Invicta FC atomweight champion Michelle Waterson successfully defended her crown with a surprisingly easy TKO win over vaunted Japanese challenger Yasuko Tamada at Invicta FC 8 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Waterson landed kicks and strikes at will as Tamada was unable to penetrate the defences of Waterson, nor land the shot to take the fight to the ground and her advantage. Referee Greg Franklin waved off the fight at 4:58 of the third round.
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DELANEY OWEN VS JJ ALDRICH
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DELANEY OWEN VIA SUBMISSION
WINNER: JJ ALDRICH VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Owen could not secure the takedown and was taken down herself and controlled by Aldrich for much of the bout. She mounted some offence late, but I have to give Aldrich credit. She used her length and reach effectively in the clinch and on the ground, almost cinching in the rear naked choke. A good win for Aldrich.
Wiseman: Owen just wasn’t able to find a different strategy other then to try to take things to the mat. Aldrich made sure that whether things were in the clinch or at a distance, she was the one winning in the striking combinations. Even when things did go to the mat Owen couldn’t do what she wanted. The movement of Aldrich just always forced Owen to have to start from scratch, never really got going like she was hoping.
JODIE ESQUIBEL VS JINH YU FREY
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JINH YU FREY VIA KO.
WINNER: JODIE ESQUIBEL VIA SPLIT DECISION
Andrews: I disagree with the decision. I had Frey winning the first two rounds. Frey’s crisp striking, particularly her hooks, kept Esquibel on the outside for the first two rounds. She almost finished Esquibel in the first, and that proved to be costly. Esquibel dominated the third round and it was the difference.
Wiseman: The first round, Frey showed her quick power and ground game. In the same sense, Esquibel also showed her defence while on her back by transitioning quickly. The second and third rounds had Esquibel being the more dominate and confident fighter. She was able to use her movement to circle outside while sneaking in and out of the pocket to do damage. It was a split decision, but really it was the last round that gave Esquibel the edge that she needed. Esquibel didn’t find her range until late, but when she did it was a battle. Great win for Esquibel.
ASHLEY CUMMINS VS ALEXA GRASSO
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEXA GRASSO VIA KNOCKOUT
WINNER: ALEXA GRASSO VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Grasso allowed Cummins’ strikes and takedowns to dictate much of the fight. She did counter effectively to be fair and was active off her back, threatening an armbar. Grasso needs to be more aggressive off the bat.
Wiseman: A hard fight to call simply because Cummins threw more and controlled the center of the cage, but Grasso was more precise and did more damage. Ultimately, Cummins had difficulty finding her range without getting slaughtered with counters. Between jabs and elbows Grasso really threw a load of different shots that kept Cummins at a distance and unable to take things to the mat. Impressive fight by Grasso, but entertaining by both fighters.
CHARMAINE “NOT SO SWEET” TWEET VS “THE HEARTBREAKER” VERONICA ROTHENHAUSLER
ANDREWS PREDICTION: CHARMAINE TWEET VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
WINNER: CHARMAINE TWEET VIA TKO
Andrews: Both fighters came out a bit sloppy, but Tweet was clearly fired up, dropped Veronica with a shot, flattened her on the ground and with the full mount, and secured the TKO. Charmaine was just too big and powerful. Yes, Canadians can be vicious too.
Wiseman: These girls don’t like each other and they made that pretty obvious as soon as the fight started. They were all over each other, but Tweet was just able to find her reach first and took control of the fight in the first round. From the combinations, to her head movement, to her ground game, Tweet showed it all in the first round. Fantastic TKO finish for Tweet.
PEGGY MORGAN VS IRENE ALDANA
ANDREWS PREDICTION: IRENE ALDANA VIA TKO
WINNER: IRENE ALDANA VIA TKO
Andrews: Aldana’s superior striking reduced Morgan to one big target. She knocked her down twice and swarmed in for the choke. Good win for the Mexican.
Wiseman: The power of Aldana was just too much for Morgan. Morgan wasn’t able to use her reach and Aldana rocked Morgan twice in the first round. Aldana just wild with her ground and pound. Morgan’s biggest issue is not using her reach and leaving herself exposed when she throws a strike. Aldana looked incredible tonight.
MICHELLE OULD VS DEANNA BENNETT
WISEMAN PREDICTION: DEANNA BENNETT VIA SUBMISSION
WINNER: DEANNA BENNETT VIA TKO.
Andrews: Bennett worked like a technician, punishing Ould and her body, particularly her ribs. Impressive finish for Bennett.
Wiseman: Ould was hurt in the first round due to knees and body shots by Bennett. Ould was grabbing her stomach after round one, so there was no surprise that Bennett was secured the finish in the second. Dominant fight for Bennett.
TARA LA ROSA VS ROXANNE MODAFFERI
WISEMAN PREDICTION: TARA LAROSA VIA SUBMISSION
WINNER: ROXANNE MODAFFERI VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Modafferi used her footwork to land strikes and getting back out of danger. A good win for Roxanne.
Wiseman: The striking of Modafferi has certainly improved and her power was shown tonight as she momentarily dropped LaRosa. LaRosa never fired enough and her technique wasn’t there tonight, but really Modafferi came as a new fighter tonight. Both girls put on a show and LaRosa can dance as well as fight, but tonight it was a much improved Modafferi coming away with the decision win.
EDIANE “INDIA” GOMES VS TONYA EVINGER
WISEMAN PREDICTION: TONYA EVINGER VIA DECISION
WINNER: TONYA EVINGER VIA SUBMISSION
Andrews: A wild first round with both fighters exchanging heel hook submissions, but Evinger on the ground secured a tight armbar. A good win for Tonya.
Wiseman: What a fight! Incredible! There was more action in the first two minutes than in the majority of fights after fifteen. These ladies went to work tonight, both trying to make a point. Gomes never really had a chance to do anything except defend as Evinger connected with her combinations, transition for a takedown, repeat. This continued three times before Evinger was able to set up an arm bar submission. Fantastic performance by Evinger.
STEPHANIE EGGINK VS KATJA KANKAANPAA
WISEMAN PREDICTION: KATJA KANKAANPAA VIA TKO
WINNER: KATJA KANKAANPAA VIA SUBMISSION
Andrews: This was a solid back-and-forth fight, but a great comeback by Katja, was losing on my scorecards. She survived several triangle attempts, to land a well set up D’Arce choke in the final round.
Wiseman: It was a back-and-forth battle, both fighters showing great form and cardio, but Kankaanpaa stayed composed and aggressive until the finish. Eggink showed fantastic defence and danger when on her back, as well as solid striking. However, it was the persistent forward movement of Kankaanpaa that eventually allowed her to set up a D’arce choke for the finish.
MICHELLE WATERSON VS YASUKO TAMADA
WISEMAN PREDICTION: MICHELLE WATERSON VIA SUBMISSION
WINNER: MICHELLE WATERSON VIA TKO
Andrews: This fight was target practice for Waterson from the beginning. She landed a beautiful spinning back kick to the face and the kitchen skink but Tamada kept coming forward. They should call her the Japanese Zombie from now on. She is tough! But she couldn’t mount any offense and the ref mercifully called it. Good win for Waterson.
Wiseman: From the beginning of the fight, it was all Waterson. Her combinations, attention to changing levels, knees, kicks to the body, and speed were all just too much for Tamada. With that said, Tamada can take a hit. She somehow managed to stay in this fight for three rounds which is impressive enough due to the beating she received. The heart is absolutely top of the line and her drive to win, but Waterson was just too much for her tonight and pulled off the TKO finish.