Angela Hill returned at UFC Norfolk on Saturday — but could she overcome Nina Ansaroff, thereby extending her win streak to two?
Former Invicta FC strawweight champion Angela Hill faced Nina Ansaroff Saturday at UFC Fight Night 120. The bout, which opened the televised preliminary card, was a chance for Hill to run up her first UFC win streak. A competitor on season twenty of The Ultimate Fighter, Hill was a virtual unknown heading into the reality competition back in 2014. Joining TUF with a record of just 1-0, she was quickly bounced from the tournament by eventual winner Carla Esparza.
With the entire TUF 20 cast being welcomed into the UFC, however, Hill still had a chance to shine. Defeating Emily Kagan at the finale of that season, it looked like Hill might get a chance to stick around. Two straight losses, however, saw her cut from the promotion. She then landed in Invicta FC, probably the best place for a young, raw female fighter. There, Hill went on a four fight win streak that saw her capture strawweight gold. That bout, an upset of Livia Renata Souza, led to a successful title defense. In turn, that brought her back to the UFC on short notice against Jessica Andrade.
While Hill would come up short against Andrade, she put on a valiant effort at UFC Fight Night 104, with the pair earning Fight of the Night honors. Picking up a win against Ashley Yoder at the TUF 25 finale in June, she’d be looking for a similar performance against Ansaroff.
Nina Ansaroff, meanwhile, finally appeared ready to shake off the mantle of “Amanda Nunes’ girlfriend” and branch out on her own. The Florida native last fought in January at UFC Fight Night 103, where she picked up a win over Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger. Were she to defeat Hill, she’d improve her UFC record to 2-2.
Ansaroff opened up the action with her jab and some heavy leg kicks. Hill displayed good movement, and when she went on the attack, she connected with an overhand right hand that landed with a crack. Hill was getting touched coming in, and nearly ate a spinning back fist. Ansaroff managed to put together some impressive combos, using her kicks to set them up. Hill then began adding leg kicks of her own. Later in the round, Hill would catch a kick and drop Ansaroff on her back, but declined to go to the ground, instead allowing her opponent back up.
In the second, Hill looked to circle out of harm’s way, but an Ansaroff right hand bloodied her nose. Ansaroff, meanwhile, was showing damage to her legs, despite Hill getting started on the kicking game later. Ansaroff caught a leg and nearly scored a takedown ninety seconds in; Hill would shake it off, and they’d stay standing. Overhill’s combinations started land, but Ansaroff appeared to have the power advantage. She would then wobble Hill with a leg kick. Hill would answer a bit later with a counter right, and these two were going!
The third was to be a story of who wanted it more. Ansaroff’s leg kicks were doing serious damage to Hill, who would answer with her combinations. Whether she could keep her movement going with that much damage to the legs, however, remained to be seen. At the two minute mark, they’d open the flood gates, with Ansaroff going on the offensive; Hill answered back, then Ansaroff dropped her briefly with a push kick. They’d slug it out to the end of the round; Nina Ansaroff would pick up a hard-fought unanimous decision in the end.
Nina Ansaroff def. Angela Hill by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)