Invicta FC 41 Post-Fight: Three Takeaways from Thursday

Invicta FC 41 Montserrat Ruiz
Montserrat Ruiz Credit: Dave Mander/Invicta FC

Invicta FC 41 went down last Thursday in Kansas City, Kansas. Here are three takeaways coming out of the card.

Invicta FC returned for the second time since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and the main event saw Montserrat Ruiz defeating Janaisa Morandin in a battle of strawweight contenders in Invicta’s Fight Church. The co-main on the other hand saw the young prospect, Erin Blanchfield, earning another dominant win over Brogan Walker-Sanchez.

Here are three takeaways from Friday’s Invicta FC 41 card.

Erin Blanchfield is the real deal.

This one isn’t as much as a takeaway, but more of a reaffirmation. Heading into Invicta FC 41, Blanchfield was seen as one of the brightest prospects in Invicta. The 21-year-old held a record of 5-1 and had wins over the likes of Kay Hansen and Victoria Leonardo, the latter of which is an Invicta knockout of the year contender. Following the win over Leonardo, she was matched up with Brogan Walker-Sanchez in the co-main event of Invicta FC 41, and she lived up to her high expectations.

Blanchfield dominated the entire fight, to the scores of 30-26 across all judges’ scorecards. She continues to dominate her competition, and one has to wonder which call will come first: a UFC call-up, or an Invicta title opportunity? Either way, Blanchfield is more than deserving of either one, and her performance Friday proved once again how legit she really is, and as a 21-year-old she can only go up from here as well.

Montserrat Ruiz moved into title contention.

Montserrat Ruiz headed into Invicta last year as an undefeated fighter with lots of promise but ended up disappointing in her Invicta debut against UFC-veteran Danielle Taylor at Invicta FC 33. Ruiz ended up getting outstruck and failed to do much against her much more experienced opponent. However, Ruiz once again got another big fight in Invicta despite the loss: a headlining role against former title challenger Janaisa Morandin. Morandin was coming off of back-to-back losses but she was still the much more proven fighter, however that wouldn’t matter on fight night.

Ruiz dominated Morandin, giving the former title challenger her third straight loss. She got the fight to the ground quickly and got the rare scarf-hold to submit Morandin inside of one round. The win proved Ruiz to be an Invicta-caliber fighter. In a strawweight division that is currently in flux, Ruiz could potentially be on the verge of a title shot, if not get one in her next fight. A fight next potentially against Emily Ducote would make a lot of sense.

Kaitlin Young continues her winning ways.

Kaitlin Young continued her winning ways at Invicta FC 41, and her late-career rebound is something to really be in awe of. Young was one of women’s MMA pioneers, making her debut in 2007 and beating women such as Miesha Tate to parlay herself into an EliteXC opportunity the following year. She was one of the first women to fight on national television in EliteXC, notably fighting Gina Carano in 2008. However, Young would soon go downhill after her 4-0 beginning to her career, and actually retired in 2014 with a record of 7-9-1.

She unretired in 2018 after years off from the sport and has actually turned her career back around in a big way. Young won three straight fights to earn herself a title opportunity at Invicta FC 36. However, she came up short in her title bid against Pam Sorenson. She returned on Friday and earned another impressive win. This time, she dominated Latoya Walker to the tune of 30-26 on two judges scorecards, and she put herself back in title contention with the win. Her late-career turnaround has been nothing short of extremely impressive.