Ward, Modafferi and Case Win on All-Women’s Card

By Dave Mandel Feb 18, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17 — Californian mixed martial arts enjoyed yet another first Saturday night when the Japanese American Cultural Center held the state's first ever all women's cagefighting card.

Promoted by the upstart Fatal Femmes Fighting, a thin turnout greeted the debut event. And the production crew was suffering from their share of technical blunders, but those are the kinds of wrinkles that every new promotion needs to iron out at the first show. One place the event certainly did not suffer was in the fights though, as 16 women showed up to fight and that they did.

The final match of the evening pitted Lisa Ward (Pictures) and Masako Yoshida (Pictures) for the flyweight title. Yoshida, coming off a loss to Megumi Fujii (Pictures) last month, was strong at the start, but it was to no avail as Ward had little problem controlling her Japanese opponent.

It was a five-round, one-sided war that saw Ward slam and elbow her way to a unanimous decision. Once again the short rounds came into play and certainly added difficulty in finding the finish for Ward.

Going an undefeated 4-0 in 2006, Ward starts the year off right with her first win in 2007 — and a nice shiny belt to take home with her.

Roxanne Modafferi (Pictures) and Cassandra Rivers-Blasso battled in what was the most competitive title fight of the card. Modafferi seemed to be able to pressure her opponent on the feet so it really wasn't a wonder that Rivers opted to take the fight to the ground.

Jumping into guard would place Rivers on her back for a good portion of the bout, but it also secured her a great triangle choke in the opening stanza, which was thwarted in great part due to the untraditionally short rounds.

A solid takedown and little ground-and-pound in a later round just wasn't enough to outweigh the control Modafferi exhibited on the feet and top position for the majority of the fight. Modafferi wins the FFF's lightweight belt via split decision.

In the first title fight of the evening Jen Case (Pictures) met with Smackgirl and G-Shooto veteran Yoko Takahashi (Pictures). Although neither fighter seemed to have the clear-cut advantage on the feet, when it went to the ground it was a different story.

Fighting from the bottom Case went for a guillotine choke but was unable to finish, however she did catch Takahashi in an armbar midway through the second round. The title goes to Case, who is now looking at a rematch with Erin Toughill (Pictures) in FFF's next event in May.

The undercard saw some serious action as well, including great submissions from Angela Hayes, Jessica Pene, and Pearl Garcia.

Tonya Evinger had a short night with a devastating 16-second knockout over Brittany Pullen, while Sophie Bagherdai and Crystal Harris (Pictures) had the fight of the night with an exciting three-round back-and-forth battle.
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