Invicta Fighting Championships was back at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri on Friday with Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedwiedz. Flyweight champion Jennifer Maia put her title on the line for the second time in the fight card’s main event against undefeated challenger Agnieszka Niedzwiedz.
Maia entered the fight on a 13-month layoff due to injury and had to overcome some serious adversity to retain her flyweight title. In the late stages of the opening round, Niedzwiedz caught a kick and landed a short right hand that knocked Maia down. At the start of the second frame, Niedzwiedz caught Maia with a left hand that staggered the champion. Niedzwiedz looked for a finish but Maia was able to clinch before suffering much more damage.
Maia began landing her right hand regularly in the second round and she continued to land it throughout the remainder of the bout. Most of the last three rounds played out in the clinch position with Maia controlling Niedzwiedz along the cage. It was the first time the 22-year-old Polish fighter had gone five rounds and Maia traditionally gets stronger as the fight goes on. That’s what happened on Friday. After the third round, Niedzwiedz wasn’t able to mount an effective offensive attack. Nonetheless, she took the champion the distance, but all three judges scored the fight 49-46 for Maia.
“I knew that it was going to be very tough and she was going to be very tough and I trained for this. The main things was defending my belt and keeping it and I did it tonight,” said Maia after the win.
Grappling standout Mackenzie Dern made her anticipated promotional debut in the fight card’s co-main event against former title challenger Kaline Medeiros. Dern displayed improved striking, staggering Medeiros with a right hand in the opening round.
In the second frame, Dern took Medieros down late in the round. She mounted Medeiros, postured up and unloaded a series of punches. Medeiros rolled exposing her back to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion but survived the round.
The engaged in a clinch battle in the final frame. Medeiros delivered knees to the body of Dern. Dern secured a takedown and advanced to the mount position. She postured up and rained down punches before isolating an arm. She applied an armbar and Medeiros was forced to tap out with 15 seconds remaining in the fight.
“It wasn’t perfect of course, but like I always so, as long as the next step is better than the last. I just want to keep moving forward, so I’m happy,” she said after he debut win. “I was happy with showing my standup and getting the finish.”
Former flyweight title challenger Vanessa Porto defeated Milana Dudieva by TKO in the third round of their flyweight bout. Dudieva had success in the opening round and nearly finished Porto on the ground with strikes. Porto survived and came back in the second round and got the finish in the third. He hurt Dudieva to the body with a punch. Dudieva tried to fight with her back against the cage but after absorbing another shot to the body she crumbled to the canvas.
Virna Jandiroba remained unbeaten in her promotional debut by submitting Invicta FC veteran Amy Montenegro in the first round. She extended her record to 12-0 and put the strawweight division on notice.
“Keep your eyes on me. I’m a finisher,” she said after the win.
Former atomweight title challenger Amber Brown picked up a much needed win against Tessa Simpson to end a three-fight losing streak.
Brown caught a kick and took Simpson down, but when they hit the ground Simpson swept Brown. Brown quickly applied an armbar forcing Simpson to tap out just 50 seconds into the fight.
“I’m so happy right now. I’m so happy. I’ve been working my butt off for this. I’m just so happy,” she said following the submission win. “I m comfortable on the ground. That’s where I feel most confortable, so it doesn’t really matter what ranking or belt she has. I feel comfortable there and capitalized on it.”
Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedwiedz Full Results:
– Jennifer Maia def. Agnieszka Niedzwiedz by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
– Mackenzie Dern def. Kaline Medeiros by submission (armbar) at 4:45, R3
– Janaisa Morandin def. Kinberly Novaes by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
– Vanessa Porto def. Milana Dudieva by TKO (punches) at 3:05, R3
– Virna Jandiroba def. Amy Montenegro by submission (armbar) at 2:50, R1
– Amber Brown def. Tessa Simpson by submission (armbar) at 0:50, R1
– Karina Rodriguez def. Christine Ferea by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
– Kay Hansen def. Emilee Prince by submission (armbar) at 1:23, R1