Octagon Oracles: CFFC Champion Elise Reed

Elise Reed poins to outside the CFFC cage while holding a championship around her shoulder. CFFC Strawweight Champion Elise Reed will make her UFC debut on Saturday. Photo Credit: CFFC / UFC Fight Pass

CFFC Strawweight Champion Elise Reed (4-0) is getting an odd first fight in the UFC. The natural strawweight (who has even competed at atomweight) will move up to flyweight to face a regular bantamweight in Sijara Eubanks (6-6). Nonetheless, it’s an opportunity for Reed to enter the UFC roster and make an impact.

Aside from the weird booking, there’s a lot to like about Reed as a prospect. While she has a short career of four pro fights, she has scored dominant wins in notable promotion CFFC and already fought in three title fights.

Ahead of a new chapter in her MMA career, the Octagon Oracles crew assessed Reed.

Richard Felicetti

Grade: B
Yet another CFFC talent will make her UFC debut, as strawweight champion Reed will have her first fight with the promotion after winning and defending the belt.

For her UFC debut, Elise Reed has quite the tall task in Sijara Eubanks. However, that’s sort of been the story of Reed’s career thus far. Just two months ago, Reed survived a chaotic first round against Hilarie Rose to finish her opponent with brutal elbows from the top position. Reed will be moving up in weight to fight Eubanks in a flyweight bout. While Reed is certainly game and skilled enough to make things interesting, Eubanks remains one of the premier talents in the weight class and may prove to be too much too soon for Reed who made her pro debut in late 2019.

I certainly envision Reed picking up some wins throughout her UFC stint, but I do have my doubts about her true contendership potential

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Zac Herbison

Grade: B
Reed was one of the first fighters I profiled. CFFC gave her a title shot when she was 1-0. I profiled her when she was 2-0. The UFC has given her the call up at 4-0. She fights so much smarter than her level her experience can explain. Her fighting style is defined by her calm, perceptive approach. Her hands are up, but not blocking her view of her opponent. She’s always ready to back out of range, or to counter, depending on what her opponent gives her. She’s good about picking her position before committing to an exchange – she likes to step in with a jab, then side-step to create an advantageous angle to trade from. A 3rd degree Taekwondo black belt, she has a large arsenal of kicks, so she’s also much more dangerous at range than her 5’3” frame would imply. Her cardio is great, too.

I wrote back then that she should move to atomweight. Since then, she’s gained a noticeable amount of muscle. While still not large for the weight class, she’s fitting into strawweight better as time goes on. Even so, Sijara Eubanks has 15, maybe 20 pounds on her. It’s a cruel matchup. Still, I’m excited to see what she does when the UFC isn’t sacrificing her to keep a fight night card together. I expect some growing pains as she adjusts to the level of competition, but I also expect her to overcome them and crack the top 15.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Tom Albano

Grade: B+
Reed makes quite the interesting case as she readies for her UFC debut, and it comes with interesting circumstances surrounding it.

Having only made her pro debut in late October 2019, and a CFFC strawweight champion, Reed will be jumping up to flyweight for her first UFC octagon bout. She’ll face a familiar name among the UFC’s women, Sijara Eubanks (6-6), who moves back down to 125-pounds from 135 in spite of previous struggles to hit the flyweight limit.

Reed moving up to 125-pounds for this fight may cause some concern. It’s been noted that she has fought with physical disadvantages when matched up with previous opponents on a tale of the tape. In fact, some might say she’s more suited at atomweight or her now-previous strawweight classification.

That being said, Reed seems able to work around any disadvantages she may have. As noted by MMA-Prospects’ Zac Herbison, her Taekwondo background is slick and fast. She’s fast in the hands, quick to move and quick to fire off a kick when the opportunity strikes.

Reed can be relentless with her pressure and land crisp combinations. And yet, she can also be so elusive, trying to live up to the expression “hit and not get hit.”

Size may continue to be an issue for her, and we still need to see more from her ground game if she wants to truly improve as an all-round fighter and rank up there among some of the best, regardless of what division she competes in.

But if Reed can do that and continue the momentum she had going for her in CFFC, it could be fun to see how she’ll end up in the Octagon.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Vince Rodemer

Grade: C
Reed is going to have a lot of trouble in her debut. She is on the smaller side of 115 pounds at five-foot-three and has a 61.5 inch reach. She’s very wild and is hell on wheels on the feet, but that leaves her flat footed and susceptible to takedowns. For a 28-year-old, most of her experience is as an amateur. I think she can be an exciting fighter against lower end strikers. Against disciplined UFC-level fighters, she is going to have trouble implementing her hectic style. This match up in particular is tough. Reed as fought at 105-pounds as recently as a few years ago and her opponent, Eubanks has had success at 135-pounds. Eubanks is going to be bigger and stronger. Down the road, against an appropriate level of competition, I think Reed is a 50-50 fighter.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Kristen King

Grade: B
Reed is very deserving of her spot on the UFC roster, so I am excited to see how well the former CFFC Strawweight Champion does in the promotion. Her career has been impressive so far, going 7-1 as an amateur and 4-0 as a professional. Reed is good at measuring distance in her fights, opting to set up and throw several kicks before adding in a combination. She also does a decent job on the ground as she often finds herself in a dominant position that allows her to deliver some good ground and pound. Another thing Reed does well is maintain her composure throughout her fights. She never gets too wild, and that calmness has led her to overcome even the most aggressive opponent.

I do have a few concerns with Reed, though. One is the change in weight class. Reed has alternated between the atomweight and strawweight divisions over the years, but has stuck with the latter for nearly a year now. She meets Sijara Eubanks at flyweight, so I am curious to see how she adjusts to this, considering she has not competed around this weight since her very first amateur fight. Second is how often she finds herself in compromising positions. I have seen Reed go for a takedown and before she can do anything significant from the top, she is immediately forced to defend a submission attempt. Her fights against Hailey Hoard and Hilarie Rose are just a few examples of this exact scenario. Of course, Reed fought her way out of those submission attempts by Hoard and Rose, but she cannot rely on that every time, especially if it comes against a more savvy grappler.

I like Reed as a mainstay throughout the years, but I can see her working her way to the top of her division. I don’t think she remains at flyweight, so if she returns to strawweight in her next few UFC fights, then the top 15 is not too far out of her reach.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion