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Meet the TUF Strawweights: Part 2

Fightland Blog

By Shawn Smith


 

With 16 of the best strawweights from Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Canada and the United States, The Ultimate Fighter 20 showcases what could be the most talented cast in the show's illustrious history.

Here is part two of our look at the strawweights who will make their debuts on The Ultimate Fighter 20.

Rose Namajunas (above)
From: Wisconsin, United States
Camp: The Academy
Record: 2-1
Strength: Submissions

There was a time when Rose Namajunas was most well-known for dating former UFC heavyweight Pat Barry, but impressive showings in Invicta have made her a commodity in the fight world.

Known for living life on the edge, Namajunas and Barry have become fan favorites thanks to their sporadic, often hilarious videos on Youtube. However, don't count Namajunas out in The Ultimate Fighter 20 tournament.

At only 22, she has a wild fight style that is as crazy as her personality. Expect to see flying submission attempts and other unconventional tactics from Namajunas on The Ultimate Fighter 20.


Emily Kagan

From: New Mexico, United States
Camp: Jackson-Wink MMA
Record: 3-1
Strength: Toughness

Mixed martial arts is littered with fighters who have succeeded based on their toughness. For as skilled as Forrest Griffin was, he will be remembered for his ability to survive bad positions and thrive late in a fight.

In the same mold, Emily Kagan is as tough as any fighter in the house. Watch her fight against housemate Rose Namajunas and you'll see her survive excruciating submission attempts to come back and put on an impressive fight.

Kagan's clinch work and top game will help her suffocate the weaker grapplers on the show. She's not going to quit unless made to, and anyone who takes her on can expect to be beat up the remainder of the tournament.


Justine Kish

From: North Carolina, United States
Camp: Black House
Record: 4-0
Strength: Muay-Thai

Perhaps the most accomplished striker on the show, Kish has the kind of likable, down to earth personality that will endear her to fans.

A massive 115lb. fighter, Kish's biggest challenge could be with the scale as the show wears on. Making weight three times on the show is grueling on the best of weight cutters.

With her striking game, she also has two professional victories by submission, rounding out her skills and making her one of the darkhorses to do well in the tournament.


Angela Magana

From: New Mexico, United States
Camp: Team Four Corners
Record: 11-6
Strength: Submissions

If there's one story that is sure to grip the MMA fanbase, it belongs to Angela Magana.

Born addicted to heroin, Magana spent much of her early life on the streets of Los Angelas. She ate out of garbage cans and lost her mother to an overdose at age 10. She moved to New Mexico with her grandparents when she was young and credits mixed martial arts with saving her life.

Having fought professionally since 2007, Magana fought some of the best fighters in the world including a trilogy of fights with Jessica Aguilar, as well as fights with Jessica Eye (who fights at 135lbs), Barb Honchak and Jessica Penne.

Nothing thrown at Magana in a professional fight will compare with the struggle she’s faced in life, which will make her tough to put away. Watch for her to have a breakout performance against the elite talent in the tournament.


Randa Markos

From: Ontario, Canada
Camp: Maximum Training Centre
Record: 4-1
Strength: Well-rounded grappler

Canada's lone hope to walk away with the 115lb. championship, the soft-spoken Randa Markos has emerged as one of the top female fighters over the last year.

A submission artist with strong wrestling, Markos has the kind of style which could see her upset some of the better strikers on the show. She may not have much to say, but will impress fans with her non-stop pace.

With only five fights, she may not be that well known outside of Canada. She's hoping to change that with a strong showing on The Ultimate Fighter 20. A smothering top game has served many fighters well through the years of Ultimate Fighter, and it’s a strategy she’s hoping to implement on the show.


Jessica Penne

From: California, United States
Camp: Reign MMA
Record: 11-2
Strength: Submissions

Naturally a 105lb. fighter, Penne presents one of the more intriguing talents on the show.

A dominant fighter and champion at her previous weight division, it will be interesting to see if Penne is able of carrying her skills up to strawweight.

Having shown a well-rounded style and comfort level both on the feet and the ground, Penne has to be considered a front-runner in the tournament.

A no-nonsense approach, Penne is likely to rub some fans and housemates the wrong way throughout the show, which should make for good television.


Bec Rawlings

From: Queensland, Australia
Camp: Gamebred Combat Club
Record: 5-3
Strength: Submissions

After losing her professional debut, Australia's Bec Rawlings has become a staple of recent Invicta shows because of her entertaining style and likable personality.

Lasting five rounds with champion Carla Esparza, Rawlings gained the respect of fans and peers for her never-say-die attitude, even when a win seemed out of reach.

A grappler with a resilient personality and desire to bring a UFC championship back home to Australia, Rawlings is capable of upsetting some of the top level talent in the tournament.


Tecia Torres

From: Florida, United States
Camp: American Top Team
Record: 4-0
Strength: Fight IQ

Having a Puerto Rican, Portuguese and Irish background, Tecia Torres is sure to have fans the world over before The Ultimate Fighter 20 is finished.

With wins over housemates Rose Namajuras and Felice Herrig in her last two bouts, there will be more than a few fighters gunning for her as the season continues on. Despite her lack of experience, ‘The Tiny Tornado’ has a reckless intelligence about her style that allows her to control the cage and use her movement to confuse opponents.

She may not be amongst the favorites for the season, but she’s certainly a dark horse that could frustrate opponents.

 

Check out this related story:

Meet the TUF Strawweights: Part 1

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