This week the Featherweight women take center stage at the PFL Challenger Series as eight competitors fight for one contract. Kicking us off tonight, New Zealand native Michelle Montague returns to the SmartCage after a 1st round submission victory in last year’s PFL Challenger Series as a Lightweight. Montague will have Kayla Harrison, one of her main sparring partners at American Top Team in the corner with her tonight. Across from “The Wild One” stands Shaquita Amador Woods, a California native making her pro debut after being an alternate for last year’s Challenger Series. Amador Woods was set to join the Air Force before falling in love with Muay Thai and pursuing fighting full time.
The bell rings and week 2 of the PFL Challenger Series is underway! Woods opens with a kick to the body followed by an exchange of low lead leg kicks from both fighters. Montague is now controlling the center of the SmartCage as both fighters look to find the range.
Woods attempts a big teep kick but Montague is well out of range by the time it gets there. Woods is having some success with the low kicks early but it seems every time she tries to go up top Montague is clear of danger, as Woods finally lands a nice right hand with about three minutes remaining in the opening round.
Montague seems to be settling in a bit now, landing a big combination of punches and pressing Woods back into the fence. Oh my, just about halfway through the round Montague changes levels and absolutely blasts a double leg takedown, lifting Woods clean off the ground and finishing with a violent slam.
Montague is now in top three quarter mount but quickly transitions to full mount and then the back as Woods makes a mistake with a minute remaining. Montague is now working on a rear naked choke, the submission she won last year’s PFL Challenger Series bout with. Woods is doing a good job of not allowing Montague to flatten her out and just riding out the danger as the clock winds down and the opening round concludes.
Montague opens round 2 with a big left hand that lands flush as Woods looks to fire back but can’t connect. Montague lands the left again and seems to really be finding the range at this point. Again, Montague lands a power left and this time follows it up with a right, another left, and a right on the exit.
Montague makes a mistake by exposing her neck and Woods capitalizes! Woods attacks a D’arce choke and that is TIGHT! Woods is having some trouble generating enough squeeze to finish the choke as she readjusts and cinches it in tighter. Wow, Montague demonstrates her resilience as she rides out almost two full minutes in a tight choke before working back to her feet briefly before reversing position and winding up on top as Woods attacks a guillotine but doesn’t have the angle.
Woods may just have emptied the gas tank chasing that submission as Montague is coming on hard here as the round winds down. Montague is able to take the back and again looks to attack that RNC. As the round winds down, Montague adjusts her grip, choosing to go palm to palm rather than traditional and that is TIGHT!
And that’ll do it! Woods taps and Michelle Montague moves to 2-0 in the SmartCage! Will it be enough for a PFL contract? We’ll find out soon enough.
Michelle Montague gets her second rear naked choke in the SmartCage!
Michelle Montague def. Shaquita Amador Woods via 2nd Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke, 4:45)