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Invicta FC 41 Results and Video: Montserrat Ruiz demolishes Janaisa Morandin

A new strawweight title challenger revealed themselves at Invicta FC 41.

Invicta FC 41 is in the books and it was Montserrat ‘Conejo’ Ruiz who will get the most plaudits after this one. The Mexican product of Kings MMA took the fight to Janaisa Morandin in the headliner and submitted ‘Evil Princess’ with a creative, and very painful, submission inside of the first round.

The way the fight started, you would have thought we were in for an all-out war on the feet. Ruiz answered the opening bell with a rushing flurry of punches, which Morandin mostly blocked. The Brazilian happily returned fire and stung Ruiz. That didn’t deter Ruiz, though. She bombed forwards again and again. Eventually she was able to catch Morandin with the majority of her punching barrage. When she did, Morandin was stunned. Ruiz then snapped her up by the head and slung her to the ground.

On the mat, Ruiz locked in a position somewhat similar to a mounted crucifix. From there she landed ground and pound and used her legs to crank Morandin’s right arm. While eating punches, Morandin’s elbow and shoulder were being rolled in painful directions; that elicited a tap and a sub-four minute win for Ruiz.

The win takes Ruiz’s record to 9-1 and sees her rebound from the first loss of her professional career (to Danielle Taylor via unanimous decision at Invicta FC 33). The Invicta FC strawweight title is vacant after Kanako Murata signed with the UFC. There’s a good chance Ruiz will get a shot to lift it sometime soon.

For Morandin, this is her third loss in a row. She was beaten by Emily Ducote (TKO) and Virna Jandiroba (submission) ahead of this one.

To make matters worse for Morandin, she came into this one over the strawweight limit. Weight cut issues have plagued the 25-year-old throughout her Invicta career. With these losses, and her inability to consistently make 115 lbs, expect Morandin to now compete in Invicta’s flyweight division (if at all).

The co-main event saw Erin Blanchfield pitch a shutout against Brogan Sanchez, a late replacement for Stephanie Geltmacher. Sanchez showed Blanchfield early on that she was a much different opponent from the wrestling-heavy Geltmacher, snapping her head back with a stiff jab. Sanchez followed that up with a series of quick leg kicks. But Blanchfield weathered those and came forwards with a big right hand that dropped her opponent.

Sanchez was able to gather herself and get back on her feet. Both women then found some success with striking, catching each other with punches. Blanchfield then showed off her grappling calibre, dragging Sanchez down to the mat with ease. On the ground, she got half guard and dropped a few heavy elbows.

Round two was as much of a brawl as the first, with both women not afraid to eat a punch in order to land one of their own. It was looking pretty even on the feet, which is what probably motivated Blanchfield to get the action to the ground. Sanchez really had no answer for Blanchfield’s top game, especially after Blanchfield secured full mount. From there Blanchfield rained down punches and elbows.

In the third Blanchfield got the takedown right away. Then she was able to stay in side control for much of the final round. There she threw more ground and pound and flirted with a possible keylock or kimura. With ten seconds left Blanchfield went ham with punches, trying to get the stoppage. The referee should have probably called it there, but instead he let time run out, allowing Sanchez to eat a dozen more punches than were necessary.

Blanchfield got the unanimous decision victory, improved her record to 7-1 and succeeded in putting the flyweight division on notice.

Before that fight Invicta’s former matchmaker Kaitlin Young took on Latoya Walker in featherweight action. And it was Young, aka the Striking Viking, who impressed the most—earning a unanimous decision victory thanks to a patient, and brutal, dissection of Walker.

This was a boxing (Walker) vs. Muay Thai (Young) match-up and Muay Thai won. Early on in the fight Young zeroed in on Walker’s lead leg with hard kicks. After about five or six, Walker was visibly troubled. When Young saw Walker was feeling the pain, she piled more of it on her.

For the remainder of that round, and the two that followed, Young teed off on Walker’s legs, forcing her opponent to switch stances and completely adjust her style. In pain, slowed and uncomfortable, Walker became an easy target and Young—who was then able to land her leg kicks at will. After that Young tried mixing it up with body kicks and punches. In punching range, and the clinch, she opened herself up to Walker’s offense. Walker, who showed tremendous toughness, was able to find a home for some punches and knees, but it wasn’t enough. The fight ended with 10s across the board for Young.

The second fight of the night was an energetic affair between Claire Guthrie and Caitlin Sammons. Most of this fight was contested on the feet, but in the end it was the ground game of Sammons that proved pivotal. Guthrie had the better of Sammons while standing in the first, but in the second ‘Ginger’ pegged her back.

The fighters were tied heading into the third. With both Guthrie and Sammons knowing this (thanks to open scoring), they engaged in a battle over clinch supremacy. It was Sammons who won that battle, getting a takedown against the fence. On the ground Guthrie threatened with a triangle and a leglock, but Sammons was able to stuff them and lock down a dominant position. She rotated from back control and full mount and scored with a bunch of ground and pound to secure a split decision.

To start the card, there was a match-up of prospects pitting Jackson-Winkeljohn’s Natalya Speece versus Glory MMA’s Alexa Culp (who was making her pro debut). From the get-go Culp showed she had more grappling savvy than her opponent. In the first she took Speece’s back and hung out there the entire round, looking for a choke. In the second, after a short striking exchange, Culp controlled the clinch (while taking a few knees from Speece) before getting another takedown. On the ground Culp avoided a triangle attempt before moving to side control. From there she pulled off a nifty back take and after a minute or two was able to work her way to a fight ending rear naked choke.

You can see the full results below, along with the finishes for both Ruiz and Culp:

Strawweight: Montserrat Ruiz def. Janaisa Morandin via submission (keylock), round 1 (3:28).

Flyweight: Erin Blanchfield def. Brogan Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26).

Featherweight: Kaitlin Young def. Latoya Walker via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27).

Flyweight: Caitlin Sammons def. Claire Guthrie via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).

Flyweight: Alexa Culp def. Natalya Speece via submission (rear naked choke), round 2 (3:59).

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