Invicta FC had its sixth event Saturday night. After the Invicta 4 fiasco, Invicta 5 saw success with the online PPV format. This would be the first shown on television PPV. The card was originally set with 12 bouts, but with Tamikka Brents suffering a knee injury while warming up, her fight with Ediane Gomes was scratched and then there were 11.
The main event saw the rematch of “Cyborg” Justino and Marloes Coenen for the inaugural featherweight title. The fight started with both fighters coming out wanting to establish control with strikes, but Cyborg just had too much power. Coenen clenched up with Cyborg, but she just tossed her around like a ragdoll. Cyborg was willing to go to the ground to land some shots, then seemingly just stood up.
The entire fight was rinse and repeat. One thing that stood out was the calculated striking of Cyborg. We normally see her ferociously attack her opponents with her strikes, but in this fight she was more selective with her attack.
It seemed the only way Coenen had a shot at any type of offense would be to get Cyborg down and do damage from the top. Every attempt at a takedown was thwarted. Coenen took a lot of damage and showed heart, but she was no match for Cyborg.
In the fourth round, ref Big John finally called a stop to the mauling. After their previous fight, Coenen made it known that she felt the fight was stopped prematurely. This possibly played a role in allowing the fight to continue as long as it did. With the win, Cyborg became the first Invicta FC featherweight champion.
In the co-main event, Claudia Gadelha took on Ayaka Hamasaki in a number one contender for the strawweight title (the champion is Carla Esparza). For the majority of the fight, Gadelha was on top in half guard. Earlier in the fight Hamasaki was able to control Gadelha’s posture, but as the fight progressed, Gadelha was able to free herself and land some shots that eventually led to the stop of the fight.
In the opening round, there was a bit of controversy. With a few seconds left in the round, Hamasaki was attempting to stand up. Galdelha had some type of brain laps, or maybe just has bad aim, but she threw what looked to be a knee to the body that landed to the head. The replay from a different angle would show the knee landing on the shoulder. Regardless, the ref took a point away from Gadelha for the foul, but in the end, it was inconsequential.
Houston MMA was representing on the Invicta card in Lauren Taylor. She put her undefeated record on the line against Sarah D’alelio. D’alelio came out strong with her striking and Taylor tried to get the takedown after getting touched up. D’alelio would get top position from a reversal, would land some solid shots on the ground, and eventually get Taylor’s back.
There were many exchanges between the women, but D’alelio seemed to have been getting the better out of them with her counter punching. The one strike in the fight that seemed to do the most damage, was an illegal knee thrown by Taylor that landed south of the boarder; being kneed in the vag seems to suck just as much has being popped in the balls for a guy.
Although in my eyes, and other Twitter followers, D’alelio was winning the exchanges and fight, but apparently the judges saw it differently. Two judges gave Taylor 2 rounds and another judge gave her all 3 which gave her the decision win. Although I’m happy for the Houston fighter, I believe D’alelio won the fight.
Jennifer Maia and Leslie Smith put on a fight that not only was fight of the night, but mirrored something of two chicks literally fighting in a telephone booth. Jennifer Maia would get the nod, but I’m sure she woke up feeling like she was in a war. Neither woman looked tired or gassed; they just punched each other till the final bell sounded.
With the only submission of the night, Jessica Penne practically pitched a shutout. Nicdali Calanoc pressured Penne to the cage to start the fight, but it seemed as if she wanted to be there. As Calanoc came in with strikes, Penne was able to keep her at bay with crisp and effective counter punching. Maybe Penne was bored punching Calanoc in the face; she secured a takedown then transitioned seemingly to mount where Calanoc would then give up her back. Penne was able to get the tap by rear-naked choke with 3 seconds left in the first round.
Joanne Calderwood vs. Norma Center was your classic grappler versus striker match. The only thing, Calderwood was able to stifle Center’s offense for the majority of the fight, and work her striking in spurts. Center bounced around along the fence, trying not to get caught in Calderwood’s clench and not get punched, kicked, kneed, and elbowed. For the most part it worked, but there were exchanges that didn’t work out so well for Center and she took some nasty shots from Calderwood. In the final round, Center is able to put Calderwood on her back, but Calderwood throws up an armbar attempt that last 2:15. For the first time ever, I see a ref stand up fighters from within a submission attempt. At the time of the stand up, there is only 15 seconds. Calderwood gets the win.
18 year old Mizuki Inoue took on “Rowdy” Bec Hyatt in the 3rd fight of the evening. There was a good feeling out process between the two that eventually led to a clench. This is where Inoue went to work. She used dirty boxing, knees and kicks all in the clench to score points. Once the action was on the ground, Inoue was able to impose her will and control the action to how she liked it. Inoue would eventually win by decision.
In the opening fight of the PPV portion of the card, Rose Namajunas and Tecia Torres come out ready to put on a show. There is a brief exchange of kicks, and Namajunas is lands some nice punches. Torres is able to toss Namajunas to the ground and land some hard shots. But Namajunas is able to get back to her feet and land some solid strikes counter punching. Toward the end of the round, Namajunas attempts a flying armbar. While close, Torres is able to escape.
The second and third rounds start of at a slower pace, both able to implement their offense in different ways. While Torres is able to win the 2nd round in my eyes by aggression and offense, I had Namajunas winning the 3rd with takedowns and top control. The judges saw it differently. One judge gave all 3 rounds to Torres which is completely laughable, while the other two gave 2 rounds to one for Torres. Being a close fight, I can live with those scores.
Miriam Nakamoto vs. Duda Yankovich was a one sided thrashing. Nakamoto immediately went to the clench and landed some devastating knees. A knee to the head drops Yankovich and Nakamoto tries to capitalize, but Yankovich is able to recover. Back to the feet, Nakamoto again locks of the muay thai clench and lands more knees. Another knee to the head drops Yankovich again, but this time the ref stops the fight after more ground strikes land.
Cristiane Justino def. Marloes Coenen via TKO (strikes) – Round 4, 4:02 – to win inaugural featherweight title
Claudia Gadelha def. Ayaka Hamasaki via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 3:58
Lauren Taylor def. Sarah D’alelio via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Jennifer Maia def. Leslie Smith unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jessica Penne def. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:57
Joanne Calderwood def. Norma Rueda Center via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Mizuki Inoue def. Bec Hyatt via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Miriam Nakamoto def. Duda Yankovich via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:08
Tecia Torres def. Rose Namajunas via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Tamikka Brents vs. Ediane Gomes canceled after Brents suffered knee injury warming up
Emily Kagan def. Ashley Cummins via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
Livia von Plettenberg def. Kathina Catron via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
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