Former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino added another title to her collection tonight with a dominant win at Invicta Fighting Championships 6 in Kansas City, Missouri. Justino stopped Marloes “Rumina” Coenen in a rematch for the Invicta FC featherweight title.
In tonight’s co-feature, Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha kept her unblemished record intact with a commanding victory over previously unbeaten Jewels champion Ayaka Hamasaki. Gadelha finished Hamasaki with a series of punches on the ground late in round three of their featured 115-pound fight.
Justino (12-1-0, 1 ND) was in complete control of the Invicta FC 6 main event from start to finish. She battered Coenen (21-6-0) with brutal punches, knees and slams throughout the one-sided fight. Coenen attempted to pull guard as the fight progressed, but save for a kneebar attempt in round two, she found little success. Justino dropped Coenen in the second round and continued to punish her on the feet and on the ground. Late in round four, Justino mounted Coenen and unloaded with punches and elbows for the title-winning TKO stoppage at the 4:02 mark of the fourth round. The victory earned Justino the Invicta FC Featherweight Championship; her second major title.
Following the fight, Justino stated that she had been prepared to fight for five full rounds. She added that Coenen felt stronger and heavier than when they first fought, but felt that Coenen’s strategy tonight was very similar to her strategy in January 2010.
Decorated BJJ black belt Gadelha (11-0-0) earned a shot at the Invicta FC Strawweight Championship by defeating Hamasaki (9-1-0) in tonight’s co-feature. Gadelha’s strength and grappling skills were too much for Hamasaki on the mat. Gadelha kept Hamasaki pinned down in round one, but lost a point for an illegal knee just before the bell. In round two, Gadelha smothered Hamasaki and nearly finished the fight with an arm-triangle choke. Gadelha secured mount in the final round and threatened with more submissions, then unloaded with punches for the TKO stoppage at the 3:58 mark of round three.
In a bantamweight showdown, Lauren Taylor (7-0-0) stayed unbeaten with a Unanimous Decision win over Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio (7-4-0). In the opening round, D’Alelio was very active with submission attempts from her back. Rounds two and three were contested on the feet and both women landed some hard shots, but Taylor’s straight punches left D’Alelio’s nose bloodied. Taylor continued to put together effective punching combinations as the fight wound down and her superior boxing skills proved to be the difference maker on the scorecards. In the end, Taylor took the win with scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (6-3-1) made a successful flyweight debut and earned herself a title shot in the process by defeating Jennifer Maia (7-3-1) via Unanimous Decision in an action-packed fight. Both women traded heavy shots throughout the three-round war. Maia threatened with an armbar in round one, but Smith escaped and flurried with punches on the feet. Maia got the better of the striking in round two, but Smith managed to steal back the round with a series of submission attempts in the final minute. Round three began with another lengthy exchange of punches, but Smith closed out the fight strong with some nasty ground and pound en route to victory with scores of 29-28 and 30-27 twice.
Former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion Jessica Penne (11-2-0) rebounded from her first loss at 105 pounds with a first-round submission victory over the returning Nicdali “The Night Queen” Rivera-Calanoc (8-7-0). Penne stayed on the outside early in the fight and picked her shots with quick punches while Rivera-Calanoc jabbed. After a right hook scored for Rivera-Calanoc, Penne took her down and moved from side control to mount, then finally to back control where she secured a rear-naked choke for the tapout win at the 4:57 mark of round one.
Scottish striker Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood (7-0-0) kept her perfect professional record intact with a Unanimous Decision win over short-notice opponent Norma Rueda Center (2-1-0) in strawweight action. Calderwood maintained a varied arsenal of attacks in the first two rounds with leg kicks, knees and quick combinations. Rueda Center connected with lead right hook counters, but she was unable to take the fight to the ground until round three. Rueda Center struck from the top and fought off a Calderwood armbar. Calderwood had done enough in the first two rounds, however, and earn the win with scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
Japan’s premier female prospect, 18-year-old Mizuki Inoue (6-1-0), made a successful North American debut with a hard-fought Unanimous Decision victory over Australian star Bec “Rowdy” Hyatt (5-3-0) in a strawweight matchup. Both women landed crisp punches in the opening round and Inoue mixed in knees and leg kicks in a lengthy clinch. She scored a takedown and controlled much of the second round on the ground with short elbows and knees to the body, but Hyatt rallied in the final round. Hyatt established her jab and landed quick one-twos, but Inoue’s edge in the first ten minutes proved to be enough to earn her the victory with a trio of 29-28 scorecards.
Multi-time Muay Thai champion “The Queen of Mean” Miriam Nakamoto (2-0-0, 1 NC) made short work of former boxing titleholder “Diamond” Duda Yankovich (1-2-0) in a bantamweight bout. Nakamoto hurt Yankovich with knees early on and fought off a heel hook on the ground. Yankovich stood and was dropped by another knee. Nakamoto landed follow-up punches for the TKO win at the 2:08 mark of round one.
Top strawweight prospects Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres” (3-0-0) and “Thug” Rose Namajunas (2-1-0) engaged in a thrilling, action-packed bout to open tonight’s main card. Torres was very active with punching combinations and side kicks throughout the first two rounds, but Namajunas landed some nice counter hooks and threatened with a flying armbar in the middle stanza. Torres persevered and closed out the round with a nice flurry. In round three, Namajunas took Torres down and dominated the action on the ground, but it was not enough to steal back the victory. Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice for Torres, who remains unbeaten.
A planned lightweight bout between Ediane “India” Gomes (10-2-0) and late replacement Tamikka “Boom Boom” Brents (2-0-0) was scrapped after Brents sustained a knee injury backstage shortly before the bout was set to begin. Brents had stepped into the fight on very short notice in place of Charmaine “Not So Sweet” Tweet, who encountered visa troubles.
Rebounding from her first pro loss, Emily Kagan (3-1-0) picked up a Split Decision win over Ashley “Smashley” Cummins (3-2-0) in a strawweight bout that was much closer than two judges’ scorecards might suggest. Cummins pressed the action with powerful right hands and one-twos in the opening round. Kagan came back with a series of straight lefts in round two and she fought off an armbar shortly before the bell. In the close final round, Kagan landed elbows in a clinch and Cummins came on strong late with a head kick and more punching combinations. Judge Brett Miller had it 29-28 for Cummins, while judges Henry Gueary and Jackson Harper strangely saw it 30-27 for Kagan.
In the opening bout on the card, Livia “T-Rex” von Plettenberg (2-1-0) earned a Unanimous Decision victory over last-minute replacement opponent Kathina “Kill Switch” Catron (3-3-0) in a flyweight bout. Catron held an edge in the striking exchanges in round one and repeatedly found a home for her right cross. Von Plettenberg turned the tides in rounds two and three and took Catron’s back on multiple occasions. Von Plettenberg was unable to secure a submission, but she controlled the ground battles en route to victory with scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
Full play-by-play for all of the Invicta FC 6 bouts can be found here.