Friday, July 10, 2015

Ayaka Hamasaki is the first Japanese Invicta champion

Ayaka Hamasaki, Megumi Fujii and Ayaka's new baby
It's International Fight Week in Las Vegas and it was a good idea for Invicta to tie in a show with that. The crowd was much better than usual. Unfortunately for their next show in September, they are returning to Kansas City where many fans will be disguised as empty seats. I watched last night's show on UFC Fight Pass on my TV using Roku. The show was fine. The worst thing about the show was two of the worst refs in MMA were assigned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Steve Mazzagatti and Kim Winslow. The third ref Mark Smith is OK. The problem with Mazzagatti is he's not observant and he regularly misses obvious calls. Winslow exhibits poor judgement and it's almost like she's not familiar with the fighters. Refs should know fighter habits. There were three title matches. Cris Cyborg successfully defended her Invicta Welterweight Championship over Faith Van Duin from New Zealand. As expected, it was over in less than a minute. For her next fight, Cyborg is supposed to drop to 135 which will set up a UFC fight vs Ronda Rousey. I hope she does drop to 135 which should have happened over two years ago. I'm not sure that she will. There's too much screwing around for me. Veteran fighter Tonya Evinger won the vacant Invicta Bantamweight Championship with a win over highly touted Mexican prospect Irene Aldana. Tonya dominated until the fight was stopped at the end of round four for strikes. Some thought this was an upset. But I thought Irene was overhyped. Her previous Invicta wins were over mediocre competition. Tonya was a big step up for her and she didn't measure up. I'll talk about Tonya's possible next challenger in a moment. The third title match had Japanese fighter Ayaka Hamasaki win over Brazilian Herica Tiburcio by split decision to win the Invicta Atomweight Championship. This is when the debate about how fights are scored comes up. If you score the whole fight, Ayaka won easily. But fights are scored by the round. Ayaka had to be very careful with Herica because Herica has the ability to steal rounds which she did at least once and she almost stole the fight. And ref Kim Winslow was no help when she stood them up a couple of times unnecessarily. And who knows what the judges are thinking? The fight was scored closer than it was. The video for this fight isn't up yet. I will post it in the next day or so. On the rest of the card, Danish fighter Pannie Kianzad won by unanimous decision over Aussie Jessy Jess Clark. Pannie won easily but she ran out of gas at the end. She's a very polished fighter for 23 years old. I've liked her for a couple of years. She would be an excellent challenger for Tonya Evinger. And of course I'd love to see Pannie in the UFC. Amber Brown won over Irish fighter Catherine Costigan by a first round rear naked choke. They brought Catherine over because there were plenty of Irish fans in town to see Conor McGregor. I thought Amber would be very stiff competition for her. Amber won easily. Jamie Moyle won by split decision over Amy Montenegro. I thought Jamie ran out of gas but she did enough in the first two rounds to win. And in the opener, Amber Leibrock won her debut over Marina Shafir by first round TKO. Amber knocked Marina down and then seemed to grab the fence for more leverage to land punches and the fight was stopped. Mazzagatti missed the fence grabbing. It's not the first time this kind of thing has occurred with him and it won't be the last. Invicta's next show will be in Kansas City in September. I will analyze the complete show when it is announced. I'm going to sleep now. It was a late night.

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