The UFC has an interesting little problem on its hands when it comes to Gillian Robertson. The good kind.
Robertson returned at UFC Fight Island 6, and heading into her fight with Poliana Botelho, the diminutive fighter with the eye-catching red hair already had the most wins at flyweight, most finishes, and most submissions. And the Canadian “Savage” still hasn’t hit her prime.
Her opponent, Poliana Botelho, returned to the flyweight division last year, after a rocky attempt to establish herself at strawweight (after winning her first two bouts, Botelho suffered a loss against Cynthia Calvillo and moved back up). A victory over Lauren Mueller got Botelho back in the win column.
Robertson immediately shot in for a single leg off the opening bell on Saturday, forcing Botelho on the defensive early. Poliana fought off the attempt, but not without a fair amount of effort. Back on the feet, Botelho then initiated a clinch, which Robertson was able to reverse. After a knee from Botelho they’d break, and at a distance, Poliana Botelho was finally able to open up, firing off a couple of whip-like kicks.
The Canadian, however, would latch on to a leg. Very much a sign of things to come. Botelho broke free, landed another kick, and slowly pressed forward. Robertson, however, perfectly timed a takedown, planting Botelo on her back and moving to half guard. There wasn’t enough time on the clock to do much with the position, however.
Round two was a different story. Robertson almost immediately scored a takedown after a Botelho body kick. Working from guard, the Canadian had a good four minutes plus on the clock. She connected with a few punches, looking to pass guard. Robertson eventually made it to side control, then to mount, with careful, deliberate pacing. That allowed her to open up with ground n’ pound, including a couple of heavy elbows prior to the end of the round.
Botelho’s right eye was showing some damage by the third. Within a minute, Robertson had timed a takedown and put the Brazilian on her back. Once again the Canadian had four minutes to work. While Botelho did her best to defend, a minute or so later, Robertson was again in mount. A flurry of ground n’ pound followed. Robertson eventually took the back. Botelho managed to avoid being submitted, but Robertson was absolutely dominant across the final two rounds.
🇨🇦 @Savage_UFC earns her SIXTH win at flyweight.
— UFC (@ufc) October 17, 2020
The good problem to have that the UFC is blessed with? That’s a fighter not yet in her prime, setting records in the flyweight division every time she competes. There’s no need to rush Robertson, and she seems to know it, making a smart callout of fellow prospect Antonina Shevchenko after her win.
Official Result: Gillian Robertson def. Poliana Botelho by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)