Leading U.K. promotion Cage Warriors Fighting Championship will crown its first 125-pound female champion when Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton battles Sheila “The German Tank” Gaff on October 27th in Cardiff, Wales. The title tilt was made official today and will determine MMA’s top female flyweight.
Sexton and Gaff earned their spots in the title fight with impressive victories in the semi-final round of the inaugural Cage Warriors women’s tournament earlier this year. In a historic move, both fighters have enrolled in Voluntary Anti-Doping Association drug testing leading up to the October showdown.
Sexton (13-2-0) is a true pioneer for female fighters in Europe. The ten-year veteran’s career includes a victory on the inaugural Cage Warriors card in 2002 and she sports a perfect 6-0 record under the Cage Warriors banner. Sexton has posted wins in eight of her past nine fights and she is currently riding a three-fight winning streak that is highlighted by a Unanimous Decision victory over Irish standout Aisling “Ais The Bash” Daly in June. The win over Daly propelled Sexton into the tournament final and she will now have a chance to capture her second Cage Warriors women’s title in October.
Leading up to the bout with Gaff, Sexton has hinted at plans for retirement and has stated that this fight may prove to be her last. She led a charge to enlist stringent VADA drug testing for herself and Gaff in the weeks prior to the fight in hopes of setting a precedent that will spark change in MMA’s otherwise lacklustre drug testing system. Sexton and Gaff have both enrolled in the program and their title fight will likely be scrapped should either fighter fail any of her pre-fight drug tests.
Gaff (10-4-1) has made a big impact during her short time in the women’s flyweight division. Formerly competing at weights as high as 145 pounds, Gaff opted to drop down to 125 following a razor-thin decision loss to Milana Dudieva in late 2010 and the move has thus far paid off for the German knockout artist. In her February 2011 debut at 125 pounds, Gaff knocked out Swedish prospect Hanna Sillen in just eight seconds. Two months later, she mauled Daly en route to a first-round TKO stoppage. Most recently, Gaff earned her spot in the Cage Warriors tournament finale by knocking out Brazil’s Jennifer Maia with a barrage of punches in ten seconds.
At present, Sexton and Gaff hold the top two spots in the women’s flyweight division and their title fight represents an interesting clash of styles. Sexton has long been regarded as one of the very best female grapplers at 125 pounds, while Gaff’s vicious striking power has yielded brutal highlight-reel knockouts. Both of Sexton’s career losses have come via knockout and Gaff has succumbed to submissions on two occasions, so each will need to be wary of the other’s strengths.
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 49 takes place on October 27th at St David’s Hall in Cardiff, Wales. The Sexton-Gaff bout will be contested for the CWFC Women’s Flyweight Championship.