For those looking for storylines in fights, UFC Vegas 29’s Kanako Murata vs. Virna Jandiroba had an obvious one. Both women were previous Invicta FC strawweight champions, and under other circumstances, might have faced off inside the confines of that promotion’s cage.
Instead, Murata vs. Jandiroba went down inside the octagon Saturday night, part of the latest ESPN card (UFC on ESPN 25, to be exact) from Dana White and co.
There was plenty of feints and movement early in Murata vs. Jandiroba, but it was the Brazilian Jandiroba connecting first — and how. Her right hand did some serious damage, forcing Murata back to the fence. Murata’s strikes, when she threw them, were hitting air. She appeared gun shy, and wary of the clearly more polished hands of her opponent. With Jandiroba just barely grazing Murata with a right hook, again backing her up again the fence, the Japanese fighter was at least able to reverse.
After some time with Murata in control, Jandiroba jumped into guard, and while she didn’t have the initial submission, she soon locked on with an arm-bar. Murata pulled free; Jandiroba answered with a triangle attempt, and another arm-bar. Murata stepped over, onto the back of Jandiroba, who had gone belly-down to complete the submission. That put the Japanese fighter out of harm’s way, but she was essentially stuck. When she did free herself, it was right back into Jandiroba’s guard, which was clearly a dangerous place for Murata to be.
Murata was going to want to switch things up in the second, given that the opening frame had been downright disastrous for her. Once again, Jandiroba pushed forward, throwing her right hand, which consistently backed Murata up. Murata’s right eye was showing some swelling, but it was her left side where Jandiroba connected with a head kick. Murata ate it, but by the midway point of the round, she was well-back on the score cards — and her left arm appeared to be weakened from the earlier arm-bar attempt. Jandiroba continued to piece her opponent up, with Murata looking more and more like a sitting duck.
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Between rounds, the doctor was brought in, waving off the fight due to the clearly damaged arm of Kanako Murata. A wise decision, as she appeared barely able to move it.
Official Result: Virna Jandiroba def. Kanako Murata by TKO (doctor’s stoppage), Round 2, 5:00