Big weekend for women’s MMA
This Saturday features a cornucopia of women’s MMA, with a total of eight fights taking place. We’ve all heard of Marloes Coenen taking on Cris Cyborg at Strikeforce: Miami, and the first round of fights at the FCF Women’s Grand Prix has also been creating quite a stir. Two smaller fights (Cat Albert vs. Barb Honchak) and Alexandra Sanchez vs. Melissa Lan) are also taking place. But one big fight that hasn’t been getting much attention is Molly “the Maulinator” Helsel stepping up to fight #3 ranked bantamweight Roxanne Modafferi at King of the Cage: Toryumon in Japan.
Although Roxanne Modafferi (13-5) is coming off of a recent 1st round submission loss to Marloes Coenen, she is certainly favored to win this fight. First of all, she accepted the bout vs. Coenen on very short notice and went up in weight for the bout. This match will be at 135 lbs. Since Helsel prefers to fight at 125 lbs., Roxy will have the size advantage. Secondly, although Modafferi is from the US she has been living in Japan and has the hometown advantage. (And since Japanese judges seem to have something against US fighters, this is more than just a psychological edge.) And though almost all of Roxy’s wins have come by submission or decision, she has been working her stand-up game quite a bit.
Molly “the Maulinator” Helsel (8-8-1) is certainly no slouch herself. She’s been fighting since 2003, and all of her wins have come by TKO or submission. Widely regarded as one of the toughest fighters in her weight class, Helsel has no quit in her and always puts on a good show. Although Helsel appears to be giving up a significant edge, she does seem to do well as an underdog–and a solid win could really improve her standing. The fight is difficult to predict, so I’ll eagerly be awaiting the results.