Justine Kish finally got to make her UFC debut last weekend at UFC 195, two years after her last MMA fight. The Russian born American strawweight had been tapped to take part in the UFC’s inaugural 115 lb. season of The Ultimate Fighter, but blew out her ACL and was unable to compete on the show.
Her fight with Nina Ansaroff in Las Vegas saw her take considerably more damage than perhaps expected, but she came on strong down the stretch and scored a decision victory. Afterward, Kish admitted that her striking defense was not what it had been typically in the past.
“To be honest, yeah, there was a little bit of rust,” Kish admitted on Saturday night (via MMAJunkie.com). “My defense was not where I like it to be. That’s something – immediately I was like, ‘My defense is not [usually] where it is right now.’
“Thank goodness I recognize things right off the bat that I need to work on. … I was picking up on things like, ‘This is not up to par, Justine. You need to get up to here.’ Nina was skillful. She was smart today, but it really brought out the best in me in [knowing what I need to work on].”
Penick’s Analysis: Kish took some significant damage in that first round, and was getting hit every time she engaged. Thankfully for her she managed to make adjustments, and she was having a lot more success as the fight continued, especially in the third round. The resulting decision gave her a fifth career win in five fights, and now she’ll look to improve with the rust shaken off.
[Photo (c) Joshua Dahl via USA Today Sports]
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