Even before featherweight prospect Marina Shafir made her professional debut against Chandra Engel back in April – which not surprisingly resulted in “The Supernova from Moldova” submitting Engel with an armbar less than two minutes into the first round – fans knew there was something special about her.
But Shafir isn’t following the same path as her fellow Four Horsewomen and current UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. For example, where most fighters in her position would be well on their way to the UFC, The Supernova is taking her time before getting to that next level of competition and working on filling her fight resume before she goes for the UFC. She is even taking some bumps in the road – such as experiencing her first professional loss against Amanda Bell.
Although Shafir now has a loss on her record, she shouldn’t let that stop her from continuing to compete in the featherweight division.
I’ve said this before, but the women’s featherweight division is becoming the unloved child of female mixed martial arts. A lot of competitors who started out in the featherweight division are dropping to 135, including Invicta FC queenpin Cris “Cyborg” Justino. It’s understandable. There are more opportunities at bantamweight, especially since it is one of only two women’s weight classes the UFC offers.
With folks flocking to bantamweight, the time is ripe for prospects to make a name for themselves at featherweight including Shafir. After a racking up a few more impressive wins, she could be called to compete in Invicta Fighting Championships where she could other top female featherweight fighters, including Justino – if the Cyborg is still planning on competing at 145.
Although I have a suspicion the UFC would be open to building a women’s featherweight division with Shafir at the top – if they have the same amount of success with the women’s strawweight division that they are having with the female 135 class.
But again that will probably come down the road. While critics might look at Shafir’s first loss as the stake that will forever ruin her MMA career, they should probably look at every other great fighter’s win-loss record.
Shafir is young enough and new enough to where she can lose one or two fights against better opponents, learn from those mistakes and get better. Although she may have had a 1-2 pro record, Bell had more experience and has fought tougher opponents – not to mention she took the fight on short notice. But that’s how the fight game goes.
A loss is a loss and it won’t derail Shafir from her mission of being one of the best female featherweight fighters in the world.
Who would you like to see Shafir fight next? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @cagepagesfs.