Evinger locked on a rear-naked choke to retain the title, forcing her opponent to tap out at 4:32 of the second round.
In the opening frame, Evinger forced the fight to the ground to earn the early advantage. However, she fought off an onslaught of submission attempts by Kunitskaya, angling out of a number of them before establishing top position. From there, she applied several punches to her downed opponent through the end of the round.
Evinger again brought the fight to the ground in the second round, but was forced to defend another submission attempt, this time a guillotine. After avoiding the sub, Evinger worked to gain her opponent’s back and cemented herself in that position. At that point, Kunitskaya did all she could to defend against the choke, but Evinger worked it in to force the tap late in the round.
With the win, Evinger improves to 19-5, 1 NC, while Kunitskaya drops to 9-3, 1 NC.
In the co-main event, Livia Renata Souza finished Ayaka Hamasaki in the opening round via strikes.
Souza, a former strawweight champion, blasted away at Hamasaki, the current atomweight champion, to set the pace early in the fight. In just 101 seconds, Souza picked up the technical knockout by landing a right hand that dropped her opponent, following that up with 10 consecutive strikes before the fight was called at 1:41 of Round 1.
Souza picked up the 10th win of her career with her victory over Hamasaki, who in defeat picks up only her second career loss.
Jodie Esquibel and DeAnna Bennett had a back-and-forth fight to the delight of the crowd. The result was a close one and ended up being a split decision. Esquibel walked away with the nod, picking up judges’ scores of 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28.
Other winners on the card included Ashley Cummins, Sunna Davidsdottir and Felicia Spencer, each picking up unanimous decisions, while Miranda Maverick stopped her opponent via armbar in the first round.
Full Invicta FC 22 Results:
Bantamweight Title: Tonya Evinger def. Yana Kunitskaya via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:32 of R2
Strawweight: Livia Renata Souza def. Ayaka Hamasaki via TKO (strikes) at 1:41 of R1
Strawweight: Jodie Esquibel def. DeAnna Bennett via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Atomweight: Ashley Cummins def. Amber Brown via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Strawweight: Sunna Davidsdottir def. Mallory Martin via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Strawweight: Miranda Maverick def. Kal Holliday via submission (armbar) at 3:01 of R1
Featherweight: Felicia Spencer def. Madison McElhaney via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Follow Erik Fontanez on Twitter: @LordFonzz.
(Photo by Esther Lin, courtesy of Invicta FC)