UFC 302: Ailin Perez Wins Decision, Squashes Beef with Joselyne Edwards

Ailin Perez and Joselyne Edwards, UFC 302
Ailin Perez and Joselyne Edwards, UFC 302 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Dylan Napoleone/Cageside Press

A grudge match of considerable proportions represented the lone women’s fight at UFC 302 on Saturday, as Ailin Perez took on Joselyne Edwards at bantamweight.

The pair had been involved in a scuffle at the UFC PI late last year, which led to allegations that Perez’s coach had choked out Edwards, though both sides offered their own version of the story.

With Edwards declining a glove touch, the action got underway, with Perez earning an early takedown inside of a minute in. She couldn’t keep Edwards there, but landed a second takedown almost as soon as they got back up, this time moving into Edwards’ half-guard. After a moment, however, Edwards was table to reverse! That gave her some top time, but she didn’t stay there long, and Perez got back in control with Edwards sitting against the fence. And when Edwards powered up, Perez was there to take her right back down.

This time, Perez looked to pass to side control, with Edwards doing little off her back. With twenty seconds in the round, however, Joselyne finally found an opening, reversed, and finished the frame on top.

Early in round two, Edwards wrapped up a guillotine while defending a takedown, and while the choke wasn’t completed, she used it to get on top of Perez. Well away from the fence, Edwards had three and a half minutes on the clock, but wasn’t overly active from top position. And when they did leave the position, it was due to a headbutt landed by Edwards, who was warned for the foul.

Starting back on the feet seemed like it might benefit Edwards, but instead it was Perez connecting and dropping her opponent! Edwards got back up, and Perez clinched up, eventually getting the fight down and looking for an arm-bar, only for Edwards to reverse once again.

Round three saw the pair clinch up early, with Perez landing off the break. They came together again against the fence a moment later, with Perez reversing and looking to land a throw. In the end, neither woman could get the fight down for long and they’d end up at center, trading, with more of a stand-up round playing out. The back-and-forth that followed saw both women land, including several kicks, but the grudge match that had promised fireworks instead seemed to fizzle, though Ailin Perez would land a final takedown. The pair appeared to hug it out at the end of the fight, with the corners shaking hands as well, squashing the beef- while Perez came away with the win.

Official Result: Ailin Perez def. Joselyne Edwards by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)