Jessamyn Duke: ‘The Gun’ Moves Past Loss, Ready For TUF
Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke stood in the center of the Invicta cage as referee John McCarthy raised the hand of Miriam Nakamoto, who had knocked out The Gun with an illegal knee.
After the fight, Duke had said she would look to get the result overturned. It looks like her wish has been granted as the Missouri State Athletic Commission has overturned the initial decision and made the fight a no contest. This is good news for Duke, who is once again undefeated. Now that this loss is behind her, Duke needs to set her eyes forward and concentrate on upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
This does not mean she shouldn’t expect to fight Nakamoto at some point in the future. Like Captain James Kirk and Khan Noonien Singh, we all have rivals who we are destined to face at some point in the future.
Moving past Nakamoto, Duke will find new challenges as she enters TUF. Veterans like Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler and Tara LaRosa are just two well-known women’s MMA fighters who will step into the octagon and fight their way to the top. While it is easy to look at Duke at the underdog, she has several skills that could make her a possible favorite to win the competition.
Although she may not be as experienced as some of the other fighters in the competition, Duke has an impressive grappling skill set and the hunger of an up-and-coming fighter. Even if she does not win the tournament, the UFC could sign her to a contract.
What are your thoughts about the commission overturning the loss? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover.
photo credit: Esther Lin - Invicta FC
My Invicta FC 5 picks
The landscape of women’s MMA will change again as Invicta Fighting championships will present their fifth event, April 5.
Both the main event and co-main event will feature championship fights. Jessica Penne will defend her atomweight title against Michelle Waterson in the evening’s last bout, while Vanessa Porto and Barb Honchak square off to determine the first Invicta FC Flyweight champion.
In addition to championship matches, Invicta FC 5 will feature the debuts former world champions of Cris “Cyborg” Santos and Zolia “The Warrior Princess” Gurgel. It will also feature UFC fighter Sarah Kaufman, who is scheduled to make her octagon debut later in the year.
Without further adieu, here are my picks for Invicta FC 5.
Invicta FC Atomweight championship match
Jessica Penne (champion) vs. Michelle Waterson
This should be an exciting fight on the ground. Both fighters come from similar backgrounds and have the same amount of experience, but I am going with Penne to clinch the submission early in the third round.
Penne by submission in round 3
Invicta FC Flyweight championship match
Barb Honchak vs. Vanessa Porto
Porto and Honchak both have had success inside of the Invicta FC cage. While Honchak may be an upcoming prospect, Porto’s experience and grappling will help her control the fight and get the decision and the flyweight title.
Porto by decision
Fiona Muxlow vs. Cristiane Santos
The road for the “Cyborg” to get back to the top begins here. I give credit for Muxlow for taking this fight on short notice, Santos’ experience and knockout power will finish the Australian fighter.
Santos by TKO in round 1
Sarah Kaufman vs. Leslie Smith
While it may appear that Kaufman is taking a risk in fighting Smith before her UFC debut, the former Strikeforce champion has the knockout power to hold off Smith and earn the decision.
Kaufman by decision
Zoila Frausto Gurgel vs. Jennifer Maia
Gurgel is ready for the next step in her fight career. While Maia has a good jiu-jitsu background, Gurgel’s experience in Bellator gives her a bigger edge and will help her earn a decision win.
Gurgel by decision
Lauren Taylor vs. Kaitlin Young
Even though Young has been on a skid, this is her chance for redemption and while Taylor may be undefeated, Young has the striking and the experience to overcome even the mightiest of Taylor’s punches.
Young by knockout in round 2
Julia Budd vs. Mollie Estes
Budd and Estes were not originally supposed to face each other when the Invicta FC 5 card was first announced. However, both fighters will put their striking skills to the test when they face each other inside of the Invicta cage. Still, Budd has been on a roll lately and could easily get the TKO finish.
Budd by TKO in round 1
Jasminka Cive vs. Bec Hyatt
Bad blood has been brewing between these fighters. Although Cive may be undefeated, Hyatt is coming into the fight with a lot of momentum. While Hyatt has knockout power, I think Cive will last three rounds, but lose the decision in the end.
Hyatt by decision
Here are my picks for the Invicta FC 5 preliminary card.
Jessamyn Duke vs. Miriam Nakamoto
Duke by submission in round 1
Cassie Rodish vs. Simona Soukupova
Rodish by submission in round 2
Katja Kankaanpaa vs. Juliana Carnerio Lima
Kankaanpaa by decision
Alexandra Chambers vs. Jodie Esquibel
Chambers by TKO in round 2
Kathina Catron vs. Rose Namajunas
Namajumas by submission in round 2