Invicta Fighting Championship’s longevity as a promotion is determined tonight. Whether you believe the numbers that promotional President Shannon Knapp boasts or not for their free events, it all comes down to if their first three events made fans willing to lay down their hard earned cash for this one.
The top of the bill is loaded with familiar faces and names but the under-card is filled with girls just looking to get noticed, some of which are making their professional debuts.
Marcusse-Sanko wins in technical battle
A pair of MMA debutants set the tempo for the entire evening with their opening match – Laura Marcusse-Sanko went straight for a guillotine-choke within seconds but Kansas City native Cassie Robb wasn’t going to give up that easily, scoring takedowns on Sanko and both exchanging heavily in a close opening round. Second round Sanko got an early takedown and sunk in a rear-naked-choke in a little over a minute.
Rothenhausler trashes Malungahu in debut bout
Katalina Malungahu lost in her Invicta debut last time and MMA debutant Veronica Rothenhauslerkepts her winless inside the Invicta cage. We opened with both fighters throwing heavy leather, the taller and rangier Rothenhausler started treating the Xtreme Couture product like a punching bag and soon enough she fell.
Torres trumps VanZant on points
The first time the judges’ score cards were needed tonight. Tecia Torres was in the driver’s seat the entire fight – ‘The Tiny Tornado’ started unloading with a flurry of shots early and to her credit, Paige VanZant is tough as nails and took them on the chin like a champion. As has been proven over and over, taking a beating takes a lot out of that gas tank too, for the final two frames VanZant hung in there and avoiding being finished but decisively lost to the American Top Team stand-out.
Namajunas taps Kagan in a thriller
Rose Namajuras has a small amount of stardom due to being Pat Barry’s better half but she soon might be a star in her own right. Training out of The Academy she has a serious grappling game but Emily Kagan brought it to her in the submission game as well as landing a brutal slam. Back-and-forth we went for most of this fight in the striking and grappling department but Namajuras had the edge on the floor and it was only a matter of time until she locked in a rear-naked-choke to get the win in a fight that could grab that ‘Fight of the night’ award.
Esquibel takes close victory over McCarthy
Two former professional boxers throwing down, we expected nothing less than fireworks and that’s what we got. Both girls threw some really nice shots but Esquibel began to get the better of the exchanges once she felt comfortable later in the opening stanza with superior angles and a longer reach. McCarthy began to bring it hard towards the end of the match, landing a string of good punches and looking for a late guillotine-choke but it was too little, too late as Keith Jardine’s partner, Esquibel got her hand raised.
Brents wrestles a decision away from Bell
Tamikka Brents, the debuting featherweight out of Springfield, Illinois proved once again that wrestling wins fights. Right away she shot for a takedown and got to work in her guard with elbows and started seeking submissions. Streaming difficulties did play a factor here so I missed a lot of the second stanza but from what I gather it was wash, rinse and repeat. I caught the end of the final frame and Bell was bringing it to her and looking a lot more comfortable striking but the strong start from Brents had her victory in the bag.
Rodish upsets Frausto in final prelim
Stephanie Frausto, the sister of Bellator champion Zoila Gurgel took control of the fight against Cassie Rodish early with a beautiful flip takedown but Rodish fought back to the feet and slammed Fruasto’s head to the floor to close the opening razor-thin round. Rodish had the edge after the opening round and put the pressure on Frausto with a bunch of powerful shots and some near chokes to ring in a 10-8 round.
The final frame began with Fruasto being plastered on her back and Roddish raining down shots from mount before ‘Big’ John McCarthy was forced to call a stop to the action.
That’s all for the under-card here, stay tuned to MMASucka.com for full coverage of each of the featured fights.