Genah Fabian has made a dominant begin to her second season in the Professional Fighters League (PFL) and a shot on the US$1 million prize.
On the again of a formidable putting show and powerful work within the clinch, the Kiwi combined martial artist recorded a unanimous victory over American light-weight Laura Sanchez (1-1) in Atlantic Metropolis, New Jersey.
Fabian (3-1), who trains out of Auckland fitness center Metropolis Kickboxing, virtually doubled the output of her rival, touchdown 66 strikes to 34, with all three judges scoring the bout 30-27.
A former Muay Thai world champion, Fabian was competing on the identical card as reigning ladies’s light-weight champion and two-time Olympic judo gold medallist Kayla Harrison, who secured a fast TKO win over Mariana Morais within the co-main occasion.
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Brazilian heavyweight Renan Ferreira produced an enormous upset in the principle occasion, stopping former UFC champion Fabricio Werdum within the first spherical.
Headed by Kiwi fight sports activities legend Ray Sefo, the US-based PFL has rapidly develop into a significant participant on the worldwide MMA scene since its inception in 2018.
Not like different promotions, the PFL makes use of an everyday season format the place fighters compete for factors to qualify for the playoffs. The highest two in every division then sq. off for US$1 million ($1.4m) on the finish of the yr.
Fabian picked up three factors for the victory, although she missed out on incomes any bonus factors that include a stoppage.
The 1.83m-tall Aucklander was gifting away a slight top benefit to Sanchez, who confirmed a harmful proper hand early within the first spherical.
However Fabian slowed her down by repeatedly targetting the lead leg earlier than transferring as much as the physique with some heavy kicks.
Along with her Muay Thai background, Fabian was capable of management the clinch and go to work on the within. And he or she was simply as spectacular in transition, touchdown a number of sharp combos as they broke away.
It was a sensible tactical show, with Fabian banking quite a lot of photographs to the physique earlier than letting her palms fly nearer to the bell to punctuate the rounds.
To her credit score, Sanchez stored coming ahead and had a robust chin. The American, who completed the bout with a minimize above her proper eye, did sneak a pointy proper hand by way of in the course of the third spherical. However Fabian responded by getting straight again to work within the clinch and comfortably closed out the competition.
That is Fabian’s second PFL marketing campaign after reaching the playoffs in her debut season two years in the past. She was as a result of meet Harrison within the semifinals solely to be pressured to withdraw as a result of sickness and weight cut-related points.
Final yr’s season was cancelled as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
Having kicked off her quest for redemption in model, Fabian is scheduled to make her second regular-season look on June 26 (NZ time).