Invicta Fighting Championships put one hell of a show last night (July 28, 2012) with Invicta FC 2 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS. and, after a slow start due to technical difficulties with the live stream, the promotion rewarded those who stuck around with one of the most entertaining main cards in recent memory.
The ladies absolutely brought it.
The night was capped off by a thrilling bout between top female bantamweights Sara McMann and Shayna Baszler. McMann was an undefeated Olympic silver medalist wrestler while Baszler entered the bout as the crafty veteran with some of the best submission skills in all of women's MMA.
From the start, it was clear that McMann wanted to showcase some of her new skills she'd been working on as the Team Oyama fighter pressed the action and looked to land some punches and kicks standing. McMann was throwing right hands with serious bad intentions but to her credit, Baszler stayed in the pocket and was able to use footwork and movement to not only get out of the way of several of the shots, but to counter them as well.
After a very close first round, McMann opened the second by catching a kick and taking Baszler down but she quickly regretted it as "The Queen of Spades" rolled for a leg lock and actually put the Olympian on her back and on the defensive. McMann was able to survive some very dangerous positions, but Baszler had at least evened up the score if not moreso.
In the final round, McMann scored a pair of takedowns but didn't want anything to do with Baszler on the canvas. She again was in control of the stand-up and found success by pushing the catch wrestler into the fence and landing knees and short punches. In the final 15 seconds, both ladies threw caution to the wind and traded big bombs, but it was Baszler who not only got the better of it but also rocked McMann with a very accurate combination as time expired.
In the end, the judges sided with McMann via unanimous decision, but Baszler made a very good impression on the fans in attendance as well as the fight could have gone either way.
There were seven straight main card finishes, all posted after the jump.
In co-main event action, top female bantamweight contender Alexis Davis out of the Cesar Gracie team took on Japanese import Hitomi Akano and she looked very good. Davis controlled the stand-up with superior technique and power and wasn't afraid to go to the ground against the talented submission specialist.
It was the second round that really showcased Davis' talents as she dropped Akano with one of her first strikes and then after a hard-fought battle for positioning on the canvas, she was able to sink in a rear naked choke and force Akano to tap out.
One of the most entertaining back-and-forth fights of the night was the thrilling 135-pound bout between former Strikeforce title challenger Liz Carmouche and top female striker Kaitlin Young. Young looked incredible early, connecting with fluid combinations of punches and kicks on the feet and even controlling the extremely physical Carmouche in the clinch.
Carmouche began to gain some steam at the end of the first round with a big takedown and she went back to what worked in the second, putting Young on her back and taking the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy's back immediately. After putting up some initial resistance, Young could not remove Carmouche from her back and eventually a rear naked choke put an end to her strong start.
Now both Carmouche and Davis are very likely contenders for McMann this October when Invicta Fighting Championships will hold its first ever title bouts.
In strawweight action, undefeated Jewels 115 pound champion Akaya Hamasaki put on a grappling clinic against a very game Lacey Schuckman, taking her down repeatedly and dropping some light ground and pound while eventually mixing in submission attempts.
Eventually, Hamasaki overwhelmed Schuckman's defenses with a big flurry of strikes in the third round and she forced the late notice fighter to tap out with just 15 seconds in the fight after locking in a methodical armbar to remain undefeated.
Bantamweights Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pa'Aluhi put on an incredibly entertaining one round fight as Nunes opened strong with her striking but allowed Pa'Aluhi to not only score a takedown but to threaten with a submission after taking her back in a scramble.
Nunes remained composed despite the perilous position and not only didn't get submitted but she turned the tables on Pa'Aluhi, reversing her and then taking the young Hawaiian's back. When Nunes sunk in a rear naked choke, Pa'Aluhi refused to tap and was put to sleep.
In one of the night's biggest surprises, Sarah D'Alelio upset Brazilian powerhouse Vanessa Porto in a highly competitive and extremely entertaining one round fight. Both ladies came out swinging, throwing huge haymakers and rocking each other with punches, although Porto was getting the better end of the equation.
After a very exciting stand-up exchange, Porto scored a huge takedown and transitioned beautifully to an armbar almost as soon as she touched the ground. To her credit, D'Alelio didn't panic and was able to keep her arm from being extended by stacking up Porto on the ground. Eventually, D'Alelio forced Porto to give up on the hold and she forced the Brazilian to tap out after switching to an arm attack of her own which put tremendous pressure on Porto's shoulders.
In flyweight action, Barb Honchak put on a clinic against undefeated grappler Bethany Marshall. Honchak controlled the action early with superior striking and aggression, overwhelming Marshall on the feet and then transitioning to the ground where she again overpowered Marshall on the canvas. Honchak couldn't submit Marshall on the ground but she made the Virginia based fighter absorb a ton of punishment via ground and pound.
The second round was more of the same and after dropping down big punches from mount, Marshall stopped fighting back and the referee was forced to intervene.
The opening bout of the main card featured two talented featherweight strikers in Julia Budd and Elina Nilsson, but you wouldn't have known that based on what transpired. Budd scored a takedown in the opening seconds and proceeded to methodically dominate the Swede on the canvas via superior positioning and ground and pound.
Budd worked her way to mount and began dropping down some fierce elbows on her opponent and after some big shots, Nilsson was only covering up without fighting back and the referee stepped in to put a stop to it.
There you have it. Seven finishes to open up the main card and a thriller of a main event which featured a little bit of everything.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you impressed by the Invicta FC 2 show last night? Will you be tuning in for Invicta FC 3 this upcoming October? How would you compare this event to the UFC 149 show form last week?
For complete Invicta FC 2 results and detailed round-by-round commentary of all the televised fights as well as the main event click here.