UFC 216: Mara Romero Borella shines in brilliant UFC debut

Mara Romero Borella made quick work of her opponent Kalindra Faria in an outstanding debut performance

It took just under three minutes for Romero Borella to finish Kalindra Faria at UFC 216 with a rear naked choke. She took the fight on short notice; she had a ten-day camp to prepare and stepped onto the big stage. UFC 216 was a night full of great fights, from the prelims all the way to the end of the main card. This fight did not disappoint.

Taking a fight on short notice is difficult, stepping into the UFC on a big stage, during a highly anticipated event and winning by submission is incredible. Mara Romero Borella is for real, and fans shouldn’t be surprised, as this is her fifth first-round finish. Her resume is impressive, she’s on a six-fight win streak, with three of them being by submission. She is dangerous, the UFC couldn’t have embraced the women’s flyweight division at a better time. The time was right, although it is easy to argue it should have been done sooner, the decision was wise regardless.

Fight breakdown

Coming into the fight, Kalindra Faria was the clear favorite to win, with Romero Borella almost a 2-1 underdog. The fight started fast, with the two feeling each other out. Faria was interested in striking, but couldn’t get anything going. Romero Borella was prepared for this fight and showed her fight IQ. She wasted little time taking this one to the ground. The clash in the middle of the cage was fast and lead to an effortless takedown by Romero Borella. She showed the UFC what she was all about. Her execution is where she puts herself above others in the division.

Her ground work is aggressive and calculating. After the takedown, she transitioned smoothly from mount to a back mount and as busy as she was with her hands and keeping Faria under control; it didn’t take long to sink the rear naked choke for the submission victory. This fight didn’t last long, and it got the crowd pumped up and helped set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Romero Borella isn’t just good, she is great. There is a reason she’s on a six-fight winning streak. She had a rough patch from May 2015 through October 2015 where she dropped three in a row, with only one of the fights going past the first round. Her striking improved, and that was a big part of her beginning that six-fight win streak. Watching her against Faria last night showed that. It didn’t stay standing long, but she wasn’t focusing only on the takedown, she was willing to stand and dance, but when the opportunity presented itself, she pounced on it with fierce precision.

Mara Romero Borella post UFC 216

With such a great debut, she could easily become a top fighter to beat in the women's flyweight division. Social media exploded after this fight and rightly so.

Women's MMA has become its own force and is growing at a rapid pace, not just with talent but with popularity among fight fans. The UFC is currently working on crowning their first ever women's flyweight champion. Mara Romero Borella is here to stay and will be at the top of the division in no time. She has momentum; she has skills; she has a winning spirit and a great attitude. After the TUF 26 finale, and the first women's flyweight champion is crowned, it won't be hard to believe Romero Borella will be in conversations about top challengers for the strap.

Romero Borella should be a mainstay in the UFC. She showed up with only ten-day notice and handled business. She looked like she had a full camp to prepare for this fight, Kalindra Faria isn't an easy opponent, and Faria was the favorite in this fight!

She is the first Italian woman to fight and win in the octagon. She is a true class act and is a strong addition to the UFC. UFC is ending 2017 with a bang, and it looks like Romero Borella is doing the same. Post UFC 216 for her should be more fights in the UFC. The women's divisions are filling up, matchmakers should be excited for the rest of this year and what 2018 will hold. The UFC will have a women's flyweight champion, and Romero Borella will knock on her door in no time.

Check out the incredible emotion from an awesome performance:

What did you think about this debut? Do you think Mara Romero Borella will move up the ranks? Let us know in the comments.

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