MMA’s top promotion, UFC, has a ton of talent on its roster– and the women’s flyweight division is no exception.
UFC’s last season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) was based on introducing and crowning the inaugural women’s flyweight champion. It turned out being a fabulous season with fun fights every Wednesday night. A virtual unknown fighter came out of the tournament as the winner and first ever UFC women’s flyweight champion. It was then that Nicco Montano stole the hearts of MMA fans worldwide– and gained a huge target on her back by 125-pound contenders all over.
Aside from champion Nicco Montano, there are other fighters in the division that need fights. The following are some of fights the UFC can make in order to keep the women’s dlyweight division rolling!
Champion Nicco Montano versus Valentina Shevchenko
Nicco Montano (4-2) was a dark horse in the TUF tournament. She was an unknown fighter to most. Yet Montano proved every fight she has the true warrior spirit. Even in the Finale, she fought with a broken foot and won where she would beat Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision in a fight that won Fight of the Night honors. In just her fourth professional fight, Montano won the King of the Cage Flyweight championship – 2 fights later she was crowned the inaugural UFC Women’s Flyweight champion!
Although Nicco Montano has yet to defend her Women’s Flyweight strap, a title defense is on the horizon. Valentina Shevchenko (15-3) fits the bill as a potential opponent for Nicco Montano and her championship. After fighting at Bantamweight in all of her fights, Shevchenko moved to Flyweight. In her Flyweight debut Valentina Shevchenko absolutely mauled Priscilla Cachoeira until she finally put a rear-naked choke to finish the fight in the 2nd round. The former Bantamweight title contender has solidified herself as a Flyweight title contender with just one fight in the division. Her resume is that good.
In order for Montano to get the respect she deserves, it seems she will have to beat an opponent like Shevchenko. For the UFC this is a win-win scenario. Montano beats a darling like Shevchenko and she will be beloved. If Shevchenko wins, the UFC gets a champion they’ve wanted to push for years. The fans win too. As this will be a great fight between two fighters who are down to for a stand-up brawl.
jennifer maia versus Alexis davis
Invicta Flyweight champion Jennifer Maia (15-4-1) has signed a UFC contract. Now she needs a fight. With a few losses to decent opponents in the middle of her career, it looks as if Maia has figured the fight game out. In the second stint of her career fighting under the Invicta banner, Maia is on a three fight win streak. At Invicta 16 Maia avenged an earlier loss to fellow Brazilian Vanessa Porto to win the Interim Flyweight championship. Maia has defended the title twice since winning it in March of 2016. In that span, two of her fights have won Fight of the Night honors and in her last fight she won a Performance of the Night. Jennifer Maia might simply be the best Women’s Flyweight in the world.
Like Valentina Shevchenko, Alexis Davis (19-7) has moved from the Bantamweight division to the Flyweight division. For years, Davis has been regarded as one of the best Bantamweight fighters in the world. Now, she will attempt to be one of the best fighting at 125 lbs. In her Flyweight debut last December, Davis beat Liz Carmouche by decision. This win solidified Alexis Davis was ready to be one of the best in the world in the Flyweight division. Davis has been in the cage with some of the best in the world; Ronda Rousey, Amanda Nunes, amongst others. Although she lost to Rousey at UFC 175, she did beat Nunes in Strikeforce. Davis is game for a fight as is Jennifer Maia. This would be a great welcome to the UFC fight for Maia and a wonderful test for Davis.
Roxanne Modafferi versus Katlyn chookaGIAN
Although Roxanne Modafferi (21-14) lost in the TUF Finale to now champion Nicco Montano, she remains a fan favorite and a fun fighter to watch. Modafferi is a pioneer in Women’s MMA – her first professional fight was in 2003. To still competing at the highest level and fighting for championships is an accomplishment on its own. Now Roxanne Modafferi needs a fight. Katlyn Chookagian fits into the equation.
Having already fought her previous 3 fights in the UFC as a Bantamweight, Katlyn Chookagian (10-1) made her Flyweight debut earlier this year at UFC on Fox 27. Chookagian beat Mara Romero Borella by unanimous decision in her Flyweight debut. With just one loss in eleven fights Katlyn Chookagian is ready for a run in the UFC’s Flyweight division. A win against one of the top Flyweights like Modafferi would shoot her up the rankings and put Katlyn Chookagian in position to be a fight or two away from a title fight.
Barb honchak versus jessica-rose clark
In 2013 Barb Honchak (10-3) was crowned the inaugural Invicta Flyweight champion by beating Vanessa Porto. She went on to defend her title 2 times where she would win both fights by unanimous decision. After her last win in late 2014 Honchak left the sport. The former champion didn’t return to MMA until she was invited to be on UFC’s TUF 26 show. Honchak’s return was well received by fans and fighters alike – she was a beloved champion. At 38-years-old Barb Honchak is back and ready to make another run at a championship – this time in the UFC!
Two fights in the UFC and two wins! Jessica-Rose Clark (9-4, 1 NC) has made her arrival to the UFC Flyweight division an impressive one. In her debut, Clark beat Australian country mate Bec Rawlings at UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney, Australia. Less than a month later Clark welcomed hyped UFC starlette Paige VanZant to the Flyweight division by giving her a loss in her division debut. Clark is a spark plug ready to blow. With two wins in the division and another against a fighter like Honchak, we could potentially see Jessica-Rose Clark continue to climb up the rankings!
What UFC flyweight matches would you like to see made?