Night Full of Finishes at Invicta FC 48 Capped Off By Tennant Retaining Bantamweight Belt

Taneisha Tennant, Invicta FC 48
Taneisha Tennant, Invicta FC 48 weigh-in Credit: Dave Mandel/Invicta FC

Invicta FC 48 was a night full of finishes.

For critics who claim that the ladies all too often go to decision, Invicta FC 48 was the perfect evidence to the contrary. Four of the first five fights on the Denver, CO-based card finished inside the distance, including three by rear-naked choke.

The evening was kicked off by Auttumn Norton and Maria Djukic at bantamweight, with Norton welcoming Canada’s Djukic to the promotion. It was a rude welcome in the end; Norton finished off the Canadian early in the second, rocking her opponent, practically throwing her to the canvas, and piling on with strikes.

From there, it was all submissions. First Amber Leibrock, then Bellator veteran Kristina “Warhorse” Williams, and finally UFC alum Talita Bernardo all locked in rear-naked chokes.

In the case of Bernardo, the win came against fellow Brazilian Yana Gadelha, who stepped into the fight on short notice to replace Katharina Lehner.

Invicta FC bantamweight champion Taneisha Tennant anchored the main event against former Bellator title challenger Olga Rubin. Both ladies opened the action firing head kicks; Rubin would then give Tennant a different look, taking the back along the fence and working to drag the champ down — though Tennant demonstrated some solid takedown defense.

Tennant’s takedown defense would be tested throughout the opening five minutes, leading to Rubin having the edge on the scorecards with two judges (Colorado had open scoring in effect for the event). The subsequent round saw a lot of feeling out, with Tennant having the answer to Rubin’s takedown attempts — but seemingly stymied when it came time to get her hands going.

That continued into the third, but by the end of 15 minutes, Tennant was up on the scorecards, 29-28. In the fourth, the pair went to the ground near the midway mark, with Rubin working on a buggy choke off her back. Rubin put on the squeeze, but Tennant gutted it out until the end of the frame.

The title fight would go the distance, with Tennant turning things up at the end of the round. That may have been key, as the end result was a split decision: one judge awarded Tennant all five rounds, while the other two each scored the fight 48-47— only to be split on the winner.

A win is a win, and Tennant retains her bantamweight title, defending it for the first time.