Invicta Fighting Championship (Invicta FC) held its tenth event last night (Fri., Dec. 5, 2014) with a UFC Fight Pass card airing live from inside the Arena Theater in Houston, Texas.
Eight exciting fights were capped off with a main event where "Karate Hottie" Michelle Waterson tried to defend her atomweight title for the second time this year against Herica Tiburcio. After a dominating title defense against Yasuko Tamada in September that caused UFC Fight Pass to crash, bringing back the popular and injury free Waterson seemed a wise move.
After all, the card needed a big bout when Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino dropped out.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but Waterson will definitely wish she had seen Tiburcio coming. Prognosticators thought the debuting Invicta fighter would be overmatched, especially since she was dropping down to atomweight, but it was Waterson who was overmatched.
Her left eye was swollen by the end of round one, the bell saved her from an armbar at the end of round two, and a guillotine in the third caused Waterson to EMPHATICALLY tap out at 1:04.
Both fighters were hugging and crying after referee Chris Reed stopped the bout until Joe Martinez made the official announcement. Perhaps owing to a lack of cageside translator, nobody was there to interview Tiburcio after the biggest win of her career, but the look on the faces of both fighters said it all.
In the co-main event, former UFC hopeful Tonya Evinger looked to make it six in a row against the returning Cindy Dandois. She surprised some observers at Invicta FC 8 with her armbar of Ediane Gomes, but those who know Evinger would have said she was a woman on a mission after her failed bid to get on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
Evinger showed she's a deadly bantamweight in any top flight promotion in racking up her sixth straight win and second submission. Dandois was a game fighter who looked ready and willing after a three-year layoff, but Evinger quickly made her backpedal with right hands and got a dominant position when Dandois tried to take it to the ground. She came close to getting a stoppage from full mount, but a late heel hook attempt saved Dandois.
A black and blue Dandois came out for round two hopeful that the ground game could help her again, but Evinger had the back when it went to the mat and Dandois left an arm vulnerable when she tried a backdoor escape. Evinger sucked it up like a fish to a worm, hooking Dandois and leaving her no choice but to tap at 1:23.
Julie Kedzie spoke to Evinger after the fight and asked her if she was satisfied with a statement win. "I was satisfied when I got to eat and drink last night!"
Clearly, a happy Evinger is a dangerous Evinger.
Bizarre scoring in the night's two other main card fights led commentator Mauro Ranallo to protest loudly and then bite his tongue on several occasions. Despite clearly dominating the first and third rounds of her flyweight bout, Roxanne Modafferi was the winner by SPLIT decision. One judge had her 29-28, one the opposite, and one gave Modafferi all three rounds.
All you can say about that is "Texas."
It was the opening bout that really got Ranallo riled up. Jennifer Maia was the more aggressive fighter for all three rounds, pushing the pace and forcing DeAnna Bennett to counter strike to survive. A late takedown in round one could have made the first round an argument, but Maia seemed to take control in the second and third. Regardless, the judges gave it 30-27 and 29-28 x2 to Bennett, which left Ranallo absolutely flabbergasted.
There you have it.
For the rest of the action, including a scintillating stoppage from stunning strawweight Alexa Grasso, check out our live results and play-by-play from the Invicta FC 10 card right HERE.