Invicta FC 15 Results: Cris Cyborg, Livia Renata Souza Retain TitlesInvicta FC Featherweight Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino successfully defended her 145-pound title tonight at Invicta Fighting Championships 15 in Costa Mesa, California. The hard-hitting Justino finished challenger Daria Ibragimova very late in the opening round of the night’s main event.

Invicta FC Strawweight Champion Livia Renata “Livinha” Souza also retained her championship belt with a first-round TKO victory tonight. Souza stopped undefeated challenger DeAnna “The Argentine Assassin” Bennett in just 90 seconds and she now has her sights set on moving on to the UFC.


Justino (15-1-0, 1 ND) fought off prolonged takedown attempts from Ibragimova (9-2-0) throughout the opening round as the Russian held Justino’s leg in the air and repeatedly tried to drag the champion down to the mat. Justino defended by landing punches, elbows and knees on the feet, but Ibragimova did finally manage to get her down very briefly. Undeterred, Justino rose to her feet and landed a body kick. She floored Ibragimova with a big right hand and finished her off with punches on the ground. The official time of the knockout came at the 4:58 mark of round one.

The victory once again solidified Justino’s spot as the top female featherweight in MMA, but she has once again abandoned plans to cut down to 135 pounds and challengers remain few and far between in the featherweight division. Having dispatched of all of the top 145-pound contenders on the Invicta FC roster, Justino’s future remains unclear unless she is able to secure a 140-pound catchweight against Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion Tonya “Triple Threat” Evinger or a member of the UFC roster.


In the co-feature, Souza (9-0-0) made short work of Bennett (8-1-0) and handed the American her first professional setback in quick and brutal fashion. The fighters traded punches and kicks on the feet early on and Souza scored with a nice right hand. Soon after, she landed a stinging kick to Bennett’s liver that dropped the challenger to the mat. Souza swarmed on her with punches and the fight was waved off at the 1:30 mark of the opening round.

Leading up to tonight’s fight, Souza expressed a desire to transition to the UFC if she was able to retain her title against Bennett. Having lost interest in a twice-cancelled fight against undefeated Mexican standout Alexa Grasso, Souza sees more opportunities inside the Octagon. The Brazilian is one of the most talented grapplers in the women’s strawweight division and she has endeared herself to fans with her comedic and engaging personality outside of the cage.


Stepping in on short notice, Colleen “The Thoroughbred” Schneider (10-6-0) picked up one of the biggest victories of her career in her bantamweight contender’s bout against Hawaii’s Raquel “Lionheart” Pa’aluhi (5-5-0). All three rounds of the fight were competitive ones, but Schneider’s superior striking ultimately outweighed Pa’aluhi’s grappling and takedowns on two of the three judges’ scorecards.

Pa’aluhi slammed Schneider to the mat and took her back on the way up in round one, but Schneider countered with punches and elbows in close that opened a cut above Pa’aluhi’s left eye. Pa’aluhi caught a kick from Schneider and jumped on her back, but she was unable to secure a rear-naked choke before the bell. In the second stanza, Pa’aluhi scored another takedown and she kept Schneider pinned against the fence throughout the round. Schneider eventually broke free and she landed lead right hooks to Pa’aluhi’s badly swollen eye.

With the fight seemingly up for grabs, Pa’aluhi was aggressive early in round three and she scored a takedown after eating a hard left hand from Schneider. The fight returned to the feet and Schneider connected with a right hook before Pa’aluhi took her back. She took Schneider down momentarily, but Schneider scrambled up and landed some nice flurries. A bloodied Pa’aluhi returned fire with knees and leg kicks, and the fight ended with an exchange of punches.

Judge Chris Crail scored the close fight 29-28 for Pa’aluhi, but he was overruled by judges Mike Bell and Gerassimos Zacharatos, who both had it 29-28 for Schneider. With the Split Decision victory, Schneider extended her current winning streak to four. She may move on to challenge for the Invicta FC bantamweight title, though it must be noted that Schneider failed to make weight for tonight’s fight.


In an atomweight contender’s bout that also involved a late lineup change, fast-rising star Amber “The Bully” Brown (6-1-0) notched her fourth straight victory by submitting short-notice replacement Shino VanHoose (4-4-0). Brown clinched right away and she used a standing arm-triangle choke to counter VanHoose’s attempts to get the fight to the mat. VanHoose eventually secured a trip takedown, but Brown trapped her in a guillotine choke on the way down. She tightened her grip on the choke and VanHoose was forced to tap out at the 2:36 mark of the opening round.

Deep Jewels Strawweight Champion Mizuki Inoue (10-4-0) made a successful return to the Invicta FC cage by submitting veteran Lacey “The Ladie” Schuckman (11-9-0). Inoue threatened with rear-naked chokes and armbars in rounds one and two, but Schuckman escaped each time and she countered with an inverted triangle choke that had Inoue in some trouble. Inoue kept the pressure on in round three and she mounted Schuckman after escaping from a guillotine choke. She battered her with punches and secured an armbar that forced Schuckman to verbally submit at the 3:41 mark of round three.

Also at 115 pounds, TUF 20 contestant Angela “Overkill” Hill (3-2-0) rebounded from a disappointing stint with the UFC by knocking out Alida Gray (4-3-0) in the first round. Hill was in complete control of the fight from start to finish and she rocked Gray with a big right hand. Sensing that the end was near, Hill attacked with knees and punches, then dropped Gray with a final knee to the body. The fight was immediately waved off, giving Hill an impressive knockout victory at the 1:39 mark of round one.

Opening up the card, Megan Anderson (5-2-0) earned her first Invicta FC victory by finishing knockout artist Amber Leibrock (1-1-0) in round three of an entertaining slugfest. Both women landed huge shots on the feet in round one and Anderson kept Leibrock pinned against the cage after Leibrock rocked her with an early one-two. Anderson dominated the clinch battles in round two and she reversed a takedown in the final stanza. Leibrock countered with a triangle choke and stood up, but she was overwhelmed by punches and knees from Anderson that ended the fight at the 2:33 mark of round three.

Full play-by-play for all bouts on the Invicta FC 15 card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Invicta Fighting Championships)