Kansas City, Mo. — On Saturday, Sept. 1, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 31: Jandiroba vs. Morandin from the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo. The event streamed live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
The Invicta FC strawweight belt remains around the waist of undefeated Brazilian Virna Jandiroba after she submitted countrywoman Janaisa Morandin. After a feeling out process on the feet, the champion exploded for a takedown. She worked to the mount position, but Morandin was able to recover her guard. Jandiroba peppered Morandin with short shots as the first round came to a close. Round two saw Jandiroba again earn a takedown, but this time, she effortlessly passed to mount and attacked the neck of the challenger with a choke. The arm-triangle was deep, forcing Morandin to submit.
Pearl Gonzalez picked up her third straight win — second in the flyweight division — with a decision victory over Brazilian Daiane Firmino. Gonzalez fired kicks immediately which allowed Firmino to power the fight to the ground. Gonzalez was able to gain top position, but Firmino worked back to her feet. The pair worked hard in the clinch, trading short knees. The second round saw Gonzalez land a huge throw to delight the crowd. Gonzalez worked from the scarf hold position, threatening with multiple submissions. Firmino was game, nearly taking Gonzalez’s back. In the last frame, Firmino pushed the action. She secured a takedown, but was forced to defend an armbar attempt and triangle choke threat from Gonzalez. The fight went to the judges for a verdict and they rewarded Gonzalez for her efforts.
In a battle of undefeated bantamweights, Lisa Spangler narrowly edged Shanna Young on the scorecards. The karate style of Young was evident from the opening bell, as she repeatedly fired head kicks with her lead leg. The attacks appeared to surprise Spangler, as she absorbed a lot of punishment early, bleeding heavily from her nose. Spangler settled in during the second round, landing combinations and marching through the kick attempts. Young continued her kicking arsenal, but Spangler landed heavy punches to the body. The fight’s lone takedown came in round three, as Spangler briefly put Young on her back. The pair returned to the center of the cage in the waning moments, trading heavy punches as the crowd erupted. The judges were split, with Spangler handing Young her first defeat.
Colorado’s Mallory Martin continued her winning streak, stopping Canada’s Ashley Nichols in the third round. Nichols started strong, dropping Martin early with a right hand. Martin recovered and was able to earn a takedown. The second stanza saw Martin earn another takedown, but she was unable to mount much offense. Round three saw Martin come out aggressively. She put Nichols on her back along the fence and went for the finish. Martin dropped a series of heavy elbows, hurting Nichols in the process. The referee saved Nichols from further damage, giving Martin the TKO victory.
Flyweight Miranda Maverick quickly returned to the win column with a first-round finish of Louisiana’s Victoria Leonardo. After a brief striking exchange, Maverick closed the distance and methodically worked for a takedown. Once on top, she passed to the mount. Leonardo tried to escape through the back door, but Maverick latched onto her right arm. Leonardo desperately looked to escape, but Maverick cranked hard, coercing the armbar finish.
Competing as an atomweight for the first time, Missouri’s Kelly D’Angelo bested newcomer Lindsey VanZandt by decision. VanZandt was quick to attack with her takedowns, but fell into the dangerous guard of VanZandt. D’Angelo first attacked with a triangle choke, then an armbar. VanZandt nearly turned purple, but did not tap. D’Angelo was able to mount and deliver punishment from the top. It was more of the same in round two, as D’Angelo again threatened with submissions. VanZandt went for it in round three, firing high kicks and a flying knee, but it wasn’t enough, as D’Angelo scored the unanimous decision win.
Strawweight Kay Hansen used a well-round attack, earning a third-round stoppage win over the previously undefeated Helen Peralta. The pair spent the majority of the first two rounds jostling for position in the clinch. Hansen was able to change levels — avoiding any damage — and scoring with takedowns. In the third round, Hansen’s work paid off, as she earned a big slam and passed to the mount. Once there, she unleashed a flurry of elbows and punches that forced the referee to step in and halt the contest.
Kicking off the night’s action live and free on Facebook, featherweights Audrey Wolfe and Holli Salazar battled to a draw after three rounds. Salazar repeatedly landed her right hand early, prompting a takedown from Wolfe. Salazar attacked with an armbar from her back that forced Wolfe to defend. In the second frame, Salazar again did damage with her right hand, scoring in the clinch. Wolfe worked hard for a takedown in the final frame. She landed an illegal head butt from inside the guard of Salazar, forcing referee Greg Franklin to deduct a point. That proved to be a factor, as all three judges scored the bout a draw.
Virna Jandiroba def. Janaisa Morandin by submission (arm-triangle choke). Round 2, 2:23 – for strawweight title
Pearl Gonzalez def. Daiane Firmino by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-27)
Lisa Spangler def. Shanna Young by split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Mallory Martin def. Ashley Nichols by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 1:05
Miranda Maverick def. Victoria Leonardo by submission (armbar). Round 1, 3:26
Kelly D’Angelo def. Lindsey VanZandt unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Kay Hansen def. Helen Peralta by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 4:16
Holli Salazar vs. Audrey Wolfe ruled a unanimous draw (28-28 x3)
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.