Invicta FC 8 Results: Waterson, Kankaanpää Earn Stoppage WinsInvicta FC Atomweight Champion Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson successfully retained her 105-pound title with a dominant victory tonight at Invicta Fighting Championships 8 in Kansas City, Missouri. Waterson put on a striking clinic and stopped Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada late in round three.

In tonight’s co-main event, a new Invicta FC Strawweight Champion was crowned when Katja “Killer Bunny” Kankaanpää rallied to submit Stephanie “Snowflake” Eggink in the fifth round of a 115-pound title tilt. Tonya “Triple Threat” Evinger submitted Ediane “India” Gomes in bantamweight action.


Waterson (12-3-0) gave a hint of things to come early in round one of tonight’s main event by rocking Tamada (15-9-3) with knees and punches in the clinch. The former Valkyrie champion weathered the storm, but Waterson continued to batter her with knees and front kicks throughout the opening five minutes. She knocked Tamada down with a front kick and hurt her with a body kick and more knees late in the one-sided round.

It was more of the same in round two and Waterson continued to dominate the striking exchanges with head kicks and punches to the body. She established her jab and kept Tamada at range, which prevented the Japanese veteran from landing much of anything. Tamada attempted a pair of takedowns and Waterson easily shrugged them off.

In round three, Waterson landed hard kicks to the legs and body of Tamada, who began to slow down from the champion’s offensive onslaught. She stayed on her feet, however, even when Waterson landed a spinning back kick to the face. Waterson battered Tamada with knees, head kicks and punches throughout the round until the final seconds when she secured a Thai clinch. A big knee and a right hook caused Tamada to wilt against the cage and the fight was mercifully waved off at the 4:58 mark of the third round.

With tonight’s impressive victory, Waterson made a successful first defence of her title following a lengthy layoff during Invicta FC’s recent restructuring. She first captured the title with an upset submission win over Jessica Penne at Invicta FC 5 in April 2013. Waterson was originally in talks to face Deep Jewels Featherweight Champion Seo Hee Ham tonight, but with Ham defending her title in April, former Jewels Lightweight Queen Champion Ayaka Hamasaki – who has defeated Ham on two occasions – may be next in line to challenge for Waterson’s Invicta FC belt.


Kankaanpää (10-1-1) got off to a slow start in tonight’s co-feature and Eggink (4-2-0) took an early lead in the striking exchanges by landing jabs and knees. Kankaanpää secured a takedown, but Eggink countered with a tight triangle choke that she used to mount her opponent. Kankaanpää survived the round and she began to rally in round two with an early takedown and some solid ground and pound. She avoided Eggink’s submission attempts and landed knees to the body and a late flurry of punches.

Momentum swung back in Eggink’s favour in round three and she countered a Kankaanpää takedown with another triangle choke that had Kankaanpää in trouble. Kankaanpää eventually freed herself and attempted a heel hook, but Eggink punished her with punches from the top. The fourth round was even more dominant for Eggink, who mounted Kankaanpää midway through the round and scored with dozens of punches after taking Kankaanpää’s back. Kankaanpää defended against Eggink’s rear-naked chokes and punches, but Eggink was in complete control until the bell.

Knowing that she was behind on the scorecards, Kankaanpää opened round five with hard right hands and she scored a takedown into side control. From the top, she worked for a Brabo choke and patiently tightened the hold until Eggink was trapped. With nowhere to go, Eggink tapped out to the choke at the 2:03 mark of round five.

Kankaanpää has now scored back-to-back submission wins this year since suffering her lone career defeat via a close decision against current TUF 20 competitor Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood at Invicta FC 7 in December. She becomes only the second woman to hold the Invicta FC Strawweight Championship.


In featured bantamweight action, Evinger (15-5-0) overcame an inability to make weight on Friday by putting forth one of the best performances of her career in victory over Gomes (10-3-0), who had looked to be in line for a title shot prior to tonight’s fight.

Evinger reversed an early takedown and mounted Gomes, and the fighters went for duelling leglocks on the ground. The fight returned to the feet and Evinger scored two takedowns into dominant positions. She fought off Gomes’s submission attempts and mounted the Brazilian, then locked on an armbar of her own. Gomes could not break free and she was forced to tap out at the 3:31 mark of round one.


Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi (16-11-0) showcased her vastly improved striking skills en route to a well-deserved Unanimous Decision victory over friend and rival Tara LaRosa (21-5-0) in a flyweight trilogy fight. Both women had defeated the other one time prior to tonight’s third and deciding bout.

Modafferi’s crisp striking and varied offence kept her a step ahead of LaRosa in all three rounds of the standup battle. Modafferi stuck to her jab and she mixed things up with kicks to the legs and body of LaRosa, who rushed in with punches on multiple occasions but was unable to score a knockout blow. Modafferi dropped LaRosa early in round three and she continued to get the better of the striking exchanges until the final bell. Scores were 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Modafferi, who secured a much-needed victory to cap off a storied trilogy of fights.


Flyweight rising star DeAnna “The Argentine Assassin” Bennett (5-0-0) kept her undefeated record intact with a second-round TKO victory over Michelle “T-Cat” Ould (7-4-0, 2 NC), who weighed in five pounds over the 126-pound limit. Bennett landed knees and right hands in the opening round and took an early lead on the scorecards. In round two, she dropped Ould with a kick to the body and followed with punches for the TKO stoppage at the 1:34 mark of the second round. Bennett has finished four of five fights, with only TUF 18 winner Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Peña making it to a decision.


The Invicta FC lightweight division debuted tonight and Canadian striker Charmaine “Not So Sweet” Tweet (6-4-0) showcased her formidable ground game by overwhelming the previously unbeaten Veronica “The Heartbreaker” Rothenhausler (1-1-0). Big right hands were exchanged early on and Tweet hurt Rothenhausler with body kicks and a right hook. She attempted a standing rear-naked choke and later scored a takedown into mount. From the top, Tweet rained down elbows and punches until referee Greg Franklin intervened to rescue a barely-conscious Rothenhausler at the 4:05 mark.


Mexican knockout artist Irene Aldana “Robles” (4-1-0) rebounded from her first defeat and scored an impressive win over TUF 18 veteran Peggy “The Daywalker” Morgan (2-2-0) in bantamweight action. Aldana dropped Morgan with a barrage of punches right away and she continued to pressure her throughout the round. Aldana floored Morgan again with a right hook and dove in with elbows. Morgan gave up her back and Aldana locked on a rear-naked choke for the tapout win at the 2:50 mark.


Aldana’s Lobo Gym teammate, Alexa Grasso (5-0-0), made a successful strawweight debut with a convincing Unanimous Decision victory over St. Louis police officer Ashley “Smashley” Cummins (3-3-0). Grasso countered Cummins’s clinches with knees and standing elbows in round one. She displayed her high-level striking skills in the final ten minutes by keeping Cummins at bay with crisp one-twos. Cummins tried in vain to get the fight to the ground, but Grasso thwarted her attempts and the judges returned scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice for the fast-rising Mexican star.


Jodie Esquibel (4-1-0) eked out a close Split Decision win over Sugar Creek Showdown Women’s Atomweight Champion Jinh Yu Frey (2-1-0) in a 105-pound bout on the preliminary card. Frey easily won round one and she nearly finished Esquibel with a devastating head kick, but Esquibel came on strong as the fight progressed and she pressed the action with right hooks and combinations. Frey appeared to win round two, but only one cageside judge agreed and scored the fight 29-28 in her favour. The remaining judges saw it 29-27 and 29-28 for Esquibel, who bounced back from her first pro loss.


Former amateur standout J.J. Aldrich (1-0-0) kicked off her pro career with a clear-cut Unanimous Decision win over Delaney “Lil’ Scrappy” Owen (2-1-0) in the strawweight opener. Aldrich scored with knees and right hooks in round one, and she maintained back control for a prolonged stretch in the second stanza. Owen survived, but Aldrich landed some hard ground and pound in the final round that left no doubt in the judges’ minds. Scores were 30-26 and 30-27 twice for Aldrich, who became the first Invicta FC athlete to win a live fight on UFC Fight Pass.

Full play-by-play for all bouts on tonight’s Invicta FC 8 card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, /

  1. Sounds like it was a great night of fights. I’m very happy things went well, but honestly I couldn’t bring myself to sign up for FightPass. I already pay around $220 a month for the phone-internet-cable package, and now I have to pay another $10 a month to watch Invicta? I mean, there’s no option — if I just wanted to buy the single IFC8 PPV, and just watch that – I couldn’t. Invicata is exclusively on FightPass. I love WMMA and all of the magnificent women athletes, and I saw every fight of Invicta’s 1 through 7, but I gave up on it last night, because of FightPass. I just couldn’t do it.

  2. Michele Waterson is a pure martial artist as is Kedzie….You got your brawlers and you got your pures…Watersons technique was flawless.

  3. Yes Mike I really wish Kedzie hadn’t retired. Looking back, she did very well against Correia, who is now 3-0 in the UFC and fully 10 ten contender. Kedzie lost a close split decision, and retire immediately after the fight (actually she’d decided to retire in the locker room before the fight). I think Julie’s shoulder — the one that went out against Tate — was unfortunately the reason she had to hang them up.

  4. Yeah, andy…one of the most technically perfect stand up artists in the game…wish she was still bangin.
    And Kaankaapaa..what a fighter. I think she performed better against JoJo C but there was definitely no quit in that girl. To be able to survive all those triangles was amazing…and then that dragon sleeper she cinched up in the end…what a fight!!!!