Mallory Martin had to show a lot of heart to earn her first UFC win.
The Contender Series veteran suffered a nasty knockdown in the first round of her fight against Hannah Cifers, but then staged a miraculous comeback in the second after latching onto a takedown and securing the rear-naked choke for a finish.
“I had some adversity in the first round,” Martin said afterward. “They told me to get her against the cage, get her down and do what I do best.
“I knew once I got there [on the ground], the finish was there. Just a matter of time.”
The fight went her way in the end, but that’s not how it started after Martin was blasted by an overhand right courtesy of Cifers in an exchange during the opening round. Cifers pounced on Martin once she was down and tried to secure the finish.
Martin continuously reacted every time the referee warned her to fight back and she somehow found a way to make it to the final horn to return to her corner.
As the second round got started, Martin immediately grabbed onto a body lock before dragging Cifers to the ground. From there, she quickly transitioned to take the back and then grab onto the fight-ending choke.
With her arms wrapped tight, Martin secured the submission, and Cifers had no choice but to tap out to stop the fight. Martin let out a guttural scream as she celebrated her victory after coming up short in her octagon debut.
The end came at 1:33 in the second round.
As for Cifers, she is now the first fighter in UFC history to suffer four consecutive losses inside the same calendar year after moving to 0-4 in 2020.