Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Strawweight strikers Felice Herrig and Justine Kish last night (June 25, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 112 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Not all that long ago, it looked like Herrig was not long for this company, but she bounced back admirably. Having turned away two quality prospects in her previous bouts, Herrig was looking to make it three-for-three. Undefeated in UFC, Kish had a chance to announce herself as a top contender in this bout. The kickboxer was a bit wild and inexperienced, sure, but her athleticism and Muay Thai background allowed her to find success regardless.
Not this time.
Kish showed her inexperience early, attempting to force head-and-arm throws and giving up her back. Kish forced her way out, but Herrig’s superior technique allowed her to eventually land in top position anyway. From there, Kish’s poor decisions on the mat led to Herrig taking the mount and back mount once again.
With little more than one minute remaining, Kish finally scrambled back to her feet and began to land. Herrig aimed for another takedown but was reversed to her back, which allowed Kish to control her foe until the end of the round.
Still, Herrig’s earlier work deserved to win her the first five minutes.
The grappling of the opening round seemed to wear Herrig out a bit, who was slower to start the round. Herrig was landing punches despite the fatigue, but Kish hardly cared a bit, pushing through and landing her own strikes anyway.
The tide really began to turn as Kish’s body kicks and clinch knees began to take it’s toll, but Herrig halted the momentum shift with a takedown. Herrig controlled to position for a bit but was reversed, and Kish finished the round on top once again, this time in mount position,
All in all, neither woman could be too confident heading into the third.
Herrig opened with a quick takedown and moved directly into mount. Kish’s lack of technique was frankly astounding, as she did not even understand how to secure an underhook before trying to stand. That flaw gave Herrig the back mount and a locked in rear naked choke, but Kish somehow toughed her way out of the submission.
Kish escaped the choke, but she was still mounted and finally beginning to get tired from her constant energy expenditure. That allowed Herrig to control her opponent with fewer issues, landing lots of ground strikes all along the way.
It was the dominant round she needed, and Herrig was awarded the unanimous decision victory.
Herrig’s grappling was on point tonight. That’s been the strongest part of her game recently, and it allowed her to dominate a far better athlete in this match up. On the feet, Herrig was eating shots despite landing more, but once she switched it up with takedowns, she really embarrassed her opponent instead.
It was ugly.
Over and over, Herrig was able to take dominant positions like the mount and back mount. From there, she was active with ground strikes and submission attempts, which is all you can really ask for. It’s her third strong win in a row, and it solidifies her position as one of the division’s better veterans. Her position just outside the Top 10 remains the same, but it’s likely time for her to receive a fight above her rather than another prospect.
As for Kish, this better serve as a wake up call. She’s a great athlete, but every part of her game lacks any real technique. On her feet, she’s remarkably hittable but just ignores her opponent’s offense, which is sort of a viable path at Strawweight. The more ridiculous aspect is her grappling, as it’s clear she barely has any experience on the mat or trains under an awful instructor.
She just doesn’t know what she’s doing.
Until Kish fixes the massive holes in her grappling, talking about her as a prospect or fighter to watch is a waste of time.
Last night, Felice Herrig used her grappling to dominate Justine Kish. Who should Herrig face next?
For complete UFC Fight Night 112: “Chiesa vs. Lee” results and play-by-play, click HERE!