ROAD FC recently announced the introduction of two new female weight classes for its “XX” offshoot.
The ROAD FC XX Heavyweight Division will feature fighters from Featherweight (145lbs) all the way up to Welterweight (175 lbs) while the ROAD FC XX Openweight Division will feature fighters from Middleweight (180 lbs) on up. ROAD FC plans to showcase fighters from across the globe, with plans to eventually introduce a world title belt for both divisions.
The organization is set to host an all-female event on December 23 which will be headlined by an atomweight world title fight between reigning champion Seo Hee Ham and challenger Jinh Yu Frey. Several fights in the new ROAD FC women’s “heavyweight” and “openweight” divisions are expected to be announced for the event in the near future.
WMMA Rankings takes a look at eight women who could be set to join the ROAD FC XX Openweight Division, featuring women middleweight (180 lbs) on up.
Garcia (4-0, 1 NC) is the number-one ranked women’s heavyweight fighter in the world. She has been hailed as a pioneer of the sport, thanks to helping bring mainstream attention to female heavyweight competitors in combat sports. She has a 100% finish rate, owning victories over top contenders including Destanie Yarbrough, Lei’D Tapa and Anna Maliukova. The Brazilian was a 10x BJJ World Champion prior to making the move to MMA. At 6’2 and well over 200-pounds, the 32-year-old believes she is the baddest woman on the planet. Garcia currently fights for RIZIN Fightin Federation, many fighters from the organization have also fought for ROAD FC which makes Garci a real possibility for the new division.
Kavaleva is a multiple-time kickboxing world champion. Standing at 6’5”, this heavyweight fighter is a seasoned champion of Karate, Kickboxing and Taekwondo. In 2015 she won a gold medal at the World Kickboxing Championships. Born in Belarus, Kavaleva now lives in Florida and trains at one of the best MMA teams in the world, the Combat Club. Kavaleva has expressed interest in competing as a professional mixed martial artist for over a year now, unfortunately no organization has booked her as of yet. The introduction of ROAD FC’s new division could mean fight fans will finally get to see Kavaleva in action sooner rather than later.
Nepomuceno (0-0) is a 185-pound kickboxing world champion who recently announced plans to transition to MMA. The 27-year-old trains at Gaia MMA with highly acclaimed head coach, Augusto Nasser. In 2015 she came second in the Kickboxing World Championships, with the 6″5ft heavyweight competitor, Katya Kavaleva, taking first place. The Brazilian has made it known for quite sometime that she would like to take on Gabi Garcia.
The 35-year-old, also known as “Alpha Female”, made a successful professional debut in October 2016, knocking out Manuela Kuhse in the second-round. However, she suffered a setback this past April, losing to King Reina by way of a second-round armbar submission. Despite the loss, Gabert still believes she is the best in the division and is keen to display the constant growth and improvements in her MMA game. Training out of the Planet Eater gym in Germany, Gabert also competes as a professional wrestler and has recently been doing work for the WWE.
Tapa (0-2 Pro) is also professional wrestler turned mixed martial artist. She made her professional MMA debut back in December 2015 when she took part in the first ever mainstream women’s heavyweight fight, losing out to Gabi Garcia by way of a first round TKO. To date she has been Garcia’s toughest opponent and even managed to knock the Brazilian down in the first round. She returned to action this past July, losing a decision to the number-one welterweight fighter in the world, King Reina. The fight was a back-and-forth war with Tapa stunning Reina on several occasions with her superior striking skills. Despite Tapa’s losses, it should be noted she has been taking on undefeated women who are ranked at number-one in their respective weight-classes.
New Zealand’s Renata Poa (1-0) made a successful professional debut this past August, earning a unanimous decision win over Ellen Carla Monteiro Rosa. Despite it only being her professional debut, the 31-year-old is by far one of the most experienced fighters in the division. She has enjoyed great success as an amateur, taking out all of New Zealand’s top heavyweights, with her sole loss coming by way of a disqualification, following a kick to a downed opponent.
Renata Poa on Social Media: Twitter
Carlette “The Truth” Ewell is a multiple-time women’s boxing world champion who recently announced the intention to make the transition to mixed martial arts. Ewell is a veteran of combat sports who has been fighting as a professional boxer since the year of 2002. In her fifteen year career she has notched up an impressive 16-9-1 record, including nine knockout victories. Her most notable victory comes against the number-one ranked heavyweight boxer in the world (at the time) Gwendolyn O’Neil. The 45-year-old was recently inducted into the Boxing Legends Hall of Fame for her contributions to the sport.
27-year-old Destanie Yarbrough made her professional MMA debut in April 2016, knocking out Crystal Parson in the very first round. She was quickly signed by RIZIN Fighting Federation, losing to Gabi Garcia in her promotional debut by way of a keylock submission. Despite the loss, Yarbrough is still considered one of the best heavyweight fighters in the world and has made it known she wants a rematch with Garcia, she plans to let her hands loose more if a second fight was to come to fruition.
Click HERE to view the WMMA middleweight-heavyweight world rankings.
Fight fans, are you excited for the new ROAD FC “openweight division” (180lbs+)? Who would you like to see compete? Let us know in the comments section below.