EXCLUSIVE | Cory McKenna Excited By Stylistic Matchup With Elise Reed At UFC London

Cory McKenna
Mandatory Credit: MMA Junkie

Streaking Welsh prospect, Cory McKenna will feature for the first time in front of a live gate on March 19. at the highly-anticipated UFC London card. And by all accounts, it will prove the first occasion in which McKenna draws an unfamiliar stylistic matchup when paired with fellow strawweight upstart, striking talent Elise Reed.

McKenna, a native of Cwmbran, Wales, earned her spot on the UFC roster via the Contender Series back in August 2020 – landing a victory over recent UFC 270 winner, Vanessa Demopoulos, before making her UFC debut just three months later in November of that year.

Paired with Kay Hansen, McKenna managed to make a successful Octagon bow courtesy of another impressive unanimous decision victory – improving her professional record to 6-1.

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Cory McKenna lands on the UFC London card as part of a massive contingent of Cage Warriors alums

The former Cage Warriors feature had landed each of her other four wins under the Graham Boylan-led promotional banner, besting Giulia Chinello, Fannie Redman, Eva Dourthe, and Maria Vittoria Colonna. 

Returning to a home town crowd at The O2 Arena on March 19. for UFC London, McKenna, a trainee at Team Alpha MMA, detailed how excited she is to share the Octagon with her fellow talent, Elise, noting the stylistic intrigue the matchup brings. 

“Yeah, she’s (Elise Reed) solid – like you said, I think on paper, it’s a typical striker versus grappler,” Cory McKenna told LowKick MMA reporter, Jordan Ellis. “But I’m not sleeping on her, I know she probably works a lot on her grappling, like she’s had some grappling exchanges in her fights, and clearly like, knows what she’s doing, she can hold her own.”

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“I think it’s gonna be a pretty, entertaining, well-rounded fight, you know,” Cory McKenna continued. “I’ve got some striking too. I’ve been competing in striking since I was a kid. She’s a black belt in Taekwondo – it’s gonna be a different style matchup to what I’ve had before, I’ve not had that really. I’ve fought a lot of different styles, so it’s gonna be interesting. I’m confident wherever it goes – I’ve got solid striking, my wrestling and my grappling, I feel like I’ve shown that a lot. It’s gonna be a well-rounded fight and it’s gonna be really entertaining for everybody I hope, so it’s gonna be good.” 

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4-1 as a professional, Sacramento native, Reed, is a former Bellator feature and one-time CFFC strawweight champion, making her Octagon bow back in July of last year where she suffered a first round ground strikes loss to veteran, Sijara Eubanks. The defeat came as Reed’s first professionally – snapping a four-fight winning spree.

UFC London takes place on March 19. from The O2 Arena in London, England – with a heavyweight bout between Alexander Volkov, and Tom Aspinall currently set to take main event honors, however, the situation remains fluid amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.