Invicta FC 35 delivered the promotion’s expected blend of impressive showings, competitive fights, and thrilling finishes. The main event of the night was a rematch between Karina Rodriguez and UFC vet DeAnna Bennett.
The pair last fought in March, 2018. That bout went the distance and saw Bennett take the victory. This fight had a lot more on the line with the winner promised a shot at recently crowned Invicta FC flyweight champion Vanessa Porto.
In the first round of their rematch Rodriguez took the centre of the cage and threw jabs and low kicks in Bennett’s direction. One kick landed hard and dropped Bennett down to one knee. Bennett responded later in the round with a few hard left hooks that bloodied the Mexican fighter’s nose.
In round two the pair continued to duel in the centre of the cage. When Bennett got sick of that, she charged forwards and went for a takedown. Rodriguez was able to stay up, but did get driven back into the fence. The rest of the round saw Rodriguez defending well from multiple takedown attempts from Bennett, both against the fence and in the centre of the cage.
Rodriguez came out all guns blazing in the final period. She landed a handful of clean strikes on Bennett, which forced her opponent to look for a single leg takedown. That attempt was a failure, which lead to more strikes landing from Rodriguez. Bennett regrouped, though, and was able to get Rodriguez up against the mesh. From there she was able to execute a number of takedowns that got Rodriguez onto the mat. However, Rodriguez was never down long and Bennett wasn’t able to land any meaningful offense on the ground. In the final seconds of the fight, Rodriguez jumped on a guillotine, but Bennett was able to wriggle out just before the buzzer sounded.
The rugged, back and forth battle, went to the judges; who were left with a difficult decision to make. Ultimately all three judges agreed, scoring the bout 29-28 for Rodriguez. The win sets Rodriguez up for her first shot at Invicta gold.
For Bennett, who competed for an Invicta strawweight title in 2016, the result likely relegates her to gatekeeper status across a number of weight classes in the promotion.
The co-main event saw UFC veteran Viviane Pereira taking on Alesha Zappitella. The Brazilian, who was fighting in her second Invicta FC bout, bossed much of the contest against Zappitella (who only had five fights to her name prior to this one). In the first round Pereira had a counter ready for anything Zappitella threw at her. The second was much of the same, with Pereira bloodying Zappitella and flooring her with a right hand just before the bell. Pereira cruised through the third and secured a dominant unanimous decision victory. Pereira balled with emotion after the final bell, knowing an Invicta atomweight title shot was probably in her future.
Before the co-main, we had the quickest fight of the night. Submission specialist Kanako Murata introduced herself to the strawweight division with a quick tap out of Liana Pirosin. Prior to that there was a slugfest between bantamweights Katharina Lehner and Lisa Spangler that ended in a unanimous decision victory for Spangler.
Former Invicta matchmaker Kaitlin Young was also on the card. She showed her stand-up superiority on route to a third round TKO win over a game Faith McMah in the featherweight division. Also impressing with stand-up was bantamweight Chelsea Chandler. She engaged in a firefight with Brittany Victoria and got the win with a TKO in the second round.
Three decision victories started the night, with Kelly D’Angelo outlasting Jillian DeCoursey and Loma Lookboonmee out-striking Monique Azevedo in the atomweight division. Genia Goodin got the night started with a close win over Valerie Wong in her professional debut.
Check out the full results below, along with the finishes from Murata, Young, and Chandler:
Submission specialist @m_r_t_k_n_k just gave the least comfortable hug of all time.#InvictaFC35 pic.twitter.com/n6bHM37mhl— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) June 8, 2019
NEW UPDATE SHE'S STILL A WRECKING BALL#InvictaFC35 pic.twitter.com/EHsiupqOR3— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) June 8, 2019
A victorious return to the @InvictaFights cage for @kaitlin_young !!!#InvictaFC35 pic.twitter.com/UgtjQAbtjl— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) June 8, 2019
Flyweight: Karina Rodriguez def. DeAnna Bennett via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Atomweight: Viviane Pereira def. Alesha Zappitella via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).
Strawweight: Kanako Murata def. Liana Pirosin via submission (rear naked choke), round 1 (2:10).
Bantamweight: Lisa Spangler def. Katharina Lehner via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Featherweight: Kaitlin Young def. Faith McMah via TKO (punches), round 3 (3:52).
Bantamweight: Chelsea Chandler def Brittney Victoria via TKO (punches), round 1 (3:58).
Atomweight: Kelly D’Angelo def. Jillian DeCoursey via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Atomweight: Loma Lookboonmee def. Monique Adriane Azevedo via unanimous decision (30-27 30-27, 30-27).
Strawweight: Genia Goodin def. Valerie Wong via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).