Invicta FC 28 is a notable card from the female-exclusive promotion featuring a strawweight title fight and a few other noteworthy occasions.
The strawweight title will be on the line in the Invicta FC 28 main event as Mizuki Inoue and undefeated Brazilian Virna Jandiroba will attempt to take hold of the division’s vacant title.
Mizuki Inoue is 3-2 with Invicta, losing to UFC standouts Alexa Grasso and Karolina Kowalkiewicz in her second stint with the promotion. Inuoe has armbarred her last three opponents, two of which were under the Invicta FC banner.
Virna Jandiroba has been brilliant in her 12-fight career, defeating all-comers and submitting 10 of her opponents. Jandiroba has just one fight under her belt with Invicta FC, but made the most of it by submitting Amy Montenegro in under three minutes last December.
The co-main event features DeAnna Bennett returning to the Invicta FC cage to take on Karina Rodriguez. Bennett was 3-3 in Invicta including a title shot against Livia Renata Souza in her fourth fight with the promotion. The stint earned her a shot at The Ultimate Fighter 26, where she won one bout before losing to eventual finalist Sijara Eubanks. An uneventful draw in her UFC debut sent her back to Invicta’s ranks. Rodriguez is a 6-2 Mexican flyweight with a 2-0 Invicta FC record, including a first-round knockout.
Also on the card, Pearl Gonzalez will make her promotional debut after a pair of fights in the UFC, and perhaps most notably, UFC middleweight Elias Theodorou will make his debut as Invicta’s ring boy.
Check out the results of the nine-fight card below with brief recaps of each bout:
Virna Jandiroba def. Mizuki Inoue by Split Decision (49-46 x2, 46-49)
Inoue started the title fight with a clinch against the cage but Jandiroba took her down instead. Mizuki did her best to give Jandiroba issues on the bottom, but Jandiroba stayed strong on top. Mizuki rolled for a kneebar but Jandiroba resisted and ended up in guard again. The Brazilian stood up and landed a big punch and Mizuki responded with an upkick.
More of the same in round two. After Inoue landed solid shots on the feet, Jandiroba took Mizuki down and kept her there, even after a referee standup. Jandiroba took her right back down and stifled Inoue.
Inoue started out the third round with some nice success on the feet, resisting a clinch then landing a cracking right straight. But Jandiroba was able to take her down and control her from there. Impressive display of grappling from Jandiroba thus far, preventing all sweep and submission attempts and mounting Inoue in this stanza.
Mizuki again landed her strikes and was promptly taken down. Mizuki nearly swept her opponent, but Jandiroba’s base was too strong. With around two minutes left, the referee stood the fighters up and Inoue scored a takedown of her own. However, Jandiroba quickly swept and gained top position once more.
Jandiroba again took down her Japanese opponent and Inoue had no answer until there was less than a minute left. Mizuki went for an armbar, but Jandiroba slipped out and regained top control. Good effort from both sides, but Jandiroba ruled the night and earned the strawweight title.
DeAnna Bennett def. Karina Rodriguez by Split Decision (30-27 x2, 27-30)
The strategies of both fighters were clear from the start. DeAnna Bennett wanted this fight on the ground at all costs and got it there briefly but Rodriguez popped right back up. The kicks from Rodriguez were the most significant aspect of the round, and Bennett had to settle for pushing Rodriguez against the cage.
Bennett was able to get a takedown midway through the second round, but Rodriguez worked her way to the cage and stood up. Bennett was happy to keep her there for as long as possible, dictating where the fight took place.
Rodriguez took over in the final round, landing a multitude of punches as Bennett tried to impose her will. However, it might have been too little too late depending on what the judges saw. It was promising though to see the young fighter’s best round be the final round.
Milana Dudieva def. Christina Marks by TKO (Punches) in Round 2 (3:57)
This was an unremarkable fight for the first one and a half rounds. Neither fighter was able to truly pull ahead on the feet, and no ground was gained either way. Late in the second round though, Dudieva pushed forward and landed a beautiful overhand right that quickly followed a jab and floored Marks. Dudieva pounced and finished off her opponent to give a stale fight a stylish finish.
Pearl Gonzalez def. Kali Robbins by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
Kali Robbins took control quickly with a takedown and mount of Gonzalez. Gonzalez escaped and shot for an armbar but, Robbins resisted effectively. Robbins went for an americana but Gonzalez actually used it to reverse position. Robbins used a butterfly sweep to regain top position as the fighters went back and forth.
Gonzalez attempted another armbar but Robbins was able to stack and escape. Robbins attempted to transition to knee-on-belly, but Gonzalez swept to get top position her self. Robbins attempted a sweep, leading to a fitting scramble to end the round as the bell rang with Robbins pushing Gonzalez against the cage.
The second round was not as back-and-forth, but Gonzalez gave Robbins issues on the feet before being taken down. Late in the round, Gonzalez swept Robbins after a submission attempt to get to north-south position. Gonzalez blasted Robbins with heavy ground and pound to end the second round.
Gonzalez got off to a hot start in round three as well, as Robbins had nothing to offer her on the feet. Robbins took a bit of damage before clinching up, then getting thrown down by Gonzalez. Pearl postured up and layed down the heat on her undefeated opponent. Several minutes of ground and pound were interrupted by a late sweep attempt by Robbins, but Gonzalez dominated the final round.
Mina Grusander def. Fernanda Priscila by TKO in Round 2 (4:26)
Priscila was aggressive out of the gate, rushing at Grusander and getting her back to the cage quickly. The punches kept coming but Grusander weathered the storm. Grusander turned things around late in round two, catching a kick and overwhelming Priscila with strikes to get a stoppage.
Kal Schwartz def. Kay Hansen by TKO (Punches) in Round 2 (4:27)
The first round was pretty wild. When Kal Schwartz was not pushing Kay Hansen against the cage, they were throwing bombs at each other. Schwartz did seem winded at the end of the first but had enough in the tank to attempt a calf slicer in the second round and got it fairly deep. Hansen escaped the submission and landed a solid combination, but Schwartz pushed against the cage, landed a huge elbow that cut her open. From there, Schwartz suplexed her opponent and pounded away until the ref stopped the contest, leaving the canvas a bloody mess.
Kerri Kenneson def. Chelsea Chandler by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)
Kenneson started off the fight with a takedown and survived a guillotine attempt then stamped the round with a knockdown at the first bell. Kenneson did great with both her striking and grappling and finished the fight by riding Chandler’s back for several minutes.
Jillian DeCoursey def. Rebekah LeVine by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)
Jillian DeCoursey overwhelmed Rebekah LeVine with skillful jiu-jitsu throughout the fight. Multiple submissions were attempted by DeCoursey throughout the fight, and sweeps kept her in the lead whenever she was in a compromised position.
Tracy Cortez def. Kaytlin Neil by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)
Tracy Cortez took the center of the cage early and Neil was not able to get away from the fence. Cortez kept pressure on her, landing multiple takedowns throughout the fight and withstanding a nice throw from Neil in the middle of the second round to win a unanimous decision.