After back-to-back weeks of upsets on The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion, one of the favorites reminded everyone that Cinderella stories are rare. Former Invicta FC flyweight champion Barb Honchak is arguably the favorite to emerge from the tournament as the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion. She put in a dominating performance in the sixth episode of the season.
“Little Warrior” won the Invicta FC 125-pound title in April 2013. She defended her belt twice and stepped away from the sport. She hadn’t fought since November 2014. At 38-years old, it was unknown how she’d look in her return to fight after a nearly three-year layoff. She answered those questions by finishing Gillian Robertson to advance to the quarterfinals.
The Fight: Barb Honchak vs. Gillian Robertson
The match-up pitted the youngest competitor against the oldest. Robertson is 23-years-old. She’s a ground specialist, but was dominated by Honchak on the mat.
The two engaged in a striking match for the first two minutes of the opening round and then Honchack changed levels and put Robertson on her back. Honchak delivered punches and elbows while Robertson looked to secure an armbar. Honchak defended the submission attempt and finished the round hammering Robertson with strikes. Robertson may have been saved by the bell.
Honchak took Robertson down early in the second frame and picked up where she left off in the opening round. Robertson showed her toughness against a more experienced former world champion. She escaped a submission attempt and briefly gained top position. The end of the fight came when Robertson shot in for a takedown and Honchak sprawled. Honchak gained top position and mounted Robertson. She postured up and delivered punches until the referee had seen enough.
“Barb did a great job. I fought the best it the world. I feel like I deserved to be in there with her and I just tried to prove it as much as I could,” said Robertson after the loss.
“Did you see any ring rust,” asked Honchak following her return bout. “I didn’t. I didn’t feel it. I felt good.”
“I think everybody came in here looking at me. Now they know that I am what I was,” she said. “They’re still looking at me I think.”
Next Fight Announcement:
With Honchak’s win, the team competition is tied at three wins each for Team Alvarez and Team Gaethje. On next week’s episode, No. 10 seed Rachael Ostovich-Berdon will take on No. 7 seed Melinda Fabian of Team Alvarez.