Nadia Kassem had the crowd’s support in her Australian homeland and an undefeated record for her Saturday night fight with Montana De La Rosa.
But there are levels to this, as Kassem found out the hard way at UFC 234. Competing in her 14th fight at age 23, De La Rosa put on a ground clinic against her overmatched foe before winning via armbar submission. The time of the stoppage at Rod Laver Arena was 2:37 of the second round.
The Texas native completely dominated the opening round, perhaps to the point of a 10-8 round, as she did everything except submit Kassem on the mat.
De La Rosa wasn’t leaving anything to chance in the second. She executed a throw from a bodylocked position, and swiftly transitioned from there to half-guard to a triangle to a full mount while maintaining said triangle. De La Rosa landed punches from that position before making the expert transition into the armbar, which quickly put things to an end.
“She kind of tapped and submitted verbally,” De La Rosa said after her eighth career submission win. “She was kind of gumby in there, she was hard to submit so congrats to her for being tough.”
De La Rosa has now won four in a row, the last three in the UFC. Kassem, who was competing in her first bout since Nov. 2017, is now 5-1.