Kansas City, Mo. — On Friday, Dec. 8, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedźwiedź 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.
Jennifer Maia is still the Invicta flyweight champion after a five-round war with Poland’s Aga Niedźwiedź. The Brazilian rocked Niedźwiedź early with a right hand that caused the right cheek of the challenger to swell. Niedźwiedź was able to get the fight to the canvas late in the opening round, but Maia was active from her back. It was Niedźwiedź who did the damage in round two, rocking Maia with punches. The champion survived and implemented her strong clinch game. Maia relentlessly pinned Niedźwiedź to the fence and weighed on her. The grueling action took its toll on Niedźwiedź, as Maia turned up her output in the championship rounds. Both fighters bled from their noses in the final round, but Maia’s volume was the difference as all three judges rewarded her efforts.
Mackenzie Dern stayed undefeated in her Invicta debut, submitting former strawweight title challenger Kaline Medeiros in the third round. Dern found success with her overhand right throughout the fight, rocking Medeiros on several occasions. A mouse formed under the left eye of Medeiros from the heavy shots. The fight found the ground in round two and Dern looked for a toe hold before passing to mount and scoring with ground and pound. Most of the third stanza took place on the feet, but Dern went for the finish in the bout’s final minute. She earned a trip takedown, passed to mount and then earned a tap from an armbar with just seconds remaining in the fight.
A pair of Brazilians delivered one of the bloodiest fights in Invicta history as Janaisa Morandin and Kinberly Novaes went to war for three rounds. The two immediately went to the clinch and began delivering elbows and knees. When they did separate, it was Morandin who scored with big punches. The second round saw Morandin severely damage the nose of Novaes and blood began to pour all over both fighters. The assault by Morandin continued throughout the remainder of the fight as she pressed forward and battered Novaes. Novaes survived to the final horn, but Morandin swept the scorecards.
Two-time flyweight title challenger Vanessa Porto survived an early storm from UFC veteran Milana Dudieva to earn a third-round TKO victory. Porto’s kicking arsenal was on display in the opening stanza, until Dudieva caught her with a punch behind the ear. Porto looked for a takedown, but Dudieva was able to secure the scarf-hold position and eventually took her back. She rained punches, but Porto survived and moved to top position. Round two featured more of Porto’s stand-up attack, as she chewed up the lead leg of Dudieva with kicks. In the final frame, Porto shifted her strikes to the body of Dudieva, backing her against the fence. An onslaught of punches and kicks to the midsection sent Dudieva to the canvas, handing Porto the TKO win.
Brazil’s Virna Jandiroba remained undefeated and sent a message to the rest of the strawweight division, submitting Amy Montenegro inside the first round. Jandiroba peppered Montenegro with body kicks before changing levels and securing a takedown. She smoothly transitioned from side control to mount before locking up the arm of Montenegro and earning the victory.
Former atomweight title challenger Amber Brown got back in the win column with a lightning-fast submission win over Tessa Simpson. Brown looked to get the fight to the ground right off the bat, but Simpson was able to scramble to top position. Brown slapped on an armbar from her back, forcing Simpson to defend and eventually tap less than a minute into the fight.
In a battle of flyweight striking stalwarts, Mexico’s Karina Rodríguez used crisp boxing and volume to edge out Christine Ferea on the scorecards. Ferea’s kicking game was the story early in the fight, but Rodríguez used the clinch to score knees and settle into range. Rodríguez fired combination after combination, but Ferea marched forward throughout the three-round affair. The pair traded until the final bell, but it was Rodríguez who had her hand raised.
Kicking off the night, strawweight Kay Hansen was successful in her professional debut, submitting fellow newcomer Emilee Prince by armbar. Hansen initiated the clinch and took the fight to the mat. She passed to mount, attacked the left arm of Prince and coerced the tap.
Jennifer Maia def. Aga Niedźwiedź by unanimous decision (49-46 x3) – for flyweight title
Mackenzie Dern def. Kaline Medeiros by submission (armbar). Round 3, 4:45
Janaisa Morandin def. Kinberly Novaes by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Vanessa Porto def. Milana Dudieva by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 3:02
Virna Jandiroba def. Amy Montenegro by submission (armbar). Round 1, 2:50
Amber Brown def. Tessa Simpson by submission (armbar). Round 1, 0:50
Karina Rodríguez def. Christine Ferea by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Kay Hansen def. Emilee Prince by submission (armbar). Round 1, 1:23
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.