Michelle Waterson had a back and forth battle to wrest the Atomweight belt away from Jessica Penne at Invicta FC 5. If you are a fan of grappling then this fight had it all as Penn was able to implement her excellent guard game, and swept Waterson on several occasions. Waterson also showed off her excellent guard, threatening Penne several times from her back. At one point Penne mounted Waterson and went for an amrbar, and it looked like the fight was over but Waterson managed an excellent hitch hiker escape. Then in the fourth round Waterson snatched an armbar to claim both the fight and the title.
Invicta crowned their first Flyweight champion after a very tactical striking match between Barb Honchak vs. Vanessa Porto. It was assumed that Porto would be landing heavy leg kicks and that Honchak would want to get things to the mat , but in the first round it was Honchak who established her range with leg kicks. In the second round Porto was able to get her striking offense working, but after that it was Honchak in close rounds. Porto's inability to throw more than one punch at a time effectively gave way to Honchak's tactical combination striking. This is not to say Porto didn't have chances, at one point Honchak slipped when throwing a kick. But Porto, a BJJ black belt, had no interest in ground fighting, which seemed very odd as she was not getting the better of the standing match.
Cris Cyborg looked like her old self as she beat Fiona Muxlow like a drum. It all started with a straight right hand that dropped Muxlow, and from there it basically over. Muxlow held on for several valiant minutes as Cyborg mounted a restless attack which eventually convinced John McCarthy to step in and call the fight.
Sarah Kaufman and Leslie Smith had a war in the cage. The first round was very close, but it seemed like Kaufman's very accurate punching carried the round for her. Then in the second round Smith landed a head kick that dropped Kaufman, tying up the fight. The third round was back and forth, with Smith landing another head kick, while Kaufman landed strong counters and finished a nice takedown. In the end the judges likely got this right, but it was a very close fight and both fighters put in a fantastic effort.
Jennier Maia defeated former Bellator champion Zoila Frausto Gurgel in a clinch heavy bout that was nothing to write home about. Gurgel had no answer for Maia bull rushing forward into the clinch and there only brief exchanges in this fight.
It look early like Kaitlin Young was going to snap her losing stream as she dominated Lauren Taylor in the first round, taking the back threatening several chokes. But then in the second round Taylor came out and was able to drag Young to the ground on her terms. Once the momentum swung in Taylor's favor she never relented, keeping up a tireless assault to take the final two rounds and the fight.
Julia Budd put on a wrestling clinch against Mollie Estes, getting the fight to the ground whenever she wanted it. Then on the ground she showed a great ability to take the mount. While she showed very good grapping, she did struggle in getting her hooks in while on the back, and it cost her a few chances to finish the fight. Estes showed great heart but in the end she had to tap out to a rear naked choke in the third round.
The grudge match between Bec Hyatt and Jasminka Cive did not seem to be hype as Hyatt came out like a woman on a mission. Hyatt unloaded with punches on the feet and then slammed Cive to the mat, where she quickly mounted and began to punish Cive with punches. Eventually Cive, desperate to escape, attempted to roll to her knees and Hyatt transitioned to a beautiful armbar. Cive held on as long as she could, but when Hyatt went belly down on the arm lock, Cive was forced to tap.
Katja Kankaanpää defeats Juliana Carneiro by Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)