Invicta FC 28 went down last night in Salt Lake City, UT. In the main event a new strawweight champion was crowned. Also featured on the card was a few established Invicta and UFC names holding firm in the face of upstarts looking to supplant them at the top of the promotion.
In the show’s closer, Virna Jandiroba got it done and stayed undefeated to win the vacant Invicta strawweight title against Mizuki Inoue.
In the first round Jandiroba pieced Inoue up both on the feet and on the canvas with crisp punching and relentless ground-and-pound. Inoue was game from the bottom, throwing elbows and attempting submissions, but it was nothing Jandiroba couldn’t handle. Jandiroba dealt with Inoue’s offensive by repositioning herself on top and continuing her assault with hard hammerfists, which lead to Inoue’s left eye swelling virtually shut by the end of the round.
The second, third, and fourth round were much of the same. Inoue would come out aggressive in the opening seconds and often land decent right hands. But as soon as Jandiroba sensed an opportunity to take her down, she did, and while on top she landed heavy and often with punches and hammer fists.
Inoue had some nice moments, landing knees in the clinch and scoring a few takedowns herself, but each time Jandiroba would take back the advantage. The Brazilian would break the clinches and land offense herself or quickly reverse positions on the ground to wind up on top, where she could land more ground and pound and tease a few submission attempts.
Inoue threw a hail Mary in the final round, attacking Jandiroba on the feet and at-first avoiding the takedown. But it was too little too late and Jandiroba’s tenacity, as it did in all the other rounds, resulted in Inoue on the canvas, taking punishment. Though Inoue tried to attack from her back, Jandiroba was rarely threatened and she finished the fight on top, a clear victor.
The win, along with handing Jandiroba the strawweight title, advanced her record to 13-0. The lopsided – and vicious – performance surely put her on the radar of UFC matchmakers. The result will go down as a split decision with one judge inexplicably scoring the fight 49-46 to Inoue. Inoue’s record fell to 12-5 and she’ll likely remain around the top of Invicta cards for the foreseeable future.
The co-main event saw recent TUF grad, and hometown fighter, DeAnna Bennett (9-3) take a split decision over Karina Rodriguez (6-3). Their fight was a close back-and-forth affair, with either fighter doing enough to earn the win (or even a draw). Rodriguez pressured Bennett with aggressive stand-up throughout most of the fight, but the more experienced Bennett was able to avoid damage and score with counter-shots, clinch control and takedowns.
Before that fight former UFC fighter Milian Dudieva (12-7) snapped a four fight losing streak, and got her first Invicta win, with a huge TKO of TUF alum Christina Marks (8-10). The North-Ossetian, who has unsettling ties to Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, bobbed and weaved before landing a big right hand that ended Marks’ Invicta debut.
Dudieva posted a picture of herself hanging out with Akhmat MMA president Abuzayed Vismuradov, Kadyrov’s head of security & a man implicated in the gay purge. She said she was “glad to get acquainted” with this “respected person” https://t.co/J3LIvq6835
— Karim Zidan (@ZidanSports) February 11, 2018
Another recognizable name, Pearl Gonzalez (7-3), got back to winning ways as well. The former UFC strawweight outclassed the previously undefeated Kali Robbins (5-1) on her way to a comfortable decision victory.
The night’s other two finishes came from Finnish atomweight Minna Grusander (6-1) and Alliance MMA strawweight ‘.50’ Kal Schwartz (2-1). Grusander beat-up Fernanda Priscila (2-2) to force a second round TKO from ground and pound. Schwartz battered and sliced up Kay Hansen (1-1) before landing a German suplex and ground strikes for the TKO.
Also on the card Kerri Kenneson (3-0) beat Chelsea Chandler (0-1), Jillian DeCoursey (2-0) outpointed Rebekah LeVine (1-1), and Tracey Cortez (2-1) defeated Kaytlin Neil (1-3); all by unanimous decision.
Something else of note for the card: UFC middleweight Elias Theodorou fulfilled his duties as ‘Ring Boy’ for the promotion; taking turns with Phoenix Girls Natasha Kingsbury and Jess Mao to entertain and inform the live crowd.
See the full results below, along with the finishes for Dudieva, Grusander, and Schwartz.
Strawweight Title: Virna Jandiroba def. Mizuki Inoue via split decision (49-46. 46-49. 49-46).
Catchweight: DeAnna Bennett def. Karina Rodriguez via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27).
Flyweight: Milan Dudieva def. Christina Marks via TKO (punches), Round 2 (3:27).
Strawweight: Pearl Gonzalez def. Kali Robbins via unanimous decision (20-27, 30-26, 30-27).
Atomweight: Minna Grusander def. Fernanda Priscila via TKO (punches), Round 2 (4:26).
Strawweight: Kalyn Schwartz def. Kay Hansen via TKO (punches), Round 2 (4:27).
Bantamweight: Kerri Kenneson def. Chelsea Chandler via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Atomweight: Jillian DeCoursey def. Rebekah LeVine via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Flyweight: Tracey Cortez def. Kaytlin Neil via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
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