There were a lot of good things at the Invicta FC 16 show last Friday night in Las Vegas.
We saw the toughness, technique and resourcefulness of atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki as she survived several triangles by challenger Amber Brown to slap on an armbar submission and defend her belt.
— 浜崎朱加 Ayaka Hamasaki (@kk331ayaka) March 13, 2016
Brown used her strength advantage and showed some technique of her own, but it wasn’t enough to put away the champion.
Sorry for the late post, thank you everyone for the love and support you have shown me! I will be back stronger than ever! @InvictaFights
— Amber Brown (@TheBully505) March 13, 2016
The fight-of-the-night had to be Jennifer Maia putting on a comeback for the ages after almost getting finished in the first two minutes of the bout against Vanessa Porto. Porto locked up the first two rounds, but then tired after her nose was bloodied. Maia won the final three gruelling rounds to become the interim flyweight champion.
Congratulation Jennifer Maia! The new champion! @InvictaFights
— @CrisCyborg.Com (@criscyborg) March 12, 2016
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) March 12, 2016
It was a great show, and the production was improved since Invicta FC 15, except when they notably showed the wrong Frey highlights in her post-fight interview.
Give your staff some props, Shannon.
— Lisa Ellis (@LisaEllis115) March 12, 2016
— Leslie Smith (@LeslieSmith_GF) March 12, 2016
Starting off the early prelims, The Pacemaker Leslie Smith (7-6-1) takes on Japan’s Rin Nakai (16-1-1).
It's almost time! Next weekend I fight Rin Nakai in the UFC in Brisbane, Australia! Make sure… https://t.co/sgO8jLF7H6
— Leslie Smith (@LeslieSmith_GF) March 11, 2016
Nakai suffered her first loss in her UFC debut to now champion Miesha Tate, but was competitive. Similarly, she will be giving up size and reach advantages to Smith. She will likely want to use her grappling to take the starch out of Smith, who is also trying to rebound from a loss to Jessica Eye.
Starting off the main card, “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings (6-4-0) returns to the octagon to face South Korea’s Seo Hee Ham (16-6-0).
Those keeping score remember’s Rawling’s domestic situation from 2014. She seems to be in a better place since then, with a win over Lisa Ellis last May.
I remember Ham’s surprisingly competitive performance against Joanne Calderwood in her UFC debut. She also earned Fight-of-the-Night honours in her next fight, a decision win over Courtney Casey.
This will be a competitive bout as well.
Some of these fighters haven’t fought in awhile, so it’s good to see them back in action.
In other news, Maryna Moroz and Cristina Stanciu have been added to Zagreb’s UFC Fight Night 86.
— Paige VanZant (@paigevanzant) March 12, 2016
But to be honest, this Esther Lin photograph is the only thing in my brain as I write this column.
See you next week!