Friday Fight Facts: Women’s MMA rules

Loma Lookboonmee with Tiger Muay Thai head coach George Hickman.

Women’s MMA takes centre stage right across the globe this weekend as Invicta FC, Deep Jewels and the UFC put forward the best of the WMMA world. This weekend we’ll be watching Loma Lookboonmee, Rin Nakai, Kanako Murata, Yan Xiaonan and Valentina Shevchenko – all of who have some awesome bouts scheduled. Let’s jump right in.

Invicta FC 35

Invicta kicks off a fantastic weekend of combat sports. The nine-fight, all-women card, airs on UFC Fight Pass early Saturday morning and there’s plenty to get excited about. Early last year Loma Lookboonmee made history as the first Thai to sign with Invicta FC and this weekend she returns for her second shot. The former Muay Thai fighter – with some 300 fights to her name – has had a remarkably fast rise in MMA. Loma won her Invicta FC debut against Melissa Wang and backed it up with a win at Pancrase last August. Loma went on to challenge fellow Thai Suwanan Boonsorn for the Full Metal Dojo atomweight sword last November, but was submitted early into the opening round. She now welcomes Brazilian atomweight Monique Adriane (4-1) to the Invicta cage. Also on the line up is talented Japanese submission specialist Kanako Murata who makes her Invicta FC debut against fellow strawweight newcomer Liana Pirosin.

BKB 17

From barnyards to the 02 Arena, the bare-knuckle boys from BKB are back in London with their seventeenth event. FITE TV will carry the broadcast and there’s some cracking fights on the bill. BKB 17 sees the return of Celtic Warrior Jimmy Sweeney, as well as the highly anticipated Prizefighter finale between James Connelly and Ricardo Franco. Fox Sports Asia’s Eat Pray Fight documentary series traveled to London for BKB 16 back in March and they are headed back this weekend for a second serving of Big Ben, bare-knuckles and pure cinematic brilliance. Hosted by Full Metal Dojo’s president and MMA guru Jon Nutt and Fox Sports Asia’s leading MMA pundit Andrew Whitelaw, Eat Pray Fight peers beneath the veil of brutality and blood, revealing the fight game at its most compelling. It’s basically the Anthony Bourdain No Reservations of combat sports, and it’s highly entertaining.

UFC 238

UFC will be coming in hot early Sunday morning with two big titles on the line. Flyweight champion Henry Cejudo moves up 10 pounds to take on Marlon Moraes for the vacant bantamweight title, while women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko defends her belt for the first time against Jessica Eye. “The People’s Main Event” sees the return of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (for a third time this year) to take on Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson for should be a lightweight title eliminator fight. Keep an eye out for China’s Yan “Fury” Xiaonan who will be hunting for her fourth straight UFC win when she meets Angela “Overkill” Hill. The Fight Nation has a great profile about the rise of Yan.

Deep Jewels 24

I hope you don’t have too many plans this Sunday as DEEP returns with a card well worth sinking your teeth into. After more than a year away from competition, women’s MMA veteran Rin Nakai returns for Deep Jewels 24. The former Bantamweight Queen of Pancrase has been lined up against young Thai hopeful Kaewjai Prachumwong, as the main event of the eight-fight card. Also on the bill is an atomweight bout between Emi Tomimatsu and Emi Sato. DEEP tends to broadcast their events on YouTube, but we’re still trying to see if this card gets the same treatment.

AFC 12

Korean MMA promotion Angel’s FC is back for another Monday night special with two (originally three) inaugural titles on the line. Hong Kong’s own Sasha Palatnikov will seek to make history as the city’s first MMA champion when he takes on Son Sung-Won for the inaugural middleweight title. Korean Zombie MMA’s Seo Jin-Seo will rematch Song Young-Jae for the bantamweight championship. The great Choi Hong-Man returns to face Hungarian striker David Mihajlov. AFC 12: Hero Of The Belt goes down on Monday evening and should be streamed live, we’ll keep hunting for appropriate links.


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