Cyborg quickly showed why she is considered neck-and-neck with Ronda Rousey for the title of “Baddest Woman on the Planet.” She didn’t quite match Rousey’s recent 14-second title defense, but wasn’t far off.
Van Duin came out ready to engage, but so did Cyborg. While Van Duin threw a couple punches, Cyborg threw bombs, rocking the New Zealander with the first right hand she landed. Van Duin tried to tie-up with the champ, but Cyborg would have none of it.
Cyborg just kept throwing punches and pressuring Van Duin, landing nearly everything she threw. A furious punch combination had Van Duin backing up, but then Cyborg landed a brutal knee to the body that sent her to the canvas. Two more punches to the face of her downed opponent and the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
It wasn’t 14 seconds, but the end came just 45 ticks into the fight, a fitting thirtieth birthday present for Cyborg.
She wants more than ever to fight Rousey and settle their dispute once and for all.
“Let’s go train hard, make 135, 140, fight Ronda Rousey. Stop run,” she proclaimed.
But when pressed if she would and could make 135 pounds in her next fight, Cyborg hesitated, saying, “I don’t know.”
Whether or not she ever gets down to 135 pounds to fight Rousey, Cyborg is clearly the top featherweight female fighter in the world.
Tonya Evinger and Irene Aldana met in the night’s co-main event, battling for the vacant bantamweight championship. The fight was all Evinger.
Having been fighting for more than a decade, Evinger finally captured the first major championship of her career, and she did it in style. Evinger took Aldana to the canvas, round after round, and pummeled her with vicious elbows, hammerfists, and punches.
Although Aldana showed a lot of movement at the beginning of each round, she couldn’t avoid Evinger’s right hand, which found a home round after round and set up the takedowns.
Aldana toughed it out until deep into the fourth round, but Evinger took her down a final time, gained mount, and unloaded with elbows and punches until the referee stopped the fight.
It’s been a long time coming for Evinger, who said, “I’ve been after this since about the first fight I’ve ever had.”
While most fighters might look at the Invicta FC bantamweight championship as a step towards an eventual fight with UFC champion Ronda Rousey, that’s not Evinger’s plans.
“Invicta treats me good, so this is my home.”
Invicta strawweight champion Herica Tiburcio and challenger Ayaka Hamasaki kicked off the title fights with a five-round war, and it was a war that eventually fell to the Japanese fighter’s favor.
Hamasaki used a solid strategy, throwing heavy punches with the Brazilian champion, but only long enough to set up her takedowns. The fight played out that way, with Hamasaki taking Tiburcio down over and over for five rounds.
Tiburcio worked hard from her back to try and secure a submission. She nearly locked in a rear-naked choke in the third round, but ran out of time.
In the end, the judges scored the fight two in favor of Hamasaki and one for Tiburcio, handing the 115-pound title over to Hamasaki.
There were a few earlier fights, but the bout that really kicked things into gear on Thursday night was a back-and-forth affair between Pannie Kianzad and Jessica Rose-Clark. The fight ended with Kianzad getting the unanimous nod and remaining undefeated, but not before Rose-Clark pushed her cardio to the brink.
Invicta FC 14 will take place on Sept. 12 in Kansas City. Livia Renata Souza puts her strawweight championship on the line against Alexa Grasso in the night’s headliner.
Invicta FC 13: Cyborg vs. Van Duin Results
Cris Cyborg Justino def. Faith Van Duin by TKO (punches) at 0:45, R1
Tonya Evinger def. Irene Aldana by TKO (punches) at 4:38, R4
Ayaka Hamasaki def. Herica Tiburcio by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 49-46)
Pannie Kianzad def. Jessica-Rose Clark by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Amber Brown def. Catherine Costigan by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:34, R1
Jamie Moyle def. Amy Montenegro by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Amber Leibrock def. Marina Shafir by TKO (punches) at 0:37, R1