A fun Invicta card heated up towards the end and climaxed in one of the biggest upsets of 2016, with unheralded Russian Yana Kunitskaya submitting Invicta bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger (who hadn’t lost in five years). In the co-main event strawweight champion Angela Hill went the distance with challenger Kaline Medeiros, but did enough to earn a judge’s decision.
Invicta FC 20’s main event may go down as the promotion’s most shocking contest of the year. Though, it started as you’d expect. Evinger attacked from the get-go and took Kunitskaya down with ease. However, on the ground Evinger was stifled by the long legs of Kunitskaya. The challenger began using them to defend against Evinger’s patented ground-and-pound, but ended up using them to trap Evinger’s right arm. When Evinger became aware of the danger she tried to break the hold - by standing on Kunitskaya’s face. Confusion over whether this was a legal move or not was short-lived, as Kunitskaya cranked the arm-bar to force a frantic tap from Evinger.
The co-main wasn’t anywhere near as shocking as the main, but it still had a few surprises. The Angela Hill we expected to see only came out for the fourth and fifth round, where she peppered Kaline Medeiros with quick combos and hard counter-strikes. Leading up to that point Hill looked uncharacteristically hesitant, but did demonstrate marked improvement in both her wrestling and grappling. Medeiros was able to take Hill down a couple of times, but more often than not the champion was able to shuck her off. When Medeiros did keep Hill on the ground, she threatened little, and at times was more concerned with defending against Hill’s strikes and submission attempts. Hill also scored takedowns of her own. In the end Hill’s more varied attack, and elusive footwork, was more than enough to convince all three judges that she deserved to keep her strawweight title.
Before the belts were settled, former atomweight champion Herica Tiburcio took a unanimous decision over a game Simona Soukupova. Tiburcio claimed the first round after taking Soukupova down and punishing her with a flurry of ground strikes. The subsequent rounds were spent mostly on the feet with both women catching the other with hard punches and leg kicks. Tiburcio edged Soukupova in the second, but was almost undone in the third as Soukupova charged forwards hoping to snatch the victory. The 4’11” Brazilian would survive though, setting herself up for a potential rematch with the woman who took her belt, Ayaka Hamasaki.
Other performances of note came from The Ultimate Fighter alums Ashley Yoder and JJ Aldrich. Yoder grappled back and forth with former atomweight title challenger Amber Brown, threatening with a multitude of submissions. In the second round, one of them finally stuck and she tapped Brown with an arm-bar. Aldrich cruised to victory versus Lynn Alvarez, winning every round on every judge’s scorecard.
Highlights are available for viewing at the top of the page. Fight Pass also tweeted out the stoppage wins for Ashley Yoder and Miranda Maverick.
WOW! Amber Brown shows tremendous heart, but Ashley Yoder was just too much at #InvictaFC20 on #UFCFIGHTPASS! https://t.co/OXWq7nF5Xt— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) November 19, 2016
Miranda Maverick is victorious in her professional debut at #InvictaFC20 on #UFCFIGHTPASS! https://t.co/2EmXrR6lBK— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) November 19, 2016
Yana Kunitskaya def. Tonya Evinger via submission (arm-bar), Round 1 (1:59).
Angela Hill def. Kaline Medeiros via unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47).
Herica Tiburcio def. Simona Soukupova via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Ashley Yoder def. Amber Brown via submission (arm-bar), Round 2 (2:31).
Pam Sorenson def. Jessica-Rose Clark via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27).
JJ Aldrich def. Lynn Alvarez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Alexa Conners def. Stephanie Egger via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Miranda Maverick def. Samantha Diaz via submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1 (4:26).