There is a lot at stake for Ashlee Evans-Smith (1-0) in her next fight.
The California native is set to compete in the finals of the CFA Women’s Featherweight tournament. Her opponent is Fallon Fox (3-0), who had made headlines after coming out as the first transgender MMA fighter.
Putting aside Fox’s medical history and supposed physical advantage, fans and critics should not count Smith out, as she could walk away with the tournament championship and the $20,000.
Coming into the finals with a bye after Anna Barone withdrew from their fight after not stepping on the scale, Smith will be the fresher fighter as she was able to get right back into training without any damage to her body. This could play a factor in the later rounds since many critics noted how exhausted Fox looked in the fight.
Another advantage Smith has in this fight is her overall experience. As an amateur she faced tough competition, with one of her victories coming over Jessamyn Duke (2-0 1NC). She also tried out for “The Ultimate Fighter,” which put her up against other well-known women’s MMA fighters.
In an interview with The Roman Show, Smith also said she had confidence in her grappling skills vs. Fox’s. Both come from a good wrestling background, which could make for an exciting match on the canvas.
Smith said she wanted to continue to rack up wins and beating Fox would certainly start her on the path to a great professional career.
How do you think Evans-Smith will do against Fox? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover.