For the first time in over two years, Invicta FC has an atomweight champion. Invicta FC 30 just wrapped up with and Jinh Yu Frey winning a controversial decision over Minna Grusander to win the promotion’s vacant 105 pound belt. Commentators TJ DeSantis and Julie Kedzie were both convinced that Grusander had won the fight, stating during the broadcast that they believed Grusander had done enough. Nevertheless, Frey is Invicta’s new atomweight champion.
The fighters went toe-to-toe from the go, with Frey landing a couple sinister crosses, and did so a few times while exiting the clinch. Grusander kept shoving Frey up against the fence, working for the takedown, and when she finally achieved it, she didn’t have much time to work. Grusander returned to her grinding gameplan in the second round, but Frey was able to get herself back into open space to land some more of those mean crosses. Grusander landed with the foot to the face of Frey which allowed her to get the clinch up against the cage again, but failed to get a takedown and a referee separation brought the bout back into open space.
Frey blasted an early takedown to open up the third round, and got to work from the full guard of Grusander. Frey had to fend off the sticky guard of Grusander, but managed to make time to drop some vicious blows in-between minding her P’s and Q’s. Grusander didn’t return to her feet in that round. Grusander put her opponent’s back up against the fence early in the fourth act, and then the atomweights began exchanging elbows. It was clear that Grusander was landing the better bows, cutting Frey on the scalp. Frey spun into open space and blasted a takedown, but Grusander sprung right back up and took the fight back to the cage. Grusander answered the bell with some serious swelling around her right eye, but nonetheless marched forward, putting the pressure on her opponent. Frey continued to strike on the back foot, landing her left hand periodically and upping her volume down the stretch.
In the co-main event, Felicia Spencer choked out Helena Kolesnyk in the second round to remain undefeated and move to 5-0. Kolesnyk got her hands going early, shucking off the first couple of takedown attempts and clocking Spencer with quite a bit of oomph. Spencer started to get her kicks going though, throwing an array of techniques, which ultimately led to a successful takedown and back take. Several elbows dropped down for Spencer, followed by a bunch of punches, but Kolesnyk refused to expose herself to an RNC and made it out of the opening round. Spencer returned to her kicks in the second frame, and used them again to open up a takedown attempt. Although Kolesnyk defended the takedown, she exposed in the scramble, and Spencer sought out that RNC that eluded her in round one.
Heather Jo Clark returned to action following her run in the UFC that ended in November of 2016, and picked up a unanimous decision over Kinberly Novaes. Clark and Novaes went right to work, with Clark landing some solid punches before getting controlled by Novaes against the cage. Clark was able to reverse the position and deploy a grinding gameplan of her own, chipping away at the legs of Novaes with knees. Once in open space, Novaes used her strikes to close the distance and press her for back against the fence, but seemingly out of nowhere, Clark hit a toss and planted Novaes on her back to finish the round on top.
The strawweights traded strikes on the feet for a big chunk of the second round, with both athletes finishing their punching combos with kicks. Novaes tried to grind on Clark against the cage, but quickly ate a knee before the bout returned to open space where Clark scored a takedown with just over 90 seconds remaining in the round. Clark controlled Novaes from the back until the bell sounded which may have iced her the round. Novaes was able to shove Clark against the cage in the final round, where she peppered the legs of Clark with all sorts knees, leaving some pretty bad bruising in her wake. Clark finally got her back off the wall with about a half of a round left in the fight, but a botched takedown gave Novaes the back, which she kept until the time ran out.
Also on the card, Stephanie Geltmacher had a strong showing, wasting no time in getting Kerri Kenneson to the ground and then proceeding to drop bow after bow until the referee pulled her off. The first round TKO is Geltmacher’s first pro finish as the Hawaiian moved to 3-0. Earlier on the card, Alyse Anderson locked up a flying triangle on Stephanie Alba in the second round, and then methodically made the right adjustments to put Alba to sleep. Anderson now sits at 4-1 in her young MMA career.
Full fight card results:
- Jinh Yu Frey def. Minna Grusander by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47 x2): Atomweight Title
- Felicia Spencer def. Helena Kolesnyk by submission (RNC) at 1:47 of round 2: Featherweight
- Heather Clark def. Kinberly Novaes by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Strawweight
- Brogan Sanchez def. Miranda Maverick by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Flyweight
- Stephanie Geltmacher def. Kerri Kenneson by TKO at 3:32 of round 1: Bantamweight
- Alesha Zappitella def. Jillian DeCoursey by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Atomweight
- Alyse Anderson def. Stephanie Alba by technical submission (Triangle) at 3:12 of round 2: Atomweight
- Erin Blanchfield def. Brittney Cloudy by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Flyweight
Check out these highlights and finishes from the night: