MMARising.com reported live from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas tonight for Invicta Fighting Championships 4. The all-female card featured an Invicta FC Strawweight Championship matchup between standout wrestler Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza and Australian star Bec “Rowdy” Hyatt.
Also on the card, Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler faced off against fellow submission specialist Alexis “Ally-Gator” Davis in a rematch from 2010. Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith took on Raquel “Rocky” Pennington at 135. Live play-by-play and results for all bouts can be found below.
Invicta FC Strawweight Championship
Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza vs Bec “Rowdy” Hyatt
Referee for this bout is John McCarthy. Hyatt rushed forward with big punches right away and Esparza countered with a combination that sent her off-balance. Esparza took Hyatt down and moved to half-guard. She stood up and rained down punches. Esparza moved to side control and took Hyatt’s back in a scramble. Hyatt tried to stand and Esparza dragged her back down. Esparza worked for a rear-naked choke and nearly got it, but Hyatt defended well. Esparza slammed Hyatt face-first to the mat and ended the round on top with punches. 10-8 Esparza.
Esparza secured another takedown in the second round and resumed working from the top in side control. Hyatt attempted to posture for an inverted triangle choke, but Esparza had none of it and landed punches from the top. The fighters stood and Esparza took Hyatt back down. She kept Hyatt down on the mat and peppered her with punches and elbows. Hyatt remained active from the bottom, but Esparza was in control until the end of the round. 10-9 Esparza.
Esparza wasted little time in taking Hyatt back down in round three and she worked from the top in Hyatt’s guard. She landed punches until the referee stood the fighters back up. Hyatt scored with a big combination and stuffed two takedown attempts, but Esparza got her down on the third try. She stood over Hyatt and kicked at her legs, then returned to Hyatt’s guard. Hyatt stood shortly before the end of the round. 10-9 Esparza.
Esparza countered punches from Hyatt by taking her back down in round four. She took Hyatt’s back and tried for a rear-naked choke. Hyatt maintained wrist control and defended well. Esparza landed knees to the sides and stayed on Hyatt’s back. She attempted an armbar, but lost the position. The fighters stood and Hyatt landed punches. She attempted a guillotine choke, but Esparza sat down to escape and hit a switch to take top position. She held Hyatt in a headlock until the bell. 10-9 Esparza.
Hyatt opened round five with more punches and Esparza answered with a hard body kick and a takedown. Hyatt tied her up and Esparza kneed to the thighs. She stood and postured up with punches. Hyatt held on again and prevented Esparza from landing much. The fighters were eventually stood up and Esparza landed a leg kick and two left hooks. A hard one-two scored for Hyatt and Esparza responded by slamming her to the mat. Esparza became more active on the ground with her punches, but Hyatt kicked her off. The round ended with Hyatt scoring a knockdown just before the bell. 10-9 Esparza.
Judge Henry Gueary: 50-45 Esparza. Judge Dave Clifton: 50-45 Esparza. Judge Derrick Boone: 50-45 Esparza.
Winner: Carla Esparza by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) after five rounds. She improves to 9-2-0 and becomes the first Invicta FC Strawweight Champion.
Alexis “Ally-Gator” Davis vs Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler
Referee for this bout is Rob Hinds. The fight began with an exchange of punches and body kicks. Baszler clinched and landed uppercuts, but Davis broke away with a right hook over the top. Davis landed a hard flurry and Baszler pulled her to the mat. Davis wound up on top in Baszler’s half-guard. She moved to North-South position and Baszler kicked her legs back to try to take Davis’s back.
Davis wound up with back control and she attempted a rear-naked choke. Baszler escaped and stood up as Davis worked for a heel hook. Baszler dropped down with hammerfists and elbows. Davis nearly finished with an inverted heel hook before time expired. Excellent opening round. 10-9 Davis.
The fighters were smiling as they traded punches early in round two. Davis ducked under a looping right and landed one of her own, but Baszler tagged her with a combination. Baszler took Davis down and Davis immediately trapped her in rubber guard. She used an omoplata to set up a toe hold attempt, but Baszler escaped. Davis worked rubber guard again and transitioned from a triangle choke to an armbar.
Baszler defended well and passed to side control, but Davis then switched to an inverted triangle choke. Baszler stood up and dove in with a huge right hand. Davis looked to be setting up a gogoplata from her back, but Baszler stood again. The fighters returned to their feet and both landed three-punch combos. Baszler landed a nice hook late in the round, but Davis sent her off-balance to the mat with a counterpunch and ended the close round on top. 10-9 Davis.
The final round began with another exchange of punches and Davis began to mix in leg kicks. She appeared to be the aggressor and she walked forward with more combinations of punches and kicks. Quick one-twos landed for Davis and Baszler answered with a leg kick and a right hand. Baszler slipped and Davis pounced with punches on the ground. She hopped on Baszler’s back and choked her unconscious with a rear-naked choke. Very impressive performance.
Winner: Alexis Davis by Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 0:58 of round three. She improves to 13-5-0.
Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith vs Raquel “Rocky” Pennington
Referee for this bout is Chuck Wolfe. Pennington clinched in the opening seconds and landed knees to the body. She took Smith’s back and dragged her down to the mat. Smith tried to push off of the cage to escape, then rolled for a kneebar. She switched to a heel hook and Pennington stood to escape. Pennington dropped down and transitioned from a bulldog choke to a rear-naked choke.
Smith scrambled up to her feet and Pennington landed knees. Smith walked her down with punches and tried for a standing guillotine choke. Pennington fought free and landed more knees, then attempted a guillotine of her own. Smith escaped and flurried with punches. She held Pennington up against the cage and the fighters traded knees until the bell. 10-9 Pennington.
Smith kept Pennington backing up with punches in round two, but Pennington landed some nice counters while moving backwards. Pennington tried for a takedown and Smith stuffed it. She pressed forward with more punches and a body kick. Two right hooks scored for Smith and she remained the aggressor. A head kick from Smith set off an exchange of power punches. Smith landed hooks and Pennington landed uppercuts.
Smith flurried with another barrage of punches that forced Pennington to clinch. A standing elbow scored for Smith and she put together another combination. Smith threw a head kick and more punches in close. The fighters exchanged knees to the body and both landed solid right hooks. A body kick from Pennington caused Smith to taunt. Pennington fell while moving backwards and Smith landed punches before the bell. 10-9 Smith.
The fighters clinched early in the final round and both landed knees. Smith backed away, then rushed forward with punches. Pennington attempted to lock on a standing guillotine choke. She got the choke and Smith had to turn to try to alleviate pressure. Smith escaped the choke and tried for one of her own. The fighters separated and Smith landed jabs. Pennington backed away and Smith taunted again.
Smith scored with a big combination and taunted even more. She beckoned Pennington to the centre of the cage and landed kicks when Pennington moved forward. Pennington snuck in two counter right hooks and a pair of knees. Smith flurried and Pennington threw leg kicks. Smith closed out the fight with a lengthy barrage of punches. 10-9 Smith.
Judge Henry Gueary: 29-28 Smith. Judge Dave Clifton: 29-28 Smith. Judge Derrick Boone: 29-28 Smith.
Winner: Leslie Smith by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. She improves to 5-2-1.
Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio vs Amanda “Lioness of the Ring” Nunes
Referee for this bout is John McCarthy. The fighters circled cautiously for the opening minute until Nunes landed a hard one-two and D’Alelio scored a takedown. Nunes tried to stand and D’Alelio put her back down. She landed short punches and elbows from half-guard. D’Alelio kept Nunes pinned down and eventually passed to side control. She attempted a scarf hold armlock, but Nunes countered with a heel hook. D’Alelio closed out the round on top in half-guard. 10-9 D’Alelio.
Nunes landed a right hand and a leg kick in the second round. D’Alelio kept her distance and ducked under a punch, then elevated Nunes and slammed her to the canvas. D’Alelio postured up with punches while kneeling and Nunes landed an illegal upkick. Time was called and the doctor came in to check on D’Alelio. The fight continued and Nunes was docked one point. D’Alelio took her down soon after the restart and worked from the top.
Nunes tied D’Alelio up from the bottom, but D’Alelio pulled her head free and moved to North-South position. Nunes latched onto a leg in search of a kneebar and D’Alelio countered with punches. D’Alelio wound up on top in side control and she threw short elbows. She remained in control from top position until the end of the round. 10-8 D’Alelio.
D’Alelio took Nunes down again in round three and quickly moved to side control. She landed short punches and elbows as Nunes held on. Nunes stood and fought off a guillotine choke attempt. She attempted a takedown of her own and managed to get D’Alelio down to a knee. The fighters stood and D’Alelio reversed a takedown. From the top in half-guard, she landed weak punches until the end of the fight. 10-9 D’Alelio.
Judge Henry Gueary: 30-26 D’Alelio. Judge Dave Clifton: 30-26 D’Alelio. Judge Derrick Boone: 30-26 D’Alelio.
Winner: Sarah D’Alelio by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26) after three rounds. She improves to 7-3-0.
Ediane “India” Gomes vs Hiroko “Cat’s Eye” Yamanaka
Referee for this bout is Rob Hinds. Yamanaka stayed on the outside early on and countered Gomes’s strikes with quick punches and leg kicks, but Gomes closed the distance and scored a big takedown. She punched from the top and took Yamanaka’s back in search of a rear-naked choke. Yamanaka defended against the choke attempts and Gomes spun into an armbar. She let it go and Yamanaka struck from Gomes’s guard.
Gomes threw punches from the bottom and Yamanaka postured up to land bigger shots. Gomes held on and the fighters were stood up. Yamanaka landed a right hook and Gomes rushed in with lunging punches. Yamanaka kept her distance and circled on the outside as Gomes looked to set up a big strike. Little transpired in the final 30 seconds. 10-9 Gomes.
Yamanaka landed a nice counter right cross in round two and followed with another soon after. She circled and jabbed as Gomes walked forward with punches. Gomes landed leg kicks and Yamanaka finally began to throw some of her own. Yamanaka stayed in counter mode with her punches until Gomes briefly dropped her with a flurry. Gomes rushed in and swarmed with more punches against the cage, but Yamanaka defended and circled away. Gomes picked up the pace and landed a looping right. Yamanaka connected with a lead right in the final seconds. 10-9 Gomes.
Both fighters landed punching combinations and leg kicks in the final round. Yamanaka missed with a spinning backfist attempt and an exchange of right hands followed. Gomes missed with a right hook, but landed a left. Yamanaka mixed up her strikes from a distance. Yamanaka’s eyes began to swell up and Gomes landed a solid left hook. Yamanaka scored with a left cross and pulled guard with a guillotine choke. Gomes escaped and landed punches as Yamanaka tried to stand up. Yamanaka got to her feet and landed punches, but Gomes took her back down. Close round. 10-9 Gomes.
Judge Henry Gueary: 29-28 Gomes. Judge Dave Clifton: 29-28 Gomes. Judge Derrick Boone: 30-27 Gomes.
Winner: Ediane Gomes by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. She improves to 10-2-0.
Joanne Calderwood vs Livia “T-Rex” von Plettenberg
Referee for this bout is Chuck Wolfe. Calderwood landed leg kicks and jabs early on and von Plettenberg answered with a right hook. Von Plettenberg clinched and Calderwood countered with knees. Von Plettenberg backed away and Calderwood landed a head kick. She followed with knees in the clinch and elbows over the top. Von Plettenberg ate a right hand and two more knees. She tried for a takedown against the fence. Calderwood continued to punish von Plettenberg with knees to the body and she fought off von Plettenberg’s takedown attempts. She took von Plettenberg down in the final seconds. 10-9 Calderwood.
Calderwood landed a left-right combo and more knees in round two. Von Plettenberg clinched and Calderwood reversed against the cage. Von Plettenberg managed to land three right hands before clinching again. Calderwood landed short knees and punches until von Plettenberg backed away. The fighters traded hooks and Calderwood continued to throw knees at every opportunity. Calderwood’s knees and uppercuts kept von Plettenberg on the defensive. More hard knees and punches landed for Calderwood in the final seconds, but von Plettenberg stayed on her feet. 10-9 Calderwood.
Calderwood landed a big punch-kick combo to open round three and she began to throw push kicks to the body. Von Plettenberg ducked into a knee and ate a vicious head kick soon after. She stayed up as Calderwood picked her apart with knees and standing elbows. Calderwood briefly dropped von Plettenberg with a front kick to the body and she landed more knees and front kicks after von Plettenberg stood.
Von Plettenberg caught a knee and tried for a takedown, but Calderwood fought free with more knees. She walked von Plettenberg down with jabs and right hands. Calderwood used a leg sweep to trip von Plettenberg and she kicked at her legs. Von Plettenberg stood and landed a lead left hook. Another head kick scored for Calderwood. She landed a front kick and a knee to the body that hurt von Plettenberg and continued to pummel her until the bell. 10-8 Calderwood.
Judge Henry Gueary: 30-27 Calderwood. Judge Dave Clifton: 30-27 Calderwood. Judge Derrick Boone: 30-26 Calderwood.
Winner: Joanne Calderwood by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. She improves to 5-0-0.
(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)