TUF 23 finalist Amanda Bobby “ABC” Cooper picked up her first official UFC win in featured strawweight action tonight at UFC Fight Night 99: “Mousasi vs Hall 2” in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Cooper rallied to take a Unanimous Decision victory over former bantamweight Anna “Panda” Elmose.
Tonight’s preliminary card also featured a second women’s bout that ended in a third-round TKO victory for popular bantamweight contender Marion “The Belizean Bruiser” Reneau, who halted a two-fight losing streak by finishing veteran Russian standout Milana Dudieva with a barrage of elbows.
Cooper (2-2-0) landed a series of left-right combos in the opening round and she used her crisp boxing skills to effectively counter kicks from Elmose (3-2-0). Cooper landed side kicks and more two-punch combinations as the round progressed, but Elmose dropped her with a counter right hook and opened a cut near Cooper’s left eye with elbow strikes on the ground.
After battling back to her feet late in round one, Cooper once again picked her shots with one-twos in the second round. She took Elmose’s back after a slip, but Elmose scrambled out from the bottom and dropped elbows to Cooper’s damaged eye. Cooper kicked her off and scored a takedown seconds later that allowed her to control the action with mounted ground and pound and a late-round armbar attempt.
Cooper got the better of the striking exchanges in round three with technical boxing and a side kick to the face that got Elmose’s attention. Elmose struggled to find her range and Cooper battered her with punches, kicks and knees. Elmose landed a handful of strikes in the final minute, but Cooper muscled her down to the mat and finished the round with elbows and hammerfists.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice for Cooper, who secured her first official victory inside the Octagon following an impressive showing on The Ultimate Fighter 23.
Winner: Amanda Bobby Cooper by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. She improves to 2-2-0.
Reneau (7-3-0) established her jab early in tonight’s bantamweight bout, but Dudieva (11-5-0) began to time the strikes and she countered with a spinning backfist. Reneau scored with a front kick to the face and she attacked with an armbar attempt after Dudieva caught a kick and took her down. The fight returned to the feet and Reneau countered Dudieva’s winging right hooks with a flurry of punches.
Reneau’s face showed visible damage from Dudieva’s punches as round two began, but she remained the aggressor and took Dudieva’s back after initiating a clinch against the fence. Dudieva countered with a slick throw and worked from the top, but Reneau escaped to her feet and she punished Dudieva with knees to the body and elbows to the face.
The body shots took their toll on Dudieva, but she persevered in round three and walked forward as Reneau chopped away at her lead leg with kicks. She backed Dudieva up against the cage again and landed more knees and elbows, then pulled Dudieva down to the mat. Reneau mounted Dudieva and threatened with an armbar while peppering her with punches. She switched to elbows and landed a final salvo that prompted the referee to stop the fight.
Tonight’s victory was an important one for Reneau, who returned to her winning ways after suffering contentious decision defeats against former UFC champion Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm and Ashlee Evans-Smith.
Winner: Marion Reneau by TKO (Punches & Elbows) at 3:03 of round three. She improves to 7-3-0.
(Photo Credit: UFC)