While more known for her journeyman boxing career, in which she won the IFBA and WIBA Flyweight titles, Elena Reid's move to MMA has proven far more impressive.
She burst onto the young WMMA scene when she faced reality television starlet Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson. Going into the bout an underdog, she would dominate in a high-octane striking match that opened the eyes of many in the hardcore MMA community.
Following the win, Reid returned to the cage for Extreme Beatdown 's next show, defeating veteran Masako Yoshida via TKO, to claim their Flyweight title.
At the age of 29, Reid still has some development left to do. Her ground game is suspect, and it's a problem she'll need to solve soon if she's going to survive in a grappling-rich weight division. However, her boxing base gives her gifts that normally aren't seen from the smaller women in the sport today.
Her ability to slip punches is among the best in women's mixed martial arts. She has power in both hands, and she has also shown she's willing to work the body, something rarely seen in the sport right now.
With grapplers like Miku Matsumoto and Megumi Fujii dominating the lower classes, the sky is the limit for her if she can round out her base at the world-renown Arizona Combat Sports. It's only a matter of time, and a question of her commitment to the sport.
Perhaps she's not one to ever get major acclaim here in the states. However, Elena “Baby Doll” Reid has the chance to be to a star player in the promotions that have a 115-pound division.
With her slick counterpunching she can challenge fighters in ways others before her could not, and that's how we learn the most about fighters. It's fighters like her that will round out the female divisions, making her one to watch going forward.