Mae Young Classic Winner Crowned

The Mae Young Classics are in the books, and Kairi Sane won the tournament.

The Japanese star Sane, formerly known as Kairi Hojo, defeated former UFC fighter Shayna Baszler in the finals with a flying elbow drop to take home the Mae Young Classic trophy. 

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You can see an excerpt of our live coverage below.

Kairi misses a sliding forearm in the corner before dropping Shayna with an axe kick. Shayna puts Kairi in a sleeper hold they she fights out of before dropping Shayna with a back fist, then gets caught on the top turnbuckle. Kairi fights her off before hitting a double foot stomp for a near fall, then hits a sliding forearm in the corner and an elbow drop for the pin and the win.

Winner: Kairi Sane via pinfall

Both women had interesting runs to get to the finals in the first place. Baszler, a former UFC fighter, took on varying degress of experience on her way to the finale. A virtual rookie in Zeda, a world-renowned wrestler in Candice LeRae, a former TNA Knockouts Champion Mia Yim, as well as 17 year pro Mercedes Martinez were all beaten to get to Sane.

Sane herself took on stars from the United States and New Zealand. The daughter of Tully Blanchard, Tessa. Tournament standout Bianca Belair, as well as Dakota Kai and Toni Storm all fell victim to Sane's signature elbow drop.

Despite being a pioneer of women's MMA, Baszler never competed in many tournaments during her MMA career. In a twist of irony, she participated in The Ultimate Fighter 18 tournament, where she became friends with Ronda Rousey, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. 

You can see our full Mae Young Classic coverage at this link, and our post-match podcast at this link.

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