Though it was not without some controversy, a strawweight bout between veterans Amy “The Resurrection” Cadwell Montenegro and Celine Haga stole the show tonight at Invicta Fighting Championships 21 in Kansas City, Missouri. Both fighters earned $1500 bonuses for Fight of the Night honours.
Montenegro was choked unconscious by Haga right at the final bell, but the bout ultimately went to the judges’ scorecards and Montengro prevailed via Unanimous Decision. Victorious featherweights Megan Anderson and Leah “Nidas” Letson each earned $1000 Performance of the Night bonuses.
Montenegro (8-2-0) and Haga (10-14-0) battled back and forth in a thrilling fight tonight that was primarily contested on the mat. Haga controlled the opening round until the final 15 seconds when Montenegro locked on a tight armbar that forced Haga to submit. However, the tap came after the bell had sounded and the fight continued. Montenegro dominated the positional battles in rounds two and three, and she appeared to be mere seconds away from taking a clear-cut decision win. Haga rallied with a last-ditch rear-naked choke just before the end of round three and the choke left Montenegro unconscious as the final bell tolled.
Confusion followed, as it was unclear whether Montenegro had been declared unconscious before or after the round had ended. Referee Greg Franklin ultimately determined that time had expired, which left the outcome of the fight in the judges’ hands. All three scored the bout 29-28 for Montenegro, who took the victory. The decision was not a popular one, and fans and media petitioned for Haga to challenge the outcome, but both fighters were rightfully awarded with Fight of the Night bonuses for their efforts.
New Invicta FC Interim Featherweight Champion Anderson (8-2-0) and talented prospect Letson (4-1-0) each earned bonuses for their head-kick finishes tonight. Anderson stopped Charmaine “Not So Sweet” Tweet (9-6-0) at the 2:05 mark of the second round with a barrage of punches and a head kick to claim the interim title. Letson, who moved up in weight to compete on three days’ notice, viciously knocked out UFC veteran Elizabeth Phillips (5-5-0) with a head kick at the 1:18 mark of the opening round.