In a grappling-heavy affair, England’s Kate Jackson was able to derail the Anastasia Yankova hype train, handing the Russian her first career loss at Bellator 200.
In women’s flyweight action at Bellator’s milestone 200th card in London, England on Friday, the much-hyped Anastasia Yankova returned to action against England’s own Kate Jackson. Jackson would be looking to deal the Russian beauty her first professional loss, while Yankova hoped to remain perfect inside the cage. For Yankova, it was her first fight in just over a year — and a bout in which she had no troubles making the flyweight limit.
That latter bit made it something of a rarity. Still, how she would look in the cage was the big question. Early on, the Russian found herself under siege by Jackson, with the British fighter flashing a high kick and throwing hands. However, Yankova was able to stuff a takedown and get Jackson to the canvas, only to be reversed and have Kate Jackson make it to mount. Yankova gave up her back trying to escape, and looked to shake her opponent off while Jackson sought to secure a rear-naked choke. Yankova was able to escape, only to have Jackson reverse again, take control from the back and land some heavy punches. Yankova defended by holding onto Jackson’s right wrist, but that allowed a constant barrage of lefts to hit home. A good chunk of the round played out in that fashion. While Anastasia was able to fend off choke attempts and escape the round, it was an utterly dominant frame from Kate Jackson.
The clinch came early in the second, with both women trading knees against the cage. Before long, Jackson was getting the better of the clinch game, with Yankova just trying to stay on her feet. Jackson switched to a high crotch single, picking the Russian right up and taking her down. Yankova almost managed to land on top, but it was Jackson taking dominant position. The Russian would finally escape to her feet by threatening with upkicks, but soon enough Jackson was driving her into the fence once again. There, she worked more knees, and moved back to the high crotch single once again. Yankova defended with a whizzer, while Jackson soon gave up on the takedown and attacked a leg. That allowed Yankova to finally score some damage, landing a few elbows and additional punches from the top.
Anastasia Yankova was no doubt down entering into the third round, and tried to come out swinging only to end up back on defense as England’s Jackson went back to the well with her grappling. Yankova desperately looked to create space, throwing combinations when ever she could. And finally with a little over two minutes remaining, as Jackson looked to take her opponent down, it was Yankova landing on top, looking to land ground and pound. Yankova moved to side control with ninety seconds remaining. Working to trap an arm, Yankova allowed herself to fall out of position. It was a costly mistake. That opened the door for Jackson to get on top and take the back, eliminating any chance of a comeback from Yankova. The bout ended to Kate Jackson dropping some heavy elbows as a defeated Anastasia Yankova covered up.
Kate Jackson def. Anastasia Yankova by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)