In a battle of young rising prospects, two undefeated 4-0 prospects clash as Evelyn Martins takes on Karolina Sobek in our second bout of the evening. Going pro at just 18 years old, Martins is the youngest fighter in the PFL Regular Season and went 2-0 on the PFL Challenger Series this year. At only 23, Sobek is not exactly a geezer by any means and also sports a stellar 4-0 record. With three wins by scarf hold including a win over 2022 PFL Semi-Finalist Martina Jindrova, Sobek promises to bring the fight to Martins in what should be an exciting match up.
The fight begins and Martins opens with the same low kick that won her last bout with Jackie Cataline, but Sobek is not going to just let Martins chop the tree, instantly turning up the volume before landing a big right hand as Martins throws a kick and chases her to the mat.
We get a beautiful scramble as Martins almost escapes but Sobek is able to glide with her, using the rear naked choke threat to get off to the side and then wind up on top in the full guard where she starts to throw some short shots and soften Martins up.
Martins is attacking a guillotine choke off her back here and it looks like it's getting tight after it was originally a bit of an afterthought for Sobek! Sobek is trying to press on the arm of Martins to free her head but she can’t get herself free as Martins refuses to give up the submission despite not necessarily having the angle.
After a struggle, Sobek is able to free herself and posture up to land some strikes, dropping a BIG left hand on Martins with 90 seconds remaining in the round. Sobek is stacking Martins and staying heavy with shoulder and head pressure as she throws short strikes and controls Martins on the ground here. Martins tries to just muscle her way up, exploding from the hips but Sobek stays with her expertly, remaining heavy on top and doing damage with punches until the end of the round.
Our second round begins with a big straight right hand from Martins and Sobek wastes no time closing the distance and clinching, driving Martins into the SmartCage and looking for a takedown. This time however Martins is able to keep her feet underneath her and circle out, retreating back to the center of the SmartCage.
The fighters trade in the pocket briefly with neither landing anything very damaging before Sobek again closes the distance and begins looking for a takedown from the clinch, peppering in some knees to the body for good measure.
In a surprising turn of events, Martins lands a takedown of her own as she uses an outside trip to take Sobek to the mat and land straight in side control. Sobek is doing a good job using her inside leg to prevent Martins from passing to the mount but Martins is staying heavy on top halfway through the round.
Martins seems to be attacking an arm triangle but doesn’t have the angle there as Sobek is able to regaurd before getting her feet on Martins hips and using upkicks to get back to her feet. Something in that exchange cut Martins open as she is now bleeding from her forehead, but that won’t stop her as she rushes forward and lands a straight with two hooks behind it, forcing Sobek to clinch once again.
Martins is now in dominant position along the fence as Sobek looks for a hip toss but can’t finish it with a minute to go in the round. Martins peppers in some knees and short punches to the body, though she may be better served by breaking the distance here and looking to strike from range. She’ll ride out the clinch position to the end of the round as we head to what could very well be a winner take all round three.
We begin the rubber round here and Martins again opens with a nice right hand over the top, forcing Sobek to clinch once more but Martins is able to reverse position and wind up grinding on Sobek against the fence. The fighters trade knees in the clinch as Martins changes levels for a takedown.
Sobek defends expertly however, using the underhook to prevent Martins from getting to her hips and then circling off before Martins reverses position again and we wind up where we started. Martins briefly looks for a single leg but there’s nothing there as Sobek looks for a toss with the scarf hold but Martins slips out the backdoor.
Evelyn Martins has been able to nullify Sobek's takedowns in the 3rd round! #PFLRegularSeason LIVE NOW— PFL (@PFLMMA) April 7, 2023
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After a brief striking exchange that sees both fighters land, Sobek again goes to the “shove you into the cage and clinch” technique but she’s going to need to do some damage at some point if she wants to win this fight. Again Martins is able to reverse position and with two minutes remaining in the round, Sobek really needs a sense of urgency. The striking numbers are very close and both fighters have one takedown as Martins is able to secure a crucial takedown with 90 seconds remaining.
If Martins can posture up and do some damage here she may very well have just sealed this fight. Martins postures up and lands some punches before dropping back for an ankle lock with a minute to go. Martins can’t finish the leg lock but is able to get back on top and start throwing punches but with 25 seconds to go Sobek throws a spartan kick from the bottom to create some space and get back to her feet, landing a nice knee on the break as the round comes to a close.
Evelyn Martins comes on strong as the bout goes on to take a decision and remain undefeated!
Evelyn Martins def. Karolina Sobek by Unanimous Decision (29-28 3x)