Aisling Daly Wins UFC Debut!
Last night saw Straight Blast Gym’s very own ‘Queen of Irish MMA’, Aisling Daly, win her UFC debut. The event was part of the Ultimate Fighter finale, at the Palms in Las Vegas, and came on the back of months in the TUF house and an intense media tour. The finale event introduced the women’s strawweight division to the UFC for the first time, and Daly’s victory, following an impressive effort in TUF, puts her in a great position to make a sustained assault on that title.
Daly won her fight against fellow TUF contestant, Alex Chambers, with a mere seven seconds left of the first round – securing an armbar from the mount. The submission in the dying seconds came after Daly dominated the round with superior jiu jitsu – gaining mount on two occasions and making a victory look all but inevitable from very early on.
Aisling Daly’s TUF Experience & Fight Preparation
The win will ensure that Daly will begin to get the recognition she deserves for the pioneering efforts she has made in MMA. The first Irish woman to become a professional MMA fighter, and the first Irish woman to be a world champion, added to her list of firsts by becoming the first Irish woman to step into the Octagon, and the first to win a fight in the UFC.
With a professional MMA record of 15-5, she was one of the most experienced fighters on TUF – experience that manifested in a comfortable win last night. However, fighting in the UFC clearly provides a whole different test for even the most seasoned veteran. In the post-fight interview, Aisling Daly talked about the impact of her UFC commitments on her usual training and weight-cutting. Spending months in an artificial environment with competitors in your division, as oppose to your own teammates, is no way to prepare for a training camp, and the burden of the show, followed by a media tour that impacted the control fighters have over their own diet and training, meant Daly struggled to make weight for her bout. She came in two pounds over the 116 lb limit. However, regardless of the obstacles in her way, Daly put in a flawless display on her debut to get her first UFC win.
As for the future, Aisling Daly is eager to get back into the Octagon, especially if it means joining her SBG Ireland teammates on a card. Her SBG team (McGregor, Pendred and Holohan) are stacking a UFC Fight Night card in Boston in January, but Daly seemed like she might prefer the idea of forming a co-main event with Conor McGregor next time the UFC heads back over to Ireland, suggesting the UFC bill it as the King and Queen of Irish MMA. Congratulations to Aisling Daly for her great performances, both on The Ultimate Fighter, and in the Octagon!