KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Thursday, July 30, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 41: Morandin vs. Ruiz. The entire fight card aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
Mexico’s Montserrat Ruiz put on the most dominant performance of the night in the main event, submitting former title challenger Janaisa Morandin in the first round. Ruiz barreled forward at the opening bell, looking to clinch. The Brazilian Morandin kept her range and scored with heavy leg kicks. Ruiz was able to clinch, but Morandin spun her to the fence and separated. After a brief exchange, Ruiz again flurried forward and backed Morandin to the fence. She secured a head-and-arm throw to put Morandin on the mat. From the scarf hold position, Ruiz attacked the right arm of Morandin with a keylock and coerced the tap.
Flyweight phenom Erin Blanchfield extended her winning streak to three, topping veteran Brogan Sanchez after a three-round battle. Sanchez utilized quick footwork and feints early, popping the head of Blanchfield with a right jab. Blanchfield turned the tide with a heavy right hand of her own. She swarmed Sanchez with punches and a big kick, but the Guam native was able to recover. The 21-year-old Blanchfield spammed her right kick against the opposite stance Sanchez. A late takedown sealed the frame for Blanchfield. It was another aggressive start from Sanchez in round two, but Blanchfield continued to throw her right kick. She powered Sanchez to the fence and snapped her to the ground. Sanchez was able to escape and evade, but it was short lived. Blanchfield scored with a punching combination and ducked under for a takedown. She passed to mount and rained elbows. Blanchfield jumped to the crucifix position and landed another heavy elbow. She looked for a keylock, but Sanchez defended as the round expired. Blanchfield avoided the fast start from Sanchez in the final frame by securing a body lock and eventually earning a single-leg takedown. From side control, Blanchfield sought a kimura. After controlling the entire round, Blancfield passed to mount late and dropped an onslaught of punches. She nearly got the stoppage, but the result was never in doubt as she earned 30-26 scores from all three judges.
Former featherweight title challenger Kaitlin Young welcomed Texas native Latoya Walker back to the Invicta cage after a lengthy layoff. Walker showed no ring rust, unleashing her hands right away. As she found a home for her jab, Young began to counter with body kicks. That slowed the advance of Walker, allowing Young to then target the lead leg of Walker. The right hand of Walker lost its effectiveness as the round progressed and Young was able to mix up her kicking attack. The second round began with a flurry from Walker, but Young circled away and went back to her kicks. After a series of low kicks, Walker switched to southpaw and Young began attacking her other leg. Young earned a brief takedown, but allowed Walker to return to her feet. It was all Young in the closing moments of the frame. Walker was down, but not out in the final round. She came out with another flurry and caught Young with punches in boxing range. That prompted Young to secure the clinch. She scored with a left elbow and right hand that stunned Walker. Young followed with knees and punches. Despite being controlled in the clinch, Walker never wilted. The fight saw the scorecards, but it was a clean sweep for Young.
In a match-up of unbeaten flyweights, Florida’s Caitlin Sammons outworked Colorado’s Claire Guthrie to capture a split-decision victory. Guthrie was active early with her jab and low kicks. Sammons closed the distance and pushed the fight to the fence. She worked hard for position, but Guthrie was able to separate. The pair maintained a measured pace as they traded combinations. In round two, Sammons went back to the clinch and looked for a takedown. Guthrie used a whizzer to remain upright and delivered knees to the body. When the pair separated, Guthrie connected on a solid right hand and continued to score from range. The final stanza saw Sammons work hard for a takedown and brought the fight to the mat for the first time. She quickly transitioned to Guthrie’s back. Once in the dominant position, Sammons would not give it up, taking the round and the fight on the scorecards.
The opening bout of the evening featured the pro debuts of Alexa Culp and Natalya Speece. Speece threw a kick early, but Culp caught it and took the fight to the ground. A brief triangle choke attempt from Speece allowed Culp to transition to her back. Once there, Culp was glued to her back for the remainder of the frame, but she could not find a finish. Round two began with some solid clinch work from Speece, who landed knees and elbows. Culp was able to muscle the fight back to the canvas and methodically passed to half guard. Speece tried to work back to her feet, but Culp again took her back and this time, she was able to secure the fight-finishing choke.
Montserrat Ruiz def. Janaisa Morandin by submission (scarf hold keylock). Round 1, 3:28
Erin Blanchfield def. Brogan Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
Kaitlin Young def. Latoya Walker by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Caitlin Sammons def. Claire Guthrie by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Alexa Culp def. Natalya Speece by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 3:59
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.