Kiwi mixed martial artist Genah Fabian remains in the hunt for $1 million, confirming her spot in the playoffs of the Pro Fighter's League women's lightweight division.
Fabian, 29, claimed a first-round stoppage over American Moriel Charneski in the second and final round of the regular season to earn a maximum six points from the bout in Atlantic City on Friday morning (NZ time).
With six points to her name, Fabian secured a spot in the tournament's top four seeds and will fight in the semifinals later in the year.
After suffering a loss on the scorecards in her first fight, Fabian needed at least a win to be in the hunt for the playoffs. She didn't waste any time against Charneski, stopping a couple of takedown attempts before dropping the American with a left hand cross before finishing the job with hammer fists to earn the stoppage in 1min42secs.
"I could see the takedown," Fabian said after the fight. "I knew that's what she was looking for.
"I could feel it, I could see it so I just tried to be aware and counter it."
With Charneski's background in wrestling, taking the fight to the ground was her best opportunity against the former Muay Thai world champion Fabian, who had the height and reach advantage.
Fabian, who was trained at the world renowned Auckland gym City Kickboxing before moving to the States, fought a smart fight from the outset. Maintaining distance and focusing on her boxing as kicks would have made the takedown much easier for Charneski to land as she could have shot in when Fabian was on one leg.
The American tested Fabian early, shooting in at the Kiwi's legs a couple of times. The first attempt was dealt with easily by Fabian, while the takedown defence was on display on the second when Fabian had to sprawl from her knees and maintain a dominant position before regaining space on her feet.
The win takes Fabian's professional MMA record to 3-1 as she turns her focus to the playoffs in Las Vegas on October 12 (NZ time).
The PFL was established in 2012 under the moniker of the World Series of Fighting. It was renamed in 2017 with the 2018 edition being the first under its new title. Unlike most MMA fight nights, the PFL features a regular season where fighters get points for their wins. The top fighters at the end of the season move into the knockout stages.