Australian Jessica-Rose Clark out-grappled her opponent Paige VanZant en-route to a unanimous points decision at UFC Fight Night 124 earlier today.
The women’s flyweight bout co-headlined the event which took place at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis and featured Jeremy Stephens taking on Doo Ho Choi. The main-card was broadcast live on Fox Sports Australia.
VanZant started aggressively throwing switch-kicks to her opponent’s mid-section before Clark ultimately secured a takedown. In her attempt to stand back up, VanZant was forced to defend a arm-triangle choke from the Australian which allowed Clark to keep the top position. Clark kept the position for rest of round, throwing solid elbows to VanZant’s ribs and face.
With VanZant moving up from strawweight and Clark being a former bantamweight fighter, size prove to be vital as Clark utilised it to her advantage, staying one step ahead on the ground. At one point VanZant gave up her back which allowed the American to reverse and put Clark on the canvas. Clark would be immediately waiting with a triangle choke that was secured tightly. With little space to breathe, VanZant survived however ate some elbows as the round ended.
Between the second and third rounds, VanZant admitted to her corner that she had broken her arm sometime during the first round with later scans confirming the break.
Despite the injury, the third round would still prove to be VanZant’s best of the night though the 23-year-old was limited to throwing mainly leg kicks which was not near enough to get the victory.
The judges scored the fight 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27, all to Clark who moves her record to (9-4-1NC, UFC 2-0).
It was a well earned win for Clark who had to deal with the stress of her Las Vegas home being burgled during the week which led to her cat having to be euthanised.
Clark came into the fight ranked number 10 in the UFC women’s flyweight division and will set her sights for a top 10 opponent to make her claim as a serious division contender.
VanZant (7-4, UFC 4-3), a former Dancing With The Stars USA finalist, has now dropped three of her last four bouts.
Main Card (Results):
Preliminary Card (Results):