We have a very exciting, newer name to add to the UFC women’s flyweight division, and that is the incredibly talented 24-year-old from Scotland, now living in Australia, in Casey O’Neill.
This girl has been nothing short of astounding since making her UFC, and professional debuts.
She’s always been very highly touted, and it’s here that I show you why that is.
For starters, her father, Cam O’Neill, was a professional kickboxer, and Casey has been coached by him since the age of four. Around ten-years of age is when her parents decided to move to Australia, and a couple years later, around the age of 13, she began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Around the age of 15, Casey talked her father into allowing her to compete in mixed martial arts for the first time.
So, naturally, he agreed and allowed her to make her amateur debut at age 15.
However, she’d have a bit of a rocky start to this tenure.
O’Neill was beat down in her amateur debut back in July of 2014, being finished off in 84 seconds via knockout.
She’d then take over a year off, returning in December of 2015, where she was again soundly beaten via TKO, this time just 49 seconds into the first round.
O’Neill took nearly two years off following her second straight setback, where she suffered brutal defeats early on in both affairs as you see.
Upon return, O’Neill would win five straight bouts in just under two years, securing finishes in all five (three knockouts & two submissions), before turning professional later that year in 2019.
O’Neill won the Eternal MMA strawweight championship in her professional debut, going five rounds in the process. For someone who’d never been the distance, even as an amateur, to winning a five-round fight in their first professional bout (five-minute rounds), is incredibly impressive.
O’Neill would next defend her title via submission (rear naked choke) in round one, before again winning another five round unanimous decision. She’d missed weight for her second title defense however and was stripped of her belt considering.
She then moved up to the flyweight division, where she won a three round unanimous decision, before KO’ing her next opponent in round two, bringing her professional record to 5-0.
Next came her UFC debut, where she’d TKO Shana Dobson, before submitting (rear naked choke) BJJ black belt and former Shooto champ-champ Lara Procopio in round three.
O’Neill then TKO’d Valentina Shevchenko’s sister, Antonina, a professional kickboxer, in round two.
That improved her to 3-0 inside the octagon, all in 2021. She really had a remarkable year last year.
That brings us up to her most recent affair, where she faced women’s MMA legend, former IFC, FFF, K-GRACIE, & FFL champion Roxanne Modafferi, defeating her via split decision at UFC 271 earlier this month.
O’Neill showcased the far superior striking in this match up, despite being taken down twice.
She out-landed Modafferi 230-148 in total strikes, landing 187 strikes to Modafferi’s head whilst eating 98 herself, and landing 100% of her leg kicks, which totaled 20 to Modafferi’s two.
At just 24 years old, already boasting a BJJ brown belt, having gone five rounds twice throughout her first three fights, Casey O’Neill is certainly a youth beyond her years.
She came into UFC 271 ranked at No. 15, and has since jumped up to No. 12, while Modafferi retired after an illustrious career. One thing’s for certain, this is just the beginning of a potential legendary career for Miss O’Neill.
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