On Saturday at UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore, fight fans were treated to two exciting fights in the women’s bantamweight division. Lucie Pudilova (7-2) and Ji Yeon Kim (6-1-2) opened the early Fight Pass prelims in an exciting back and forth affair. After three hard rounds, Pudilova was declared the winner via unanimous decision, handing the UFC newcomer her first professional loss. Later that night, former title challenger Bethe Correia (10-3-1) faced former champion Holly Holm (11-3) in the Singapore’s main event. After ten minutes of relatively little action, Corriea taunted Holm. Seconds after taunting Holm, “The Preacher’s Daughter” landed a beautiful question mark kick followed by a right hand to KO Bethe and end Holm’s three-fight skid.
So, what’s next for the women of UFC Fight Night 111?
Ji Yeon Kim
Despite losing her UFC debut, Kim put on an impressive performance. On Twitter, many fans were vocal about disagreeing with the judges’ decision and saw the fight for Kim. Kim showed a lot of promise in her debut– her striking looked strong, she has a great frame for the division and she possesses an incredible 72-inch reach. A fight against Irene Aldana would likely be a FOTN candidate between the two skilled strikers, both chasing their first UFC women.
Pudilova pulled off the win in her sophomore UFC appearance against a tough challenger in Ji Yeon Kim. At 23-years-old Pudilova is a promising prospect in the bantamweight division. Katlyn Chookagian is a fun, telling that fight that will lead one fighter to climb the rankings and send the other back to the drawing board.
Love her or hate her, you’ve got to give Correia some credit– she’s got an immense self-belief, she’s always willing to throw down, and she fully embraces her role as an antagonist in the bantamweight division. The former accountant has only been pro since 2012, and in a relatively young MMA career, Bethe has garnered experience in high profile fights, two main events, and alternated wins and losses and draws. A bout with Cindy Dandois would be incredibly interesting.
Prior to UFC FN 111, “The Preacher’s Daughter” found herself with her back against the wall in a must-win predicament. A third-round question mark kick sealed the deal for Holm and snapped her three-fight skid. With a renewed confidence, Holm’s direction is unclear at the moment. Perhaps a fight with Cat Zingano or Julianna Peña, who recently called Holm out, would be a good next step for the former champ. Either match up provides a high profile fight and will show which women is closest to re-climbing the ladder to a potential title shot.
What do you think of these match-ups? What matches would you make?