her volume striking.
The stats according to UFC.com showed the shorter Ham outstruck Rawlings 119 to 90 and even landed more significant strikes (92 for Ham to 77 for Rawlings). Clearly, the judges were more impressed with Rawlings, who did initiate most of the exchanges.
— Bec Rawlings (@RowdyBec) March 21, 2016
What do you think of this?
— ScoreCardMMA.com (@ScoreCardMMA) March 15, 2016
Very interesting to see Cyborg at #5. But too many fighters on the list are still in the prime of their careers. Let’s see how that plays out, as that will shake down this list accordingly.
Dern will turn 23 -years-old March 24th and it will be interesting to see her apply her BJJ skills to the cage. Legacy is where Holly Holm learned the MMA ropes, so the MMA future for Dern looks bright.
2016 Feather Weight Pan American Champion!! I'm really happy to be able to defend the title! Thank you to my… https://t.co/p0RBUryTAM
— MackenzieDern (@MackenzieDern) March 21, 2016
Apple’s Spring event today had me thinking: Why aren’t these companies sponsoring fighters? A fighter like Cyborg or Jinh Yu Frey hawking a FitBit wearable or an Apple Watch or Galaxy S7 Edge would not only generate instant street-cred with MMA fans but cross over into the mainstream. These devices seem to sell themselves when you partner them with the athletes who can best show off their abilities.
A quick Happy Birthday shoutout to MMA Crossfire, who turns 6-years-old tomorrow! Time flies when you’re having fun.