Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lackluster Invicta show plays out in front of empty seats

The biggest problem with last night's Invicta show is we could see that the hall was empty on TV. It became a topic of discussion on Twitter instead of the fights. I am told that KC is a poor MMA market and I know that Invicta owner Shannon Knapp is from KC. It's still a poor reason to go there if you can't draw. The solution is to piggyback on UFC shows like they did in Los Angeles in February and as they will in Las Vegas in July. At least they can fill the joint. They couldn't even give tickets away in KC. They had the same problem in Dallas so it's not just the location. As they did in Dallas, Invicta gave an unknown Brazilian fighter a main event title shot. That's a tough sell no matter where you go. As it turns out, Livia Souza is a pretty good fighter and and she won the Invicta Strawweight Championship from Katja Kankaanpaa. But if you're a promoter, fans shouldn't have to accept that a fighter deserves a title shot out of nowhere just because the promoter says she's good. That's a leap of faith most fans won't accept and it's poor marketing as opposed to poor matchmaking. Katja knew that Livia was dangerous on the ground and for the most part, she was able to neutralize her for the first three rounds. I just think she should have tried to keep the fight standing and she could have won a decision because typically, Katja doesn't have the punching power to KO anyone. But the way the fight was going, I thought it was inevitable that Katja would make a mistake and that's what happened. Livia won with a fourth round triangle choke. The rest of the main card was weak considering the main event had an unknown fighter in it. The co-main had Vanessa Porto win by unanimous decision over Roxanne Modafferi. The fight went about as I expected. Vanessa did just enough to win but she was never close to a finish. She did miss weight though. I didn't think this fight should have been that high up on the card and the fight itself didn't convince me otherwise. Faith Van Duin beat Amanda Bell by what Shayna Baszler called a Schoolboy Choke at the beginning of round two. It was a cross between a Bulldog and a Rear Naked choke and it was funny to hear commentators TJ DeSantis and Julie Kedzie struggle over what to call it. Both fighters were making promotional debuts so maybe this should have been on the prelims. Amanda's claim to fame was her KO win over Ronda Rousey's BFF Marina Shafir. But I had seen Amanda before and she tends to be overly aggressive and reckless and it cost her this fight as it has cost her before. She needs to learn controlled aggression. Raquel Pa'aluhi beat Ediane Gomes by unanimous decision. This fight was at 135lb. Raquel is better than her 4-4 record. My observation of her is she should be more selective about who she fights as sometimes she has been clearly overmatched. Gomes is in an odd position because she would get killed by top 145lb fighters but she doesn't have the quickness to fight at 135. And that was the big difference in this fight. Raquel was much quicker than Gomes in the first two rounds. And when Raquel slowed down in the third round, Gomes couldn't get the finish she needed. In the first match on the main card, Latoya Walker beat Peggy Morgan by unanimous decision. Latoya is a boxer so we know what she wants to do and Peggy did nothing for three rounds. Look, I understand why Peggy is on the main card. She was on TUF 18. But I thought she was terrible on the show and she has done nothing in Invicta. The one fight she won was wretched. Both fighters stunk out the joint. What will it take to send her back to Palookaville? In the prelims, Lacey Schuckman returned to Invicta and beat Jenny Liou by first round TKO. That's what I expected. Lacey tends to have problems with better competition. In what was probably the best fight on the show, Sharon Jacobson beat Delaney Owen by unanimous decision. UFC fighter Raquel Pennington was in Sharon's corner. It was competitive but I thought Sharon was more aggressive and Delaney just seemed to react to that. And that's a good way to lose a decision. Shannon Sinn beat Maureen Riordon by unanimous decision. Apparently these two used to train together so this was kind of a grudge match. I didn't like either of them and for someone who is a Glory kickboxer, Maureen didn't show much striking skill. Both are over 30 so I don't see much of a future for either of them. And in the opener, Sijara Eubanks beat late replacement Gina Begley by first round TKO. I thought this would be Invicta's weakest show to date and the main card was particularly lackluster. Other than the main event upset, there was nothing surprising on this show. It went like I thought it would.

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