Friday, April 7th, English bantamweight prospect Melissa Dixon will be in action for Ares FC, where she will be looking to keep her undefeated record intact against Gisele Moreira. She will be looking for another win, as Dixon looks to potentially earn a UFC contract in the near future. She represents Lions Gym, an underrated camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Striking on Feet and Ground: Whether it’s on the feet or on the mat, Dixon’s striking is the center piece of her MMA game. Dixon’s kickboxing is very solid, possessing good movement, quick hands and strong kicks. She also has very good ground-and-pound, which she is able to smash opponents with consistently because of her ability in the grappling department to get to dominant positions. All of her wins as an amateur came by way of knockout, as have three of her five pro wins. She strikes to finish, and that is the key for her in the cage when the bell rings.
Toughness: One of the great things that Dixon has that you just cannot teach is toughness. Dixon is never out of the fight because she is physically and mentally tough. In her most recent fight against Dariya Zheleznyakova, Dixon was taking a bit of a beating in the first round when her Russian opponent grounded her and was beating her up. Dixon weathered the storm and stayed in the fight, eventually getting out of some bad positions to turn the tables on Zheleznyakova. From there, she got the upper hand and finished the highly touted Russian before the bell ended in round one.
Decision Track Record: Dixon is a well-rounded fighter, so finding holes in her game right now is tough. What I did notice about her amateur record, which is actually a bit lackluster, is that she lost all four of her losses by decision. When she was able to score the knockout in those amateur fights, she went the full three rounds and lost. That could point to her conditioning, with her slowing down as the fight goes on. That said, she has won both decisions as a pro against Mafalda Carmona and Danielle Misteli, so it’s possible she has worked those kinks out.
Top-15 UFC Women’s Bantamweight: Dixon is 31 years old, so she’s hit the prime of her career and looked sharp in recent times. Given the state of the women’s bantamweight division, a run up the ladder right now could lend her some good results once she hits the UFC. She has a proven track record in beating top prospect Zheleznyakova, as well as Olympic judoka Rizlen Zouak, showing her great improvements. Those improvements, should they continue, could bear fruit at the highest level of the sport. She takes on a experienced Brazilian in Gisele Moreira next, and should Dixon come away victorious, I don’t know how the UFC doesn’t ink her to a deal immediately. The division needs fighters like her.