As has become a theme in her career, Zoila “The Warrior Princess” Frausto came out on the right end of a controversial Split Decision tonight at Bellator Fighting Championships 34. She edged the previously unbeaten Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii via a contentious five-round decision to become the first ever Bellator 115-Pound Women’s Champion.
Though Fujii appeared to have won at least three rounds, her strategy proved to be her downfall as she opted to stand and trade strikes with Frausto for much of the fight. As a result, she suffered her first defeat in 23 fights.
Fujii opened the fight with a head kick and followed with a one-two. Frausto answered with a two-punch combo of her own and stayed on the outside. The fighters traded punches and Frausto landed a body kick. Fujii dropped her briefly with a left cross. Frausto stood and Fujii landed another left, then avoided a head kick. Both landed punches in an exchange and Fujii connected with a left cross. Frausto landed a big head kick and rushed in with punches, but Fujii weathered the storm and the fighters traded punches late in the round. 10-9 Fujii in a close round.
The second round began with a left cross from Fujii, who remained content to stay on the feet. The fighters exchanged punches and Fujii landed more lefts, then sidestepped a head kick. Fujii caught a kick and landed counterpunches. She followed with a one-two and a quick combination. Fujii landed a straight left and Frausto fired back with a right. Fujii caught another kick and landed a pair of one-twos late in the round. 10-9 Fujii.
Round three saw both fighters landing punches early on and Frausto scored with a solid leg kick. Fujii answered with a one-two and jabbed, then backed away from a Frausto flurry. Frausto landed a hard right hand and became the aggressor with a series of punches as Fujii circled back. Fujii recovered and returned to jabs. She connected with a combination, but Frausto promptly answered with a leg kick and punches. More punches landed for Frausto and Fujii countered with some of her own. 10-9 Frausto.
Fujii landed left crosses to begin round four and both fighters connected with left hooks. More lefts landed for both and Frausto added leg kicks. She followed with a one-two and another kick. Fujii finally clinched and landed knees. Frausto reversed position and threw knees of her own, but Fujii stayed active and landed two more knees to Frausto’s face. Fujii attempted a judo throw, but Frausto did well to defend. The fighters exchanged punches in the final seconds. Very close round. 10-9 Fujii, barely.
The fifth and final round started off with a stiff jab from Frausto and Fujii replied with a combination. Fujii landed a one-two and Frausto immediately countered with a leg kick. Fujii scored with a one-two and tried for a takedown, but Frausto stuffed it and landed a nice right hand. Fujii threw a left hook just as Frausto answered with a right. A one-two and a left hook all landed for Fujii. She clinched and tried for a takedown, then let it go and landed an overhand left. Fujii scored with a one-two and finally took Frausto down. She struck from the top until the bell. 10-9 Fujii.
Winner: Zoila Frausto by Split Decision (49-46, 48-47, 47-48) after five rounds. She improves to 10-1-0 and becomes the first Bellator 115-Pound Women’s Champion.
While the 48-47 scorecard in Frausto’s favour was not completely out of line, judge Rich Green’s 49-46 card was another in a long list of dreadful scores that have plagued the sport in recent months. Bellator (and Frausto herself) has been particularly susceptible to questionable scoring, but the fight was close and it appeared that Fujii waited too long to take the fight to the ground. Regardless, Zoila Frausto is the new Bellator 115-Pound Women’s Champion.
(Photo Credit: Casper Munoz)