Veteran strawweight contender Felice “Lil’ Bulldog” Herrig picked up the biggest victory of her mixed martial arts career tonight at UFC Fight Night 104: “Bermudez vs Korean Zombie” in Houston, Texas. Herrig defeated fellow striker Alexa Grasso in the featured 115-pound co-main event.
In other strawweight action on tonight’s UFC card, Jéssica “Bate Estaca” Andrade set up a future UFC title shot by defeating Invicta FC champion Angela “Overkill” Hill. In preliminary card action, Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres defeated rival “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings for the second time.
Herrig (12-6-0) entered tonight’s fight with Grasso (9-1-0) as an underdog, but she showcased her formidable striking skills en route to a well-deserved decision win. Herrig scored early on with right hands, but Grasso responded with a jumping switch kick and she attacked with a brief heel hook attempt on the ground. Herrig regained her footing and she continued to counter Grasso’s kicks with combinations until the end of the opening round.
Grasso mixed things up with kicks to Herrig’s lead leg and body in round two, but she struggled to find her range with her punches. Herrig repeatedly snapped her head back with stiff jabs and right hands, and Grasso was much more passive than in other recent outings. Herrig finished the round with two takedowns and she got Grasso down into mount in round three. Grasso kicked her off and put together kick-punch combos that bloodied Herrig’s mouth, but it was not enough to steal back the fight.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice for Herrig, who has won seven of her past nine fights. Following her Unanimous Decision victory, Herrig requested a rematch against “12 Gauge” Paige VanZant or a bout with former Invicta FC titleholder Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson.
Opening up tonight’s main card, Andrade (16-5-0) engaged in a thrilling battle with Hill (6-3-0), who was competing inside the Octagon for the first time since October 2015. Andrade was her usual ultra-aggressive self in the opening round, and she repeatedly tagged Hill with big combinations of power punches against the cage. Hill stood her ground and fired back with knees and punches, but Andrade blasted her with hard shots throughout the round.
Hill opened a cut below Andrade’s right eye with a knee in round two, but Andrade remained the aggressor with flurries of punches that kept the Invicta FC champion on the defensive. She took Hill down on two occasions before the bell, and round three began with a frenetic exchange of power punches. Andrade hurt her opponent with left and right hooks, but Hill stayed on her feet and traded strikes with the hard-hitting Brazilian until the final bell sounded to end the spirited fight.
All three judges scored the bout 30-27 for Andrade, whose Unanimous Decision win should propel her into a UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship bout against Joanna Jędrzejczyk later this year.
Tonight’s televised preliminary card began with a featured rematch between Torres (8-1-0) and Rawlings (7-6-0), who first clashed during TUF 20 in 2014. Torres prevailed via Unanimous Decision during the show and she repeated that accomplishment again tonight with a clear-cut victory after three rounds.
Torres outstruck Rawlings in round one by mixing up her attacks with leg kicks and combinations. Rawlings secured a takedown that led to a rear-naked choke attempt in round two, but Torres escaped danger and she took Rawlings’s back later in the round. Torres threatened with rear-naked chokes and an armbar on the ground, and she picked Rawlings apart with punches and leg kicks in round three. A late takedown allowed Torres to take Rawlings’s back again, but Rawlings fought off an armbar and the fight ended with an exchange of punches on the feet.
The judges were united and all three had the fight 30-27 for Torres, who earned her second Unanimous Decision victory over Rawlings. Post-fight, Torres reaffirmed her commitment to her schooling, and she received a large ovation from the crowd in support of her pursuit of a Master’s degree.
(Photo Credit: UFC)