Saturday, July 11, 2015
Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Ayaka Hamasaki vs Herica Tiburcio
Here's the match video of Ayaka Hamasaki vs Herica Tiburcio from Thursday's Invicta show from Las Vegas. It aired on UFC Fight Pass so I'm sure plenty of you didn't get to see it. As I said in my show recap, this is the kind of match that opens the debate of judging the whole match vs the ten point round system that is currently used. I think Ayaka wins the Invicta Atomweight Championship either way but one never knows how judges will interpret things and that made this fight closer than it actually was. Round one was mostly standing and I thought Ayaka landed more punches. But towards the end of the round, Herica took Ayaka down and applied her favourite hold, the guillotine. But Ayaka escaped. I scored the round 10-9 for Ayaka. But Herica could have stolen the round on the judges scorecards. And she has the ability to do that in every round. So Megumi Fujii told Ayaka to ground Herica and keep her there. The balance for Ayaka is to be active enough so ref Kim Winslow doesn't stand them up. The problem is that Winslow is very inconsistent. Who knows what she will do? In round two, Ayaka took Herica down. And though I thought she was active enough, Winslow stood them up. Ayaka took her down again and I thought the second stand up was worse than the first. It didn't seem to bother Ayaka and I scored round two 10-9 in her favour. Look, I'm not a fan of that strategy but this is for the title. It was the best strategy for Ayaka to win the fight. And we saw in round three that Herica took Ayaka's back towards the end of the round and threatened with a rear naked choke. I gave Herica that round 10-9 and that's why grounding her was the right strategy. The way for Herica to change the flow of the fight is to be more aggressive and initiate her own offense. She didn't do that. And Ayaka won the final two rounds the same way she won round two. So I scored the fight 49-46 for Ayaka. One judge scored it the same as me. The second judge scored it 48-47 for Ayaka. But the third judge scored it 48-47 for Herica. I don't see how anyone could score three rounds for Herica. She didn't do enough. That just shows that Ayaka had a winning strategy though it wasn't very exciting. Congratulations to Ayaka Hamasaki for winning the Invicta Atomweight Championship. And congratulations to Megumi Fujii for providing the winning strategy. Of course Ayaka was crying during her post match interview. BTW, the translator was Ayaka's manager Shu Hirata of Sucker Punch Entertainment. Also in attendance was retired fighter Rina Tomita with her daughter. Rina got Ayaka into MMA. And retired fighter Rumina Sato who has been pals with Megumi Fujii for many years along with the president of clothing sponsor Inspirit. So it was a great night for Ayaka and Megumi and for all their fans. Enjoy the video!