Jennifer Maia hands Casey O’Neill first career loss in tech showcase

Jennifer Maia used her technical punch on Saturday to become the first opponent to defeat previously rising flyweight contender Casey O’Neill.

The fight was part of the UFC 286 main card at The O2 in London and saw Maia (21-9-1 MMA, 6-5 UFC) defeat O’Neill (9-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) via unanimous decision (Dec -27, 29-28, 29-28).

The fight was mostly a technical flashy match for its duration. While O’Neill was successful with her punches, her combinations were shorter and less loud than Maia’s. Since O’Neill often fired single punches, Maia would respond with two or three. O’Neill urged action but Maia used her footwork to dodge the pressured opponent.

Maia’s jab in particular found a home. When O’Neill tried to pin her in round 2, Maia switched positions against the fence. In round 3, O’Neill pursued with increased urgency. She was successful with her punches and range, although Maia had her nose bleeding.

In the final minute, the two fighters opened up. Maia fired for a takedown and controlled O’Neill against the fence until the last 10 seconds. O’Neill landed a handful of significant punches in the final seconds.

With the win, Maia extends her winning streak to two. In November, Maia defeated Maryna Moroz by unanimous decision. The two-fight streak comes after three losses in the previous four fights, including a UFC 255 title challenge to then-champion Valentina Shevchenko.

O’Neill experienced her first MMA defeat at the age of 25. She spent the months leading up to the fight recovering and preparing after tearing an ACL in early 2022. Her previous UFC wins include Shana Dobson, Lara Fritzen, Antonina Shevchenko and Roxanne Modafferi.

Recent UFC 286 results include:

  • Defeated Jennifer Maia. Casey O’Neill by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Marvin Vettori defeated. Roman Dolidze by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

  • Jack Shore defeated. Makwan Amirkhani via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:27

  • Chris Duncan defeated. Omar Morales by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Yanal Ashmoz defeated. Sam Patterson via KO (punches) – Round 1, 1:15

  • Muhammad Mokaev defeated. Jafel Filho via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 3, 4:32

  • Defeated Lerone Murphy. Gabriel Santos via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Christian Duncan defeated. Dusko Todorovic via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 1:52

  • Jake Hadley defeated. Malcolm Gordon via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:01

  • Joanne Wood defeated. Luana Carolina by split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Jai Herbert vs. Ludovit Klein declared majority tie (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)

  • Defeated Veronica Hardy. Juliana Miller by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 286 for more information on the card.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie


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