Kansas City, Mo. — On Saturday, Jan. 13, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 27: Kianzad vs. Kaufman from the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo. The event streamed live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
Sarah Kaufman’s return to the Invicta cage was a successful one as the former Strikeforce bantamweight champion and UFC veteran bested Pannie Kianzad by decision. Kaufman’s striking arsenal was on full display throughout the contest. She landed her right hand in the clinch throughout the bout, bloodying the nose of Kianzad early in the fight. Kianzad never backed down, firing spinning backfists and a variety of kicks. But Kaufman’s veteran savvy was too much, as she landed with more and more volume as the fight progressed. The Canadian swept the scorecards after three rounds.
Former flyweight title challenger Vanessa Porto continued her march back towards title contention, dispatching of her fellow Brazilian Mariana Morais in the first round. Porto landed heavy leg kicks as the fight begin, prompting Morais to shoot for a takedown. Porto scrambled to the back of Morais, who desperately tried to defend Porto’s submission attack. Porto sunk in a rear-naked choke late in the round, coercing the tap from Morais.
In a classic striker vs. grappler affair, it was the wrestler, Sharon Jacobson, that came out on top of Canada’s Ashley Nichols. Jacobson initiated the clinch to start the fight and aimed to take the fight to the mat. Nichols countered with heavy knees and punches, dropping Jacobson in the opening round. Jacobson secured a takedown and was able to recover. The relentless wrestling of Jacobson was the story of the rest of the fight, as she was able to put Nichols on her back repeatedly. The final five minutes was all Jacobson, who used the knee-on-belly technique to pepper Nichols with punches and elbows and capture the win.
Atomweight Ashley Cummins completed dominated promotional debutant Stephanie Alba over three rounds. Cummins was able to take the fight to the mat in every round, where she meticulously delivered ground and pound. The first round was filled with short elbow from the half guard, as Alba could not get off her back. Cummins sought an arm-triangle choke in the second stanza, but Alba defended well. In the final frame, Cummins sought the finish, scoring with combinations before yet another takedown. She dropped punches to the final bell, but had to settle for decision victory.
Guam’s Brogan Walker-Sanchez handed Cheri Muraski her first professional defeat after a grueling, three-round contest. Muraski’s intentions were clear from the opening bell as she closed the distance and looked to take Walker-Sanchez to the mat. Walker-Sanchez was able to score with elbows from the clinch and use her underhooks to stay standing. Muraski did find herself inside the full guard at one point, but was unable to pass to a dominant position. The pair jostled for position along the fence for the majority of the fight, but two of the three judges rewarded Walker-Sanchez the decision.
Felicia Spencer kept her undefeated record intact, besting debuting featherweight Akeela Al-Hameed by decision. The fight featured a contrast of styles as Al-Hameed employed a boxing attack against Spencer’s taekwondo base. The pair traded head kicks in the opening frame after a grueling stint in the clinch. Al-Hameed’s best moment came in the form of a standing guillotine choke attempt against the fence, but Spencer showcased great flexibility to land knees from the vicarious position. Spencer would gain top control late in the fight, sealing the win on all the judges’ scorecards.
Strawweight Mallory Martin gave Tiffany Masters a rude welcome to the Invicta FC cage, earning a second-round stoppage due to strikes. Martin pressed forward in the opening round, scoring with her left hook inside the pocket. Masters countered with volume, but Martin took her down and rained elbows from the top. It was more of the same in round two as Martin mounted Masters along the fence and dropped heavy shots. The onslaught led the referee to intervene and give Martin the victory.
Making her professional MMA debut, Muay Thai stylist Loma Lookboonmee put on a striking clinic, battering Mellissa Wang over three rounds. Wang immediately looked to take the fight to the mat, but Loma countered with knees and elbows in the clinch. The shots took their toll on Wang, who bled from her nose and left eye. The fight was paused twice by the referee after the Thai fighter landed knees while Wang was a downed fighter. Despite a point deduction, Loma swept the scorecards with the impressive performance.
In a match-up of strawweight newcomers, Helen Peralta needed less than a round to dispatch of Jade Ripley with strikes. Peralta used her kicks to find her range and began to land her right hand at will. After buckling the knees of Ripley in the clinch, Peralta delivered a series of punches along the fence that forced the referee to halt the contest.
Sarah Kaufman def. Pannie Kianzad by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Vanessa Porto def. Mariana Morais by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:19
Sharon Jacobson def. Ashley Nichols by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Ashley Cummins def. Stephanie Alba by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Brogan Walker-Sanchez def. Cheri Muraski by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Felicia Spencer def. Akeela Al-Hameed by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Mallory Martin def. Tiffany Masters by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 3:36
Loma Lookboonmee def. Mellissa Wang by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-26)
Helen Peralta def. Jade Ripley by TKO (punches). Round 1, 2:22
About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.