Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ayaka Hamasaki successfully defends her Invicta Atomweight Championship

Last night's Invicta show was one of their better efforts. A couple of fights on the show actually overdelivered. The big problem is that anyone watching on TV could see that the Tropicana in Las Vegas was half empty. I think the solution to this problem is to stop running standalone shows even in Vegas. If they had run this show last week on the Friday before UFC 196, the place would have sold out. It ain't rocket science, folks. In the main event, Ayaka Hamasaki successfully defended her Invicta Atomweight Championship with a third round armbar. The most interesting thing about this is that Ayaka's coach Megumi Fujii wasn't in her corner. She is cornering a couple of fighters at the Road FC show in Korea. AACC owner Hiroyuki Abe was cornering Ayaka. It didn't make any difference because Ayaka stuck to her gameplan and worked on the ground until she got the finish. Amber countered with a triangle in round one. But Ayaka remained calm and stuck to her guns. Plenty of fighters would have panicked and thrown the baby out with the bath water. Ayaka didn't do that and that's why she won. Afterwards she said she wants to move back up to 115 and go to the UFC. I don't think Invicta is quite ready to let her go. But if she wants to do that, it's OK with me. In the semi main, Jennifer Maia won the Invicta Interim Flyweight Championship by unanimous decision over Vanessa Porto. Vanessa's failure to finish Jennifer in the early rounds came back to bite her as Jennifer won the last three rounds. It was a missed opportunity for Vanessa. The fight was affected by questionable reffing by Mark Smith. Invicta has changed their minds half a dozen times about what to do about the Flyweight belt. An interim belt is never a good answer. They could have already started a tournament for a new champ. At age 38, will Barb Honchak even return? Supposedly they are going to run a Flyweight prospects tournament in May. Don't be surprised if it changes again. Indecision seems to follow Invicta around. The other two main card matches were not as interesting. Alexa Grasso dropped out due to injury and Angela Hill stepped up and finished Stephanie Eggink with a first round KO. This was another Kim Winslow late stoppage. This was Stephanie's first fight back after pregnancy and one never knows what fighters will be like after that. I didn't see anything from Angela to make me change my tune about her. She's a kickboxer and she belongs in Lion Fights. Now she has won two fights in Invicta against questionable competition and some want her to get a title shot. Did y'all forget about Mizuki? Then we had the other Mexican Irene Aldana win over Jessamyn Duke by first round TKO. Jessamyn is still under UFC contract. I thought she was overrated before she was in the UFC. She was terrible in this fight against someone who isn't all that good either. And I heard a few months ago the WWE is interested in her. Who knows if she would be any good at that. But she's not very good at MMA. In the prelims, Roxanne Modafferi won by split decision over DeAnna Bennett who is returning to Flyweight after a failed Atomweight title match. Roxy has improved since training at Syndicate. She's making progress. The fight was close but I thought Roxy won. But DeAnna has been gifted wins by judges before so I was concerned about that. I'm glad she didn't get that this time. She didn't do enough to win. Jinh Yu Frey won by unanimous decision over former Invicta Atomweight champ Herica Tiburcio. I never thought Herica was as good as she seemed when she beat Michelle Waterson for the title. Jinh was much quicker than Herica and that's why she won. Maybe Herica is a case of too much too soon. Sarah D'Alelio won by third round rear naked choke over Andrea Lee. This was pretty good and it just shows that you can't count Sarah out because she can come back and got an upset. Aspen Ladd came in on short notice and won over Kelly McGill by first round TKO. Aspen needs to be in the UFC. Paging Sean Shelby. And the opener had Ashley Greenway win by unanimous decision over Sarah Click. I thought Sarah won the first two rounds and the judges blew it. Invicta's next show will be May 7 at Costa Mesa, CA.

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