Invicta Fighting Championships visited ReelWorks Denver in Colorado for the first time on Wednesday night with a six-fight event that featured a bantamweight championship fight between Taneisha Tennant and Olga Rubin.
Taneisha Tennant vs. Olga Rubin
Tennant and Rubin opened with kicks. The challenger saw an opening on the champion and pressed forward, clinching with and getting her down (for a brief moment). Tennant returned to her feet, but Rubin stayed up against the cage until she separated. Once they return to the center, Tennant and Rubin exchanged. ‘Triple Threat’ got a nice right hand on ‘Big Bad’ as the first round ended.
Tennant was much more aggressive in the second round. She connected with those right hands, but was forced into the clinch again by Rubin. Knees were exchanged until Tennant reversed position. Near the end of the round, Tennant turned it up and let off some right hands and knees. It was much of the same in the third round, with Tennant staving off takedown attempts and closing out with a flurry of punches. The fourth round was interesting as Tennant threatened (and scored) a takedown against Rubin, who immediately went for a buggy choke. She held it until the round ended, but she may have burned out her legs. Rubin went for it in the fifth round, pushing Tennant up against the cage and securing a takedown. Tennant was forced to defend for nearly all of the allotted five minutes, but had the more damaging shots throughout. Very close fight. Tennant retained by split decision.
Talita Bernardo vs. Yana Gadelha
Short-notice opponent? No problem for Talita Bernardo, who submitted Yana Gadelha by second-round rear-naked choke in the co-headliner of the evening. The fight started off striking, but it was not long before Bernardo and Gadelha went to grappling. Bernardo changed levels, got a takedown and went for a kimura. Gadelha swept Bernardo and ended up in half-guard, where she unloaded some elbows. Gadelha then went for a kneebar, but Bernardo spun out before the first round ended. Bernardo got the fight to the ground again, taking the back and going to work on the rear-naked choke. It was on the jaw initially, but Bernardo adjusted and got it right under the chin. Gadelha tapped.
Liana Pirosin vs. Kristina Williams
Kristina Williams got her second win in Invicta FC with a first-round rear-naked choke of Liana Pirosin. ‘Warhorse’ controlled the distance early and kept ‘Li’ on the outside. Pirosin fought her way into range and connected with a right hand, but Williams responded with a flurry. Suddenly Williams dropped Pirosin with a combination! Pirosin turned and tried to get up, but Williams was already on her back with the rear-naked choke. Fun fact: That was the first submission win of Williams’ professional career.
Melissa Oddessa vs. Isis Verbeek
Melissa Oddessa vs. Isis Verbeek was a scrap! The exchanges were fast, with Oddessa moving forward with her left hand and Verbeek mixing in her punches and kicks. Oddessa and Verbeek clinched, and the former GLORY kickboxing veteran got off some knees before separating. The first round ended with the judges seeing it 2-1 for Oddessa. The second round began with Verbeek blasting ‘Bella Bestia’ with a flying knee! WOW! Oddessa recovered and continued to advance on Verbeek. Now Oddessa nearly finished Verbeek with a flurry of punches that stunned the ‘Fight Queen’ in the second round. Oddessa and Verbeek went all out in the third round and that was it. Verbeek was declared the winner by unanimous decision, her first win under the Invicta FC banner.
Amber Leibrock vs. Morgan Frier
Amber Leibrock finished Morgan Frier with a first-round rear-naked choke. Frier spent her time trying to get Leibrock to the ground, clinching with and pressuring her opponent up against the cage. But ‘Touch ‘Em Up’ reversed position and separated from ‘Mad Dog’ for a few seconds before she found herself defending a takedown attempt again. This time, it was Leibrock who got Frier to the ground, where she unloaded a few left hands until she switched to the back and secured the fight-ending submission.
Auttumn Norton vs. Maria Djukic
Auttumn Norton returned to Invicta FC and scored a second-round TKO of Maria Djukic. The ‘Natural’ found a home for her left hand early, stunning (and dropping) ’Sweet Maria’ on several occasions throughout the first round. The final left hand sent Djukic to the canvas and Norton followed her down with ground-and-pound until the referee waived off the fight at 1:02 of Round 2.
Auttumn Norton def. Maria Djukic via TKO (punches) at 1:02 of Round 2
Amber Leibrock def. Morgan Frier via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:09 of Round 1
Isis Verbeek def. Melissa Oddessa via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Kristina Williams def. Liana Pirosin via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:16 of Round 1
Talita Bernardo def. Yana Gadelha via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:39 of Round 2
Taneisha Tennant def. Olga Rubin via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 50-45)