5 Women's MMA Bouts To Keep an Eye On For the Remainder of February.
Amanda Nunes vs. Ediane “India” Gomes, Bitetti Combat 6, February 25th
A battle between Brazil's best 145lb female fighters is probably the most competitive fight on Bitetti Combat's sixth card. With that said Gomes is coming off a seventeen month layoff to take this fight, and her opponent is coming off a breakthrough performance against respected veteran Vanessa Porto.
The style matchup also favors the “Lioness of the Ring” as she's the least stiff of the two on the feet. Gomes has always put herself in bad positions on the floor against soft competition, which she can't afford to do in this fight. Overall, the bout will be a huge feather in the winners cap moving forward.
Sarah Kaufman vs. Takayo Hashi, Strikeforce Challengers 6, February 26th
Strikeforce finally gets around to crowning a women's 135lb champion at Strikeforce's sixth Challengers event. Luckily for us good fights come to those who wait as we'll see two of FeMMA's best go head-to-head.
Hashi's game is entirely dependent on getting her opposition to the floor and gaining positional dominance. She's not afraid to go for submissions. However in her 13 career bouts she's only managed to finish four of them, and she's been far more conservative against opposition she feels is at her level.
Despite the lack of prolific submission skills, she's still a major threat if this fight stays on the floor for any extended length of time. I question how she'll react if the leather starts falling as the majority of her bouts have been fought under a smörgåsbord of differing rules on ground strikes. Also the switch to full 25 minute title fights won't help matters.
Kaufman needs to keep control of where this fight takes place. If she can dictate position—which she's done in all of her past fights against top opposition—this could turn into the Miesha Tate fight all over again. If not we could see a bit of an upset.
Kelly Kobold vs. Jessica Kinnetz, Brutaal, February 26th
Kelly Kobold returns to mixed-martial-arts for the first time since her bout with Gina Carano. Riding a three fight losing streak—to three of the best women in the sport—and coming off a sixteen month hiatus, she'll get a well earned tune-up bout before hopefully moving on to bigger things.
Revelina “Nana” Berto vs. Yvonne Reis, RFC 20: Stacked, February 26th
“Nana” will get back into the ring after at a layoff of nearly a year taking on journeyman boxer Yvonne Reis in a bout that will be over rather quickly. Even still it's worth keeping an eye on one of FeMMA's best 145lb prospects, and the applicator of one of my all-time favorite submissions on Jessica Bednark.
Carina Damm vs. Aline Sergio, Jungle Fight 16, February 27th
Carina Damm stays active and looks to stretch her win streak to an impressive ten fights in a tune-up situation. Damm, who's been on the outside of the 125lb picture since being upset by Rosi Sexton in 2006, and a steroid scandal in 2008, will look to continue her road back into the top tier of the sport with a win on Saturday.
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