Cristiane Cyborg stopped Marloes Coenen in the fourth round. |
Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
As she was in their initial meeting, Marloes
Coenen was plenty game against Cristiane
Justino on Saturday, but just like their Strikeforce bout in
2010, “Cyborg” was simply too powerful for the valiant Dutchwoman
in the end.
Justino (12-1, 1 NC, 2-0 Invicta) stopped Coenen (21-6, 1-1
Invicta) with strikes 4:02 into the fourth round of the
Invicta Fighting Championships 6 headliner at the Ameristar
Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Mo., to become the promotion’s
inaugural featherweight champion. In defeat, Coenen became the
first opponent to drag the Brazilian into the championship frames.
“Rumina” was stopped at the 3:40 mark of round three in their first
encounter at Strikeforce “Miami.”
Relying on a more measured pace than usual, Cyborg was never in
real danger against the 32-year-old submission specialist. Justino
connected with power punches on the feet, slammed her foe to canvas
repeatedly and landed intelligent ground-and-pound from above.
Despite a revamped strength and conditioning program, Coenen still
had no answer for the physical prowess of the Chute Boxe
representative, as Cyborg consistently wound up in top position
after stymieing Coenen’s takedown shots.
Even though she landed strikes almost at will from top position,
the Brazilian on several occasions elected to allow Coenen back to
her feet rather than attack inside her guard. For the most part,
there were no wrong choices for Justino on this night. A right hook
dropped Coenen in round one, and another right to the jaw spelled
the beginning of the end for “Rumina” in the fourth frame. With her
opponent dazed, Justino mounted one last assault from above before
referee John McCarthy mercifully called a halt to the contest.
Only a temporary lapse in judgment was able to thwart the momentum
Gadelha (11-0, 1-0 Invicta) in the co-main event. Despite
losing a point for landing an illegal knee in the first round of
her strawweight showdown with Ayaka
Hamasaki (9-1, 0-1 Invicta), Gadelha dominated her Japanese
opponent, finishing the contest with strikes on the ground 3:58
into the third period. With the win, Gadelha earns a 115-pound
title shot against champion Carla
Clearly the bigger, stronger fighter, Gadelha imposed her will
through takedowns and suffocating top control. The Brazilian’s
ground-and-pound increased in intensity in the third round, where a
flurry of heavy punches and hammerfists forced referee Greg
Franklin to intervene on Hamasaki’s behalf.
Gadelha set the tone early, landing a takedown in the first round
and maintaining control from top position throughout the period.
However, the Brazilian landed a glancing knee to the head of a
seated Hamasaki just as the stanza expired, resulting in the point
Elsewhere, solid submission defense early and clean punches late
Taylor (7-0, 2-0 Invicta) to remain unbeaten, as she captured a
hard-fought unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) against Sarah
D’Alelio (7-4, 3-2 Invicta) in a bantamweight tilt. The bout
favored D’Alelio in round one, with both fighters jockeying for
position for the majority of the period. However, Taylor survived
several submission attempts from “The Monster” in the opening five
Taylor began to find a rhythm on the feet in the second frame,
landing straight punches while D’Alelio attacked with uppercuts.
The third round featured several spirited exchanges, but it was
Taylor who appeared to land the cleaner strikes.
The action in the flyweight bout between Leslie
Smith (6-3-1, 3-1-1 Invicta) and Jennifer
Maia (7-3-1, 1-1 Invicta) was fast and furious throughout, but
it was Smith who ultimately landed in greater volume to earn a
unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28). The Cesar Gracie Fight
Team member set a frenetic pace from the outset, moving forward and
attacking Maia with punching combinations and kicks.
Maia refused to wilt, however, as she proved more than willing to
go toe-to-toe with her aggressive opponent. Smith was most dominant
in round three, where she staggered Maia with an elbow and followed
up with a flurry of punches and knees against the cage. Maia
responded with a trip takedown, but Smith reversed to top position
and closed out the frame landing a flurry of ground-and-pound from
Former Invicta atomweight queen Jessica
Penne (11-2, 3-1 Invicta) choked out Nicdali
Rivera-Calanoc (8-7, 1-2 Invicta) with just three seconds
remaining in the opening frame in their 105-pound clash. Penne, who
relinquished her title to Michelle
Waterson in a thrilling contest in April, took down
Rivera-Calanoc with less than two minutes to go in the period. The
Californian quickly moved to full mount and attempted to cinch a
Penne eventually relinquished the hold and unloaded with
ground-and-pound, forcing Rivera-Calanoc to surrender her back.
From there, Penne trapped her foe in a body triangle and gradually
tightened her grip on the choke. “The Night Queen” held on for as
long as she could but was forced to ask out of the match just
before the round expired.
Noted muay Thai practitioner Joanne
Calderwood (7-0, 3-0 Invicta) earned a unanimous decision over
a game Norma
Rueda Center (2-1, 0-1 Invicta) in a featured 115-pound affair.
Judges scored the bout 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for the Glasgow,
Calderwood controlled much of the contest with her striking, using
her kicks to keep the wrestling-minded Center at a safe distance.
The Dinky Ninjas product thwarted the majority of Center’s takedown
attempts in the early going while stalking her foe and landing
knees and elbows against the cage. Center, who took the bout on two
weeks’ notice, landed a pair of takedowns in the final frame but
spent much of the period fighting off a Calderwood armbar.
In her Invicta debut, 18-year-old Japanese prospect Mizuki
Inoue (6-1, 1-0 Invicta) established herself as a person of
interest in the strawweight division, taking a unanimous verdict
over popular Australian Bec Hyatt
(5-3, 1-2 Invicta). All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 in
favor of the Jewels veteran.
Inoue utilized a versatile offensive attack in close quarters,
punishing Hyatt with leg kicks, elbows and uppercuts against the
fence. Inoue spent much of the second stanza landing
ground-and-pound from top position after scoring a trip takedown.
Hyatt used aggressive striking to mount a rally in the final round,
but it was not enough to earn the victory.
Vicious knees in the clinch carried Miriam
Nakamoto (2-0, 1 NC, 1-0 Invicta) to a first-round technical
knockout victory over Duda
Yankovich (1-2, 0-1 Invicta) in a bantamweight clash. “The
Queen of Mean” wasted little time in punishing her opponent with
knees and sharp elbows against the cage, dropping Yankovich early
in the opening round. Not much later, Nakamoto dropped Yankovich
again with a knee, and after a few follow-up strikes, referee
England halted the contest 2:08 into the period.
To kick of the pay-per-view portion of the card, Tecia
Torres (3-0, 3-0 Invicta) captured an entertaining unanimous
decision victory (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) over Rose
Namajunas (2-1, 2-1 Invicta) in a battle of young strawweight
Both women were extremely aggressive in the first round, but the
highlight of the frame occurred when Namajunas attempted a flying
armbar -- the same move she used to defeat Kathina
Catron at Invicta FC 5. Torres defended the maneuver well, but
Namajunas eventually transitioned to another armbar on the ground
and appeared to have Torres in serious danger. However, “The Tiny
Tornado” escaped. From there, Torres landed effective combinations
for much of the contest and weathered a late takedown from
Namajunas in the final frame.
In preliminary action, Jackson’s MMA product Emily Kagan
(3-1, 1-1 Invicta) captured a split verdict (30-27, 30-27, 28-29)
against St. Louis police officer Ashley
Cummins (3-2, 1-2 Invicta) at 115 pounds; and Austria native
von Plettenberg (2-1, 1-1 Invicta) defeated Oklahoman Kathina
Catron, who took the bout on 24 hours’ notice, via unanimous
decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) at 125 pounds in the opening bout.
Another scheduled prelim between Tamikka
Brents and Ediane
Gomes was scratched when Brents suffered a knee injury warming