Sherdog Prospect Watch: Fatima Kline

All signs point to Fatima Kline being on the fast track to stardom.

A reigning two-division Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder, the 23-year-old Holbrook, New York, native carries a perfect 6-0 record and holds CFFC gold at 115 and 125 pounds, her unblemished resume buoyed by one dominant performance after another. Kline operates out of the MK Muay Thai camp in New Jersey, where she sharpens her well-rounded skills alongside current Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s flyweight contender Erin Blanchfield. She plans to join her longtime stablemate inside the Octagon in the not-too-distant future.

“I don’t think there’s another woman out there that wants it more than me,” Kline told the Extra Rounds podcast prior to her most recent outing. “I want to get right in there. I’ll take a fight on short notice. I want to be where I belong, and I belong in the UFC. I think I can climb the rankings fairly quickly. I think I can beat anyone at 115 right now if they called me for a fight. I think I have a gift from God, and I think He’s going to be able to pull me through that. I’m definitely looking forward to making a statement and making sure people know I’m one of the best in the world.”

Kline made her professional mixed martial arts debut under the Invicta Fighting Championships banner in May 2021 and proceeded to carve out four consecutive victories with the all-female promotion. She then linked arms with CFFC, capturing the company’s vacant women’s flyweight crown with a third-round technical knockout of Sara Cova on Nov. 3. It did nothing to satiate Kline’s competitive hunger.

Soon, her attention turned to the CFFC women’s strawweight championship, which had been vacated by Elise Reed. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt laid claim to the 115-pound title and did so in one-sided fashion, as she took a four-round unanimous decision from a game but outmatched Andressa Romero in the CFFC 129 headliner on Feb. 9. All three cageside judges scored it 40-36, though multiple rounds appeared to border on 10-8 territory.

Kline hammered the Brazilian with two-, three- and four-punch combinations, kept her at bay with a series of push kicks to the breadbasket and even mixed some shin-to-skull contact on occasion. She secured takedowns in all four rounds, oftentimes in multiples, and tortured Romero on the ground. Kline floated from one advantageous position to the next, threatened the neck with chokes and piled up points and damage with standing-to-ground punches, hammerfists and intermittent elbows. Romero’s physical toughness and mental resolve prevented her from breaking, but the stark difference in ability was far too much to overcome. In hindsight, she never stood a chance.

“I feel good about my performance, a little disappointed in the [lack of a] finish,” Kline said afterward. “I love going out there and I love getting gritty, and that’s exactly what happened. I had a great time, and it was fun. The UFC is next. I’ll take nothing less than that. That’s where I deserve to be.”

Whether or not the UFC pulls the trigger and signs Kline remains out of her control. In the meantime, she plans to continue to smooth out the rough edges in her game, even if they are few and far between. The many facets of hand-to-hand combat continue to keep Kline engaged and intrigued.

“The biggest reason I love MMA is there’s so many different parts to it,” she said. “People bring so many different parts of the game. You have people from so many different backgrounds, and there’s so many different arts you can learn. I love that it’s a never-ending learning process. You can only get better. You can only keep learning.”

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