South Africa’s own Santa-Marié Venter represented SA in a Women’s MMA bout in the Full Nelson Promotions event in Mahnomen, Minnesota on Saturday night to take the fight to a close split decision. However, there was a lot of controversy surrounding the fight from last minute changes in the rules and and a lack of sanctioning. I managed to chat to Santa-Marié to find out first hand what happened from her perspective.
“The event was held on an Indian reservation in Mahnomen, Minnesota. It was unsanctioned, we only found that out when we were already there. Rules are flexible. We were promised that I could use knees and elbows to the head and body while standing. At the fighter briefing, they said no knees or elbows. We decided to not fight then. I was in camp for 6 weeks and she is a grappler, so knees to the head was my big game plan- one under hook in when she shoots, control the head, knee to the head. They finally agreed on knees and elbows to the body. We decided to then take the fight. After throwing my first knee to the body in round one, they called a point deduction and said it was not allowed. Mid-fight they changed the rules and my entire revised game plan went to shit. So I ended up getting one under hook in and sitting down so that they would stand us up again. Twisting leg locks were also not allowed. She had me in a heel hook most if round 3 and the ref did nothing and said he will allow it. So all in all, from an organizational pint of view, not a great experience. We were lured to the USA under false pretenses and all the rules were tweaked to favour the USA grappler”
Regardless of the result and all the outside of the cage circumstances, I think Santa-Marié had a good fight and represented SA in a awesome positive manner.
What do you guys think of the fight, did the judges get it right?