This was so far an historic year for women’s divisions in MMA. Beside breaking the glass ceiling in the UFC and InvictaFC going into the PPV market, this has already has been the most successful and fruitful years for the talented WMMA athletes.
This includes the matches, that has delivered on many levels. The past six month has raised the bar for the coveted “Match of the Year” award. Here are the front runners.
Leslie Smith vs. Sarah Kaufman – InvictaFC 5
It’s rare that you go into a Leslie Smith or Sarah Kaufman match thinking it will be boring. So when the match was announced at InvictaFC 5, it was quickly stated it would be the match of the night, and it didn’t disappoint.
After a three round slugfest, Kaufman came away with razor thin split decision, much to the dismay of the Kansas City fans.
No clue why the UFC hasn’t snatched up Miss Smith yet, but she is making her move down to flyweight to go against Jennifer Maia in a few weeks at InvictaFC 6.
Kaufman will also have her hands full at the UFC, facing undefeated Sara McMann at Fox Sports 1-2 on August 28.
Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche – UFC 157
Outside this being the first ever female match ever in the UFC, the first ever female title match, and the first female match to main event an UFC, the match between champion Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche got people out of their chairs early in what was one of the most exciting first rounds this year.
Carmouche had Rousey in trouble early, with many seeing a glimer of hope that Rousey’s armbar streak could be over. Rousey was able to battle back and work the armbar with 11 seconds left in the round. So far Carmouche holds the record for the longest match with the champ.
Next for the two – Rousey will face rival Miesha Tate at UFC 168 in Vegas December 28, Carmouche will take on UFC debuter Jessica Andrade at UFC on Fox 8 in Seattle July 27.
Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano – The Ultimate Fighter Finale
One of two matches that made three of the four Mid-year categories, Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano battled in what saw Tate gain control early on the ground and Zingano mount a solid comeback. It made Zingano a star, yet still showed that Tate was a solid force in the UFC.
Zingano will wait in the wings as she will take on the winner of Rousey vs. Tate.
Michelle Waterson vs. Jessica Penne – InvictaFC 5
Who says that the ground game is boring?
In what was expected to be a stand-up war, Jessica Penne and Michelle Waterson played an active chess match on the ground with scrambles and submission attempts by both fighters. Waterson would get the armbar and the belt in the end, with many clamoring for a rematch.
Penne will be facing veteran fighter Nicdali Rivera-Colonac at InvictaFC 6 in a few weeks to get back into title contention. Waterson will most likely defend her belt this fall.
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