Megan Anderson’s first Ultimate Fighting Championship victory came with an asterisks of sorts.
When the 29-year-old Aussie threw a head kick against Cat Zingano at UFC 232, her toe went into her opponent’s eye and rendered Zingano unable to continue. As a result, Anderson won via technical knockout just 61 seconds into the opening round. Zingano appealed the defeat on the grounds that the kick should be viewed in the same light as a finger to the eye, but the California State Athletic Commission ultimately upheld Anderson’s victory.
Zingano, who has since been released from the UFC, was clearly unhappy with the outcome. But it was the most satisfying result for Anderson, either. This past Saturday, however, there were no asterisks involved as Anderson submitted Zarah Fairn dos Santos with a triangle choke 3:57 into the opening round of their preliminary featherweight clash at UFC 243 in Melbourne.
“I can’t control everything that happened in my last win, but for myself I haven’t felt like I’ve had a definitive win since 2017,” Anderson said. “This is amazing for me to have a clean cut finish, especially from a position a lot of people thought I wasn’t good at. I’ve worked so hard and am excited to show who I am. I’m more than just a striker.”
Prior to UFC 243, Anderson had sandwiched her controversial triumph over Zingano between losses to Holly Holm and Felicia Spencer. The former Invicta FC titlist entered the Las Vegas-based promotion with hype behind her as a potential foe for former featherweight queen Cristiane Justino, but those defeats cooled some the enthusiasm surrounding her arrival.
Anderson was just happy be able to put on a better performance in the cage against dos Santos.
“I know I haven’t fought to my potential in my last couple fights. I wanted to show who I am,” she said. “I’m a well-rounded fighter and it’s amazing to come home to Australia. I just wanted to show what I’m capable of. I feel like I was able to showcase that [at UFC 243]. I needed to prove to myself that I’m one of the best in the world. I can’t wait for what’s next.”
Anderson has targeted an early 2020 return for her next promotional appearance.
“This is my fourth fight in 16 months. I’ve been fighting quite regularly. I’d like to fight at the start of next year against whoever the UFC wants. I’m just excited to see the next name.”