The two youngest women on the UFC roster put on quite the show.
In a back-and-forth, exciting fight, Cory McKenna beat Kay Hansen via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in a women's strawweight contest on the UFC Fight Night: Felder vs. dos Anjos main card Saturday in Las Vegas.
Both landed hard shots throughout on the feet, and Hansen had several close submission attempts. By the end, Hansen was bloodied. Though McKenna won, neither woman lost much stock. In fact, both 21-year-old fighters will probably be considered even bigger prospects following strong performances.
McKenna, who was making her UFC debut, opened the fight with hard shots on the feet, showing off skilled boxing and a very nice left hook. Hansen had moments, too. She got McKenna in a front head lock and landed a knee to the top of her head. Hansen took McKenna's back near the end of the round, but McKenna peppered her with shots to the head despite being in a disadvantageous position, which would be foreshadowing for later.
In the second, Hansen opened up on the feet more and was able to work her wrestling, putting McKenna on her back. Hansen nearly had a rear-naked choke and an armbar near the end of the round, but McKenna swept and ended up on top. Hansen took McKenna down in the third, too, but McKenna landed hard elbows and punches from the bottom, bloodying Hansen. Hansen got into mount and went for an arm-triangle choke, but McKenna managed to sweep into top position again.
"I was expecting a tough fight," McKenna said. "Kay is one of the top prospects in the division, we are both improving very rapidly. I've said from the beginning it was going to be a tough fight all rounds. She delivered on that. It was not my best performance, but for my debut, I'm obviously over the moon to get that win."
McKenna (6-1) has won four straight fights. The Wales native, who is training in Sacramento, California, with Team Alpha Male, earned her way into the UFC with a win over Vanessa Demopoulos on Dana White's Contender Series in August.
Hansen (7-4) was on a three-fight winning streak coming in, including a victory over former Invicta FC atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey in Hansen's UFC debut in June. Hansen, a California native, earned a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for that win over Frey.