Debuting MMA fighter Marianna Kheyfets overwhelms Kim Couture at XFC 11

The debuting Marianna Kheyfets, 25, proved that the next generation of pro MMA fighters is indeed a force to be reckoned with when she completely overwhelmed and defeated MMA veteran Kim Couture, 34, in the co-main event of XFC 11: The Next Generation at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. July 9.

XFC President John Prisco knew what he was doing when he gave the former kickboxer, Kheyfets, a spot on the XFC 11 card although she was only a runner up at the XFC Fighter Tryout in Danbury, Conn. earlier this year.

"Marianna absolutely deserved this opportunity. She was amazing at the fighter tryout and truly incredible against Couture last night," said Prisco. "Not only did she knock Couture down, but she locked her into one of the tightest triangle chokes I have ever seen. Kim Couture had no chance to get out of it. I give Kheyfets both, the Fight of the Night and the Submission of the Night honors."

Instead of being intimidated by the much more experienced Couture, Kheyfets immediately launched her attack with the most powerful weapons in her kickboxing arsenal. Couture at first seemed mildly amused by the rookie's eagerness to trade punches. But her smile went south as soon as Kheyfets connected with a vicious right that must have temporarily disabled Couture's left eye.

As Kheyfets took on the role of the aggressor she not only dictated the pace, but also the direction of the fight. Couture made every effort to keep up with Kheyfets by countering most of her punches but was not able to block her crippling leg kicks.

When Kheyfets knocked down Couture with another powerful punch she immediately followed her to the ground where she first dished out a dose of ground and pound before she locked her into an air-tight triangle choke. Couture had no choice but to tap out at 3:06 in round one.

According to Prisco, this impressive performance and win guarantees Kheyfets a spot on another XFC fight card in the future as she continues to hone her mixed martial arts skills at American Top Team in Danbury, Conn.

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