Squamish fighter Jamey-Lyn Horth Wessels went into her UFC debut undefeated and walked out undefeated.
Horth Wessels took on U.S. fighter Hailey Cowan in the bantamweight category, or 135 pounds, in her first professional fight in the preliminary card for UFC 72. Horth Wessels walked into the arena with a record of 6-0-0 while Cowan came in with a 7-2-0 record.
Ultimately, Horth Wessels beat Cowan via unanimous decision after three tough rounds.
A local bar, The Cleveland Tavern, aired the fight, which drew a large contingent of supporters for Horth Wessels.
The slightly taller and lankier Cowan actually came in about two pounds heavy for the bout. Both of the fighters felt each other out for the first minutes of Round One, but picked things up in the latter half of the round.
One of the highlights for the Squamish fighter came when Horth Wessels struck Cowan on her left temple with a high kick, which drew a significant amount of blood from Cowan.
In Round Two, both fighters came out with much more ferocity and, at one point, Cowan got Horth Wessels to the ground but she managed to escaped mostly unharmed.
In Round Three, “Let’s go Jamey” chants filled the Squamish bar as the two fighters stood toe-to-toe in the final minutes, trading strikes. Ultimately, the judges favoured the Squamish fighter and the bar erupted with cheers of support.
“We were prepared for a battle,” Horth Wessels said in her post-fight interview.
Previously, Horth Wessels told The Squamish Chief she set out the goal to make the UFC by 33.
"I told myself when I was 29, that if I hadn't made it to the UFC by the time I was 33, I'd start to think about what I was going to do with my life and my career going forward," she said.
Not only did she meet that goal — as she turned 33 in March — but now she can add a UFC debut victory to her belt.
~With files from Steven Chua