After a year out of action, Tracy Cortez returned as part of a massive UFC 274 card on Saturday in Phoenix, paired up in a flyweight showdown with Brazilian Melissa Gatto.
It didn’t take long for Cortez to pick up where she’d left off in April 2021, when she’d picked up a win over current Bellator fighter Justine Kish. After a couple of calf kicks, Cortez got the fight down, and got on top. But Gatto attacked an arm off her back, and had to be wary given how dry they were early. Finally, they’d move back to the feet, where Gatto fired a few low kicks. Gatto then clamped on a body lock, and moments later they’d be back on the ground.
Again, Gatto lifted her hips and looked to snatch an arm, which Cortez had to wrench free. Cortez opted to stay in the Brazilian’s guard. It was a dangerous game, but she survived the round and likely won it given all that top time.
In round two, Cortez landed with a knee to the body in the opening minute. Gatto landed a left. She’s pushing forward. Hits home with a right. Fans on a kick. Superman punch from Gatto follows, and she then scooped Cortez up and landed the takedown! Cortez was right back up. Gatto moved to the back, dropping some ground and pound. She was trying to flatten her opponent out. Gatto wound up with Cortez on top of her, Gatto controlling from the back with hooks in. Gatto locked in an arm-bar attempt. Cortez stacked her up, and she was out!
Still, the round likely belonged to Melissa Gatto. In the third, Cortez set the tone early, landing a takedown out in the open. Well away from the fence, Cortez had lots of space, and time, to work. They’d spend most of the round battling it out on the ground, with Cortez getting the upperhand — extending her win streak to 10 after a year away.
Official Result: Tracy Cortez def. Melissa Gatto by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-29)