Note: This is an article I wrote for MMA Latest News.
MMA fans could say that 2014 was the year of “The Lady Killer.”
Featherweight fighter Amanda Bell entered 2014 with an 0-2 record. Over the next 12 months she submitted Brittney Elkin to earn her first win, knocked out the highly-touted Marina Shafir in 37 seconds and returned to Invicta Fighting Championships to finish Marla Hougaard Djursaa.
Bell (3-2 MMA, 1-1 Invicta) is ready to continue her path to stardom when she faces Faith Van Duin at Invicta FC 12, April 24 in Kansas City, Mo., according to a report from Combat Press.
Van Duin (4-1, 0-0) is a well-known prospect from New Zealand who won her first four fights in 2013. She suffered her first defeat back in August where Arlene “Angerfist” Blencove knocked her out.
The New Zealand fighter was scheduled to face Charmaine Tweet at Invicta FC 10. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation refused to clear Tweet and the fight was crapped from the card. Van Duin and Tweet exchanged verbal barbs and fans thought the two would fight at Invicta FC 11, however the “Not So Sweet” fighter ended up challenging Cris “Cyborg” Justino for the featherweight title. Justino defeated Tweet in less than a minute.
With Tweet losing at Invicta FC 11 and Justino turning her focus on fighting UFC champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey – even though she is scheduled to defend her 145-pound title in July – Invicta doesn’t have solid hierarchy when it comes to featherweight fighters. Bell could easily find herself in the promotion’s top 145-pound fighters.
Her fight with Shafir helped put her in the spotlight. Shafir, though not that experienced, had a lot of hype behind her because of her association with Rousey. Even after the fight was finished, some folks focused more on Shafir losing the fight rather than Bell’s impressive 37-second victory – similar to when Sugar Ray Leonard defeated Roberto Duran in their rematch. Most fans were more focused on “No Mas” rather than Leonard avenging the loss to Duran.
But after the smoke was cleared, Bell’s stock rose and continued to do so after she finished Djurssa. The Lady Killer also won numerous awards for her breakthrough year.
Both Bell and Van Duin are well-rounded. Bell has the power and killer instinct to end the fight quickly but Van Duin has some solid striking of her own. Yet The Lady Killer has the edge in experience. Prior to stepping up to the pro level, Bell went 6-1 as an amateur, including a third-round TKO win over Jessamyn Duke.
Another factor is that this fight marks the first time Van Duin not only fights in the Invicta cage, but also the United States. A change of venue and fighting on a big stage for the first time can have a psychological affect – positive or negative – on a fighter. Joe Rogan calls this “octagon” shock when a competitor fights in the UFC for the first time and is overwhelmed.
Bell really came into own last year. I think we’ll see some good things from her in 2015, including a shot at the Invicta featherweight title. She just needs to defeat Van Duin first.