Invicta FC 22 went down on 25th March in Kansas City at the Scottish Rite temple. This was beyond doubt the most exciting event of the month and lived not only up to but beyond the hype around it. The event was entertaining from start to end with some huge upsets, amazing performances and nail biting matches. Here are the results and review of each fight on the card.
Felicia Spencer def. Madison McElhaney Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
The event was kicked off by rising featherweights Felicia Spencer and Madison McElhaney. Both entered the fight with a record of 1-0.
The fight saw great back and forth action. The two traded shots, landed takedowns and tosses, Spencer however came out on top. She led the aggression and landed many more shots compared to McElhaney.
Spencer gave an amazing performance. Despite returning after over 18 months , she didn’t show any sign of ring rust. With this win she establishes herself as a legit featherweight contender and moves up to 2-0 and McElhaney falls to 1-1.
Miranda Maverick def. Kal Holliday via Submission (armbar) Round 1.
This was a battle of prospects. The two entered the cage with a record of 1-0, both producing stunning upsets in their debut. The fight was originally scheduled to be contested in the straw-weight division but as Miranda Maverick failed to make weight the fight was contested at catch weight (120 lbs.).
Both the fighters came from grappling background, so it wasn’t surprising when the game got on the ground early in the fight. Holliday started the fight with early domination. She managed to slam Maverick hard on ground. She was landing hard ground for pound but she forgot that Maverick was a BJJ crafty grappler. In her excitement to finish Maverick she ended up being caught in a vicious armbar. Despite trying to resist Holliday ended up tapping.
Maverick with this win establishes herself as a prospect to look out for. At 19 she has already managed to get 2 submission wins to her name. But can she make the weight. She has competed twice under Invicta FC banner and both the times she has missed weight. She fought at flyweight as an amateur. Can she come under 115 pound limit remains a big question? With this win Maverick moves up to 2-0 and Kal Holliday falls to 1-1.
Sunna Davíðsdóttir def. Mallory Martin via Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Again a battle of two rising prospects. Both entered the fight with a record of 1-0. Both held decorated amateur records and were riding 5 fight win streak, given we include their amateur MMA matches.
The two went on a war. The opening round saw the two trade shots. Sunna went on to dominate round 1, as she manage to land cleaner shots and stuffed the takedown attempts by Martin. However in round 2 Martin gave a beautiful comeback as she landed hard single shots and even brought the game on ground. The round 3 was again closely competed as the two battled on feet and on ground. However Sunna managed to impress judges to get the unanimous verdict in her favor.
After this win Sunna will likely get an experienced opponent. She is beyond doubt one of the most talented straw-weight under the Invicta FC banner but can she survive against elites? Sunna with this win improves her record to 2-0 and Martin’s record falls to 1-1.
Ashley Cummins def. Amber Brown Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Amber Brown met Ashley Cummins in an atom weight encounter. Amber Brown entered the fight with a record of 6-3 whereas Ashley Cummins entered with a record of 4-3. Despite being on a losing streak Brown entered the cage as a healthy favorite.
The opening round saw insane grappling. The two took the game to ground after a minute on feet. Cummins would defend very well and wouldn’t allow Brown to land shots or get a submission. Round 2 saw Cummins take the top control. She dominated the entire round from top. Round 3 followed the same story. Cummins pulled off the upset win as she had the unanimous verdict on her side.
This win marks a two fight win streak for Cummins. Cummins has made it pretty clear that she wants to dominate the division and even called herself the “New sheriff” of the division. With this win Cummins improves her record to 5-3 and Amber Brown’s record falls to 6-4.
Jodie Esquibel def. DeAnna Bennett via Decision (split) (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Jodie Esquibel and DeAnna Bennett faced each other in an attempt to bounce back from disappointing performances in 2016. Esquibel entered the fight with a record of 5-2 and Bennett entered the fight with a record of 8-2.
Round 1 saw heavy action in which Esquibel dominated the early half of the round before being caught in a deep armbar. Despite that she didn’t give up and went on to resist. Round 2 saw a different story as Esquibel kept the game on feet and tagged Bennett to claim the round. Round 3 didn’t see much action until the final minute where the two engaged in striking game. Esquibel managed to claim the scorecard thanks to her better and more significant strikes in round 2 and 3.
With this win Esquibel finds herself in the title picture. She was the underdog in the fight, but despite that she managed to claim the decision. She has clearly improved and is bound to get better. With this win Esquibel improves her record to 6-2 whereas DeAnna Bennett’s record falls to 8-3.
Livia Renata Souza def. Ayaka Hamasaki via TKO (punches) in Round 1.
Ayaka Hamsaki moved up weight class in an attempt to make a case for future title shot opportunity and a UFC run. She faced the former champion Livia Renata Souza. Souza entered the encounter with a record of 9-1 whereas Hamasaki came in with a record of 14-1.
The fight was a quick one. Hamasaki and Souza traded a few shots, before Souza managed to land a huge right hand. The hit stunned Hamasaki and she fell to ground. Souza took the opportunity and started unloading heavy shots to the head of a floored Hamasaki before the ref stopped the match. The stoppage was late and it was thoroughly irresponsible of Mike England, who by the way is the same guy who created the misunderstanding for Tonya and cost her the match.
Livia Reneta Souza is beyond doubt the most talented straw-weight fighter who is not signed to the UFC. With a record of 10-1, out of which 9 come via stoppage, she has established herself as one of the top 10 straw-weight fighters. If she doesn’t get a UFC callout now, she should face Jodie Esquibel for the vacant Invicta FC straw-weight title. With this win Souza improves her record to 10-1 and Hamsaki falls to 14-2.
Tonya Evinger (c) def. Yana Kunitskaya via Submission (rear-naked choke) in round 2
In the main event of the evening Tonya Evinger put her bantamweight title on the line against Yana Kunitskaya. This was a rematch which came after the controversial ending of their first encounter, back at Invicta FC 20.
The match was entertaining from start to end. The opening round saw Tonya Evinger charging at Yana in an attempt to hurl her to ground but instead she ended up getting caught in an guillotine choke. Tonya fought that and the game ended up on ground where an insane grappling battle occurred. The two tried to get submissions and landed nasty shots. The round ended with Kunitskaya leading, given her multiple submission attempts. Round 2 followed the same story but Evinger forced Kunitskaya on ground and applied a deep rare naked choke which would get her the tap.
Evinger with this win improves her winning streak to 10. She is beyond doubt the most talented fighter who is not signed with the UFC. This win should get her a UFC shot. If not then she can face rising contender Raquel Pa’aluhi.
This was beyond doubt one of the most entertaining Invicta FC event of all time.