On Friday night in the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri, Invicta Fighting Championships held their 20th event.
It was a night of gruelling fights; a sprinkling of submission finishes; and a massive upset in the main event. There was also some questionable refereeing, and judging, making this your a-typical Invicta FC card.
AND THE PERFORMANCE BONUSES GO TO…
Four fighters ended the night with well deserved performance bonuses. Yana Kunitskaya for her shocking submission of Tonya Evinger that won her the Invicta FC bantamweight title; Herica Tiburcio for outworking and outlanding Simona Soukupova over three rounds; J.J. Aldrich for doing the same against Lynn Alvarez; and Alexa Conners for her decision win over Stephanie Egger.
If you are wondering why the list does not include Ashley Yoder, who was involved in the best fight of the night against Amber Brown, or Miranda Maverick who opened the night with an impressive debut submission of Samantha Diaz, both fighters failed to make weight so forfeited their chance to earn a bonus.
INVICTA FC 21 HAS A DATE AND A HEADLINER
We already knew that Invicta’s next event would see boxer Heather Hardy make her MMA debut. Now we know when and where the event will take place, and who will be fighting in the headliner. If you like hard hitting featherweights, it’s one you’ll be looking forward to.
It was announced during the broadcast that former Invicta FC title challenger Charmaine Tweet will square off against Australian standout Megan Anderson. Tweet is currently ranked #4 in the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings, while Anderson sits at #6. The event takes place January 14 and will once again be held at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.
Tweet came up short against Cristiane “Cyborg” Justin for the Invicta featherweight title in February 2015, but has since won three straight to maintain her status as a top five 145 pounder. Last time out Tweet stopped Latoya Walker with a spinning back fist at Invicta FC 17.
Anderson also has a notable loss on her Invicta resume, against Cindy Dandois in her Invicta debut. Since then Anderson has relocated to the United States, training full-time at Glory MMA, and the move has paid off in a big way. Anderson has won three-straight inside the distance, defeating Amber Leibrock, Amanda Bell, and Peggy Morgan.
MIKE ENGLAND HAS A BAD NIGHT, EVINGER UPSET
There is no question that refereeing MMA is a difficult, thankless, job. As such, we try not to be too hard on the officials up and down the country who keep the sport in check. Sometimes though a referee has such a bad night that it is impossible to ignore. That was Mike England on Friday night in Kansas City.
First he paused the action in the third round of a bout between Alexa Conners and Stephanie Egger to replace Egger’s mouthpiece. At the time Conners had Egger badly hurt against the cage and was swarming for a finish. She was so close to finishing the fight that when England paused the action, everyone, including the fighters, assumed the fight had been stopped. England’s timing was way off, opting to pause the fight at the worst possible moment.
Then in the main event Tonya Evinger attempted to force her way out of an armbar by stepping on Yana Kunitskaya’s face. That is well within the rules, as confirmed by refereeing pioneer John McCarthy. However, England insisted on berating Evinger and telling her to change her position. When she followed his instruction, the armbar was only sunk in deeper and it forced her to submit.
— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) November 19, 2016
Whether it changed the eventual outcome of the bout is up for debate. We will never know whether Kunitskaya would have been able to finish from that position regardless. What is not in question is that England made a big mistake at a crucial point in the fight. So much so that Evinger insisted she would look to get the result overturned in the hopes of securing a rematch for the title.
I cnt even explain what happened but if u know anything bout mma I was not doing anything illegal. (cont) https://t.co/3pD3Ddc3NC
— tonya evinger (@tonyaevinger) November 19, 2016
What were your main takeaways from Invicta FC 20? Hit us up and let us know over on Twitter @MMALatestNws.
Mizuki Inoue Replaces Janaisa Morandin for Invicta 28 Strawweight Title Main Event
One month ago, the stage for the 28th Invicta FC, event was set. Match ups made and announcements done, the women-only MMA promotion eagerly awaited the upcoming show which featured Janaisa Morandin battling Virna Jandiroba for the promotions vacant Strawweight title. Sadly, last Friday, Invicta officials announced Janaisa Morandin withdrew from the upcoming bout. In the same day, officials announced, Mizuki Inoue replaces Morandin to fight for the vacant Strawweight title against, Virna Jandiroba.
Averting disaster for the promotion meant pulling Mizuki Inoue from her bout scheduled as the co-main event on the same card. The Japanese fighter initially drew Milana Dudieva, in what was Dudievas Strawweight debut. The former UFC Bantamweight received a new opponent, yet was bumped from the co-main event slot. Dudieva faces Christina Marks, in the Strawweight division.
For Mizuki Inoue, the change of opponents represents an entirely different challenge. Her previous opponent, Dudieva planned (and continues to) to fight in a new weight division for the first time in her career. She also owned a frustrating four consecutive loss streak, stemming from the end of her run with the UFC. Not to mention, three of four losses came by way of TKO.
Virna Jandiroba is undefeated in her twelve career professional bouts. Of those twelve victories, ten are by way of submission stoppage. The Brazilian grappling expert fought the majority of her professional MMA career at Strawweight.
Mizuki Inoue certainly finds herself in a higher stakes match up. As the overstated statement goes, with great risk comes great reward. But, this new match-up relinquishes an advantage the Japanese fighter held over her previous opponent, grappling. Mizuki Inoue career record is nearly equally as impressive as her opponents. She has a wealth of experience in combat sports, having fought under Shootboxing and grappling rule sets throughout her young career. At 23, her record sits at 12-4 with 9 submission finishes.
Jandiroba holds more experience within her skin, being a seasoned 29 years old. Invicta 28 marks the second time the Brazilian fights inside the United States of America. Her first bout stateside, a submission victory over the Ultimate Fighter 23, contestant Amy Montenegro. Also of note, Virna Jandiroba is the #2 pound for pound women fighter in Brazil (rankings by Tapology.com, which exclude UFC fighters) behind only Jennifer Maia and technically speaking, Maia signed with the UFC last month. Therefor, she is ineligible for regional rankings. Which, in turn, makes Jandiroba the #1 pound for pound women fighter in Brazil (rankings by Tapology.com, excluding UFC fighters).
Invicta 28 takes place on March 24th, at the Union Event Center, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Invicta 28 is the first show of 2018 for the womens only promotion. It also marks the first ever trip to Utah for Invicta FC. Other match-ups featured on the March 24th card include; TUF 26 contestant DeAnna Bennett takes on Karina Rodriguez, Kali Robbins faces former UFC Strawweight, Pearl Gonzalez, Milana Dudieva goes up against a different TUF 26 contestant, Christina Marks.
Invicta 27 Officially Announced
The all-women promotion, Invicta FC, returns to Kansas City, Missouri on January 13th, 2018 for Invicta 27. The promotion announced on their website, the promotions inaugural 2018 event will start the new year off with a fan-friendly main event, Sarah Kaufman (18-4 1 NC) vs. Pannie Kianzad (8-2).
Kaufman returns to Invicta FC after a three-year stint with the UFC. The Canadian athlete fought once prior, in the female-only promotion, defeating Leslie Smith via split decision. Both women earned Fight of the Night honors for their efforts. In her previous three bouts, Kaufman posted a record of 1-2. The former Strikeforce bantamweight champion lost her final two UFC bouts against Alexis Davis and Valentina Shevchenko. Her most recent bout was a victory over Jessica Rose-Clark, in the Battlefield FC promotion.
The veteran Kaufman made her debut in 2006, nearly six years before her opponent. Pannie Kianzad made her professional debut with the Estonian promotion MMA Raju, in 2012. Kianzad began her career undefeated in eight bouts. On the way, capturing the Cage Warriors bantamweight championship. The Iranian-Swede holds an identical record to Kaufman in her previous three bouts, 1-2. Currently, she finds herself on a two-loss skid.
In the co-main event, Vanessa Porto (19-8) faces Mariana Morais (12-5). The Brazilian, Morais, is coming off a disappointing title challenge in the flyweight division of the KSW promotion. Ariane Lipski submitted her in 58 seconds. Porto, however, is fresh off her Invicta 26, TKO victory over, Milana Dudieva.
Porto is an Invicta FC veteran, having fought in seven of the promotions twenty-six held events. Throughout her career, the veteran faced the best women the world had to offer. The thirty-three-year-old has fought the likes of Roxanne Modafferi (twice), Agnieszka Niedzwiedz, Barb Honchak, Tara LaRosa, Jennifer Maia (twice), Tonya Evinger, Germain De Randamie, Amanda Nunes, and Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
The first card of 2018 for Invicta holds a plethora of inexperienced women. Of the 17 women booked for the card, only four women hold ten or more professional fights on their record. Another four women will make their professional MMA debut: Loma Lookboonmee, Jade Ripley, Helen Peralta, and Akeela Al-Hameed. The Invicta 27, the card will feature nine bouts. The event will take place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri on January 13th, 2018. The card will proceed as follows:
Pannie Kianzad (8-2) vs. Sarah Kaufman (18-4 1 NC) – Bantamweight Division
Vanessa Porto (19-8) vs. Mariana Morais (12-5) – Flyweight Division
Sharon Jacobson (4-2) vs. Ashely Nichols (3-1) – Strawweight Division
Ashley Cummings (5-4) vs. Stephanie Alba (3-2) – Atomweight Division
Brogan Walker-Sanchez (4-0) vs. TBA – Flyweight Division
Felicia Spencer (3-0) vs. Akeela Al-Hameed (0-0) – Featherweight Division
Mallory Martin (1-2) vs. Tiffany Masters (2-1) – Strawweight Division
Melissa Wang (1-0) vs. Loma Lookboonmee (0-0) – Atomweight Division
Jade Ripley (0-0) vs. Helen Peralta (0-0) – Strawweight Division
Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut
Late Friday night, Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 1-0 Invicta FC) won her co-main event booking, defeating Kaline Medieros (8-6, 2-2 Invicta FC), at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz, via submission (armbar) with only fifteen seconds remaining in the fight.
Much of the fight was controlled by Dern. The heralded prospect displayed her power, visibly damaging her opponent with multiple overhand rights. Striking is an under-developed aspect of her attack, only when compared to the twenty-four-year-olds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above all, she showed a progression of her striking skills. Dern looked to be bigger and physically stronger than her veteran opponent. She utilized forward pressure and found the proper timing for her overhand right throughout.
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) December 9, 2017
The veteran Medeiros showed her toughness throughout the fight. She defended and scrambled out of some bad positions during the grappling exchanges. Ultimately, she tapped when caught in a deeply planted armbar. While Medeiros did earn a few hard trip takedowns, it factored minimally in the result as she refused to follow Dern to the mat. The Boston native suffered her second straight loss, Friday night. Her first was to, former Invicta strawweight champion, Angela Hill.
Dern made her professional debut in July of 2016 with Legacy Fighting Alliance (previously: Legacy Fighting Championship). In her debut, she defeated Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. The Phoenix-born fighter won her next three bouts. Before her MMA career began, Dern won the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) championship at 60 kg. She was the first American born female to become champion at the weight. Her grappling resume boasts many more incredible accomplishments. Justifiably, a growing spotlight now hangs over her, her skills, and potential in the sport of MMA.
Elsewhere on the Invicta 26 card, Jennifer Maia defeated Agnieszka Niedzweidz by unanimous decision. Maia retained her Invicta flyweight belt, defending it for the second time. Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz, took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.
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