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Invicta champ lobs ‘disgraceful’ claim of ‘stinky strategy’ at recent opponent

Minna Grusander already fought Jin Yu Frey for the Invicta atomwweight title earlier this July, but now she’s battling her former opponent’s claims of poor hygiene out of the cage.

A woman wearing white shorts and top leg kicks a woman in black shorts and top.
Atomweight champion Jin Yu Frey delivers an inside low kick to Minna Grusander at Invicta FC 30
Dave Mandel - Invicta FC

It looks like the controversy from Minna Grusander’s Invicta FC 30 bout against Jinh Yu Frey didn’t end with the judges. In a fight that had many (including cage-side commentary) questioning the eventual decision, Frey – who lost a previous title shot to Ayaka Hamasaki in 2016 – took home the vacant Invicta atomweight strap with a unanimous decision over Grusander earlier in July.

The bout was a somewhat slow affair, featuring a lot of cage grinding, sporadic ground work, and extended, slow-paced standup exchanges. Eventually judges felt Frey had done enough to win. However, not happy to simply take home the belt, Frey and her husband, Douglas, took to social media to say that they felt Grusander had intentionally avoided bathing ahead of the fight to make herself smell as bad as possible. Employing what Douglas Frey dubbed “the stinky strategy” in a since deleted tweet.

In a post on Instagram, Frey responded to critics of the judges decision noting that, “I also had never had an opponent who did the whole ‘I’m not showering for a week so that my body odor makes my opponent gag’ tactic. So that was new.”

Invicta’s in-cage interviewer, Laura Sanko, responded to the allegations on Twitter, saying that, “I stood right next to Minna after the fight and didn’t notice odor like that.” Which prompted Frey’s husband to give an unusual explanation.

He claimed that his knowledge of Icelandic allowed him to overhear a conversation between Grusander and her team, in Finnish. A conversation he claims confirmed their suspicions. His response, once again, has since been deleted (h/t MMA Fighting).

“Don’t be disappointed, Laura,” he wrote. “I took Icelandic language lessons, and can follow along in Finnish pretty well too. On the ride back to the hotel we had to ride in the same can [sic] and her and her team were laughing about it...”

For her part, Grusander spoke to MMA Fighting, where she didn’t mince words about what she felt to be a ‘disgraceful’ attempt to drag her reputation.

“I think the fact that they are even making up and shouting out this little bullshit, it’s pretty disgraceful right now,” said Grusander. “I’ve heard and seen some bad losers in sports in general and I kind of understand the trash talk in combat sports prior to an upcoming bout, but I can’t really figure out the purpose of their actions right now.

“I don’t think I’ve seen everything, I’m not really digging deep into what they’re talking about me, I’m just amazed how immature they’ve been with it.”

“With all this Icelandic stuff and ‘bad-smelling thing,’ it really sounds like some first-grader wannabe badass bully desperately trying to put down someone even when they can’t come up with anything,” said Grusander.

It sounds like Grusander is hoping, if nothing else, the ongoing war of words outside the cage helps secure her a rematch in it, where they can settle the score. Especially considering controversy already surrounding how the bout was judged. Unfortunately for her, considering Frey and her husband’s current complaints, that may not be a bout the newly crowned champion is especially interested in taking.