Invicta FC 23 delivered an entertaining card of evenly-matched fights last night, despite a surprising lack of finishes. At the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, MO just one fight failed to reach the distance. However, the card wasn’t filled with blow-outs; the judges were split on three of the seven decisions they handed out.
In the main event, Agnieszka Niedzwiedz passed the stiffest test of her young MMA career, but it wasn’t easy. The 22-year-old looked great in the first round of her fight with former Invicta flyweight title challenger Vanessa Porto, in which she threatened with lightning quick takedowns and smothering submission attempts. In the second round Porto began to assert herself, troubling Niedzwiedz with thudding leg kicks and improved takedown defense. Though, Porto did put herself in trouble by diving into a tight triangle choke towards the end of the round. In the third it was all Porto. The Brazilian stalked Niedzwiedz around the cage landing more leg kicks and stuffing all but one desperate takedown attempt. In the final minute Porto busted Niedzwiedz’s nose, but it wasn’t enough to convince any of the judges that she won the fight.
Niedzwiedz seemed a little surprised to receive the unanimous decision victory. Regardless how close this fight was, the youngster’s new 10-0 record will likely carry her to another match-up with one of Invicta’s best… unless the UFC – with an eye on its new 125lb division – comes calling.
In the co-main event it was obvious to all that the evolution of Roxanne Modafferi shows no signs of stopping. The veteran of over 30 pro fights lifted her record to 21-13 with a bloody finish over fellow vet Sarah D’Alelio. In a thrilling back and forth affair, both women were dropped in the opening round. After being stunned by D’Alelio early, Modafferi then began beating her opponent to the punch. She was also able to threaten D’Alelio on the ground with frenetic grappling and submission attempts (including a deep series of deep arm bars). Heading into the third round, Modafferi was likely winning on the judges’ scorecards. Despite this, the Happy Warrior came out aggressively – chasing D’Alelio down with a flurry of punches. The strikes looked to daze D’Alelio, who was then dragged to the ground. On the canvas Modafferi secured full mount and began wailing on D’Alelio. During her assault, Modafferi landed a crushing elbow to D’Alelio’s forehead. Blood spurted across the mat; seconds later, the referee had seen enough.
The win, which is Modafferi’s sixth in her last eight fights, might be one of the most impressive of her 15-year MMA career. Prior to this match she lost a close decision to current Invicta flyweight champ Jennifer Maia. Thanks to this performance, it might not be long before Modafferi gets a second crack at Invicta gold. Of course, she too could be recruited by the UFC for their newest weight class.
Elsewhere on the card, Muay Thai star Tiffany van Soest got her first pro-MMA win after an exciting tilt with Christine Ferea. Also, the possibly UFC-bound Andrea Lee took a split decision over a game Liz Tracy. See the full results below, along with Modafferi’s finish over D’Alelio.
WHAT. A. FIGHT! A big elbow stops this one in the 3rd! @Roxyfighter came to fight tonight! Main Event starts in minutes! #InvictaFC23 pic.twitter.com/daIm3ud2Ci
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) May 21, 2017
Flyweight: Agnieszka Niedźwiedź def. Vanessa Porto via unanimous decision (29-28. 29-28. 29-28).
Flyweight: Roxanne Modafferi def. Sarah D’Alelio via TKO (elbows), Round 3 (1:37).
Atomweight: Herica Tiburcio def. Tessa Simpson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Catchweight: Kelly Faszholz def. Elizabeth Phillips by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Flyweight: Andrea Lee def. Liz Tracy by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28).
Featherweight: Ediane Gomes def. Pam Sorenson by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Strawweight: Tiffany van Soest def. Christine Ferea by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Bantamweight: Shaianna Rincon def. Brooksie Bayard by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
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