Welcome to the UFC: Leah Letson
Back on January 4, Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion Yana Kunitskaya announced she signed to the UFC and would take on UFC-veteran Sara McMann. McMann was pulled from the fight to step in to fight Marion Reneau at UFC Orlando. The UFC announced her replacement would be newcomer, Leah Letson (4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Kunitskaya would quickly be propelled into the UFC 222 main event against featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. While no debut date is set, Letson confirmed she has still signed with the UFC via instagram.
Leah “Nidas” Letson
From Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Training out of Pura Vida BJJ/MMA
How Leah Letson fares in the UFC:
Letson made her name known when she knocked out former UFC fighter Elizabeth Phillips in the first round at Invicta FC 21 in January, 2017. Letson hasn’t fought since that victory due to her military deployment. Letson was set to fight March 9, 2018 for the Dynasty Combat Sports (DCS) promotion against Jozette Cotton for the regional featherweight title. UFC needs featherweights so the signing makes sense even though Letson has been linked to bantamweight in the past. Letson hasn’t beat good competition and the winner of the Cotton matchup would have deserved a contract. Letson has a background in taekwondo as displayed by the head-kick knockout of Phillips. But her best kicks are to the body using her kickboxing. The skill is there but needs a couple adjustments to make her a better fighter. Letson has an excellent straight left she throws right down the middle and her striking altogether is nice, especially the bodywork and power in her hands. On the mat, her top position is good along with her ground-and-pound. On the feet is where Letson is best despite the visible holes. Her head movement is lacking as she leaves her head on a center line and would be picked apart by someone with effective jabs. The footwork also needs improvement as she is flat-footed a majority of the time. Her ground game is good, but the ability to get the takedown is called into question until she can improve the footwork. Letson can be an excellent fighter and maybe she will even look even better with her layoff, but as of now it might be a bit premature.