Marlborough’s Gase Sanita, one of New Zealand’s most accomplished amateur mixed martial artists, made her much-anticipated professional debut in Melbourne recently.
The 29-year-old faced off against Australia’s Sara Collins in a featherweight bout during the Hex Fight Series 19.
After three extremely-tight rounds, Collins got the judges’ decision.
The fight ended with Collins controlling Sanita from the back and working a few tight choke attempts, along with ground ‘n’ pound. However, despite her defeat, Sanita showed great toughness during her debut in the professional ranks.
It was also a debut for Melbourne-based Collins, another decorated martial artist. An experienced judo practitioner, Collins has medalled in multiple competitions both at home and abroad and trains under UFC veteran Dan Kelly.
In 2018, Sanita made history by becoming the first female to capture a second world title at the IMMAF-WMMAA Unified World Championships which were held in Bahrain. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt’s back-to-back titles in the women’s lightweight division confirming her status as one of this country’s most promising talents.
Sanita fights out of the Marcelo Lopes Team in Blenheim and has been training full time now for almost six months.