Saturday January 18th brought the return of the Invicta FC promotion and their biggest roster draw in Cris Cyborg(15-1). She took on the relatively unknown but featherweight prospect Daria Ibragimova(9-2). Daria went for a unsuccessful single leg takedown and was content on holding the leg of the champ for the early portion. She was clearly trying to trip Cris but the stronger Justino stood on one foot and delivered blows to the head of Daria. As the very lackluster round was dying down Cris broke from the clinch and landed a spot on hook to the jaw of Ibragimova that sent her to the mat. As the hammer fists came raining down referee John McCarthy stepped in to call it off with mere seconds left. As with most of Cris victories it was asked what would be next for her following the Rousey loss. Her answer was finally that she’s happy in 145 and will take on whoever the promotion wants. That’s the answer she should have been giving the entire time.
Strawweight champion Livia Renata Souza(9-0) did the unthinkable with a win over Deanna Bennett(8-1) by striking stoppage. We all knew she had the ability to finish Deanna but consensus says it would be on the ground. She stood in the pocket with the “Argentine Assassin” and found success early with an overhand right. Similar to one of her very own bouts Bennett fell victim to a vicious kick to the body that sent her to the canvas, Livia pounced on her with hammer fist to cause the stoppage. It was an unexpected plan of attack by Souza against the decorated and previously undefeated striker. Livia completes her first title defense in championship fashion and proves there is more to her than her exceptional ground attack. Her next match up should be just as exciting.
After a brief delay due to the emergency vehicles on the scene we were treated to a bantamweight battle between Colleen Schneider(10-6) and Raquel Pa’aluhi(5-5). Collen found her best advantages on the feet in the first and cut Raquel early. Pa’aluhi landed a few takedowns but was clearly at a disadvantage as the cut opened up. In the second round Colleen went after the eye some more and fought off an early takedown by scrambling to the cage to return to her feet. Raquel landed leg kicks over and over but that allowed the openings to the face where Schneider kept herself in the fight. Colleen showed great pressure going into the third round and kept Pa’aluhi at bay in the desperate third round. The close bout ended in split decision in favor of Schneider who earns a victory against on of the top contenders in the division. Colleen never allowed Rachel to get settled and that what helped propel her to the “W”.
Amber Brown(6-1) continues her dominate streak with a first round guillotine submission over the newcomer Shino VanHoose(4-4). We knew the power of Brown would be her advantage no matter who she fights in the division and she put that on display early. She touched Shino with a stiff jab in the first but found herself on the mat after a trip from VanHoose. Shino’s head was caught by Brown who immediately pulled her in and went for the submission. It only took a few seconds of pressure by the stronger Brown and it left Shino tapping in her debut fight. Amber called out atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki which would be a great title fight for the 105 division.
Two fighters heading in opposite direction matched up Saturday night between Mizuki Inoue(10-4) and Lacey Schuckman(11-9). Lacey had been on a tear and felt she was ready to come after the young but tested strawweight competitor who lost her last two. The first round became a chess match on the canvas with Inoue getting the upper hand going for multiple armbar attempts. The broadcasters pointed out that Mizuki may have tapped in the second in the triangle position but it seemed as if that was not the case. Really it was more made of it then was needed but heading into the third the momentum was behind Mizuki. In the third Inoue was much lighter on her feet and found a few openings on Schuckman before returning to the clinch. She landed another takedown and eventually fished and gained the armbar against the very resilient Schuckman.
It only took former TUF contestant Angel Hill(3-2) one round to introduce herself to the Invicta FC brass. She went toe to toe with Alida Gray(4-3) and and went to work with her striking to put on a dominate performance. She caught Alida with a few cleans punches that stifled the attack of Gray. In the clinch against the cage Hill used her knees to keep the pressure on Alida and soon hit her with another cross to stun Alida and lead to the finish. The win for Hill no do doubt justifies her previous employment and we can see that she is in store for some fun match ups under the Invicta FC brand.
Megan Anderson(5-2) gets her first victory with a nice comeback win in the third round over Amber Leibrock(1-1). After two hard fought rounds Anderson found herself in some trouble with a late triangle attempt. She was able to escape the attempt and show off the talented striking we have been expecting from the Australian fighter. It’s a great first victory and rebound win for Anderson in her young career.
Invicta returns to action in March and the complete results for Invicta FC 15 are below.
Invicta FC 15:
Cristiane Justino def Daria Ibragimova KO/TKO, 4:58 R1
L. Souza def DeAnna Bennett KO/TKO, 1:30 R1
Colleen Schneider def Raquel Pa’aluhi Split Dec
Amber Brown def Shino VanHoose Sub, 2:36 R1
Mizuki Inoue def Lacey Schuckman Sub, 3:41 R3
Angela Hill def Alida Gray KO/TKO, 1:39 R1
Megan Anderson def Amber Leibrock KO/TKO, 2:33 R3