Strawweights Elise Reed and Jinh Yu Frey faced off as part of Saturday’s UFC Vegas 74 preliminary card.
Frey, a former Invicta FC atomweight champ, was eight years the elder of Reed, but has showed no signs of slowing down in her career. That was apparent in the opening round on Saturday, with Frey controlling the pace and putting Reed on her back within the first two minutes.
Reed seemed to content to stay on her back initially, eventually rolling for an arm-bar she didn’t quite have. If nothing else, the attempt got Frey off of her; they went back to the feet, where the pair traded kicks and single strikes.
A second takedown attempt followed for Frey, and though she landed it, Reed bounced right back up. On the feet, Reed fired a spinning kick and began walking Frey down. But it was Frey catching Reed on the way in with a left hand that might have been the most significant strike of the round. Another left hand landed for Frey moments later in the clinch, and combined with the takedown, that might have clinched the round for her — though an elbow from Reed did result in a hematoma forming on Frey’s forehead.
Between rounds, Reed’s corner suggested she was down. The pair opened the second trading kicks, with Reed making an effort to move forward more and not accept positions. Reed also got her right hand going, while landing kicks to the inside leg, body, and up high, though the latter was blocked.
Frey, as if on cue, changed levels and shot in for a single-leg takedown, eventually turning the corner and completing it. Reed controlled one wrist from bottom, but Frey eventually settled into guard. Reed, as she had done in the first, stayed busy off her back, eventually trapping Frey’s head. But she could not catch Frey in a submission, resulting in Frey spending the bulk of the time remaining on top until a late arm-bar attempt resulted in the pair scrambling back up.
Round three saw an early clinch, with Reed firing a knee off the break. Reed pressed forward, looking to get her hands going. When she closed the distance, Reed ripped the body, and perhaps more importantly, avoided the takedown. The more time the round played out on the feet, the more it favored Reed. She fired a combo just before the final minute that saw multiple strikes hit their mark. Without question, the third round was the best frame of the fight for Elise Reed. The question was, would the judges give her one of the other rounds? Turns out, they did, with Reed coming away with the decision win.
Official Result: Elise Reed def. Jinh Yu Frey by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)