Back in May, Joanna Yap downplayed her debut win over Chan Jing Man, insisting she was "not a big fish" in the crowded Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts (MIMMA) pond. But that was then.
This is now.
In addition to her win during the MIMMA 3 Ladder Match, Yap went on to claim victory over Mardiana Binti Mohd Maulana in the June quarterfinals, before ousting Samantha Tan in September. That left her at 3-0 for her 2015 fight campaign and just one win away from reaching the top of the women's mountain.
But don't expect her to rest on her laurels if she prevails at the MIMMA 3 "Grand Finals" this Saturday night (Oct. 10, 2015) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (full fight card here).
"There are women who have been doing this earlier behind the scenes and what I would to do is to find out who they are so that they can be recognized for what they have done," Yap told The Borneo Post Seeds. "What we see now for women's MMA, somebody has to break the ground before and this happened way before out of the spotlight of the social media and newspapers because women's sport seems to take a back seat."
Not for long.
The rise of women's mixed martial arts (MMA) has been orchestrated by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, picking up where Strikeforce attraction Gina Carano left off in late 2009. But that doesn't help the international fighters who are looking to ply their trade.
Which is why MIMMA has once again blazed its own trail by adding a "Women's Pride" division.
But it's not all champagne and party hats for Yap just yet. Waiting for her at the upcoming MIMMA 3 "Grand Finals" is the dangerous Felicia Yunus, who started her combat sports career as a striker but eventually transitioned to the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).
The results have been devastating.
In addition to her silver medal at the 2014 Pan Asians, the Alpha MMA standout also went 3-0 under the MIMMA banner with two dominating performances. After decisioning Darmawati Arsyad in the Ladder Match, Yunus submitted Amalia Syakirah in the opening round of the quaterfinals, before finishing Gladys Molling with a nasty arm lock in September.
We can't guarantee who will win this evenly-matched contest, but what we can guarantee, is that Joanna Yap vs. Felicia Yunus is an early contender for "Fight of the Night."
MIMMA 3 will be televised for local audiences via TV1, but international viewers can find out how to stream it LIVE right here.
Fight fans in the area on Oct. 10 can pick up tickets to the "Grand Finals" by clicking here. To keep up to date on all the latest MIMMA 3 news, be sure to follow them on their Twitter and Facebook accounts here and here. Video previews and special features on participating fighters can be found at their official YouTube page here.
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Be sure to check back with us over the coming days for a closer look at the upcoming MIMMA 3 "Grand Finals," including fighter breakdowns, video sneak peeks, photo galleries, and much, much more. And of course, full results of all the live MMA action on Oct. 10.