In her toughest test to date, Paige VanZant will face #3 ranked Rose Namajunas in the headliner for UFC Fight Night 80 in Las Vegas on December 10th.

Both fighters have massive potential in the relatively new women’s Strawweight division that is surely looking for some star power. Going into this bout all eyes are on VanZant, training out of team Alpha Male, who with only 3 wins in the UFC is already headlining an event. VanZant has shown massive improvement every time she steps into the Octagon and at just 21 years old, she has the potential to be a star in the UFC. With an impressive showing against Namajunas on Thursday night, some might say she is ready for the winner of Joanne Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha, but I believe Dana White won’t rush her into a title fight too fast. We can’t end the hype train that rapidly could we?

On the other hand, Namajunas is really fighting with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Despite only having a professional record of 3-2, she had three wins during the Ultimate Fighter competition with all three wins coming via submission. After her stint on season 20 of the Ultimate Fighter, Namajunas had a lot of hype going into the live finale and was even getting Ronda Rousey like comparisons. She went on to lose to Carla Esparza in the third round. If she would have won that fight, she would not only been crowned the winner of the season, but also become the first ever strawweight champion in the UFC. She most recently bounced back and defeated Angela Hill in the first round in a very impressive performance that put her back into the conversation in the strawweight division.

Namajunas at just 23 years old, is in a similar situation to VanZant since they both have incredible potential at such a young age and all the tools needed to be successful in the UFC. With a win over VanZant, and the strawweight division in need of challengers for the champion, it’s likely we see Namajunas getting the next title shot if she is able to end the VanZant hype.

Stylistically Namajunas is by far the hardest test VanZant has ever faced in her career thus far. Namajunas utilizes forward movement in her fighting style and throws a lot of jabs and high kicks. She also like to get into the grapple exchanges where she can use her arsenal of submission techniques. VanZant likes to engage in aggressive grappling as well as utilize her ground-and-pound to finish her opponents by strikes which is something that can put her in danger with Rose’s ability to submit you from any position on the ground.

If Namajunas is able to avoid clinching with VanZant, I see this fight being a lot more interesting than most people may believe.

 

Stay tuned for the latest news and updates revolving around UFC Fight Night 80.

About The Author

Jake Schneider
Staff Writer

Jake Schneider is a student at the University of Rhode Island who is currently looking to pursue a double major in Communications and Journalism. He is an MMA fanatic who has been following the sport for years. He began to share his wealth of knowledge and opinions on the sport to many of his family members and friends as well as various MMA forums online. His love and passion for the sport has been able to make many people that are a part of his life fans of mixed martial arts as well. His insight of the sport both inside and outside of the cage is what makes his analysis on fights and individual fighters so well informed.