Invicta FC has a new bantamweight champion. The belt, which had been vacant since previous title-holder Yana Kunitskaya was signed to the UFC, was won last night by MMA pioneer Sarah Kaufman. She defeated a game Katharina Lehner via a third round rear naked choke. The sub was Kaufman’s first ever submission victory in a career that has spanned 12 years.
The UFC and Strikeforce vet Kaufman looked to have a sizeable edge over her less experienced foe early on. Both fighters exchanged strikes on the feat, but Kaufman’s were more diverse (including both leg kicks and front kicks). Lehner landed some decent shots, but the Canadian’s punches were landing in bunches and looked harder, too.
Round two was similar to the first, though Kaufman also managed to take Lehner down against the cage. On the ground she peppered Lehner with shots before setting up a head and arm choke. It looked like she had a chance to end the fight there, but the German miraculously sprung to her feet when given a slither of daylight.
Early on in round three Lehner looked to be getting tired. The fresher Kaufman stalked Lehner around the cage before dragging her to the ground. Against the fence Kaufman wriggled onto Lehner’s back and sunk in a rear naked choke. Lehner tapped in an instant.
Kaufman now follows Cris Cyborg’s example in being crowned a champion in both Invicta and the now-defunct Strikeforce organization. The belt further validates Kaufman’s credentials as having one of the best careers in women’s MMA.
In the co-main event Pannie Kianzad broke her losing streak after outclassing Bianca Daimoni, who was making her Invicta debut and came in heavy for the bantamweight fight. The fight remained on the feet for the most part, with Kianzad dictating all the action and once knocking down the Brazilian. When her hand was raised an emotional Kianzad announced she was, “f**king back bitches!”
Before that UFC veteran Pearl Gonzalez impressed with her second win inside the Invicta cage. In less than two minutes she was able to submit Barbara Acioly with an armbar in the first round. The victory moved Gonzalez to an 8-3 record and likely put her in the title picture for either 115 or 125 lbs.
The strangest incident of the night came in the fight between Marciea Allen and Julia Avila. In the opening seconds, Avila pawed at some of Allen’s front kicks. However, in doing so, she sustained some gruesome damage to one of her fingers. The fight was quickly called off with Allen being awarded the rare TKO (injury) victory.
The remainder of the card saw fairly straight forward unanimous decision victories in fights between women in the early stages of their pro careers.
Check out the full results below, along with the finishes from Sarah Kaufman and Pearl Gonzalez.
Veteran @mmasarah becomes the second female ever to hold championship titles in both @Strikeforce and @InvictaFights with a 3rd round submission at #InvictaFC29! #UFCFIGHTPASS pic.twitter.com/lb60RLXJZv— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) May 5, 2018
Bantamweight: Sarah Kaufman def. Katharina Lehner via submission (rear naked choke), round 3 (4:30).
Bantamweight: Pannie Kianzad def. Bianca Daimoni via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Flyweight: Pearl Gonzalez def. Barbara Acioly via submssion (arm bar), round 1 (1:30).
Bantamweight: Marciea Allen def. Julia Avila via TKO (injury), round 1 (0:49).