Brazilian star Vanessa Porto won her third straight fight on Friday night at Kumite MMA Combate in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Porto handed previously unbeaten prospect Jennifer Maia the first defeat of her professional career with a second-round technical submission in a competitive bout.
On Saturday in Hull, England, Hannah Stephens made a successful pro MMA debut by defeating talented striker Helena Martin at KnuckleUp MMA 8: “Eclipse.” Stephens survived a shaky start to the fight and used her superior ground skills to secure a fight-ending neck crank in round three.
Porto (13-4-0) traded strikes with Maia (4-1-1) early in the fight, but soon took her opponent down and worked from half-guard. Porto scored with elbows and postured up to land big punches, but Maia scrambled to her feet. Porto slammed Maia back down, but Maia stood again before the bell.
The second round was more of the same, as Porto countered Maia’s early strikes with a takedown. She methodically worked from side control, then spun into an armbar attempt. Maia defended and refused to tap out, but when her arm was bent back at an awkward angle, referee Mario Yamasaki intervened and stopped the fight.
With the victory, Porto has now posted wins in six of her last seven fights, with the lone defeat coming against Strikeforce standout Amanda “Lioness of the Ring” Nunes.
Winner: Vanessa Porto by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 3:55 of round two. She improves to 13-4-0.
Stephens (1-0-0) was forced to adjust her strategy early on against Martin (0-3-0) after Martin scored with a flurry of crisp punches that appeared to stagger her opponent. Stephens secured a series of headlocks on the feet and looked to drag Martin to the mat. She did so, but was unable to mount much offence in the opening round.
The second stanza saw Stephens again take Martin down to the mat, but she found much more success with strikes and submission attempts. Stephens transitioned to Martin’s back late in the round and secured a rear-naked choke, but time expired and the bout looked to be even after two rounds.
Stephens got the fight to the ground in round three and was once again able to take Martin’s back. Martin defended, but Stephens locked on a partial rear-naked choke and switched to a neck crank near the cage wall that forced Martin to submit.
Winner: Hannah Stephens by Submission (Neck Crank) at 1:35 of round three. She improves to 1-0-0.
(Photo Credit: Alessandro Gelke)