Invicta FC presented another exciting event Saturday night and, for a change, there is little in the way of controversy coming out of the show.
After a couple of events overshadowed by questionable referees’ decisions, the fighters made the headlines on this show, with the most notable performance coming from now undisputed Bantamweight Champion Tonya Evinger and most emphatically by former Strawweight Champion Livia Renata Souza.
Evinger avenged her “defeat” to Yana Kunitskaya from last November by putting forth a scrappy performance that saw Evinger win by rear-naked choke late in the second round. The finish left little doubt as to the rightful winner. Evinger originally submitted to Kunitskaya in their first fight, but the bout was later ruled a no-contest due to the referee giving Evinger incorrect guidance to remove her foot from Kunitskaya’s face in a sequence that led directly to the finish.
Kunitskaya had Evinger in trouble early in the fight with guillotine and armbar attempts, but Evinger weathered the early storm and took over in the second round, cinching in the submission and retaining the Invicta Bantamweight Championship she’s held since 2015.
In the card’s co-main event, Souza made short work of current Invicta 105 pound champion, Ayaka Hamasaki. Hamasaki moved up a weight class for the fight and soon found it to be an ill-advised move as Souza sent Hamasaki to the mat with a right hand, she immediately covered up and Souza delivered as many as 10 unanswered hammer fists before the fight was stopped at the 1:41 mark. It was the closest to an officiating controversy there was on the card, but fortunately, the outcome of the fight wasn’t affected.
Souza made it clear that she wants another shot at the Invicta strawweight championship now that incumbent champ Angela Hill has returned to UFC.
A replay of the event can be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: The stoppage to the Souza-Hamasaki fight was definitely late but not among the worst end of late stoppages you would see. Most of the punches were landing on Hamasaki’s gloves that were covering her head but the problem is that Hamasaki was doing nothing else to defend herself and clearly wasn’t fighting back. Invicta, who routinely run their shows in Missouri, are seeing a lot of bad referee calls relative to how few shows they run. UFC has a Fox show from Kansas City on April 15, so it will be interesting to see if any of the same referees, namely Mike England and Greg Franklin, get the call for that show and if any similar issues present themselves.
Tonya Evinger and Livia Renata Souza are two of the very best female fighters outside of UFC right now. Evinger’s lack of a call-up is especially questionable and it’s sounding like there is some bad blood between Evinger and UFC for one reason or another which is preventing her from making the move, which is too bad. Souza is still young at 26, so her time will likely come and she’s one to watch for in the future.
SUNDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-”Rampage” Jackson told ESPN recently that his biggest regret “is even starting this sport.” He said if he could go back he would stay in Missouri and work for the family construction business.
-Reza Madadi made on Instagram post proposing he fight his final career fight at the UFC event from Stockholm, Sweden on May 28. Madadi is Iranian-born but lives and trains in Stockholm.
What an experience, so many feelings it is hard to put in writing. Firstly I want to thank my opponent Joe Duffy @duffymma , not only an amazing fighter but also a real sportsman and gentleman. Our sport needs more fighters like him. I would also like to thank my team at @allstars_gym and No 18 gym, all my trainingpartners, my sponsors my corner coaches @selmanberisha , @davidbielkheden, Andreas Michael, @boris.kuzmic @masseewald and of course my amazing family. They are all part of the team and the reason I can compete in the best league in the world called @ufc. As all of you know we are not getting younger for every day that goes by . I have been in this sport for more than 10 years and have been lucky to compete against the best fighters in the world. Every good story has an end and I have a wish ; that is to fight my last fight and 20th MMA fight at @ufc Sweden, in my hometown Stockholm and in front of my home crowd. May 28th, beautiful weather in Sweden, sold out arena, who is up for a battle?
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUNDUP
-Erick Silva vs. Yancy Medeiros at UFC 212 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 3 according to Combate.
-Carla Esparza vs. Maryna Moroz at UFC Fight Night Oklahoma City on June 25.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE 3/25: Cyborg clears path for UFC Featherweight Women’s Title shot, vacates Invicta title (w/Keller’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)