Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Injury and comedy of errors kills Invicta Lightweight Championship fight

Invicta got very bad news last week when they learned that Carla Esparza suffered a knee injury and was forced to drop out of her Lightweight Championship match against JEWELS Lightweight Champion Ayaka Hamasaki. Injuries happen all the time but the way this was handled afterwards shows cluelessness on several levels. For one thing, I have said for the last year that Invicta announces the complete cards way too far in advance. It results in too many changes that usually weaken the card. It's OK to announce the main matches early but the prelims don't need to be announced until later. It would give them flexibility in case something happens to one of the main matches. The number one person to blame for this particular problem is Carla Esparza because she admitted that she injured her knee several weeks ago and chose to work through the injury and ignore it. That's just not the smart thing to do. As it turns out, she won't need surgery but she has to drop out of this match. Invicta decided to plug Claudia Gadelha in to face Ayaka but it's not for a title. Claudia was supposed to face Joanne Calderwood. I guess they forgot to tell Claudia not to say anything because she spilled the beans on Twitter. The problem with that is Ayaka hadn't accepted the match yet. So they were forced to announce the change before it was official. I don't blame Ayaka for balking. If a fighter gets a title shot and then it's taken away for any reason, the promotion should be prepared to fork over some cash to sweeten the pot. Think about it. Ayaka's match is now a waste of time and she should be pissed off. When is Deep Jewels going to let her come over again? And because Invicta stupidly announces the entire card way in advance, everyone knows that Joanne Calderwood needs a new opponent. It's unnecessary negative attention that could be avoided. Apparently Invicta had trouble finding an opponent for Joanne. Supposedly they asked Bellator for Felice Herrig and not surprisingly, Bellator said no. Of course fans blame Bellator but Invicta should have never asked them. They should know better. There's no upside for Bellator to allow Felice to fight in Invicta. So finally yesterday Invicta announced that Sarah Schneider will face Joanne Calderwood. She's a local fighter from Missouri and this has happened with her before. Back in 2010, Megumi Fujii was supposed to face Angela Magana on a June Bellator show. When Angela dropped out, Bellator couldn't find anyone until Sarah signed on. I guess that shows toughness or foolishness. It depends on your point of view. Maybe that's why Sarah's record is 6-6.

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