Kansas City, Kan. — On Friday, Feb. 7, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 39: Frey vs. Cummins II from Memorial Hall. The entire fight card aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
Former atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey made sure no one else would leave Kansas City with the belt. After giving up the belt due to missing weight, Frey defeated No. 1 contender Ashley Cummins after five competitive rounds. The first round was spent entirely on the feet. Cummins used her jab to establish range. Frey looked for her power left, but it did not land initially. Cummins clinched and landed short knees. Frey found success with a body kick, but she struggled to match the output of Cummins. In round two, Cummins again scored with combinations. Frey delivered a heavy left hand that cut Cummins over her right eye. She followed it with a looping right hook that dropped Cummins for a moment. Round three featured more back-and-forth action. Cummins was relentless with her pressure and jab. Frey stayed on the outside and again looked for her power punches. A brief clinch saw Cummins batter the body of Frey. They exchanged low kicks in a very close frame. The fourth round saw Cummins initiate the clinch and score with foot stomps. Her forward pressure continued, but Frey was able to counter. The Texan landed with kicks to try and slow the movement of Cummins. In the final stanza, Frey used her kicking arsenal and pushed the pace. When the scorecards were read, it was Frey who walked away with the decision win.
In the night’s co-main event, Phoenix Series winner Miranda Maverick earned a title shot with a dominant performance against UFC veteran Pearl Gonzalez. The pair traded kicks early, but Maverick wasted little time establishing her ground dominance. She put Gonzalez on the ground and took her back. The former title challenger Gonzalez showed poise, defending from her back and staying active. The second round started strong for Gonzalez, who scored with a hip toss and gained top position. Maverick never panicked and eventually reversed position. The 22-year-old moved to mount late in the frame, battering Gonzalez with strikes. It was more of the same in the third, as Maverick repeatedly put Gonzalez on the mat and prevented her from mounting any offense. The fight went to the judges, but there was never any doubt as Maverick swept the scorecards.
Atomweight contenders Alesha Zappitella and Kelly D’Angelo put on a show in their three-round battle. Zappitella came forward early, flurrying with punching combinations. D’Angelo looked to counter and batter the lead leg of her wrestling counterpart. After five minutes of trading on the feet, Zappitella went to her strong grappling attack, putting D’Angelo on her back. The Missouri native threatened Zappitella with an armbar, but Zappitella remained calm and controlled from the top. Zappitella repeatedly passed to side control. D’Angelo stayed active in the third round, peppering Zappitella with counter punches. Zappitella’s wrestling proved to be the difference, as she captured the clear-cut judges’ decision.
Flyweight Erin Blanchfield thrilled the crowd with a second-round knockout over veteran Victoria Leonardo. Louisiana’s Leonardo was the aggressor early, staying in the face of her younger foe. Blanchfield tried for a hip toss, but Leonardo used a whizzer to stay off her back. The pair separated and Blanchfield unleashed a left head kick that sent Leonardo crashing to the canvas. Blanchfield flurried for a finish, but Leonardo showed great heart to recover and survive the round. In the second round, Leonardo sought the clinch along the fence. Blanchfield was able to separate and fired another left head kick that put Leonardo down for good.
New York’s Jillian DeCoursey showcased her grappling chops, besting Linda Mihalec in their atomweight affair. Mihalec tried to bring the fight to the mat, but was quickly reversed and put on her back. She powered to top position, but DeCoursey swept her along the fence with a kimura attempt. DeCoursey scored with ground and pound as the round expired. In round two, DeCoursey caught Mihalec with a clean overhand right before powering into a double-leg takedown. Mihalec looked for a leg lock, but DeCoursey defended and finished the round on top. Kentucky’s Mihalec pushed the pace early in the final stanza, dragging DeCoursey to the ground. She transitioned to the back, which gave DeCoursey an opening to spin into her guard. Mihalec powered to top position one final time in the fight’s final minute, but DeCoursey swept her again to put the finishing touches on the decision victory.
The night kicked off with a bantamweight battle between newcomers Monica Franco and Tina Pettigrew. California’s Pettigrew found success early with her jab and pushed Franco to the cage. She brought the fight to the ground and took Franco’s back. Pettigrew threatened with an armbar, but Franco was able to escape. Franco’s counter striking was the difference in the second round, keeping Pettigrew at bay. The final round featured Pettigrew seeking a takedown, but Franco battered her with short punches and elbows to seal the decision win.
Jinh Yu Frey def. Ashley Cummins by unanimous decision (48-47 x3)
Miranda Maverick def. Pearl Gonzalez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Alesha Zappitella def. Kelly D’Angelo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Erin Blanchfield def. Victoria Leonardo by knockout (head kick). Round 3, 2:06
Jillian DeCoursey def. Linda Mihalec by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Monica Franco def. Tina Pettigrew by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
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 (InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.