'Cyborg' ran roughshod over Australia's Fiona Muxlow in her Invicta
FC debut. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The promotional debut of Cristiane
“Cyborg” Justino might have earned
Invicta FC 5 some eyeballs, but Michelle
Waterson's atomweight title capture likely earned it MMA hearts
Cyborg did the expected Saturday at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in
Kansas City, Mo., positively shellacking late replacement Fiona
Muxlow in less than four minutes. Waterson, however, authored
an inspirational upset in wresting the Invicta FC 105-pound title
Penne in one of 2013's best bouts so far.
Muxlow, who replaced the injured Ediane
Gomes three weeks ago, was outmatched from the outset. Cyborg
immediately dropped her with a right cross, and the rout was on.
Heavy hooks and uppercuts raked Muxlow, who ended up on her back
eating copious amounts of punishment. To her credit, the
35-year-old Australian absorbed an incredible beating but continued
to move and try to defend herself. However, after finally making it
back to her feet, a final flurry of clinch knees and hooks along
the fence forced referee John McCarthy into action at 3:46 of the
The victory was Cyborg's first action in nearly 16 months. The
27-year-old knockout artist had not competed since running over
Yamanaka in 16 seconds in the Strikeforce cage. The win was
ruled a no contest by the California State Athletic Commission when
Justino tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol.
With the win, Cyborg improves to 11-1 with one no contest, while
Muxlow falls to 6-3. Cyborg is anticipated to return at Invicta FC
6 on a yet-to-be-named-date in July, when she will meet Dutch
Coenen for the promotion's inaugural featherweight title.
Cyborg successfully defended her Strikeforce 145-pound title
against Coenen in January 2010, punching her out in the third
Waterson, a +400 underdog on some sportsbooks, showed a full
complement of MMA skills in her championship win. The Greg Jackson
and Mike Winkeljohn pupil immediately established she is no longer
simply a striker, threatening Penne from the bottom with armbars
and triangles. In the second round, she took Penne to the mat and
mounted her. However, the back-and-forth grappling battle came to a
head in the third.
Waterson's emotional sub was one of
the year's best so far.
Penne sprang to life in round three, taking down “The Karate
Hottie” and knuckling her. The Orange County, Calif., native took
full mount, punished Waterson and locked on a tight armbar. Just
when it looked like order had taken over, Waterson gritted her
teeth, let her elbow pop and escaped to fight another round.
Penne tried to build on that momentum in the fourth, but her
takedown attempt was stuffed. Waterson took her back and
transitioned to an over-the-top armbar to take the title in
dramatic fashion at 2:31 of round four.
Waterson moves to 11-3 with the biggest win of her career, while
Penne loses for just the second time in her 12-bout career.
Missouri native Barb
Honchak was steady and methodical in capturing the vacant
Invicta FC flyweight championship against slick-grappling veteran
Porto with scores of 50-45, 49-46 and 48-47.
The 33-year-old Honchak, who has worked in recent months with
Miletich in Bettendorf, Iowa, landed clean counters and
combinations over the 25 minutes, keying on Porto's kick-heavy
offense. As the bout progressed, the “Little Warrior” opened up
with her own leg kicks, further tiring Porto and stifling the
Brazilian's offense. In a fight with several nip-tuck rounds, it
was Honchak's punch volume that made the difference in capturing
the title, moving her to 8-2 as a pro.
Controversy reigned as former Strikeforce 135-pound champion
Kaufman took an unpopular split decision over Team Cesar Gracie
Smith over three rounds.
The first and third rounds of the affair offered tight, technical
striking from both women, each landing clean combination punches.
Kaufman, now 16-2, walked through Smith's long, straight punches to
tag her target with left hooks and right crosses. Meanwhile, Smith
put her own spin on the standup with a high volume of kicks.
The second stanza offered the most intense moments of action,
however, as Smith finally broke through with her bevy of head
kicks, landing a roundhouse upstairs that put Kaufman on the deck.
After 15 minutes, judges Ross Swanberg and Henry Gueary returned
29-28 scorecards for the Canadian to give Kaufman the split
decision. Dissenting judge Brett Miller saw the contest 29-28 for
Pleasant Hill, Calif.'s Smith.
Brazilian flyweight prospect Jennifer
Maia earned a breakout win with a unanimous verdict (30-27,
29-28, 29-28) over former Bellator 115-pound champion Zoila
Frausto Gurgel. In what was largely a tit-for-tat kickboxing
contest, the 24-year-old Chute Boxe fighter's ability to control
the clinch and her willingness to throw earned her favor with the
judges, as Gurgel was sparse with her punches and kicks in a
Honchak countered Porto to the title.
The night's finest single highlight belonged to the colorful
Namajunas, who pulled off a sensational Rumina Sato
impersonation against Kathina
Namajunas, the girlfriend of heavyweight slugger Pat Barry,
rocked Catron immediately with punches before clinching and pulling
off a picture-perfect flying armbar. The tap came in just 12
seconds, moving her to 2-0 as a pro after a 4-0 amateur career and
earning her a standing ovation from the crowd.
Striking specialists Julia Budd
Young had differing results in attempts to showcase their
grappling. Budd excelled in her featherweight outing against
Estes, using her developing grappling to wear out the Oceala,
Mo., native. Budd pummeled Estes from side control, full mount and
back mount in the opening 10 minutes before securing a no-hooks
rear-naked choke at 1:04 of the third round.
Meanwhile, Young started fast against Lauren
Taylor, taking her back in the opening round and threatening
first with a rear-naked choke and then a triangle in transition.
However, Taylor weathered the storm and wrestled Young to the mat
repeatedly in the final two rounds, even claiming back mount for
herself en route to three 29-28 scores.
Outspoken Australian 115-pounder Bec Hyatt
backed up her mouth against Austrian striker Jasminka
Cive, taking her to the ground and punishing her. The “Rowdy”
one smashed Cive from full mount for an extended period before
snatching up the fight-ending armbar at 3:30 of the first round,
handing Cive the first loss of her career.
Kaufman's clean punching got her the
split against Smith.
A questionable finish marred an impressive performance from
Californian bantamweight Miriam
Nakamoto. Midway through the first round, Nakamoto landed a
knee that crushed foe Jessamyn
Duke to her knees, prompting referee McCarthy into action. “The
Queen of Mean” sealed the deal with another brutal knee strike, but
it appeared to contact Duke while she was downed. Nonetheless,
McCarthy deemed that he was already in the process of stopping the
fight, giving Nakamoto the win at 2:20.
Kankaanpaa slowed late but was able to use her superior
wrestling and top position skills to earn a unanimous decision
(30-27, 30-27, 29-28) over Brazilian striker Juliana
Carneiro Lima at 115 pounds.
At 105 pounds, London's Simona
Soukupova took out Cassie
Rodish with clever use of her guillotine choke. The KO Gym rep
repeatedly threatened with standing guillotines on Rodish until
finally locking up the fight-ending submission at 3:20 of the
second round. Elsewhere, Austalian atomweight Alex
Chambers started the evening in style, taking out Jodie
Esquibel in just 95 seconds via rear-naked choke.