“Little” Patricia Vidonic took a step back towards the strawweight top ten with a hard-fought Split Decision win tonight at Pacific Xtreme Combat 40 in Mangilao, Guam. Vidonic narrowly edged out former Valkyrie champion “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi in the 115-pound co-main event on the PXC 40 card.
Yamaguchi started off strong and she controlled much of the opening round on the feet and on the ground, but she began to tire as the fight progressed and Vidonic scored with takedowns and submission attempts. Yamaguchi rallied late in round three, but it was not quite enough to steal back the win.
Vidonic (9-6-0) caught an early body kick and clinched, but Yamaguchi (11-6-1) countered with punches over the top. She took Vidonic down and punched from the top as Vidonic looked to set up a triangle choke from her back. Yamaguchi picked her up and slammed her down, but Vidonic escaped a second slam attempt and returned to her feet. Yamaguchi pressed the action with punches, elbows and knees in the clinch. She took Vidonic back down and landed more strikes in the final seconds.
In round two, Vidonic caught another kick from Yamaguchi and this time she got the Japanese fighter down. Within seconds, Vidonic took Yamaguchi’s back and suplexed her backwards, then worked for a rear-naked choke. Yamaguchi defended and swept into top position, but Vidonic maintained an active guard and she tried for an arm-triangle choke and a triangle. The fighters stood and Vidonic secured another takedown. She landed some nice elbows from half-guard until the bell.
With the fight even after ten minutes, Yamaguchi flurried with punches in the final round and she avoided Vidonic’s clinch attempts. Vidonic closed the distance and landed a combination as Yamaguchi slowed down. She landed a knee and more punches, and Yamaguchi replied with a one-two. Yamaguchi tripped Vidonic late in the fight, but Vidonic tied her up from the bottom and tried for an arm-triangle choke and an armbar. Yamaguchi escaped and landed short punches from the top.
The closely-contested fight went to the scorecards and the judges were divided in their verdict. One favoured Yamaguchi’s takedown and top game in the final round and scored the fight for the Japanese standout. However, the remaining two judges preferred Vidonic’s active striking and submission game in round three and both scored the fight in her favour, giving the American a much-needed Split Decision victory that got her back on track after recent struggles.
Vidonic, who had suffered setbacks in five of her past seven bouts, now begins her climb back up the strawweight rankings. As PXC continues to develop its 115-pound women’s division, a bout between Vidonic and unbeaten Hawaiian prospect Kailin Curran could potentially be next up in 2014.
Winner: Patricia Vidonic by Split Decision after three rounds. She improves to 9-6-0.
(Photo Credit: Andrew Habeck)