DENVER — On Wednesday, July 20, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 48: Tennant vs. Rubin. The fight card marked Invicta’s first event in Colorado, visiting ReelWorks Denver.
Taneisha Tennant remains the Invicta FC bantamweight champion after a hard-fought battle with Israel’s Olga Rubin. The opening stanza was primarily fought at range. The bantamweights fired kicks to get their timing before Rubin barreled forward into a clinch. She dragged Tennant to the mat, but could not control her. Rubin pinned Tennant to the cage and worked for a body lock. She attempted a lateral drop to no avail. Rubin connected with a left hand as the round expired. Round two began much like the first, with both fighters looking to find a rhythm. Tennant flurried forward and Rubin ducked under to clinch once more. She again looked for a takedown, but could not bring Tennant to the floor. After multiple exchanges, Tennant scored with a late combination to seal the round. Rubin flicked her lead leg in round three to keep Tennant at bay. It was ineffective as Tennant marched right through the strikes. Tennant’s aggression picked up, opening the door for Rubin to score with a blast double-leg takedown. However, Tennant rebounded immediately and the fight returned to the feet. The volume of Tennant picked up late in the frame. The championship rounds saw Tennant gain top position along the fence. As she tried to pass to half guard, Rubin slapped on a buggy choke from her back. Tennant did not panic and patiently waited for the round to close to survive the submission. The final round was a war of attrition as both fighters tried to dig deep. Rubin landed heavy shots, but Tennant landed with volume. Her output was just enough to edge out the frame on two of the judges’ scorecards, resulting in her defending the title via split decision.
UFC veteran Talita Bernardo took care of her fellow Brazilian Yana Gadelha in a bantamweight match-up. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts had a feeling out process on the feet. Bernardo delivered a thundering body kick that opened up a level change and she brought the fight to the ground. Bernardo attacked with a kimura, but Gadelha scrambled to top position. Bernardo tried to escape out the back, falling into a kneebar attempt. Gadelha cranked on the submission but could not find the finish. In round two, Gadelha flurried forward which allowed Bernardo to again change levels and take the fight to the ground. She quickly took the back of Gadelha and applied a choke attempt. Gadelha fought hard but was forced to submit to the deep rear-naked choke.
Oklahoma’s Kristina Williams and Brazilian Liana Pirosin battled to keep their winning streaks alive in the flyweight division. They exchanged range-finding strikes and kept the fight at distance early. Williams began to connect with long jabs and kicks, utilizing her length advantage. She dropped Pirosin with a massive right hand and quickly chased her to the mat. Williams took Pirosin’s back and applied a rear-naked choke. She squeezed hard and coerced the tap from the Brazilian.
Striking stalwarts Isis Verbeek and Melissa Oddessa put on a show in their strawweight affair. The crisp boxing of Oddessa was on display early. Verbeek used her kicking arsenal to keep Oddessa guessing. The pair traded a variety of strikes throughout the frame. Verbeek opened the second round with a devastating flying knee that sent Oddessa to the canvas. Oddessa was able to recover, but Verbeek continued to mix up her attacks despite the forward advance of Oddessa. A late flurry from Oddessa swung the momentum late in the second round. The third round was a close affair after both fighters tried to leave a lasting impression with the judges. Another late knee from Verbeek sealed the deal as she took home the unanimous decision verdict.
Featherweight sluggers Amber Leibrock and Morgan Frier showed a different element to their skillsets, with Leibrock earning a first-round submission win. Frier quickly closed the distance and looked to use her wrestling to take Leibrock down. Leibrock was eventually able to separate and the pair exchanged punches at range. Frier again clinched, but Leibrock delivered heavy knees before driving her to the mat. She rained left hands and took Frier’s back. From there, she sunk in the fight-finishing rear-naked choke.
The night opened in the bantamweight division as Auttumn Norton welcomed Canada’s Maria Djukic to the Invicta cage. Djukic wasted little time establishing her jab. Norton looked to counter, cracking Djukic with a heavy right hand off a low kick. A lead left hook from Norton sent the Canadian crashing to the canvas, but she was able to recover. Djukic leaked blood from her nose from the heavy shot. She went back to her jab and bloodied the nose of Norton. Another big right hand from Norton wobbled Djukic late in the round. Round two opened with another clean right from Norton. Djukic continued to pressure forward and ultimately walked into a massive punch that buckled her legs. Norton smelled the finish and pounded out the TKO victory.
Taneisha Tennant def. Olga Rubin by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 50-45) – for bantamweight title
Talita Bernardo def. Yana Gadelha by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 1:39
Kristina Williams def. Liana Pirosin by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 3:16
Isis Verbeek def. Melissa Oddessa by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Amber Leibrock def. Morgan Frier by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 3:09
Auttumn Norton def. Maria Djukic by TKO (punches). Round 2, 1:02
About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) 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.
About Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a global multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City, Cleveland and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; global film distribution company Gravitas Ventures; Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion; Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.