Emily Ducote, who makes her promotional debut at UFC Long Island, fought for Bellator from 2016-2018 and went 4-4 for the promotion. She went on to fight for Invicta and went 4-1 for them. She became the Invicta FC strawweight champion in spectacular fashion (care of a head kick) and in her sendoff fight to the UFC she defended her belt. Welcoming her to the UFC is a long-time UFC veteran Jessica Penne. Penne has been in the UFC since 2014.
Emily “Gordinha” Ducote
Standing at 5’2″
Fighting at 115 lbs (strawweight)
Fighting out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US
Training out of American Top Team OKC
A pro record of 11-6
3 KO/TKOs, 4 Submissions
How will Ducote fare in the UFC:
Ducote is overlooked because her record doesn’t look all that good. Saying that she is a UFC-level fighter without a doubt. Over the last couple of years she’s fought at a high level fighting good competition. With Ducote she’s won her last three and that last loss to Kanako Murata I thought she won.
Ducote has a lot of confidence no matter where the fight is. On the feet, her eyes are wide open, and she cuts the cage off, all while staying in the face of her opponent. Ducote is proficient in what she throws. Everything thrown is sought out and does a fantastic job mixing in up. She will actively chop at the lead legs while throwing her hands. Her right hand is powerful but I like her ability to land combinations more. I love the way she goes to the body and head. Ducote goes body-head and head-body always mixing up her patterns. When you let her get in her rhythm her striking will smother you and have you froze on the outside.
Ducote does so well with her striking that her wrestling is a great appetizer. She is good a lulling her opponents into her striking before changing levels and getting the takedown. Ducote has good elbows on top and will get any submission if the chance comes. Even off her back she’s usually the more active fighter. Ducote has fluid hips actively going to the armbar. Even if she don’t get the submission she’s never complacent off her back.
Where Ducote struggles is against a good well-rounded MMA fighter. Someone with a lot of pressure will frustrate Ducote. Ducote will make you pay if you’re not coming at her with not enough footwork. She does get hit a lot more off her backfoot if she gets walked down. Her takedown defense isn’t bad at all and even when taken down she’s good off her back. Saying that she still is there to get taken down and a wrestle-heavy attack will give her some problems.
This is a very good signing from the UFC. As of right now, I think Ducote is a top fifteen talent in the UFC’s strawweight division. I think she would even beat a few of the women at the bottom of the rankings right now. Ducote is an experienced fighter and is still just 28-years-old. She’s much better today than she was in Bellator, where she fought for the inaugural women’s flyweight title, and I believe she can get into some big fights in her UFC career.
How she matches up with Penne:
Penne since coming back from a lengthy USADA suspension has won her last two. Saying that I think she lost to Godinez and beating Karolina Kowalkiewicz doesn’t prove anything nowadays. Penne is nearing 40-years-old and isn’t the fighter she once was. Where Penne is going to find the most success is on the mat. I don’t see her being able to smother Ducote on the mat and more so can’t see her taking Ducote down actively. Ducote is a much better striker. Although Penne is the longer fighter the leg kicks and bodywork of Ducote should pay off. I like Ducote in this fight because she’s the younger, faster, and more durable fighter.