To say that Chelsea Hackett made an explosive debut in MMA would be an understatement!
The former Muay Thai World Champion faced off against on a gutsy challenger in, Mel Zeman, training out of Tiger Muay Tiger in Phuket, Thailand.
Zeman was intent on silencing Hackett’s home town advantage early in the bout. After securing early successful takedowns attempts, Zeman showed her MMA experience and went on the submission offensive, securing a deep armbar early in Round 1. Showing tenacity and grit, Chelsea remained composed, escaping the submission, only to immediately find herself in a deep triangle attempt, and after what seemed like an eternity facing the adversity of multiple submission attempts, Hackett was free and ready to assert her own quality, finishing round 1 in strong fashion with a barrage of knees to the body to signal she was ready to make this fight her own.
And in round 2, the onslaught on the feet began, as Hackett pressed from the onset, displaying high level striking and movement to an admiring home crowd who were their feet in support. After weathering the early storm, Hackett was now on a different level to her opponent, as she poured on high quality volume showing her pedigree as a world class striker. Zeman showed real toughness and an ability to withstand the volume of strikes and kicks as she continued pressing to take the fight to the ground, however Chelsea had now settled and her new skills in wrestling and takedown defence were on show.
It was a testament to Zeman’s toughness that she saw the final bell, and as a result grinded out a draw, as the point deduction Chelsea received in Round 1 for holding the cage seemingly balanced the score cards out. Hackett’s team and the local crowd where rightly incensed at the result, as the draw was an unpopular decision after Hackett had displayed dominance in Round 2 & 3 with arguably 10-8 rounds on display.
Regardless of the draw, Chelsea Hackett’s MMA debut showed quality beyond her years, and will undoubtable prove to be a pivotal learning experience for her career.
With the frenzied support for Chelsea evident, and her cool and calm ring presence felt by all, it was clear to many that Hackett is a star in the making. The sky is the limit for Chelsea Hackett, and we are all behind her.