Thursday, October 28, 2010

Zoila Frausto defeats Megumi Fujii: Article

With a stunning 18 submission wins in her 22 previous career contests, Japanese superstar and top pound-for-pound fighter Fujii was expected to utilize her superior ground game to nullify the potent striking attack of the "Warrior Princess," Frausto.

She did so for exactly 33 seconds.

For the remaining 24 minutes and 27 seconds of the five-round affair, Fujii appeared all too willing to earn Bellator's first-ever 115-pound female title by taking on Frausto in a kickboxing contest. The curious strategy, coupled with a capable counterattack and ample takedown defense spelled disaster for "Mega Megu."

In the early going, Fujii's odd approach actually seemed to be working in her favor. A powerful left hand sent Frausto tumbling to the canvas, but Fujii declined to follow to the floor where most MMA pundits expected her to earn victory. Frausto recovered well, and though she appeared to be defending throughout the frame and pinned against the cage, she did deliver a stunning high kick and right hand follow-up.

The fight carried on much the same in rounds two and three. Frausto was backing up for the majority of the contest, though her counterattacks found their mark on occasion. Fujii wasn't able to land any homerun shots, but she did appear to at least be controlling the center of the cage.

Fujii finally turned to her grappling game in the fourth round, but it was only a feeble trip attempt that Frausto turned aside with ease. When the round ended, both fighters were battered and bruised, and little had been decided.

The fifth round was again close, but Fujii finally scored the takedown many predicted she would enjoy in the bout's opening minutes. It came with just 33 seconds left in the fight, and Fujii had no time to capitalize on the position. Nevertheless, it was certainly enough to believe she took the round.

It wasn't enough.

When the two fighters were brought to the center of the cage, Frausto was awarded the razor-thin and wildly scored split decision, 48-47, 47-48 and 49-46.

With the win, Frausto (9-1 MMA, 3-0 BFC) claims Bellator's first-ever 115-pound title, defeats the woman widely considered the pound-for-pound best in the sport and improves her record to 6-1 in 2010.

Meanwhile, Fujii tastes defeat for the first time in 23 professional contests.


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