The first female Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) bout under the ONE FC fight promotion was held this past Saturday in Singapore’s Indoor Stadium. Singaporean Nicole Chua managed to defeat Jeet Toshi from India in her professional and promotional debut. Cheered on by a vocal crowd, she managed to submit her opponent in the first round.
Despite her victory, there are tons of holes in her fight arsenal and therein lies the problem with women MMA.
Leading up to the fight, Chau was marketed extensively to mainstream media and received numerous interviews and even a sat in the press conference that is usually reserved for the top four or six fighters of the evening. An accountant by day and a mixed martial artist by night, she was the most talked about fighter despite never being in a professional fight.
However, most MMA analysts and pundits saw this as a lopsided fight, and the most common prediction was victory by Knockout in the first round for Toshi, the seven-time India Kickboxing Champion.
On the night, Chua received the loudest cheers from the hometown crowd, casual and mainstream fans alike. A picture of calm, she got to work as soon as the bell rang. With Toshi having a clear advantage in the striking department, or at least on paper, Nicole smartly took the fight to the ground. A few pitter patter punches later, she slid her left arm under Toshi’s chin and locked in the Rear Naked Choke submission to end the bout as the crowd went wild.
Evidently, there is a demand for Women MMA. Nicole Chua received the loudest ovation from the crowd and she became an overnight sensation in the Singapore MMA circle. The next time ONE FC holds an event in Singapore, it is a near guarantee that she will find yet another spot on the card waiting for her.
The actual proceedings of the fight left more to be desired. With a kickboxing background, Toshi would have preferred to keep the fight on its fight. However, she was easily brought down by a telegraphed takedown attempt and despite most of Nicole Chua’s punches not finding its target, Toshi committed one of the most cardinal sins of MMA: giving up the mount position and leaving her chin exposed and not realising it fast enough.
Nicole Chua had no power in her punches. Jeet Toshi showed a lack of takedown defense and submission defense and general MMA knowledge. Yet they were able to find a spot on the card of what is arguably the largest MMA promotion in Asia. It is safe to say that if Jeet Toshi and Nicole Chua were not women, they would have been at the back of a long line of fighters clamouring for the opportunity.
Even Ronda Rousey, the Strikeforce Women Bantamweight Champion, won her title on only her fifth professional fight. Other than a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon like Jon Jones, it would take a miracle for any male fighter to win a major title in that amount of fights. Clearly, the quality of Women MMA has to improve if it persevere in the harsh MMA circuit.
Photo Credit- Tracy Lee (www.combatlifestyle.com)