Flyweight Mariya Agapova (8-1) ground and pounded her way to a TKO victory over Marilia Santos (10-4), with only a couple of seconds left in the first round.
FEATURED IMAGE: DAVE MANDEL/INVICTA FC
Kazakhstan’s Agapova was deemed as the aggressor, although she anticipated a different type of fight.
“I just got such a moment, and the battle was stopped. I didn’t understand anything at the beginning,” Agapova said. “The plan was completely different; it was an improvisation.”
She couldn’t believe how the first round panned out. Nerves were jumping all over the place, she added.
American Top Team’s coach Gabriel de Oliveira wanted Agapova to maintain the fight on her feet and break down Santos’ endurance, knowing that the Brazilian has a solid background in jiu-jitsu.
At the halfway point of the first round, Agapova came forward with a combination of power shots, backed up Santos, then the Brazilian clinched and pulled Agapova to the ground into her guard.
Santos tried to pin Agapova’s head and set up an armbar, but the Kazakh escaped as she transitioned on top, and sealed the TKO victory with multiple elbow strikes.
“Mariya did well in her stand up for about two minutes and-a-half, but then she put herself in danger by shortening the distance, though her opponent couldn’t get the takedown,” Oliveira said in Portuguese. “She [Santos] tried the armlock twice, but our fighter was more forceful on ground and pound.”
Agapova looks to get another shot at the UFC. She appeared on Dana White’s Contender Series back in July, when she suffered an unanimous decision loss to Tracy Cortez.
“DWCS was kind of a test, but at that time I was not ready for that level,” Agapova said. “But now I am [quickly] getting closer to that level.”
Before the fight, striking coach Oliveira said that a good win over Santos could very well earn the former DWCS contestant a UFC contract.