Jessamyn Duke dealt first loss at UFC 172

Following 15 minutes of a hard-fought Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight bout, Glendale Fighting Club’s Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke thought she would have her hand raised.

Instead, for the first time, Duke was dealt a professional loss, as she was on the wrong end of a unanimous decision against Bethe Correia on Saturday night at UFC 172 in Baltimore.

“I thought I had it,” Duke told the UFC after the fight. “I knew it was going to be close, but I really thought the fight was mine.”

Correia won the 135-pound bout via scores of 30-27 twice and 29-28. The Glendale News-Press scored it 30-27.

Duke (3-1) showcased some solid muay Thai clinch work and notched three takedowns, including two beautiful judo throws in the second round, but Correia (8-0) stayed undefeated as she landed more strikes and was the busier fighter, particularly with leg kicks and plenty of overhands and hooks.

“The fight was exactly what I expected. We threw a lot of punches and stayed on our feet,” Correia told the UFC. “I’m very happy because I was able to be aggressive and connect my jabs and kicks. I noticed that she didn’t want to go to the ground with me either. The times she did get me on the ground were only because I was too close to her and not because she was able to take me down when she wanted.”

It was Duke, the UFC’s tallest female fighter at 5 foot 11 inches, who jabbed to a greater degree, as she tried to use her reach advantage against the 5-foot-5 Correia, but Correia, who has won all of her bouts via decision, was often able to wade in with hooks and slip out.

Duke, a contestedcontestant on the 18th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” as a member of Team Rousey, began the first round probing with her left jab, but it was Correia who found success largely with leg kicks to Duke’s lead left leg and by slipping inside and throwing hooks.

Duke got more aggressive as the round went on, finding success when she got a muay Thai clinch and delivered knees to the body. By the end, it was a close stanza, but one in which Correia likely edged ahead, though it was the one round that went Duke’s way on any of the three judges’ cards.

In the second round, the two would come together in a clinch against the cage, but Duke would land a slick throw for a takedown. Correia was able to grapple for side control, though. Duke worked her way up and she notched another takedown, this one an even more beautiful judo throw. Correia was able to pop up and they went back to striking, with both throwing more freely than the first round. Duke began to show some color around her right eye, as Correia continued landing well with her hooks.

Correia was getting the better of the fight standing in the third, wading in with hooks. With roughly 90 seconds remaining, Duke landed a trip takedown and went for an armbar, but Correia slipped loose. Correia then found herself in Duke’s guard. The referee stood the combatants up with 30 seconds remaining and Correia moved forward again and the two traded to end the bout.

Duke, whose fight was shown on Fox Sports 1, was cornered by Glendale Fighting Club lead trainer Edmond Tarverdyan, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and UFC fighter Shayna Baszler.

UFC 172 began with preliminary fights on UFC’s Fight Pass online stream.

The first bout of the card saw Chris “Real Deal” Beal, a member of Team Rousey on “The Ultimate Fighter,” make his UFC debut against Patrick Williams and announce his presence with highlight-reel authority. A picture-perfect textbook flying right knee knocked Williams (7-4) cold at the 1:51 mark of the second round, as he walked off with a men’s bantamweight victory that improved his record to 9-0.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World