Cortney Casey was taken down early at UFC on ESPN 8, but was able to pull off the always difficult armbar from her back against Mara Romero Borella in the first round.
Cortney Casey was making the move to flyweight at UFC on ESPN 8 in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday. There to welcome her, Italy’s Mara Romero Borella. Casey had built a reputation at strawweight as a fighter difficult to finish — “Cast Iron” had never been finished inside the Octagon, despite fighting some of the best the strawweight division has to offer like Claudia Gadelha, Michelle Waterson, and Angela Hill. Borella, for her part, was looking to snap a two-fight skid and had lost three of her last four.
Cortney Casey started out her flyweight tenure with a few leg kicks. Mara Romero Borella closed the distance, pushed Casey against the cage and took her down. Borella was working for side control, but Casey was able to retain guard and began climbing the ladder to look for an armbar. She nearly had it, but Borella broke free and returned to guard. Casey accepted the first failed attempt and went for it again. This time, Borella yelped and tapped as Casey had it locked in.
🅲🅰🆂🆃 🅸🆁🅾🅽 🍳@CastIron_Casey locks in the RD1 sub!
— UFC (@ufc) May 16, 2020
Since a 2016 armbar submission over Randa Markos, it’s been a string of close decisions for Casey. A first-round armbar in a new division is definitely a welcomed change of pace for Casey, who is looking to take the wide-open 125-pound weight class by storm.
Cortney Casey def. Mara Romero Borella by Submission (Armbar) in Round 1 (3:36)