Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Strawweight fighters Paige VanZant and Alex Chambers battled last night (Sept. 5, 2015) at UFC 191 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
VanZant entered this bout with all the momentum in the world. The 21 year old combatant was a massive favorite, and she was looking to make a statement by putting a beating on her opponent.
Meanwhile, the start to Chambers' UFC career was less than successful, as she was submitted on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) and in her debut. Nonetheless, she did manage to upset Kailan Curran in her last bout and was looking to do the same to "12 Gauge."
VanZant began the fight quickly by closing the distance and working into the Muay Thai clinch. From that position, she landed a large number of knees and elbows, though "Astro Girl" managed to land some decent punches.
As the round wore on, it became apparent that VanZant's pace and knees to the body were wearing on her opponent. Chambers was definitely beginning to slow down, which allowed VanZant to land even more shots.
All in all, it was a strong start for the 21 year old.
VanZant's strategy didn't change heading into the second round, as she continued to pressure her opponent relentlessly. Once she secured the clinch, she threw her opponent around and ripped into her with constant knees.
With about a minute remaining in the round, VanZant scored with a hard body kick that hurt Chambers. She rushed towards the finish, swarming her opponent with punches and takedowns, but Chambers hung tough and lasted till the end of the round.
However, the end appeared to be imminent for the fatiguing Aussie.
Once more, VanZant moved into the clinch, first scoring with a heavy overhand right. From there, she tossed her opponent to the mat and hunted for the rear naked choke. Chambers turned flat and gave up the mount, but VanZant simply began to work with ground strikes.
Chambers attempted to buck VanZant off, but she left one of her arms exposed in the process. The Team Alpha Male fighter quickly latched onto the arm bar and sat back, cranking the submission and earn the tap out.
This was another strong performance for VanZant. Her conditioning and toughness while likely be her most important attributes for a long time, but her technique is definitely coming along as well. Notably, she was more defensively sound at range in this bout, and VanZant also avoided the takedowns from the clinch, an area she has struggled with.
Offensively, VanZant's clinch work was far more effective than she's shown in the past. She really broke Chambers down with her barrage of knees to the body, which make her conditioning edge even more effective.
For VanZant's next bout, she should face off with a fellow top 10 opponent. She's ranked right next to Joanne Calderwood, which would be an entertaining bout and reasonable challenge for the young prospect.
Unfortunately for Chambers, she doesn't appear to have the athleticism to compete with most strawweights. She's definitely tough enough and has some solid jiu-jitsu, but she largely cannot keep up with the young fighters in her division.
There's no easy solution for that problem.
Assuming she still has a spot on the UFC roster, Chambers should scrap with Felice Herrig, another women who recently fell to VanZant.
Last night, Paige VanZant continued to find success in the UFC, submitting her opponent in the third round. How high she climb in the organization's newest division?
For complete UFC 191 "Johnson vs Dodson" results and play-by-play, click HERE!
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