Once upon a time, San Antonio would snarl and shrug a shoulder or two when the sport of MMA was brought up. “Who would want to do mixed martial arts?” Not long ago, no one would blame them for not caring. This was a boxing city. Full of history in the city of San Antonio, arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, Kung Fu, and Aikido among others were somewhat of an afterthought and scarcely presented too many growing up a decade ago. Times have changed in the state of Texas, while combat sports has evolved to levels never many thought it ever would. While the sport has risen in popularity across the globe, opportunity has come about for new weight divisions, and the women have taken a new role along with it. The president of the UFC, Dana White, once proclaimed there would never be women’s MMA in the UFC; then enter now superstar, Ronda Rousey, and include two weight divisions in what is considered the biggest organization in the sport.
With the ever-growing demand of combat sports in the Texas area, in came the opportunity for promotions to earn some eyes throughout their local regions. San Antonio has become a home for certain promotions, Legacy FC one of the more known of any is known to travel through the area from time to time. Another that has taken steam is Premier Combat Group (PCG), an amateur organization that many of the local fighters have jumped at the opportunity to get on, with few taking advantage of the proverbial limelight per say. One of those fighters to take center stage is now the PCG strawweight champion, Katherine “Killa Kat” Roy; Roy and another prospect turning pro women’s fighter, “Ferocious” Fatima Mallett in the headlining main event in PCG’s latest card in August. The two ladies took over the show, in what could be considered one of the best cards to date for the promotion in San Antonio, Mallett and Roy brawled it out for a complete five rounds in front of an ecstatic crowd in San Antonio.
Katherine Roy won the five round battle, displaying profound technique in the boxing aspect of things, while mixing it up with some wrestling and picking her spots doing so throughout the fight. The hands were solid, the left hook was convenient throughout the night, and the right hand found its home consistently; but if there were a few things that could be worked on, former UFC fighter and current striking coach at Rodrigo Pinheiro BJJ, Pete Spratt, provided a bit of analysis of Kat’s performance and how his gym performed overall at the event.
“Kat went out there and did what she was coached to do, she did exactly what she was supposed to do perfectly, she was on point. I think all the all the judges gave her every round, think even one judge gave her a 10-8 round. Kat did well, unfortunately she broke her hand, but that is just the nature of the beast. Other than that she’s in good spirits, it was a historical performance for the first PCG women’s title fight. I think once she had her rocked she could have kept her spacing and distance a bit better and finished her off. Things happen when you fight though, you get excited and take someone out and just forget about needing space so you can land that clean knockout shot, but overall she did great could not ask for a better performance, she fought well.”
Katherine Roy formerly fought on the PCG card in June against another known striker in the area, Dominique Gonzales, where she grinded her out for three rounds and scored a unanimous decision. Against Fatima, Roy showcased her variety o assets in the fight game, and still growing into a prime candidate as one of the best rising up and comers in San Antonio. PCG’s own Greg Reid agreed with that statement in a recent interview at his Battle Tactics training facility.
“I think it had to do with both Kat as a fighter, but also her coaches had it planned. What a great job and strategy for them, and I think it worked beautifully with what both Billy and Pete did with Kat. I like things when I do not see them coming like that.”
The game plan surprised some after watching Roy’s recent fight, but Roy herself proclaimed that she had always planned to stand up and throw, even in the fight before; even though she admits her opponent before threw her a loop during the fight with her karate like stance, which took Roy out of her element. She new Fatima well, and knew what holes she needed to take advantage of in order to walk away with PCG’s first women’s title.
“I like to stand up and throw, thing is that in my last fight Dominique had a really weird stance and long reach. When I went in and tried to strike with her she hit me three times, so I had to adjust my game plan to a ground game. Once I did that, you could see that Dominique had no answer for it and I controlled her the rest of the fight. I’m used to five-minute rounds, once I get a good position and ready to get going the time would run out, I’m so used to control and five whole minutes, so I could work on that better. There is always things I can approve on in my striking, like head movement to get closer in, especially on someone with a longer reach.”
Reach was not an issue for Katherine against Mallett, as she dipped and dodged Fatima’s shots to get inside, in which usually resulted in great success. The question is now, where does Katherine Roy go from here? She now currently holds an amateur MMA title under her name, an amateur record of 3-1, and now a precedent of possibly defending the championship or turning pro. The opportunities have become endless, after Roy recovers from her injury that is. A Billy Buch and Pete Spratt protegé, the stars have never become so bright for a young women weighing her opportunities in the ever-growing sport of mixed martial arts.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in Mixed Martial Arts