Glory Watson of Brewer lost her professional mixed martial arts debut Saturday night via first-round submission to Ariana Melendez as part of the Triton Fights 18 card held at Plant City, Florida.
Both Watson and Melendez were fighting for the first time as professionals after successful amateur careers. Watson went 6-1 as an amateur and Melendez was 3-2.
Watson began her strawweight (115-pound) battle with Melendez using her striking game, but the fight eventually went to the mat. Melendez maneuvered herself into position to apply a guillotine choke that led to Watson tapping out 3 minutes, 12 seconds into the five-minute opening round.
“I fought a tough opponent and I received my first career loss as a professional,” Watson said in an Instagram post after the bout. “I had a great camp, a great attitude and amazing supporters. I was happy to be there. Everyone wants a win, but I made some monumental improvements in this fight that most people will never be able to see.”
The 26-year-old Watson was fighting for the first time since Nov. 19, 2019, when she dropped a five-round unanimous decision to Oklahoman Cara Greenwell in their battle for the vacant New England Fights amateur strawweight title.
Before that Watson had scored six consecutive amateur victories since beginning her MMA career in June 2018.
Melendez, 25, lost her first two amateur bouts by split decisions before embarking on a three-fight winning streak. That prompted her to move up to the professional ranks. She is based in Sanford, Florida, and is represented by former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion Anthony Pettis’ First Round Management group.