Livia Renata Souza Captures Strawweight Gold
Katja Kankaanpää (10-2-1) was well on her way to a decision victory heading deep into the championship rounds. For the most part, she successfully controlled the pace of the fight both on the feet and the canvas. Kankaanpää was finding a home for her overhand rights throughout most of the fight and kept her opponent, Livia Renata Souza (9-0), moving back and away. From there Kankaanpää was able to pressure against the cage and occasionally take top position on the ground. Souza found some success of her own on her feet, but she was not on her a way to winning a points battle. A TKO seemed equally unlikely as the fight progressed into the second and third rounds, but her jiu-jitsu is admittedly her bread and butter.
"Katja is a tough opponent. She's more stronger than me. But I did my job. My job is to win fights & believe in my jiujitsu,” she told the press during the post-fight conference. Her perseverance paid off as she finally landed a triangle in the second half of the fourth. Kankaanpää initially weathered it, but Souza was able to adjust and complete the choke at 3:58. With the win, the Brazilian now has 9 wins with 8 via submission and is open to a challenge from any competitor in Invicta.
Vanessa Porto Defeats Roxanne Modafferi
Vanessa Porto avenged her 2008 loss to Roxanne Modafferi, though the win had some controversy as Porto clocked in 4 pounds over at weigh-ins and feels her win merits giving her the next shot shot at flyweight champ Barb Honchak. Still, this time Porto had the answer for Modafferi, countering some shots and twice dumping Modafferi on her back after she attempted a high knee with Porto’s back against the cage. Modafferi seemed to be landing the better exchanges in the third round, but by then it was too late. Porto successfully stifled Modafferi’s BJJ expertise and coasted to a three round decision.
Two Fight of the Night Bonuses
Invicta FC 12 had some pretty exciting matches, and the promotion rewarded the competitors accordingly. Invicta dropped two fight of the night bonuses at IFC 12. Hawaii’s Raquel Pa’aluhi and Brazil’s Ediane Gomes put on a three round battle that saw Pa’aluhi emerge victorious yet battered. Sitting with a swollen eye at the press conference, she proclaimed she was willing to battle anyone in the bantamweight division and did a convincing job of proving exactly that with a hard fought win over a tough veteran in Gomes.
It was also a night of success for some of the promotion’s newer athletes. Sijara Eubanks captured a first round TKO over Gina Begley who took the fight on short notice. Latoya Walker outboxed Peggy Morgan for a three round decision, and Sharon Jacobson put on a fun back and forth battle against Delaney “Lil’ Scrappy” Owen that won the second fight of the night bonus. Additionally, New Zealand’s Faith Van Duin earned a convincing schoolyard choke over Amanda Bell that earned her a performance of the night award.
Shannon Sinn vs. Maureen Riordon
Shannon Sinn and Maureen Riordon put on another fight of the night contender, but there’s only so much bonus money. Sinn is an Invicta mainstay and Riordon is transitioning to mma from Glory, but the two are former training partners with bad blood between them. That was apparent in a fight where both women were content to stand and bang for three solid rounds. The fight had some good back and forth action. Sinn’s counterpunching was slightly better than Riordon’s, but her face was much more damaged after the fight. It was a close fight, and when pressed if the fight had settled things between them, Sinn merely replied “we’ll see.”