Photo Credit: Dave Mandel / Invicta FC
The flyweight title was once again on the line between Mexico’s Karina Rodríguez and Brazilian challenger Daiana Torquato. Torquato opened the rematch with a heavy leg kick. Rodríguez responded with a jab-straight combination to slow Torquato’s advance. Rodríguez turned up her own forward march, willingly trading with Torquato inside the pocket. Rodríguez closed the distance and Torquato delivered a pair of knees. Rodríguez returned the favor as the fighters disengaged. Torquato earned an outside-trip takedown late in the round. The second round began with Rodríguez throwing long punches to control the range. Torquato continued her assault on the lead leg of the Mexican fighter. The Brazilian dragged Rodríguez to the ground, but she quickly bounced back to her feet. Torquato stuck with it and brought the fight to the canvas to close the frame. In round three, both fighters mixed up their attacks. Both threw with power and kept one another guessing with kicks. The lead leg of Rodríguez bruised from the low kicks of Torquato. The championship rounds opened with power shots from both fighters. Torquato connected with a right hand and the pair clinched. Rodríguez delivered a great elbow on the break and they again returned to range. Torquato’s low-kick attack did not relent, but nor did Rodríguez’s advance. A heavy body kick from Rodríguez was turned into a body lock by Torquato. She dragged the fight to the ground and managed to scramble to the top position. Rodríguez scored with an upkick to end the frame. The final round opened with a trade of knees in the clinch. Rodríguez landed another big elbow, but was answered with a heavy right hand by Torquato. Torquato was able to duck under and secure a body lock, but Rodríguez fought her way out of it. The Brazilian kept looking for a decisive takedown, but Rodríguez stayed on the feet and encouraged Torquato to brawl. The two, talented warriors went to the scorecards again, but this time the cards were even closer. One judge scored it for the challenger Torquato, but the other two overruled, allowing Rodríguez to retain her title.
The co-main event kicked off with fireworks as newcomer Denise Gomes took on UFC veteran Milana Dudieva. Dudieva fired a right hand down the pipe to back up the Brazilian. That was short-lived, however as Gomes starting powering forward. After trading shots in the clinch, Dudieva secured a takedown. Gomes attempted a leg lock, but absorbed heavy shots for her troubles. Dudieva took the back and dropped two-handed strikes. The Brazilian was resilient, escaping and taking Dudieva’s back late. Gomes was relentless with her pressure, staying in the pocket and swinging. An errant kick landed low on Dudieva and was followed shortly after by an eye poke. Once the action continued, Dudieva made Gomes pay for the fouls. She dropped the Brazilian with an overhand right and flurried hard for a finish. Gomes survived and returned to the feet, only to get dropped a second time. Dudieva attacked recklessly to close the frame, but she could not put Gomes away. Gomes went for broke in round three and her constant pressure finally paid off. She backed Dudieva to the fence and unloaded with heavy punches. A knee from Gomes sent Dudieva crashing to the mat and after a barrage of punches, the referee intervened to halt the contest and hand Gomes the surprising comeback win.
Liz Tracy earned her third win under the Invicta banner, besting former title challenger Danielle Taylor. Tracy probed with her front kick to gauge range. Taylor remained outside and looked for a way to get inside boxing range. Tracy flurried forward, but was countered by punches from Taylor. A level change from Tracy allowed her to trip Taylor to the canvas. She bullied her to the fence from the half guard. Taylor attacked from her back with little success. Short shots connected for Tracy and she was able to pass to mount. Once in the dominant position, Tracy unloaded with punches. Taylor was forced to give up her back to survive. Tracy worked hard for the finish, but could not secure it. Round two began with more probing from range, as both fighters tried to take control. Tracy frequently switched stances and tried to clinch. Taylor connected with a heavy shot as Tracy came forward, leading to a wild exchange. Another shot from Tracy was stuffed by Taylor, but Tracy used a head-and-arm throw to get the fight back to the mat. In the last round, Taylor continued to struggle in closing the distance. Tracy was able to sit outside and use her reach. Tracy returned to the clinch late in the fight and hung on Taylor against the cage. Taylor separated in the final minute, but was unable to land the fight-finishing shots. There were no doubts on the scorecards as Tracy claimed victory.
Oklahoma’s Kristina Williams and French Polynesia’s Flore Hani battled hard for three rounds in their flyweight match-up. Hani pressured early, but immediately found trouble in the length of Williams. The taller fighter kept Hani at range and delivered a barrage of strikes. Hani’s lead leg turned red to match her shorts from the low kicks of Williams. Hani tried to clinch, but found little success as Williams was able to land with elbows and separate. The combinations of Williams found their mark again and again. The face of Hani swelled from the onslaught. In the second round, Hani powered into a double-leg takedown along the fence. She moved Williams to the center of the cage and neutralized the offense of Williams. When the fight returned to the upright position, Hani scored with knees. With the fight tied heading to the third, the pair exchanged combinations. The volume of Williams continued to increase as the round progressed. Hani shot for a takedown, but Williams was able to sprawl. Hani secured the clinch late in the fight, landing more knees and making it difficult on the judges. The judges were split in their verdict, but it was Williams who was victorious in her Invicta debut.
An atomweight contest opened the night as Brazil’s Monique Adriane clashed with veteran Paulina Granados. A right hand from Adriane clipped Granados right after the opening bell. The fight quickly found the mat and the Brazilian looked for a choke. Granados remained calm, reversing position and moving to the top. Adriane worked back to the feet and separated. She connected with another heavy right hand, prompting Granados to shoot for a takedown. Adriane stuffed it and landed with an elbow on the break. There was more punishment on the feet from Adriane as she continued to open up. She finished the round with a late takedown. There was more urgency from Granados to open the second frame, as she pressured forward. Adriane was patient from range, scoring with combinations and low kicks. Granados looked to grapple late in the frame, but Adriane again showcased a great sprawl. The Brazilian attacked the lead leg of Granados to start the final stanza. She sprawled and moved to the back of Granados, but Granados was able to scramble to the top. Adriane again worked back to her feet and turned up her aggression. She battered Granados with punches to the body and the head, and looked to finish with a big knee. Granados survived to the final horn, but Adriane swept the scorecards to earn her first Invicta win.
OFFICIAL RESULTS Karina Rodríguez def. Daiana Torquato by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 49-46) – for flyweight title Denise Gomes def. Milana Dudieva by TKO (knee and punches). Round 3, 1:56 Liz Tracy def. Danielle Taylor by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) Kristina Williams def. Flore Hani by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) Monique Adriane def. Paulina Granados by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)