While the month of July had a ton of events at a breakneck pace, there was plenty of women’s fights to see from the major organizations.
Flagship WMMA organization Invicta FC put on a rather low-key event that for the most part delivered on action and served the purpose of developing fighters in their ranks. The event did suffer after losing champions Megan Anderson and Tonya Evinger though. The headliner of Invicta FC 24 saw Italian newcomer Mara Romero Borella pick up a split-decision win over former UFC talent Milana Dudieva. The co-main event was a surprisingly active tilt between Jinh Yu Frey and former Ultimate Fighter contestant Ashley Cummins, a fight that saw multiple chained submission attempts and a lot of tense moments. Frey won the fight by unanimous decision, but Cummins demonstrated a lot of new wrinkles on the ground, as well as tremendous resolve.
The rest of the card saw Pam Sorenson pick up her second Invicta win, an armbar victory over Helena Kolesnyk. The show also brought us the U.S. debut of Mexican talent Karina Rodriguez, who defeated Barbara Acioly with a brutal TKO. Rodriguez is a teammate of former Invicta fighters Alexa Grasso and Irene Aldana, both now signed to the UFC. Rising prospect Miranda Maverick earned a unanimous decision over BJJ black belt Gabby Romero, while Mjölnir Gym product Sunna Davidsdottir remains undefeated at 3-0 after defeating Kelly D’Angelo by decision. Featherweight Felicia Spencer continued her undefeated run as well after submitting Tennessee’s Amy Coleman by rear naked choke. Spencer’s record also improves to 3-0.
The UFC had a handful of women’s fights, thought not as many as one would expect with the amount of events they staged. At the Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, former Invicta fighter Tecia Torres returned to action on short notice to earn a Performance of the Night bonus after submitting Juliana Lima in the second round. The same event also featured Angela Hill notching a unanimous decision win over former TUF contestant Ashley Yoder to even out her UFC record at 1-1 since returning to the organization.
The following week, the promotion picked up its bags and headed for Scotland for UFC Glasgow. That event had the evening open with veteran Leslie Smith taking on newcomer Amanda Lemos, with Smith winning the fight by TKO. This was Smith’s first finish since defeating Jessamyn Duke in 2014, also by TKO. Later that night, Cynthia Calvillo continued to show she was a threat to the division by earning a unanimous decision against experienced striker Joanne Calderwood. Calvillo remains undefeated at 6-0 as a professional and now has three UFC wins under her belt. This win has seen her bust into the top ten, and she could be gunning for a title shot with another win.
By the end of the month, UFC 214 came around with two women’s fights. Alexandra Albu returned after over two years off to defeat Kailin Curran in a back-and-forth fight with a lot of scrambles. Albu is now 3-0 as a professional with two UFC wins. Cristiane ““Cyborg” Justino picked up yet another TKO victory, this time over Invicta bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger. Evinger didn’t make it easy, and even managed a takedown and a few counters early. After that, Cyborg pushed onward until Evinger’s body quit in the third round.
Bellator 181 went live from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, OK, with former Invicta talent Amanda Bell busting out another TKO victory against grappler Brittney Elkin at featherweight. This fight was a rematch between the two, with Bell having defeated Elkin by rear naked choke in their first encounter in 2014. Flyweight Katy Collins won via unanimous decision against Brazilian Bruna Vargas, evening out her Bellator record at 1-1. Local fan-favorite Emily Ducote improves to 6-2 after earning her second consecutive win, this time against Jessica Middleton.
Finally, atomweight firebrand Kyra Batara pulled off a lovely short armbar from S-mount at the Combate Americas Combate Clasico event on July 27th. Don’t believe me? See for yourself, courtesy of Caposa, a.k.a. Grabaka Hitman:
Batara bounces back from her loss in RIZIN last year against Kanako Murata. This win finally settles matters with her opponent Vanessa Fernandez Rico after their initial fight plans were scrapped due to Batara missing weight earlier this year.