Picture this: Seemingly out of nowhere, a Higher Power whisks away a small percentage of the population, leaving behind a mass of people who maybe aren’t the best examples of what humanity can be. What I’ve just described could be the Biblical “Rapture” or the premise of the HBO show “The Leftovers”. It could also be a spot-on description of the all-female promotion Invicta FC , which has been on hiatus for nine months, and who gave up the cream of the crop of it’s 115-pound division to the UFC.
But tonight Invicta FC returns, giving us its eighth installment and promising a title defense for it’s 105-pound champ Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson. So sit back, relax, and stay tuned for some play-by-play.
-JJ Aldrich vs. Delaney Owen
Round 1: These ladies waste no time making this a wrestling match, with Owen driving in relentlessly and Aldrich doing a great job in keeping her hips away to stay upright. At about midway through the round they begin to make space to throw strikes, and the taller Aldrich scores with some well-placed knees, front kicks and a sweet cross. The bell rings with them banging it out on the feet.
Round 2: Owen resumes her relentless attempt at wrestling her foe to death, while Aldrich establishes her clinch and peppers her with knees to the body. Things change though after two minutes, as Owen finally succeeds with a hip toss. Aldrich ain’t having none of that, however, as she shimmies to Owen’s back and begins hunting for a choke. Owen does great work defending, but she eats a ton of leather regardless.
Round 3: Clearly down two rounds, Owen comes out trying twice as hard for the takedown. It’s all for naught. Aldrich is too good at sprawling and her balance is too perfect, and when Owen goes for a sacrifice throw, Aldrich winds up on top. Owen has one good heelhook attempt from the bottom, but otherwise the round is all about how many times Aldrich can drop fists into her face.
Result: JJ Aldrich def. Delaney Owen via Unanimous Decision
-Jinh Yu Frey vs. Jodie Esquibel
Round 1: The feeling-out process between these ladies stretches on well past a minute, with single probing strikes blending with tons of evasive footwork. Frey’s reach advantage comes into play in the shape of a looping right and some kicks. Esquibel meets all that with measured aggression and flurries, but then… BAM. At the three-minute mark, Frey knocks her silly with a knee and takes the stunned fighter’s back. The final minutes of the round see Esquibel shaking loose the cobwebs, and in the waning seconds she reverses and fires off some ground and pound.
Round 2: Seemingly undaunted by the hard knee to the grill that almost cut short her night, Esquibel comes out more than willing to bang. And she does well, moving in and out to fire off a nice high-kick to Frey’s face and ding her with punches. Frey tags her too, so we have a decent scrap here.
Round 3: Esquibel bites down on her mouthpiece and barrels forward, swinging bolos and opening up a cut under Frey’s right eye. She keeps up with the pressure, occasionally eating the same counter-punches she’s been eating all night long, but these don’t slow her down. Frey doesn’t wilt, although the round definitely goes to Esquibel.
Result: Jodie Esquibel def. Jinh Yu Frey via Split Decision
-Ashley Cummings vs. Alexa Grasso
Round 1: Cummings and Grasso start out throwing solid punches and elbows, and the second Grasso begins to get the better of the exchanges, the veteran Cummings turns this boxing match into an MMA match. Grasso fends off the first takedown attempt, but Cummings double-legs her perfectly halfway through the round – a change of scenery that has Grasso going for an armbar from the bottom and Cummings desperately trying to escape. Cummings doesn’t tap; however, she’s pretty much stuck there for two whole minutes.
Round 2: Cummings now sports a puffy right cheek, which she compensates for by keeping her hand up tight to defend against her opponent’s left. The striking battle continues unabated, with Grasso eschewing kicks so she can box, and Cummings throwing everything while mixing in takedown attempts. Grasso stuffs them all, but this round is much more competitive than the first.
Round 3: Cummings’ efforts to press Grasso against the fence are now met with punishing elbows, so the bout goes back to what it first was: a boxing match. Jabs, crosses, hooks – these ladies go toe-to-toe, and though Cummings’ face grows more and more deformed, she clearly doesn’t give a damn. The bell rings with them doing a pretty good Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar I impression.
Result: Alexa Grasso def. Ashley Cummings via Unanimous Decision
-Peggy Morgan vs. Irene Aldana
Round 1: Morgan is her usual awkward self, lumbering forward like she’s a female Tim Sylvia. Meanwhile, Aldana blasts her with crisp punches, dropping her against the fence within the first minute, and when the TUF vet escapes, she drops her in again the latter half of the round. This time Morgan is too stunned to prevent Aldana from taking her back, and she’s too messed up to do anything but tap out to the Mexican fighter’s rear naked choke. When the fight is over, the damage on Morgan’s face – as evidenced by the huge mouse growing on her cheek – is a hard testament to the beating Aldana inflicted upon her.
Result: Irene Aldana def. Peggy Morgan via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:50, R1
-Veronica Rothenhausler vs. Charmaine Tweet
Round 1: It takes all of three seconds for Tweet to find her range, as evidenced by her punches knocking Rothenhausler’s head back more than once. Rothenhausler – with Urijah Faber in her corner – makes it easy for her, operating with about zero defense while she throws strikes willynilly. Tweet scores a takedown at the three-minute mark, and easily moves into mount then back-mount. She rains down fists, and the storm continues when Rothenhausler rolls back into being mounted. The end comes via TKO, courtesy of Tweet’s onslaught.
Result: Charmaine Tweet def. Veronica Rothenhausler via TKO (Punches) at 4:05
-Michelle Ould vs. DeAnna Bennett
Round 1: Bennett immediately seeks the clinch against the cage against Ould – which is at first puzzling, given Ould’s penchant for wrestling. But when the taller Bennett establishes her grips and begins going all “Thaiboxer” on her, her tactics suddenly make sense. Midway through the round they’re striking in the center of the cage, and when Bennett catches a kick and takes her opponent down, Ould starts threatening with submissions from the guard. They resume the stand-up contest in the final minute, and Bennett’s kicks, knees and punches are infinitely more accurate up until the bell.
Round 2: It’s all about Bennett’s superior striking, which she employs to great effect to target Ould’s body. It pays off in dividends, with Ould crumpling against the cage and the ref stepping in.
Result: DeAnna Bennett def. Michelle Ould via TKO (Punches) at 1:34, R2
-Tara LaRosa vs. Roxanne Modafferi
Round 1: They first fought in 2006, then again in 2010, so you have to imagine that there are no secrets in the cage between these two ladies. And indeed, they fight like they know each other well – LaRosa lunging in with punches, and Modafferi firing back with punches and kicks. In terms of percentage landed, Modafferi edges ahead; however, in terms of the harder blows landed, it’s all LaRosa. The round ends with much leather being traded.
Round 2: Modafferi continues to be all business, utilizing concise footwork to dance into kicking- and punching range and dance right out when LaRosa tries to counter. The former BODOGFight champ does find success with a front kick, but all the points are being scored by the TUF veteran.
Round 3: LaRosa gets dropped with a big right hand in the first 30 seconds of the round, but Modafferi beckons her to stand so they can continue trading. Recovery comes quick, and LaRosa goes back to winging huge punches as Modafferi weaves in and out. When time expires, it’s no mystery who should get the judges’ nod.
Result: Roxanne Modafferi def. Tara LaRosa via Unanimous Decision
-Ediane Gomes vs. Tonya Evinger
Round 1: Evinger ducks her head and wings a wild right, and when Gomes answers with a clinch against the cage, Evinger takes her down. They trade leg-submission attempts, scramble back upright, and go horizontal – Evinger taking her down again and again. Gomes is mounted with two minutes left in the round, and when she reverses, she’s caught in a tight armbar that leaves her no choice but to tap out.
Result: Tonya Evinger def. Ediane Gomes via Submission (Armbar) at 3:31, R1
-Katja Kankaanpaa vs. Stephanie Eggink
Round 1: Eggink tries to keep her foe on the edge of her considerable jab, while Kankaanpaa eats about two of them before deciding she can walk right through them and do what she wants. By the second minute of the round Kankaanpaa has her pressed against the fence, and by minute three Eggink has broken free, found her range, and is nailing her with jabs, kicks to the body and knees. The Finnish fighter gets her down, yet gets reversed, pounded on and stuck in a triangle. The frame ends with her completely stuck.
Round 2: Kankaanpaa gets another takedown, but this time uses pressure to keep Eggink from unleashing another sweep/submission chain. It takes a while before the American can escape back to her feet. When she does, it’s all slugest until the bell.
Round 3: With her edge in wrestling, Kankaanpaa wants it on the ground, and she prettily easily takes it there. This time around Eggink gets her in a deep triangle though, and while she eventually escapes, Kankaanpaa eats a number of fists as she goes for heelhooks.
Round 4: They go up and down and up and down, but the definitive moment comes when Kankaanpaa shoots for a takedown and Eggink stops it and simply steps forward into mount. Eggink is soon in back-mount, pounding away and putting her foe in a world of hurt.
Round 5: Kankaapaa finally gets the takedown she wants – one that lands her in side-control – and she works methodically into a D’Arce attempt. Eggink doesn’t defend for some reason, and soon she ends up tapping to it. Kankaapaa is now the strawweight champ.
Result: Katja Kankpaanpaa def. Stephanie Eggink via Submission (D’Arce Choke) at 2:03, R5
-Michelle Waterson vs. Yasuko Tamada
Round 1: The champ comes out and immediately starts laying into the challenger, with Waterson wrecking her with jabs and machine-gun knees against the fence. It doesn’t help Tamada’s cause that she moves at only a fraction of Waterson’s speed, or that the Karate Hottie has way too much aggression she’s capable of handling. Still, she keeps moving forward, so there’s that.
Round 2: Tamada’s judo background avails her absolutely naught in her quest to get the champ down – Waterson’s is extremely deft at staying upright – so there’s more striking. Waterson stalks her like a lioness, and by the end of the round the challenger’s eye is swollen nearly shut.
Round 3: Tamada is now an extra on “The Walking Dead”, a zombie who lurches forward while eating blow after blow. Waterson lands whatever she wants, including a spinning back-kick to the face, and you just have to wonder why this fight was booked. Mercifully, the end comes via TKO with just two seconds left in the round. The Karate Hottie retains her belt.
Result: Michelle Waterson def. Yasuka Tamada via TKO (Punches) at 4:58, R3