The MMA Gods wanted me to waste my time watching video last week apparently, as two of the three bouts I previewed were ultimately canceled. Veta Arteaga tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), which led to the cancellation of her bout with Desiree Yanez at Bellator 250. Then, the scheduled bout between Priscila Cachoeira and Cortney Casey at UFC on ESPN+ 39 was scrapped due to a weight-cutting issue for Cachoeira. Luckily, we still had the Legacy Fighting Alliance title bout between Vanessa Demopoulos and Lupita Godinez, and there was another female bout on the LFA 94 card between Loveth Young and Reena Norville. Let’s take a look at both of those fights.
OK, there really isn’t a whole lot to break down here because this one was quick. Young defeated Norville via TKO in round one. However, I wanted to at least mention it, as I am such a fan of Young’s fight style and I enjoy her confident-yet-humble attitude.
Right out of the gate, both ladies came out swinging. This was not good for Norville, who was unable to defend herself very well. Young has a ton of power and quickly took charge, landing the harder and cleaner shots. Right away, Young had Norville taking a step back.
To Norville’s credit, she didn’t shy away. She was being hit and hurt, but she was still throwing. However, Young was able to land the big one that dropped her, and it was all over.
What’s next for Young? This is one of those situations where you really can’t answer this question. I am sure the LFA will want to get her back in there reasonably quickly, so the company will look to sign someone for her to fight. It would probably be someone with more pro experience than Norville had, but not someone too experienced either.
Godinez defeated Demopoulos via majority decision. First off let me say, when you are making your list of “Fight of the Year” contenders, I suggest you include this fight. What a great bout these ladies put on.
In my preview, I mentioned that Demopoulos can be hit and that Godinez comes forward aggressively. This played out early here. Godinez got out to a big lead, landing punches that were hurting and busting up Demopoulos. Demopoulos tried to retaliate, but she really couldn’t get much going. Once she engaged, she was hit harder and more often.
Demopoulos made some desperate attempts to clinch or get it down, but Godinez was wise to it and blocked those efforts while hurting Demopoulos some more. Demopoulos didn’t fold, though. She showed the heart she is known for and kept trying. As the fight wore on, Godinez did slow a bit, which allowed Demopoulos to get some things done and eventually get the fight to the ground.
Demopoulos can be really slick and get submission attempts out of nowhere, and she began to do that here. She finally made Godinez face some adversity, but Godinez was able to stand and get out of the position. Back on the feet, with Godinez not having the same energy as she did earlier, Demopoulos, though still eating some shots, was even able to begin landing a few of her own. She did enough to take some late rounds from some of the judges, but the hole was too big to climb out of, as two scored it for Godinez and one had it even.
It’s really hard to pinpoint anything Demopoulos could have done differently. It’s not that she fought a bad fight or anything. Godinez was just on her game. Demopoulos is a very confident fighter, so perhaps she felt she could stand with Godinez. It was evident early on that this was clearly not going to work. So maybe a commitment to the ground game earlier would have helped Demopoulos. She could have looked for the takedown right away and maybe put Godinez on the defensive. When you are worried about getting taken down, you can be a little more hesitant to throw strikes.However, Godinez saw she had a willing partner in the striking game and was able to unload. Demopoulos did finally get it to the ground and had some success, but she couldn’t keep it there and maybe that was in part due to being weakened from the abuse she took early.
In no way, though, does this result mean Demopoulos is taking a step back. It was two very skilled fighters going at it, and one had a better night than the other.
What’s next for Godinez? Well, there will be the allure of the rematch, so that is a possibility. I would like to see her defend the title against Sam Hughes. Remember, Hughes was beating Demopoulos in their fight for the title until Demopoulos pulled out a submission in the fourth round. Godinez against Hughes can be every bit as good of a fight as this one was. It also gives Demopoulos a chance to get a confidence-building win in the meantime and then maybe come back and fight the winner of Godinez and Hughes.