A victorious Marloes Coenen (left) gets her hand raised after defeating Romy Ruyssen (right) last night via unanimous decision. Photo by Esther Lin via Invicta FC
Invicta Fighting Championships held it's first ever event Invicta FC 1 last night (April 28, 2012) from Municipal Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. The goal of the all-female fight card was to prove to on-the-fence MMA fans that girls can kick ass. After a ferocious night of entertaining bouts, I'd say: mission success.
The main event of the evening was a 145 pound rematch between former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen and upstart French submission specialist Romy Ruyssen. The bout wasn't as exciting as many expected, but Coenen was clearly in control throughout.
Unlike the first time they fought, Ruyssen could not take Coenen down at all, instead being forced to jump guard on multiple occasions against the fence. Coenen, however, just blasted her with elbows whenever she attempted it.
Coenen was in charge from start to finish and Ruyssen may have been flustered from a first round point deduction after grabbing the fence to stabilize some knee strikes in the clinch, and she was never really able to get off any serious offense.
In the end, Coenen easily coasted to a unanimous decision with a 30-26 sweep across the boards on all three judges' scorecards and she then proceeded to call out Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Perhaps she could be next in line, or at worst one win away if the promotion is interested in signing her back.
The rest of the night has some major highs, especially the later half of the card.
Atomweights (105 pounds) Jessica Penne and Lisa Ellis really stepped up their games by putting on what likely would have been fight of the night on any other all-women fight card. Both ladies brought it both in the stand-up and on the ground, mixing in some nice punches on the feet and some terrific takedowns, sweeps and submission attempts on the ground.
Ellis took control in the second round after taking some damage to her right eye in the first, working hard in top position on the ground while trying to avoid Penne's sweep attempts from her dangerous guard. In the third round, after a strong start, Ellis was cracked with a big punch which bloodied her nose. She would be busted wide open seconds later, bleeding so badly that it affected her ability to defend herself and the referee stopped the fight shortly after Penne passed to mount and was dropping punches.
In one of the most lopsided fights of the night, former Strikeforce title challenger Liz Carmouche showcased her strength and technique against overmatched former boxer Ashleigh Curry. Carmouche scored an early takedown, passed to mount easily and pounded away until the referee finally stepped in to put a halt to the onslaught. The victory snapped Carmouche's two fight losing streak and likely sets her up for a big fight in Strikeforce later this year.
The clear "Fight of the Night" winner was the bantamweight scrap between strikers Kaitlin Young and Leslie Smith which featured a tremendous display of guts, endurance and some serious entertainment. Both Young and Smith bashed the hell out of each other for three straight rounds.
Young had the better technique and power, landing some wicket leg and body kicks throughout the fight while Smith threw a huge volume of punches, so much so that commentator Muhammed Lawal nicknamed her "Lil' Diaz" for her Nick Diaz-esque offensive attack.
The fight was so even and so entertaining that it was very difficult to decide a winner. The judges agreed, ruling the bout a draw which hardly anyone contested as neither lady deserved to win. Promoter Shannon Knapp announced that they would both get their win bonuses in what was the most entertaining women's fight of the year and one of the better fights overall thus far.
In another bantamweight bout, Sarah D'Alelio bounced back from her recent submission defeat at the hands of Ronda Rousey by putting a hurting on Vanessa Mariscal. D'Alelio was simply too physically imposing, overpowering Mariscal on the ground and gaining dominant position quickly. After spending the majority of the first round glued to Mariscal's back and failing to secure a choke, she instead chose to pound her way to victory in the second, forcing Mariscal to tap out to strikes after crushing her with big blows from above.
Highlights from the other preliminary fights were strawweight Amy Davis' Kimura against Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc, Olympian Randi Miller's late third round TKO of a very game Mollie Estes and Cassie Rodish's quick 36 second guillotine choke against Meghan Wright.
For complete Invicta FC 1 results and detailed round-by-round commentary of all the streamed fights click here.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you impressed by the ladies last night if you tuned in? Who stood out to you the most? Will you be watching the next event this upcoming July?