'She's a KILLER': Kazakhstan's Mariya Agapova announces UFC arrival with dominant debut win in Las Vegas
Agapova, 23, finished veteran Hannah Cifers via rear-naked choke mid-way through the opening stanza at the UFC's Apex facility, having rocked her opponent with a massive head kick before following up to lock in a chokehold.
Agapova's display showcased her sharp striking skills and also the threat from her tall, rangey frame which will make her an awkward customer for many in the flyweight ranks.
It also made a mark on social media, with the Kazakh being hailed for her "insanely impressive" performance – and branded a "killer."
Jesus. Cifers took that kick CLEAN. Was hoping they’d bring in Agapova for their Kazakh card. She’s a fun addition to that division.— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 14, 2020
The win earned Agapova a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, and improved her streak of first-round finishes to three in a row.
The Florida-based American Top Team fighter became the first person from Kazakhstan to step into the octagon, having signed with the UFC from the all-women's Invicta FC and previously appearing on Dana White's Contender Series – where she suffered a decision defeat to the gutsy Tracy Cortez.
Ever since I seen Agapova fight in Invicta I immediately became a fan!! She's a beast and I love her style! She just delivered in a BIG way 👏🏻👏🏻 #UFCVegas2— Megan Anderson (@MeganA_mma) June 14, 2020
Agapova's UFC dream is now firmly back on track with her win against Cifers, who had stepped in as a short-notice opponent after Brazil's Melissa Gatto was forced out due to visa issues.
The 27-year-old Cifers had been in action as recently as two weeks ago against Mackenzie Dern, again suffering a first-round submission defeat in a bout memorable for seeing the first-ever leg submission in UFC history.Also on rt.com 'I'm going to make it violent': Kazakhstan's Mariya Agapova prepares to make UFC history
The focus after Saturday night was firmly on Agapova though, as she was touted as a potential rising star in the flyweight ranks.
Agapova used her post-fight interview to call out Shana 'Danger' Dobson, accusing the US fighter of ducking her.
Whoever she faces next, Agapova has marked herself as one to watch in the UFC's flyweight fold.
"Shana Dobson, stop running away from me. Let's fight here. I'll meet you here." - Mariya Agapova #UFCVegas2— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) June 14, 2020
Earlier in the night on Saturday, the UFC saw history made as the first three fights of a card all ended in less than a minute for the first time ever.
Christian Aguilera and Tyson Nam both served up highlights-reel KOs, before Julia Avila needed just 22 seconds to earn a stoppage win against Gina Mazany in their women's bantamweight bout.
In the main event of the evening, Cynthia Calvillo earned a domiant decision win over number one-ranked flyweight Jessica Eye.Also on rt.com 'He's sent him to hell': UFC's Tyson Nam OBLITERATES opponent as Vegas card makes history with vicious streak of KO wins (VIDEO)