London — Elise Reed rose to the occasion in her second fight inside the UFC octagon, playing spoiler to Cory McKenna, the Welsh strawweight who was essentially fighting at home at UFC London.
Reed had entered the UFC last year in a short-notice appointment with Sijara Eubanks, losing a decision while moonlighting up a division. It got her foot in the door, but ahead of the London card at the O2 Arena on Saturday, Reed told us that she wanted to reintroduce herself to fight fans, in her natural 115lb weight class.
She’s hoping Saturday did just that. “I hope so. I hope so. I think I was able to show the excitement that I can bring,” she told Cageside Press and other journalists backstage following the fight. “I’m a little tougher on myself than normal people, so I’d like to showcase a little more. But if there’s anything you can take from this fight, is that I can throw, I can hit hard, and I will bring it every single round. I will press the pace, I will push, I will make them feel uncomfortable, and I’m looking to gain some more fans as we go along.”
The biggest surprise following the three-round split decision was a 30-27 score from one judge. Or maybe it shouldn’t be all that surprising. It wasn’t only the judging that felt off in Reed vs. McKenna, as the live odds following round two favored McKenna, despite nearly every media outlet and the UFC’s own commentary team favoring Reed.
Reed appeared less taken aback than some observers. “I’m a harsh critic when I’m in there, so I knew that she had some control against the cage and on the ground. I was a little surprised at 30-27, just because I feel like I put some solid damage, but I’m in their territory,” she stated. “I never want to go to a decision when I’m not in the home town, but it is what it is.”
In terms of a return date, Reed isn’t looking to waste any time, though she was clear Saturday that flyweight was not something she’d try again.
“As soon as possible,” Reed replied when asked when she wanted to fight again. “I don’t get out of shape, I’m ready to work. If Dana wants me to jump in somewhere— not at 125 though, 115 only, but I’m good.”
Watch the full UFC London post-fight press scrum with Elise Reed above. More coverage from the event can be found below.