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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Stefi Cohen to Face Esli Cervantes on June 9

Dr. Stefanie Cohen is scheduled to face Esli "La China" Cervantes at Commerce Casino in Commerce, California, USA on June 9. Cohen was originally scheduled to face Nikkia Williams.

Cohen (3-1-1, one KO) is a 31 year old from Caracas, Venezuela. She is now based in southern California. Cohen is coming off a close victory over Leanne Calderon in February in which she scored an impressive second round knockdown. For most of her career, Cohen has perhaps boxed too much instead of using her strength advantage to maul opponents in close.

Cervantes (1-3)  is an 18 year old from Aguascalientes, Mexico. She has quick feet and throws hard looping shots to the body. Listed at 4'11", Cervantes bounces on her toes and has a wiggly upper-body. The problem is she must set her feet to throw, which is a clear tell for her opponent. In her first two pro fights against Stephanie Chavez and Agnesa Kirakosian, Esli's opponents were able to jab her from the outside as soon as she set those feet.

Because her punches are wide, the shorter Cervantes isn't that effective on the inside either. Chavez mostly kept the fight at distance in winning a convincing unanimous decision last July, but Kirakosian connected with many flush shots in close during her October fight against Cervantes. Kirakosian scored a first round knockdown during an exchange and won by fourth round TKO.

Cervantes had two bouts in her hometown in April. She won a split decision against an opponent with a losing record before dropping a UD to an 0-2 fighter.

Though Cohen should try to maul most of her opponents, she can box herself to a comfortable win over the shorter Cervantes. Because of her strength advantage, Cohen can win an in-fight too, but that will give Cervantes her best chance. The toughest aspect of this fight for Cohen might be the weight.

This bout is scheduled for the flyweight division. Cohen said she started her camp at 129 pounds and is now down to 119. The flyweight limit is 112 pounds, but Cohen has mentioned a couple of times on social media her target is 113, which might mean the fight is contracted for a catchweight. Cohen says she feels great cutting the weight, but the lightest she has weighed for a fight was 116.5 pounds. Time will tell if making 113 leaves her weight-drained.

This bout is scheduled to air on UFC Fight Pass and is slated for four two-minute rounds.

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