by Robert Sargent at MMARising.com
A new Tuff-N-Uff 125-pound women’s tournament champion was crowned on Saturday night at Tuff-N-Uff: “Mayhem In Mesquite” in Mesquite, Nevada. Reign Training Center’s Rachael Cummins captured the tournament title with an impressive first-round submission win over Tandra “Tundra” Lopez.
In other action on the card, Cortney “Cast Iron” Casey made a successful promotional debut by submitting former Tuff-N-Uff 115-pound women’s champion Jillian “Justice” Lybarger. Casey has now won three straight fights since suffering her lone defeat via a contentious Split Decision in January.
Cummins (2-2-0) made good use of her height and reach advantage early in the fight as the smaller Lopez (1-1-0) looked to close the distance. When Lopez did manage to clinch, Cummins punished her with knees to the body and stuffed a takedown attempt. Lopez was resilient and continued to try to take the fight to the mat, but Cummins was too strong and stayed on her feet.
After the fighters broke apart, Lopez rushed in again and Cummins appeared to willingly allow herself to be taken down. Seconds later, she locked on a triangle choke from the bottom and Lopez was forced to submit. Cummins has now won back-to-back fights under the Tuff-N-Uff banner since dropping down to 125 pounds to compete in the women’s flyweight tournament.
Winner: Rachael Cummins by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 1:53 of round one. She improves to 2-2-0 and becomes the new Tuff-N-Uff 125-pound women’s tournament champion.
Earlier in the night, Casey (4-1-0) spoiled Lybarger’s (4-5-0) return to the flyweight division by snapping Lybarger’s three-fight winning streak with a second-round armbar. Casey landed quick combinations early in the fight, but Lybarger answered back with some nice counterpunches. The fighters continued to exchange strikes until the second half of the round when Casey took Lybarger down to the mat. From there, Casey secured a rear-naked choke, but time expired.
Round two was more of the same early on and the fighters traded flurries of punches. After a counter one-two from Casey, Lybarger took her down. Casey swiftly countered with an armbar from the bottom. Lybarger attempted to fight off the submission, but she could not do so and tapped out seconds later.
Winner: Cortney Casey by Submission (Armbar) at 1:00 of round two. She improves to 4-1-0.