Season Two featured a battle of former Invicta FC veterans. Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood, coached by Team Pettis, and Emily Kagan coached by Team Melendez.
It was close, but Calderwood earned a majority decision win over Kagan to put Team Pettis up 2-0.
The pressure is now on Team Melendez to get on the board.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman checks in with her thoughts.
MMA Crossfire Kenai Andrews checks in also:
Wiseman: I expected this fight to be an easy win for Calderwood. I expected an aggressive, fast pace in which Calderwood would win in a dominant style. However, Kagan showed that she can counter with precise striking.
Calderwood controlled the center of the cage, but Kagan was able to connect with several great shots in the first round. She never really let her hands go and seemed reserved for the majority of the first round. Towards the end they started to let go more while in the clinch, Calderwood connected with a few knees and elbows which opened up the nose of Kagan. The second round Calderwood was able to score a takedown, but that when things got a little tough to call.
Kagan got back to her feet with Calderwood wrapped around her. Emily got the slam, but Calderwood held on and ended up in a reverse triangle north-south style. This position just cancelled both fighters out in my opinion because neither was able to strike or score against the other. Judging really depended on whether you were more impressed with control or submission defence.
I personally thought that a third round was coming, but the judges gave Calderwood the fight do to having controlled the majority of the match. Really, considering the level that Calderwood is professionally, I was surprised that she didn’t do more, but it was still a match that showed the heart and passion of both fighters.
Andrews: Calderwood used her Muay Thai and kicks honed with Pettis in preparation for the fight to help keep Kagan at bay.
I always enjoyed watching Calderwood in Invicta and it’s no different here. Her technique is tight, but there is definitely room for improvement on the ground.
The 33-year-old Kagan puts up a good fight, but Melendez should have told her to go for it in the second. Unless the fighter clearly won the round, you can’t chance playing it safe, especially in a two round elimination for all the marbles. Hard luck for Kagan there. She spent too much time on the defensive in the second round.
Live and learn.
#4 Jessica Penne (former Invicta FC strawweight champion) will take on #14 Lisa Ellis next week.