Invicta battled technical problems to crown Carla Esparza their first Straw-weight Champion.
Carla Esparza used her strong wrestling and top position to defeat "Rowdy" Bed Hyatt. While it was clear that Esparza was winning the fight, Hyatt fought hard and took advantage of every second she had standing, landing very hard punches. Esparza was able to take those shots, get take-downs, and fend off submission attempts. At one point Esparza was able to threaten an armbar, but that was the closest she came to finishing the fight.
In the end Esaprza took all the rounds on the score cards and is now Invicta's first Strawweight Champion.
A splendid fight between two excellent and tough grapplers. Davis got a take-down in the first and worked her way to side control. She ended up on her back when she over-commited to a choke and Baszler began working in her guard. Davis was then able to switch to a leg lock attack and finished the round working on a heel hook that appeared to cause some damage to Baszler's knee. In the second round Baszler took Davis round and spent much of the round fighting off Davis' aggressive guard. Then in third a slip cost Baszler dearly as Davis was able to take the back and sink in a deep choke. Baszler refused to tap and was quickly choked out.
A grudge match that lived up to the hype. Pennington came out strong and won the first round with strong clinch work and take downs. Pennington landed some very hard knees and Smith had an excellent attempt at a leg lock series, switching between knee bars, toe holds and a heel hook. Smith did suffer a wardrobe malfunction during this round but barely missed her stride. Smith then took over the second round with a volume punching attack, trapping Pennington on the fence and letting her hands go. Pennington did not go away easily, and landed some hard counters but Smith took the final two rounds.
Sarah D'Alelio vs. Amanda Nunes by Unanimous Decision
Wrestling was the story of this match. Specifically the wrestling of D'Aelio, as she was able to time her explosive double legs perfectly to take Nunes down each round. Once on the ground D'Aelio had excellent pressure and was able to pass to side control on a few occasions. Nunes did threaten a few leg locks but really didn't have any offense in this fight. In a moment of frustration Nunes threw an illegal up kick that cost her a point from referee John McCarthy.
This one looked like it was going to be over quick as Gomes got Yamanaka down quickly and appeared to be overwhelming the Japanese fighter on the ground. But Yamanaka was able to survive and it appeared that Gomes gassed a little in the later part of the first round. But Yamanaka was not able to capitalize as her strikes looked very tentative until the third round when she began to land a hard straight right hand. Gomes began to shoot for take-downs again as soon as things stopped going her way on the feet and she held on to a decision win.
Joanne Calderwood defeats Livia von Plettenberg by Unanimous Decision
This was a beating. Calderwood controlled every aspect of this fight, peppering von Plettenberg with kicks at range and punishing von Plettenberg with knees and elbows in the clinch every time she tried to close the distance. The fight never hit the mat for any real length of time and Calderwood's superior kickboxing clearly carried the day.
Prelim Results and Gifs
Tecia Torres defeats Paige Van Zant by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)