Invicta FC returns on Friday, April 5th in Kansas City, Missouri with a card that features a stack of interesting match-ups, both in terms of divisional relevance, and prospect development. Headlining the event is an Atomweight title bout pitting champion Jessica Penne against #3 ranked Michelle Waterson. This Browser Crasher will focus on some of the women competing on that card.
Jessica Penne – #1 Atomweight, current Invicta Champion
10-1 (2 KO/TKO, 6 Subs, 2 Decisions)
Solid rangy striking, good jab, very good in the Thai clinch, with nice trips and sweeps. Her grappling is very creative and threatening from any position, highlighted by her insane leg dexterity. Like Waterson, Budd, Honchak, Smith and so many other fighters on this card, she’s stepping her game up with each performance… which must be scary for her opponents since she’s already excellent. She’s probably the most complete WMMA fighter out there.
Penne going for a crucifix on Lisa Ellis ———- Showing her clinch game against Sugiyama
Leglock attempt | Reverses position | Clinch knee that smashed Ellis’ nose | Ellis finishing sequence | Sugiyama triangle transition | Sugiyama finished
Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson – #3 Atomweight
10-3 (2 KO/TKO, 6 subs, 2 decisions)
Flashy Karate/Muay Thai hybrid style of striking, with a nice submission game. Push kicks to the face, wheel kicks, axe kicks… they’re all usually on display, but the flash is not limited to striking, as her flying armbar victory demonstrates.
Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak – #4 Flyweight
7-2 (1 TKO, 2 subs, 4 decisions)
Uses good striking to set up her dirty boxing clinch game and take downs. Her strongest suit is her ground game, as she’s nearly impossible to to shake off once she has a good position on you – strong top control, great positional dominance, and constantly looking to advance position and finish the fight. Good scrambler, and active off her back. She started training at Miletich Fighting Systems last year, and her already-solid game has visibly improved. If you want to see an amazing, gutsy performance, check out her fight against Cat Zingano from 2010.
Vanessa Porto – #6 Flyweight
15-5 (3 KO/TKO, 10 submissions, 2 decisions)
Porto is a true veteran, having fought the likes of LaRosa, Damm, Akano, Modafferi, and even Cyborg. She comes from an amateur boxing background, and has a powerful right hand and snapping leg kicks. She’s a proven finisher on the ground, racking up 10 submission wins in 15 fights. Her lone submission loss came at the hands of Sarah D’Alelio’s wicked reverse triangle at Invicta FC 2. Porto spent the majority of her career fighting at 135 and above, but dropped down to 125 for her last fight, an absolute shellacking of tough vet Tara LaRosa, and continues to test herself at Flyweight against Barb Honchak.
“Rowdy” Bec Hyatt
4-2 (1 KO/TKO, 2 subs, 1 decision)
A scrappy combination puncher with quick hands, any second that the fight is on the feet is dangerous for Hyatt’s opponents. It’s really hard to gauge her wrestling at this point. She went from fighting girls with little-to-no wrestling chops in Australia, to fighting one of the best wrestlers in her division in Esparza. That’s really immaterial to this fight because her opponent Jasminka Cive (5-0) appears to be very much the brawler, so expect a firefight, or Hyatt to impose her own ground game. Cive may be 5-0, but all but one of her past opponents have only ever fought Cive, and the other is 0-4. To Cive’s credit, she has finished each of them. Hyatt’s resume isn’t that much better, but her last fight, a hard-fought decision loss to Carla Esparza for the Invicta Strawweight Championship, spoke volumes about her potential. She was in the fight from bell to bell, and didn’t fade during the 5 grueling rounds.
Hyatt attacking Esparza ———————— Slugging it out with Rhiannon Thompson
Armbar attempt on Esparza | Trip takedown on Sarah Morrison | Armbar attempt on Morrison | Daniela Marjanovic knockdown | Choking Marjanovic unconscious | Assaulting Christina Tatnell | TKO’ing Tatnell
Rose “Thug” Namajunas
1-0 (1 sub)
Her striking is still a bit of a mystery at this point, but she appears to have good movement and timing. Her submission game seems pretty damn crafty though, using her long limbs to tie her opponents up into uncomfortable positions. High hopes. She faces Kathina Catron (2-1). I don’t know much about her yet.
“Sassy” Cassie Rodish – #6 Atomweight
4-3 (2 KO/TKO, 2 subs)
After dropping her first 3 pro fights, Rodish regrouped and has been on a tear ever since, finishing her next four opponents. I can’t say that Rodish has faced much in the way of stern competition at this point, but you can tell from her performances that she’s the real deal. She’s a solid combination striker with an exceptionally strong (and brutal) clinch game. On the ground she’s an effective GNP’er that will hit you anywhere that you’re open. How she’ll fare against the more submission savvy Atomweights remains to be seen. Her opponent, Simona Soukupova (3-2-1) is similar to Rodish in that her record doesn’t really reflect her actual level of skill. They’re both aggressive ‘come forward’ types, which should make for an entertaining fight.
Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke
2-0 (1 TKO, 1 sub)
Super aggressive in all areas, but really excels in the clinch game, using her massive height and length to punish her opponents. Her defensive wrestling isn’t great at this point, but she’s very comfortable and active off her back, throwing up subs and getting sweeps. From mount or back mount, she is deadly. Her fight against Muay Thai standout-turned-MMA-newbie Miriam Nakamoto will probably tell us more about Nakamoto than Duke. Whereas Duke has an extensive amateur background to glean information from, Nakamoto’s pedigree is purely striking. On paper Duke has a huge advantage on the ground. On the feet, Nakamoto is not one to tangle with. I am excite.
Katja “Killer Bunny” Kankaanpaa
7-0-1 (1 TKO, 2 subs, 4 decisions)
Grinder. Great takedowns from the clinch, sneaky chokes. Good GNP from half guard/side control, and good positional control, but she often gives it up going for submissions or attempting to advance. Standup is fairly basic (1-2, rear round kick) but effective enough to not get killed. If her opponent is dangerous on the ground, she’s comfortable keeping the fight on the feet. She holds wins over some established (if not exceptional) names like Daly, Benitez and Yamaguchi, but once she started facing experienced fighters, she stopped getting the finishes that marked the first half of her career. She faces Juliana Carneiro Lima (5-0) at Invicta 5 in a fight that will almost surely go the distance.
Takedowns on Aisling Daly —————– Grappling with Daly
other bouts on the card –
Cristiane Santos vs. Fiona Muxlow
Sarah Kaufman vs. Leslie Smith
Zoila Gurgel vs Jennifer Maia
Kaitlin Young vs. Lauren Taylor
Julia Budd vs. Mollie Estes
Alex Chambers vs. Jodie Esquibel
You can order the Invicta FC 5 online PPV stream at InvictaFC.com for $9.95
All rankings courtesy of MMARising.