Invicta FC 2 went down last night from Kansas City, Kansas and it certainly did not disappoint. Despite the early streaming issues, the event was full of excitement and drama. We got to see 10 finishes out of 14 fights, a slew of personality and charm from fighters I was not very familiar with prior, and some solid technique, guts, and glory. There was even a birthday wish to Dana White. But more importantly we got to see a Ninja Turtles backpack. After the jump let's take a look at what went down in the Sunflower State, and what everyone missed if they chose to pursue typical Saturday night festivities instead of watching WMMA online.
Overall the fights were great. We got to see high paced action from 105 to 145 pounds that made me forget the discrimination from the "sizeist" fans, or is it "weightist" fans, who claim people under 125 pounds aren't worth watching. Seriously, whoever said that must not have watched Chavez vs Rivera-Calanoc. Those two stood and threw bombs on each other, clinched, rinsed and repeated. That fight would get even the purest STANDNBANG fan's attention, if only for a moment. D'Alelio vs Porto was fantastic, and Sarah's comeback to submit a BJJ black belt with a unconventional Reverse Triangle Armbar (according to sherdog) was memorable. Also memorable was Amanda Nunes putting Rocky to sleep. She almost elbowed her savagely after the win, as she started spazzing on the ground while Big John tried to protect Rocky from the Tasmanian Devil that used to be a human body. It was pleasing to the Wars Gods nonetheless. Ayaka was a beast and grueled out that submission win in the last 15 seconds of the fight. Schneider/Esparza was fun too, except it looked like Schneider was passing out on the stool after the fight, which was....concerning. Also Liz Carmouche was awesome in the second round and once again showed her merit as a high level bantamweight. But what else tickled my fancy last night?
Whether you like it or not, Star Wars was "all up in this shit" last night. Bethany Marshall with the dark side imperial storm-trooper anthem, Baszler with the light saber, and Cheesecake walking out to the New Hope theme song cemented the fantasy series into the minds of those watching. All that was missing was a Darth Vader helmet and a Chewbacca costume to get even the most passionate Jarjar Binks haters interested. I'm just happy George Lucas's daughter wasn't fighting. Otherwise it would have just been cheesy.
A huge part of the entertainment factor in MMA is seeing the fighters personalities. We may not have seen a bio piece on every fighter (the tempo for the event was great. Fight after fight after fight with almost no time in-between) but I did notice some little gems that stood out. I mentioned her before but Cheesecake had an interesting fight. Her guard was extremely active, although she could never secure that arm when she tried the arm bar over and over. But the interesting thing was in-between rounds 1 and 2, her corner walks into the cage and starts talking to her. No stool, no water, no towel, just words. Cheesecake was visibly upset and was yelling at the corner for water. At first I thought, "uh oh, she's showing too much emotion. Get it together SOLDIER!". But then I realized, " yeah where the hell is her water and stool!!". I became emotionally invested. It was a roller-coaster. Alexis Davis walking out to Bombtrack was awesome, and her RNC over Akano was as well. Barnett slapping Baszler in the face before she got into the cage WHILE Killing in the Name of was playing was, well, almost too much for me. I wasn't expecting this much awesome, and they gave it to me relentlessly.
Now about the commentary. Look, I like Julie Kedzie. She's a little green, but I liked how she focused on the action in the cage. It's like she realized the most important part of her job was to commentate on the action in the cage. Which seems like a simple notion for a, well, commentator. But look no further than Mauro Freaking Rinallo. I mean seriously, the guy manages to talk about everything except the fight that's happening in front of him. Hey, lets philosophize about the issues with MMA, while a fight is happening. Steriods? I'm sure Mo "Mumbles" Lawal would love to talk about that. Your podcast? Plug it 20 times? Yes, more of that please. The two fighters are exchanging strikes? Lets bring up the UFC. At least Julie would cut him off when there was action. I mentioned above, but I could barely understand what Mo was saying. The microphone was picking up the crowd more than anything else, and at times it was difficult to understand what any of the three were saying, but Mo mumbling didn't help. The twitter shout outs were fun at first, and were probably helping the promotion side of the event, but seriously. We don't need to hear "shout outs" to everyone who was tweeting during the show. Also, what the hell was up with the in-cage announcer? The guy from Breaking Bad was....bad. He talked too much. Simple as that. Too many words coming out of that guy's mouth. It's as if his entire mission was to make sure that everyone watching knew that every single fighter on the card "loved to GROUND AND POUND". Yes, thank you. They all love to "STANDNBANG" too. Now that the casuals know, can we see the fights? Oh, and could he have been more of a dick to Lacey after she got submitted in the last 15 seconds? "Lacey will NOT BE HAPPY when she hears this!" Who says that? Seriously, that is terribly unprofessional and I wag my finger in his general direction. All in all the commentary was decent, even though Julie said "wow" a total of 2,746 times.
My overall sense of this event was that it kicked ass. The crowd was supportive, and rarely booed. Of course the fighters threw down so there wasn't much to boo about. They are going to have their third show in Kansas as well, so it makes me wonder if Shannon Knapp has some connections with the Kansas AC. Familiarity and routine are probably good things for a promotion in such early stages, but I was wondering why they chose Kansas of all places. Like I said, the tempo of the show was good and even the intermission had an interesting McMann "get to know" piece. Alienware sponsoring female fighters is a good thing, and I hope to see them sponsoring more fighters. The corner of Calanoc had a Ninja Turtle backpack. Now I was thinking whether that was totally awesome or completely douchey. I'm leaning towards awesome. Anyway I like Invicta FC. I like the style of their shows, and that they stream them online for free. I will continue to watch each event because I feel like it is something special. An all women's MMA promotion in the current climate of the sport is definitely essential. Strikeforce and Bellator have WMMA, but I don't feel they have the same amount of dedication and drive to push the sport of WMMA forward. It's like seeing something not fully developed yet, but knowing its special. Knowing that this will have a place, small or big, in the history of the sport.