Amanda Serrano was game in her MMA debut. Even dominant at times. But the heart and toughness of Corina Herrera ended up being the story Friday night.
Serrano, a five-division boxing champion, went to a unanimous draw with Herrera in her first foray into mixed martial arts at Combate Americas: Combate Estrellas in Los Angeles. The judging was legitimate — Serrano clearly won the first two rounds and Herrera rallied in a big, big way in the third. The bout was contested at flyweight.
In the first 10 minutes, Serrano peppered Herrera with hard combinations, especially a missile of a left hand. Herrera appeared rocked at times, but kept on trucking. Serrano managed to avoid most takedowns and looked strong in the clinch early. Aside from a scare being in a rear-naked choke in the second, Serrano held her own on the mat.
However, Herrera was able to secure that elusive takedown in the third and get into mount, raining down some blows on Serrano. A little more than halfway through the frame, Herrera got a version of a mounted triangle and landed punches and elbows to Serrano’s face. All Serrano, the Brooklyn native, could do was survive. Herrera rode out the round and the fight that way, leading to a 10-8 in the final round.
Serrano, the 29-year-old protege of Miesha Tate, will continue on with her boxing career, but eventually transition fully to MMA. Combate Americas seems behind her as a potential star and she showed some promise Friday night.
Herrera (3-4-1), though, showed the kind of moxie that will likely have the promotion bringing her back. The California native fell on a Bellator card last year and is also a veteran of Tachi Palace Fights.