NAAFS champ Aisling “Ais The Bash” Daly will compete in her hometown of Dublin, Ireland when she faces Finnish prospect Katja Kankaanpää at Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 51 on December 31st. The 120-pound catchweight bout was officially announced by the promotion today.
Daly looks to rebound from a decision loss to top flyweight contender Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak at Invicta FC 3 and is now considering a return to the strawweight division. Kankaanpää has yet to taste defeat and is coming off of her closest bout to date against Simona Soukupova in September.
Daly (13-4-0) put together a solid 3-1 campaign in 2011 with three submission victories that included a title-winning stoppage of current Bellator standout Jessica “Evil” Eye for the inaugural North American Allied Fight Series 125-pound women’s championship. She remains in search of her first win in 2012, however, after suffering decision losses to Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton in the semi-finals of the Cage Warriors women’s grand prix and Honchak this past month. Feeling that she may have more success at 115 pounds – where she fought once in 2010 – Daly has been eyeing a move back down in weight. She will take the first step in the catchweight bout and looks to hand Kankaanpää her first loss.
Kankaanpää (6-0-1) earned stoppage wins in three of her first four fights, but it was her decision victory over Spain’s Karla Benitez in October 2011 that put Kankaanpää on the map as a prospect to watch for. She earned her biggest win to date in March by defeating former Valkyrie champ “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi in the main event of Botnia Punishment 11 and returned to the promotion to face Soukupova at BP 12 in September. Following three action-packed and competitive rounds, the judges were unable to determine a winner and ruled the bout a Split Draw. Kankaanpää displayed impressive submission defence in the bout with Soukupova and she will need to be wary of Daly’s formidable ground skills next month.
The featured bout will be Daly’s fifth fight for Cage Warriors, while Kankaanpää makes her promotional debut. The fighters are two of the top female competitors in Europe and the winner will take a big step forward in her career.
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 51 takes place on December 31st at The Helix in Dublin, Ireland.