The debate about the success or failure of women’s MMA has always been a topic when talking to fight fans, media and critics.
When Invicta FC was first announced there were more than a few pundits that wondered how much prosperity an all-women’s MMA promotion could actually have.
Following the second event held on Saturday night and more than a half a million viewers watching the online only event, it’s safe to say Invicta FC is doing pretty okay.
The second event for the upstart promotion headed up by former UFC and Strikeforce executive Shannon Knapp featured a 14-fight card led by former Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann, who was looking to go 6-0 as a pro in the main event.
McMann had no easy test in front of her however as she faced off with Josh Barnett trained student and veteran fighter Shayna Baszler in the headline fight.
Most believed McMann’s wrestling pedigree would be the biggest factor in the fight, but on Saturday the former Olympian showed off some new striking skills getting into the fray with some violent exchanges against Baszler.
The second round saw McMann throw her wrestling into the mix, but it almost backfired after she was reversed on the ground and Baszler was looking for submissions. After searching for an ankle lock, Baszler finally settled on a knee bar, but McMann quickly swiveled out of position, and despite her opponent then transitioning to a heel hook, she was out of trouble in rapid fashion.
McMann was able to snatch another takedown and appeared in control in the third round as she looked to wrap up a decision, but a final flurry between the two gladiator ladies resulted in the Olympian getting dropped to one knee as Baszler’s punches found a home on her chin.
Still the judges sided with McMann’s round by round performance and scored the fight 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 giving the former Olympian her sixth win in six fights, and now she moves on to fight for the first ever Invicta FC bantamweight title.
The night’s co-main event featured Strikeforce bantamweight Alexis Davis against former Strikeforce competitor Hitomi Akano.
A determined Davis, who had a ‘Fight of the Night’ performance in her last fight against current top women’s contender Sarah Kaufman, went out looking to dominate Akano and she certainly didn’t disappoint.
Davis was fast to the punch and the kick on the feet as she peppered Akano throughout the first as she struggled to try to get the fight to the man where he might find an advantage.
That logic backfired in the 2nd round as Davis again opened with another series of strikes and eventually moved to the mat where her domination continued. Davis pummeled Akano with punches before looking for the rear naked choke, which brought about the end of the fight.
Davis made a strong case for her placement as the contender to face McMann in October when Invicta FC introduces their first ever title.
Fellow Strikeforce contender Liz Carmouche also looked to put the stamp on her placement in the 135lb title fight with a solid performance over former Elite XC competitor Kaitlin Young.
Young got the early advantage on Carmouche, landing good kicks and punches that the former Strikeforce title contender didn’t seem to have an answer for in the onset of the fight. Following a tough first round, Carmouche made the necessary adjustments and came out guns blazing in the second.
Carmouche landed a big takedown before moving into position to put Young away with a fight ending rear naked choke.
Here are the full results for Invicta FC 2:
Sara McMann def. Shayna Baszler by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Alexis Davis def. Hitomi Akano by submission (rear naked choke), R2
Liz Carmouche def. Kaitlin Young by submission (rear naked choke), R2
Akaya Hamasaki def. Lacey Schuckman by submission (armbar), R3
Amanda Nunes def. Raquel Pa’aluhi by submission (rear naked choke), R1
Sara D’Alelio def. Vanessa Porto by submission (armbar), R1
Barb Honchak def. Bethany Marshall by TKO, R2
Julia Budd def. Elina Nilsson by TKO, R1
Carla Esparza def. Sarah Schneider by TKO, R2
Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc def. Angelica Chaves by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Raquel Pennington def. Sarah Moras by unanimous decision
Jessamyn Duke def. Suzie Montero by TKO, R3
Jocelyn Lybarger def. Cheryl Chan by unanimous decision
Liz McCarthy def. Jessica Philippus by TKO, R1