Undefeated strawweight Miranda Maverick (2-0) tapped out wrestling standout Kal Holliday, and finished Iowa prospect Samantha Diaz by way of rear-naked choke. She looked great in her first two starts under the Invicta FC banner, scoring back-to-back finishes in the very first round of action.
But is "The Maverick" ready for a step up in competition? Does she have what it takes to compete against the best of the best in the grappling world? Fight fans will find out the answers at Invicta FC 24. She already beat an elite wrestler and a highly-regarded striker, but now fans will see what she can do against a world-class BJJ ace.
Both of the Missouri star's Invicta victories came via submission, which led the promotion's matchmaking team to book her for a scrap at next weekend's event against one of the top Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners in the game today. On July 15 at Kansas City's Scottish Rite, Maverick collides with New Mexico's Gabby Romero, a black belt and BJJ world champion.
It's a fight that will reveal exactly where Maverick currently stands with her ground game. Is Romero the toughest test Maverick has ever faced inside the Invicta FC cage? There's absolutely no doubt her submission skills are superior to that of anyone "The Maverick" previously competed against.
Romero (2-1) has been snatching arms and choking ladies out inside the cage for years now, with both of her pro victories coming by way of submission. Most fans expect her hotly-anticipated Invicta FC debut to be a battle on the ground. She told AXS her fight against Maverick will likely be exactly what fans think it will be.
"It's kind of obvious it probably will be [a ground fight]," Romero said of her upcoming scrap with Maverick. "Whatever happens, happens. She seems more of a ground person and me even more so. It will probably go to the ground naturally.
"I'm a black belt and a world champion. She's a blue belt. It's nothing against her. It's just my area."
Maverick, in a previous interview, told AXS she's comfortable wherever the fight goes. Romero says she would be more than happy to welcome her opponent to the canvas. "It's not the smartest plan, but she could be just saying that," Romero said of Maverick's comments about being willing to go to the mat. "There's a big difference between a regular grappler and a black belt who is a world champion in IBJJF."
Romero fights Maverick next weekend in a pivotal strawweight clash on the Invicta FC 24 card. The bout airs live on UFC Fight Pass.