The Freestyle Cage Fighting Women’s Grand Prix kicked off tonight at FCF 39 at the FireLake Grand Casino in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Eight of the top female bantamweights in the sport clashed in hopes of advancing on and earning a guaranteed Strikeforce contract.
Veteran officials Herb Dean and Tom Jones oversaw all of the action on the 13-fight card tonight, which saw Adrienna Jenkins, Jan Finney, Jennifer Tate and Shayna Baszler all move on to the next round. MMARising.com was cageside to provide live play-by-play.
FCF Women’s Grand Prix Bouts
Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler vs Megumi Yabushita
The fighters traded quick punches and leg kicks early on and Yabushita fell after a Baszler knee. Baszler took Yabushita’s back and tried for a rear naked choke, then settled for punches and elbows from the side. Baszler continued to punish Yabushita with punches, then took cornerman Josh Barnett’s advice and delivered a brutal soccer kick and knee to Yabushita’s ribs. A scramble followed and Baszler worked from Yabushita’s guard.
Baszler punched from the top, then stood up and rained down more punches. From partial back control, Baszler landed elbows and short punches to the body. Baszler rolled Yabushita over and tried for a twister. Yabushita defended well, but Baszler continued to work for the twister and finally got it. Yabushita tapped out within seconds. Another very impressive submission from Baszler.
Winner: Shayna Baszler by Submission (Twister) at 4:50 of round one. She improves to 10-6-0 and advances to the second round of the FCF Women’s Bantamweight Grand Prix.
Jennifer “Rosebud” Tate vs Kaitlin Young
Tate pressed the action with jabs and a body kick and both fighters landed punches. The pace remained high as Young answered with a right cross and a stiff body kick of her own. A vicious body kick from Young echoed throughout the venue, but Tate was unfazed. The fighters traded punches in close and clinched. Tate muscled Young up against the cage and landed a big knee to the body. Young reversed and landed knees in reply.
Tate scored a takedown and opened a bad cut beside Young’s right eye with an elbow. She tried to posture up to land more elbows, but Young held her in place. Tate managed to break free of Young’s grasp and scored with two more elbows, then tried to take Young’s back. She moved to mount and teed off with big punches, then took Young’s back. Tate secured a rear naked choke, but the bell rang to save Young. 10-9 Tate.
Tate flurried with punches in the second round that quickly opened up the cut beside Young’s eye again. Tate clinched and pressed Young against the cage. She looked for a takedown, but gave it up and backed away. A hard kick to the body scored for Young and she landed another one seconds later.
Tate pressed her up against the cage again, then picked her up and emphatically slammed her to the ground. Tate punched from the top and transitioned into an armbar. Young gamely tried to hold on, but Tate wrenched back on the arm and Young tapped.
Winner: Jennifer Tate by Submission (Armbar) at 2:35 of round two. She improves to 6-1-0 and advances to the second round of the FCF Women’s Bantamweight Grand Prix.
Jan “Cuddles” Finney vs Liz Carreiro
Finney dropped Carreiro with a big right hook to start the fight, but Carreiro survived and got back to her feet. Punches were exchanged and Finney backed Carreiro up with quick flurries. Finney scored with a pair of knees and staggered Carreiro with another hard right hook. Carreiro clinched and pressed Finney against the cage, but Finney pushed her off and landed a body kick.
Carreiro shot in for a takedown and got Finney down near the cage wall. Finney looked for a triangle choke from the bottom and transitioned into an armbar. Carreiro kept her pinned against the cage to alleviate pressure, then landed knees to the thigh. Finney released the armbar attempt and returned to guard. A stalemate followed until the bell. 10-9 Finney.
Finney landed a one-two in round two and Carreiro answered with a stiff leg kick. Finney continued to walk Carreiro down, but Carreiro sidestepped Finney’s punches well. Jabs landed for both fighters and Finney connected with a right cross. Finney scored with a quick combination of punches and a leg kick and the fighters traded big shots.
Carreiro pressed Finney against the cage and tried for a takedown, but Finney stayed on her feet. Quick strikes were exchanged in close and Finney backed Carreiro up with a trio of power punches. Carreiro, now bleeding from the nose, held tough and threw back some nice shots of her own. The round came to an end after another big exchange. Very close round. 10-9 Finney.
The final round began with leg kicks and punches from Finney, but Carreiro answered with a combination and a leg kick of her own. A pair of one-twos backed Carreiro up, but she stopped Finney’s momentum with a solid jab. Finney connected with a right hook and swarmed Carreiro with more punches. Carreiro clinched and pressed Finney against the cage.
Referee Herb Dean separated the fighters after a lull in the action and Carreiro threw a nice combination. Finney countered a leg kick with a right hook and she continued to score with one-twos. Carreiro circled and pawed out with jabs, but Finney remained the aggressor. More two-punch combinations found the mark for Finney, but Carreiro connected with a spinning back fist late in the round. 10-9 Finney.
Winner: Jan Finney by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three 5:00 rounds. She improves to 7-7-0 and advances to the second round of the FCF Women’s Bantamweight Grand Prix.
Adrienna “AJ” Jenkins vs Sarah “White Tiger” Schneider
Schneider rushed forward right away with a one-two and clinched, then slammed Jenkins to the mat. Jenkins looked for a triangle choke from the bottom, but Schneider escaped and moved to half-guard. Jenkins regained guard and tried to set up an armbar. Schneider fell forward into the armbar, but managed to spin free. She grabbed hold of a standing guillotine choke and dragged Jenkins to the ground.
Jenkins got an arm in and escaped danger, then stood up. Schneider trapped her in a heel hook and used it to pull Jenkins down again. Schneider switched to an inverted heel hook, but Jenkins escaped and struck from the top. Schneider remained relentless with submissions and secured an omoplata, then tried for another heel hook late in the round. 10-9 Schneider. For the first time in her lengthy career, Jenkins will compete in the second round of a fight.
Schneider scored a takedown to begin the second round, but Jenkins rolled through and wound up on top. She briefly moved to mount and landed a series of punches, then took Schneider’s back. Jenkins got both hooks in and flattened Schneider out, but lost position in a scramble and wound up on her back with Schneider punching from the top.
Schneider stood over Jenkins and locked on a standing ankle lock, then dropped back on the hold, but Jenkins escaped and took Schneider’s back again. Big punches landed for Jenkins, which allowed her to set up a rear naked choke. Schneider tried to fight it off, but was forced to submit.
Winner: Adrienna Jenkins by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:07 of round two. She improves to 17-2-0 and advances to the second round of the FCF Women’s Bantamweight Grand Prix.
Adriano Camolese vs Chris Hawk
Hawk ducked under a right hook and clinched, but Camolese shrugged him off. A stiff jab landed for Camolese and he drilled Hawk with an overhand right seconds later. Hawk fell to the ground after a leg kick and Camolese punished him with elbows from half-guard. Big punches followed for Camolese and he took Hawk’s back. Camolese secured a rear naked choke and Hawk tapped out almost immediately.
Winner: Adriano Camolese by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:24 of round one. He improves to 4-0-0.
Jacob Austin vs Cameron Coffman
Austin pressed forward and clinched, then took Coffman down. He rained down elbows from the top, but Coffman remained calm and fought off a modified neck crank. Coffman tried for a triangle choke, but Austin passed to half-guard. He looked to set up a Kimura and then switched to a guillotine choke from the top. Coffman escaped and tried for a Kimura of his own. Austin avoided danger and moved to side-control before the bell. 10-9 Austin.
Coffman pushed forward with a one-two, but Austin clinched and slammed him to the mat. Austin scored with elbows to the body and punches that forced Coffman to roll over and give up mount. Austin blasted him with more punches from the top and Coffman rolled to his side. Coffman turtled as Austin punished him with punches and elbows. Austin continued the assault until the bell. Complete domination. 10-8 Austin.
Austin ducked under a diving takedown from Coffman and Coffman went flying through the air. He got up and scored with a body kick, but Austin slammed him to the ground. Coffman tried to scramble to his feet, but Austin grabbed the cage. Referee Tom Jones warned Austin and stood the fighters up. Austin stuffed a takedown and landed elbows, but two were deemed to be illegal strikes. He was penalised one point, but the elbows had opened a big cut near Coffman’s hairline. Austin scored another takedown and struck from the top until the bell. 9-9.
Winner: Jacob Austin by Unanimous Decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-27) after three 3:00 rounds. He improves to 4-1-0.
Treston Thomison vs Charles “Rooster” Anderson
Thomison opened the fight with a knee to the body and instantly secured a standing rear naked choke. He dragged Anderson to the ground and, seconds later, Anderson tapped out.
Winner: Treston Thomison by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 0:20 of round one.
Tristan Demmitt vs Steffan Carmichael
Demmitt dropped Carmichael with a left hook early on, but Carmichael recovered and secured a tight bulldog choke. Demmitt somehow worked free and the fighters absolutely unleashed with massive haymakers. Incredibly, both stayed on their feet as the crowd erupted, but Carmichael took control of the exchanges late in the round despite a bloodied nose. Insane round. 10-9 Carmichael, just barely.
Carmichael floored Demmitt right away in the second round, but Demmitt recovered and the fighters traded strikes in a clinch. Both continued to throw punches with everything that they had and Demmitt tried for a takedown. Carmichael used a judo throw and took Demmitt’s back, then landed punches to the sides of his head. 10-9 Carmichael.
After an exchange of body kicks, the fighters returned to throwing haymakers and both landed a pair of hard shots. Demmitt punched his way into a clinch against the cage, then backed away and rocked Carmichael with a one-two. Demmitt tripped Carmichael to the mat and landed in mount, then moved straight into an armbar and then a triangle choke. Carmichael made it to the bell. 10-9 Demmitt. Phenomenal fight and a standing ovation from the crowd.
Winner: Tristan Demmitt by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three 2:00 rounds.
Speedy Amaya vs Josh Pope
Amaya rushed forward with wild punches and clinched, but Pope pressed him against the cage. A big knee to the face found the mark for Amaya and he unleashed a series of vicious foot stomps. Both fighters landed knees to the body and Amaya scored a takedown. Pope worked for an armlock from the bottom, but the bell sounded to end the close round. 10-9 Amaya.
Amaya connected with a pair of lead left hooks to begin the second round and Pope answered with a trio of uppercuts. The fighters clinched and Amaya tried unsuccessfully for a trip takedown. Pope pressed him against the cage and a stalemate followed. Referee Herb Dean separated the fighters, who circled each other until the bell. 10-10.
Power punches were exchanged early in the final round, but neither fighter was fazed. Jabs and leg kicks followed and Pope stuffed a takedown. The fighters teed off with big shots and Pope began to get the better of the exchanges. A big right hook backed Amaya up, but he stopped Pope’s momentum with a counter hook. More hard punches were exchanged until the bell. Excellent round. 10-9 Pope by a slim margin.
Winner: Speedy Amaya by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three 2:00 rounds.
Jered Bills vs Dustin Martin
Martin scored a slam takedown to begin the fight and landed some solid punches from the top. Bills looked briefly for a Kimura, then switched to an armbar. Martin stood up, but could not escape the hold and was forced to submit.
Winner: Jered Bills by Submission (Armbar) at 1:10 of round one.
Clinton Jefferson vs Robby Schiltz
Schiltz immediately rushed in and secured a guillotine choke, then dragged Jefferson to the mat. Jefferson escaped and worked to his feet, but Schiltz took him down again. Jefferson swept and landed punches while standing over Schiltz. He took Schiltz’s back and tried for a rear naked choke, but Schiltz survived until the bell. 10-9 Jefferson, barely.
Jefferson used fakes to keep Schiltz off-balance and the fighters traded quick strikes until Schiltz scored a takedown. He landed in side-control and threw knees to the body. Schiltz tried to pass to mount, then took Jefferson’s back. Schiltz teed off with punches, but all of them were to the back of the head. Referee Herb Dean halted the action, but the fight continued and the bell rang seconds later. 10-9 Schiltz.
The fighters traded sloppy punches and Jefferson scored a takedown. Schiltz worked for a Kimura off of his back and tried to torque back on the arm, but Jefferson stayed out of danger. Schiltz switched to punches from the bottom and tried to scramble to his feet. Jefferson took his back just before the bell. 10-9 Schiltz.
Winner: Clinton Jefferson by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three 2:00 rounds.
Zane “Papa Z” Stinnett vs Bert Ramos
Ramos scored a quick takedown against the cage, but Stinnett used a choke to sweep. Stinnett tried for a guillotine choke from the top, then transitioned into a front head lock. He took Ramos’s back and landed punches, then secured a rear naked choke. With just two seconds remaining in the two-minute round, Ramos tapped out.
Winner: Zane Stinnett by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:58 of round one.
Rickey “Lionheart” Bowen vs Kevin “Bulldog” Rather
The fighters clinched early on and Rather scored a takedown. Bowen immediately worked for submissions and tried for an armbar, then transitioned into a flying armbar as Rather tried to stand up. Rather fell to his back and tapped out seconds later.
Winner: Rickey Bowen by Submission (Armbar) at 1:13 of round one.
Despite snow and ice that created havoc for flights into Oklahoma, the opening round of the FCF Women’s Bantamweight Grand Prix was a big success and set up interesting matchups for the second round.