BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU legend Michelle Nicolini continued her ONE Championship streak with another spectacular victory submitting five-time wushu world champion Irina Mazepa in their strawweight encounter at ONE: Kings of Desiny last week.
Nicolini and Mazepa engaged in another classic matchup between a grappler and a striker with the grappler negating the striker’s advantage in distance by taking the fight to the mat.
The two dynamic female mixed martial artists tested the waters by trading strikes on their feet for the first thirty seconds of the contest. Nicolini, who trains with other BJJ and Muay Thai world champions at Evolve MMA in Singapore, will have none of that. She wasted no time in taking the fight to the canvas, and immediately ended up in side control.
Nicolini controlled Mazepa’s position and moved effortlessly into the mount. After attempting a belly-down armbar, the Brazilian was swept to the bottom. For a moment, it looked as if Mazepa was about to inflict some damage from atop a mount.
However, it was not meant to be. Nicolini was very comfortable, and knew exactly what she was doing. She quickly moved out of harm’s way and was able to lock in another armbar, which forced the St. Petersburg, Russia native to tap out at the 2:11 mark of the opening stanza.
Both fighters are renowned in their disciplines and their bout could just as easily have been a world championship in strawweight if the promotion had a world title in that division.
Following the fight, Nicolini pleaded for the inauguration of the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship. If a world championship for the division does materialize, the Evolve MMA product will undoubtedly be a top contender.
Nicolini improves her MMA record to 4-1. As for Mazepa, she receives the first defeat of her career, and slips to 2-1.