Kansas City, Kan. — On Friday, Aug. 9, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 36: Sorenson vs. Young from Memorial Hall. The entire fight card aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
Pam Sorenson is the new Invicta FC featherweight champion after defeating Kaitlin Young in the night’s main event. Young stayed a range early in the fight, but forced Sorenson to back up. Sorenson responded by throwing overhands and then changing levels for a takedown. She struggled to keep Young down initially, but eventually secured top position. Young gave up her back to stand and delivered a knee to a grounded Sorenson. That foul resulted in a point a deduction, but the fight continued. In round two, Young’s striking began to take over. That was short-lived though, as Sorenson ducked under a right hand and put her on the ground. She took Young’s back and threatened with a rear-naked choke. The veteran Young did not panic, calmly defending the submission attempt and spinning into the guard of Sorenson. Round three was nearly a carbon copy of the second, with Sorenson bringing the fight to the mat, but Young finding ways to defend and work to top position. Sorenson finished the round with an armbar attempt and her best striking exchange of the bout. In round four, the grappling exchanges turned in favor of Young for a moment. She spun into Sorenson’s half guard, then passed to mount and looked for an arm-triangle. Sorenson escaped and finished the frame strong. The final round was punctuated with yet another Sorenson takedown. She nearly mounted Young, but settled for taking her back along the fence. She held that position until the final bell, securing the dominant performance. The judges rendered a unanimous verdict after the five-round affair.
Strawweight newcomer Emily Ducote did not waste any time putting her stamp on the promotion, crushing former title challenger Janaisa Morandin inside the first round. Ducote use her reach to keep the Brazilian Morandin on the outside. Morandin tried to flurry to boxing range, but was met with stiff right hands. That was the tone of the fight, as with less than a minute left in the first stanza, a right hand from Ducote put Morandin on the canvas. Ducote smelled blood and rained heavy punches, forcing the referee to intervene.
Brazil’s Jéssica Delboni picked up a split-decision win over fellow atomweight Lindsey VanZandt. Delboni fired kicks to open the contest. VanZandt looked to return fire, but the Brazilian caught a kick and dumped her to the canvas. Delboni peppered VanZandt with kicks to prevent her from getting to her feet. When she did work to her feet, Delboni put her back on the mat. VanZandt threatened with a triangle choke late in the round, but could not find a finish. It was VanZandt who opted to take the fight to the ground in the middle round. She put Delboni on her back, then took her back and secured a body-triangle. Delboni defended the submission attempts and spun to top position, but VanZandt closed the frame with an armbar attempt. Round three started with a Delboni takedown, but she did little with it and the fight returned to the feet. The fighters jostled for position in the clinch for the remainder of the fight, sending the fight to the scorecards. When the scores were revealed, it was Delboni who walked away victorious.
Victoria Leonardo put the first blemish on the record of Oklahoma’s Stephanie Geltmacher after a three-round war. There was no feeling-out process between the two flyweights as Geltmacher quickly barreled forward. Leonardo answered with short shots. Geltmacher earned a brief takedown, but Leonardo bounced right back to her feet. The taller Leonardo used her height and reach advantage to batter the face of Geltmacher from distance. In round two, Geltmacher’s nose opened up from Leonardo’s punches. That didn’t slow her down, however as she took the fight to the ground and took Leonardo’s back. Leonardo remained calm and scrambled to top position, where she delivered more punishment. Both fighters wore plenty of damage entering the fight’s last frame. Leonardo was unrelenting at range, cracking Geltmacher with right hand after right hand. Geltmacher never stopped coming forward, despite her nose bleeding heavily. The back-and-forth battle went the distance and Leonardo edged out the decision win.
Atomweight Alyse Anderson scored a hard-fought decision victory over late-notice opponent Katie Saull. The first round belonged to Anderson, as she was able to push Saull to the cage and take her back on the feet. She applied a body-triangle and dragged Saull to the ground. She worked hard for a rear-naked choke, but the Canadian defended well. Saull’s boxing was on display early in round two, but Anderson was able to close the distance and take the fight to the ground. Saull was active from her back, preventing Anderson from mounting offense or passing her guard. The final stanza opened with Saull landing from range, forcing Anderson to clinch along the fence. Anderson powered the fight to the mat, but once again could not pass the guard. The judges were called upon and awarded Anderson the split-decision nod.
Flyweight Caitlin Sammons earned her second straight win, submitting knockout artist Chantel Coates in the second round via rear-naked choke. Coates largely dominated the opening round, peppering Sammons with her hands. Sammons delivered low kicks to get the fight at range, but frequently found herself absorbing punches. Coates dropped Sammons briefly near the end of the round with a left hand. It was more of the same early in round two, as Coates continued to find success in the stand-up department. The tide of the fight turned quickly as Sammons secured a trip takedown and took the back of Coates. She quickly applied a choke and coerced the tap from Coates.
Bantamweight debutants graced the cage in the night’s second bout as Erin Harpe took on Auttumn Norton. Harpe was aggressive to open the bout, flurrying forward and looking for a takedown. Norton kept the fight upright for a moment, but eventually Harpe took her down with a single and delivered ground and pound. The second stanza took place on the feet with Norton showcasing her hand speed and repeatedly finding the jaw of Harpe with punches. The fight’s final frame featured a quick takedown from Harpe, who re-established her top control. She briefly mounted Norton and busted open her nose with strikes. The judges at cageside were split, but Harpe earned the victory.
Kicking off the night’s action were bantamweight newcomers Julia Ottolino and Megan Cawley. Ottolino used constant forward pressure and leg kicks to establish her range. Cawley looked to counter, but struggled to match the output of the Chicago native. Cawley landed a counter left hook in round two that briefly stunned Ottolino, but she could not capitalize. The third round saw Ottolino unleash multiple superwoman punches that found the jaw of Cawley. The fight went the distance and the judges rendered a clean sweep for Ottolino.
Pam Sorenson def. Kaitlin Young by unanimous decision (50-44, 49-45, 48-45) – for featherweight title
Emily Ducote def. Janaisa Morandin by knockout (punches). Round 1, 4:03
Jéssica Delboni def. Lindsey VanZandt by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Victoria Leonardo def. Stephanie Geltmacher by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Alyse Anderson def. Katie Saull by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Caitlin Sammons def. Chantel Coates by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 4:10
Erin Harpe def. Auttumn Norton by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-27)
Julia Ottolino def. Megan Cawley by unanimous decision (30-27 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.