Opening up the main card of LFA 135, Henderson (1-0) stepped into the cage for the first time as a pro after fighting three times as an amateur. Sharing the cage with her was a fellow pro debutant, Melanie McIntyre.
The fight started off quickly and in the opening exchange, Henderson landed a flush kick to the body. McIntyre (0-1) looked to clinch immediately after, but that eventually led to Henderson taking full mount after getting a trip takedown.
Henderson then switched to a triangle choke submission. McIntyre kept her left arm out in the open too long and Henderson locked in an Americana from her back, which prompted the tap from the double-submission maneuver at 1:42 of the first round.
Check out video of the wild finish in the video below (via Twitter):
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) July 9, 2022
The Hendersons spoke about why the time was right to make the jump to the professional ranks at this point. They felt their preparation was at such a high level that they felt the fight would be similar to that of an open-book test.
Ultimately, Maria performed as if she had all the answers, and walks out of the Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix as an undefeated professional MMA fighter.