Invicta FC 30: Frey vs. Grusander Results and Recap

Invicta FC 30's Jinh Yu Frey
Jinh Yu Frey Credit: Dave Mandel/Invicta FC

Invicta FC was in their home base at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, MO on Saturday with Invicta FC 30 — where they crowned their latest atomweight champion.

Invicta FC’s atomweight title has had some storied names attached to it. Michelle Waterson. Jessica Penne. Ayaka Hamasaki. After Hamasaki moved to strawweight, and then headed back to Japan, the title sat vacant. Until now. On Saturday night at Invicta FC 30, there would be a new champion. The question was, would it be Jinh Yu Fray, who once challenged Hamasaki for the strap? Or Minna Grusander?

There was plenty of talk about who was fighting for the title on Saturday. And yes, many of the world’s best atomweights are in Asia: Angela Lee (though with ONE Championship’s weight cutting rules, she’s of course fighting a little higher). Seo Hee Ham, who beat Frey to become ROAD FC atomweight champion. Hamasaki. Kanna Asakura and Rena Kubota.

Yet in the west, the bulk of the best atomweights remain in Invicta, at least until the UFC opens their doors to the 105lb weight class. And the best would be crowned on Saturday, right after a promising featherweight co-main event between featherweights Felicia Spencer and Helena Kolesnyk.

Check back come fight time for a recap and full results from Invicta FC 30! The action gets underway exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 8PM ET.

Erin Blanchfield vs. Brittney Cloudy

‘The Quiet Storm’ Brittney Cloudy used her length and stayed on the outside early in this flyweight bout. Cloudy then connected while moving in about two minutes in, bringing about the first serious action of the bout. Blanchfield may have been rocked, but fended off the attack, throwing out a backfist, and later switching to a takedown attempt. Cloudy battered Blanchfield with elbows and punches, but despite being bloodied, Blanchfield finished the takedown after changing to a single leg. Cloudy threw up some elbows from the bottom, and they’d go to the second.

Blanchfield went back to a single leg takedown attempt early in round two. That switched to a double, while Cloudy used a whizzer to defend and eventually separated from her opponent. Cloudy then got her hands going. An inside leg kick tripped Cloudy up, however.  Blanchfield then caught her with a simple 1-2 combo and put a period on it with a clean head kick! Cloudy looked like she was seeing stars. She managed to stay on her feet, for a bit; Blanchfield would get the fight to the canvas in short order, looking for an arm triangle choke. That was abandoned, and a kirmura attempt came next. Cloudy would fight that off, and a late arm-bar attempt, surviving to see the fight head to round three.

Cloudy came forward with a push kick early in round three. Blanchfield answered back with a high kick that missed, followed by a leg kick that connected. More kicks from Blanchfield followed. Cloudy landed a counter right hand. Blanchfield’s volume was up through the first couple of minutes of the third. She shot for a single leg, but was too low on the attempt, and Cloudy pulled free. Heading into the final minute, the fight hand become a stand-up chess match. Blanchfield had become the clear aggressor, however, and was connecting more.

Erin Blanchfield def. Brittney Cloudy by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Alyse Anderson vs. Stephanie Alba

Atomweight action came next, with ‘The Cyclone’ Stephanie Alba taking on Alyse Anderson, who of late has been training with Felice Herrig. Plenty of movement early in the fight, with Anderson continually circling. However, Anderson launched a kick only to throw a follow-up punch where he thumb caught Alba’s eye. That brought a break in the action, as the doctor checked out Alba. She was good to go, and they went back to it. Anderson would initiate a clinch after few exchanges, driving Alba into the cage. She’d finish a double leg takedown, post up, and drop some hard elbows. Anderson would complain that Alba was holding her glove, which appeared to be accurate. The ref warned her for that, and Anderson took the back, looking for a choke.

Round two saw Anderson drive Alba into the cage again, while Alba was warned for grabbing the cage. Anderson threw in some foot stomps then dropped down and scored a takedown. Alba popped back up quickly and reversed the position, but Anderson was able to get in the driver’s seat again. Alba then reversed position and Anderson jumped guard off the cage, looking for a triangle. While Alba looked to be defending initially, it became clear she was out!

Alyse Anderson def. Stephanie Alba by submission (triangle), Round 2, 3:12

Jillian DeCoursey vs. Alesha Zappitella

Zappitella began tagging and backing up Jillian DeCoursey early in the second atomweight bout of the evening at Invicta FC 30. That got the crowd into it, but ‘Lionheart’ was able to survive. Alba drove her into the cage, eating a few knees but landing a number of punches to the body. Zappitella clearly had the edge in the grappling department early, and was throwing some big overhand power punches when the pair separated. Not surprisingly, Zappitella eventually caught DeCoursey, knocking her down with a left! DeCoursey would pop right back up to her feet, and the pair would actually finish the round trading, with both ladies landing some solid blows.

In the second, Zappitella came out swinging, but DeCoursey fired right back. Zappitella’s heavy hands were doing more damage, and DeCoursey pulled guard. Zappitella wisely grounded herself to avoid upkicks, then engaged. Then grounded herself again. Sneaky smart. Eventually Zappitella would move to half guard; DeCoursey gave up her back trying to get up, but survived. They’d finish on the feet.

Zappitella missed a kick early in the third, and Jillian DeCoursey taunted her just a little, tongue out. Zappitella then charged in, landing a few more blows on her opponent. DeCoursey was having no luck in either the grappling or striking exchanges, and Zappitella appeared on her way to a clear-cut unanimous decision victory.

Alesha Zappitella def. Jillian DeCoursey by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Kerri Kenneson vs. Stephanie Geltmacher

Geltmacher landed a takedown almost immediately in this bantamweight scrap. Kenneson soon found herself mounted, eating ground n’ pound. Kenneson tried to work her way back to the fence, and stayed active on bottom, but was taking some heavy punches and elbows. Kenneson would nearly give up her back trying to escape, and eventually managed to regain half guard, but Geltmacher was relentless. The ground n’ pound kept coming, blow after blow including heavy elbows to the side of the head. That was enough for the ref, who waved it off!

Stephanie Geltmacher def. Kerri Kenneson by TKO, Round 1, 3:32

Miranda Maverick vs. Brogan Walker-Sanchez

A touch of the gloves, and this flyweight meeting between undefeated talents was underway. The pair clinched earlier, with Walker-Sanchez pushing Maverick into the cage. Maverick reversed, Brogan reversed again. They separated, and neither way able to connect before Maverick pushed Walker-Sanchez back to the fence. Maverick looked for a takedown only to wind up on bottom, but with an underhook in got up quickly. Walker-Sanchez appeared to have the edge on the meet, but Maverick was able to get on top with a minute remaining, in half guard, and later guard. Maverick drove her shoulder into Walker-Sanchez, and added some body shots as the round wound down.

In the second, Maverick got things to the ground early. She’d manage to get Walker-Sanchez in a tight heel hook, but couldn’t finish. That allowed Brogan to get on top, in mount. Maverick was in a bad spot, risking giving up her back, which she eventually did. Walker-Sanchez threatened with a rear-naked choke, but Maverick was able to turn in and reverse, winding up in guard on top. Maverick worked to make space for some strikes from the top but couldn’t make much happen.

Walker-Sanchez was firing kicks early in round three, and unloading with her right hand. Maverick with flash her jab a couple times then shoot for a single, only to be reversed on the cage. Walker-Sanchez landed a spinning back elbow off the break. Maverick would shoot for a takedown with about two minutes remaining, landing it only to be pushed over onto her back, with Walker-Sanchez in side control. Maverick gave up the back but her opponent chose to stand back up. Walker-Sanchez came on strong at round’s end, but it went to the judges.

Brogan Walker-Sanchez def. Miranda Maverick by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Kinberly Novaes vs. Heather Jo Clark

Clark came out chucking a right hand, and the pair wound up clinching along the cage. Novaes was looking for a takedown, while Clark defended. Novaes would not be deterred, continuing to press Heather Jo Clark into the fence. Novaes would drag Clark down, but Clark immediately pulled free and got back up. After another stretch of grappling, Clark would get Novaes to the ground, and look to land some heavy elbows.

Round two saw some feeling out on the feet early. The fight stayed on the feet for the most part, with neither woman doing significant damage to the other. However, at the ninety second mark or so, Heather Jo Clark scored a key takedown. She’d eventually take the back of Novaes, but was too high up to make much happen, and the round came to a close.

Novaes came out and drove Clark into the fence in the third. She added in some foot stomps. Unable to take Clark down, she at the very least gained precious minutes in control time. At the midway point that were back in the open, and Clark dropped for a low single leg. Novaes worked to spin and sprawl, then transitioned to Clark’s back. Novaes was able to land some strikes from the top, then fully took the back and got her hooks in. She’d finish the fight looking for a choke.

Heather Jo Clark def. Kinberly Novaes by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Felicia Spencer vs. Helena Kolesnyk

Felicia Spencer moved to clinch early in the co-main event, and Kolesnyk pulled free and went to the body. Spencer then threw a kick, and the pair began a bit of a back and forth battle. Spencer then converted a jump elbow into a takedown attempt, but Kolesnyk stayed up. Spencer fired off a slick wheel kick, that missed. With half the round to go, however, Spencer would get the fight to the canvas. She’d take the back, and look for a rear-naked choke, but couldn’t finish before the clock wound down.

Some early kicks, then a superman punch to a takedown by Spencer to open round two. Kolesnyk avoided that, but Spencer pretty much climbed her back, then dragged her to the canvas. This time, when she went for the rear-naked choke, she would not be denied!

Felicia Spencer def. Helena Kolesnyk by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 1:47

Jinh Yu Frey vs. Minna Grusander

In the main event of Invicta FC 30, Jinh Yu Frey took on Minna Grusander for the vacant Invicta atomweight title. The pair clinched early, and Frey landed a heavy left hand off the break. Grusander then drove Frey into the cage, looking to drop for a takedown. Frey spun free and connected with another left. Another grappling sequence saw Grusander take the back and drag Frey to the ground, but Frey quickly regained her feet. Another grappling exchange saw Grusander take Frey’s back. Frey would pull out, but leave her arm in danger, however the round expired.

Another grappling exchange with Grusander driving Frey against the cage opened round two. After the pair separated, Frey was able to launch a cracking high kick, though it was mostly blocked. Grusander would later go high with her own kick, which Frey blocked. Grusander then went back to the well, driving Frey up against the cage. The ref, however, wasn’t have the lack of action and separated them with thirty seconds to go. Only for Grusander to move right back in.

Frey would try to flip the script in the third, working for her own takedown. Grusander would utilize a high guard, preventing Frey from making much progress. She’d throw up a triangle, though Frey would pull free, and drop some hammer fists when she could. Frey pulled out and tried to move to side control, only to wind up back in Grusander’s guard. Finally, Grusander would give up her back, allowing Frey to work for a rear-naked choke. When the choke wasn’t there, Frey began dropping some heavy forearms, but Grusander rolled out the way. Frey would finish the round on top.

Once again in round four, Grusander looked to slow things down against the fence and try to find a takedown. Frey, bloodied, managed to stay up. That led to her scoring a takedown with about two minutes left in the round. Frey landed a left on the feet, but Grusander was backing her up. Again, Grusander pressed Frey’s back into the cage wall. It was a theme throughout the fight.

Round five was more of the same. Frey was at risk of being outpointed thanks to the slow, grinding approach of Minna Grusander. She seemed to have no answer. Despite flashes of brilliance in the third, she simply couldn’t find a way to get her back off the cage. Yet come the scorecards being read, it was Jinh Yu Frey claiming a unanimous decision.

Jinh Yu Frey def. Minna Grusander by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)

Invicta FC 30 Results:

Jinh Yu Frey def. Minna Grusander by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)
Felicia Spencer def. Helena Kolesnyk by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 1:47
Heather Jo Clark def. Kinberly Novaes by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Brogan Walker-Sanchez def. Miranda Maverick by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Stephanie Geltmacher def. Kerri Kenneson by TKO, Round 1, 3:32
Alesha Zappitella def. Jillian DeCoursey by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alyse Anderson def. Stephanie Alba by submission (triangle), Round 2, 3:12
Erin Blanchfield def. Brittney Cloudy by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)