(Props: TheUltimateFighter on YouTube)
Team Pettis’ Aisling Daly has a style that can be best described as…unorthodox. She throws awkward, repetitive 1-2 combos and standing hammerfists that evoke memories of Jade Chun vs. Taeler Jackson. She attacks with her chin sticking straight up in the air — her head’s on a beanpole, as Joe Rogan might say. When it comes to submissions and scrambling, she often seems like she’s just making it up as she goes along. Uhhh…maybe if I just grab her arm like this…and twist it that way?
But Aisling Daly also has surprisingly decent head movement, an iron chin, and the kind of killer instinct that would make Gary Ridgway blush with envy. Daly is just plain aggressive, and the relentless pace she sets from start to finish will fucking break you. While it’s easy to understand how her less-than-flashy style led her to be picked last despite being ranked #5, her third round TKO of Team Melendez’s Angela Magana on last night’s episode of TUF 20 surely erased anyone’s doubts when it came to her skills as a fighter. “Aislin is just one of those ladies that you just know can fight,” as Pettis summed it up.
The first round of Daly vs. Magana was all Magana, though, who reversed a failed Daly takedown attempt to bring the Irishwoman to the mat. From there, Magana controlled Daly and threatened with rear naked chokes for the majority of the round. Save for one particularly egregious standup by the ref while Magana was working an armbar, Team Melendez seemed as if they might finally be on the verge of their first win.
Unfortunately for Team Melendez, the second round was a different story entirely, with Daly peppering Magana on the feet and eventually taking her to the ground to work some top control of her own. Daly was nothing short of suffocating, landing some solid shots to the body and simply out-positioning Magana before locking in a rear naked choke of her own as the round expired.
Magana was clearly the more tired fighter coming into the third, and Daly exploited it immediately, taking Magana to the mat and reigning down punches from above until the referee was forced to step in. Being that Chan Sung Jung will be MIA for another two years, I hereby move that we swap Daly’s current nickname “Ais the Bash” for a more appropriate one, “The Irish Zombie.”
The fight was easily one of the best of the season, if not the best, and with the win, Team Pettis is now up 6-0 over Team Melendez. Next week: Thug Rose vs. Alex Chambers.