UFC Vegas 14 – Kanako Murata Dominates All Three Rounds
At UFC Vegas 14 Kanako Murata was one half of the fierce battle between veteran, Randa Markos. In the first round, the Japanese born fighter utilized trips to dominate the Canadian strawweight. Subsequently, Murata would demonstrate elite grappling skills and unleash violent ground and pound to finish out the opening round. Also light on the feet, with good head movement, Murata implemented a furious pace.
In the second round, Markos demonstrated some solid clinch work and strong leg kicks. However, she struggled to disguise her punches with kicks first. Essentially, Murata’s wrestling base was the story of the fight. Since Markos’s strikes were not disguised effectively with feints and combos, Murata secured several takedowns throughout the fight.
Specifically, her top control in the third round crushed any dream Markos had of winning on the feet lately In fact, late into the fight she used the popular “Dagestani handcuff” to trap the arm of Markos. What’s more, is the nasty “north-south” choke that almost finished Markos in the third. Overall, at UFC Vegas 14, Murata took full advantage of her featured spot on the prelims.
What’s next for Murata?
With a performance that screamed future title contender, when asked about title contention at the post-fight press conference, she responded with, “I think step by step is very important, one fight at a time to get to the champion”. No doubt the right attitude, Murata emerges as the latest flyweight contender, with a wrestling acumen that could shut down much of her division.
After a performance like that at UFC Vegas 14, Murata deserves an appropriate opponent with similar momentum. For instance, Carla Esparza is coming off four wins and would be a great litmus test for the division’s newest wrestler. In addition, perhaps Michelle Watterson would be an ideal opponent to test Murata everywhere the fight goes. Either way, the strawweight division has new blood to keep an eye on.
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