Sara McMann had to work hard to keep her perfect professional record intact.
The 2004 Olympic wrestling silver medalist made a late push to earn a unanimous decision victory over Shayna Baszler in the Invicta Fighting Championships 2 headliner Saturday at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. All three judges scored it in favor of McMann (6-0): 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
A protégé of former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, Baszler (14-7) gave the unbeaten Olympian a serious run for her money. “The Queen of Spades” countered beautifully throughout the 15-minute affair, attacked McMann’s legs with kicks and did a superb job of staying on her feet against the decorated amateur wrestler.
McMann refused to be denied, however, and delivered takedowns in each of the final two rounds while holding her own in the standup exchanges.
Davis First to Submit Akano
Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu representative Alexis Davis became the first woman to submit Hitomi Akano, as she took out the Japanese import with a second-round rear-naked choke. Akano (18-11) conceded defeat 3:41 into round two of their 135-pound co-main event.
Davis (12-5) set the tone in the first round, where she utilized her kicks and struck for a takedown. She wobbled Akano in the second, drove her to the ground and dodged an attempted armbar. From there, Davis let loose with punches and secured the choke. To her credit, Akano did not go quietly. She fought the submission for half a minute before finally surrendering.
‘Girl-Rilla’ Carmouche Taps Young
Onetime Strikeforce title contender Liz Carmouche coaxed a tapout from Kaitlin Young with a second-round rear-naked choke. Carmouche (7-2) brought the 135-pound duel to a close 3:34 into round two.
Young (7-6-1) enjoyed a strong first frame, as he she mixed up her strikes, shut down Carmouche’s takedowns and attacked with effective standup, both from a distance and in close quarters. The momentum did not carry over. In the second round, Carmouche bullied her to the ground, won a scramble for top position and eventually moved to mount, forcing Young to surrender her back with heavy punches. The choke came next, followed by the tapout.
Jewels Champion Hamasaki Stays Unbeaten
Reigning Jewels titleholder Ayaka Hamasaki submitted Lacey Schuckman with a third-round armbar in a 115-pound encounter. Hamasaki (8-0) sealed it 4:45 into round three.
Takedowns and an active top game proved pivotal for the 30-year-old Japanese standout, as she kept Shuckman (7-5) pinned beneath her for much of the match. After a trip takedown in the third round, Hamasaki moved to the mounted crucifix position before ultimately transitioning to the fight-ending armbar.
Nunes Choke Finishes Pa’aluhi
Strikeforce veteran Amanda Nunes posted her seventh win in her last eight appearances, as she rendered Raquel Pa’aluhi unconscious with a first-round rear-naked choke. Pa’aluhi (2-3) blacked out 2:24 into round one of their 135-pound battle.
Nunes (7-2) was in trouble early, as the Hawaiian secured back control, brought her to the ground and worked for a choke of her own. However, Pa’aluhi transitioned to an ill-advised armbar and lost position. Nunes then moved to her opponent’s back, locked up the choke and finished it.
Meanwhile, Sarah D’Alelio (6-2) submitted Vanessa Porto (14-5) with an armbar 3:16 into the first round of their 135-pound bout; Barb Honchak (6-2) stopped the previously unbeaten Bethany Marshall (4-1) on punches 82 seconds into round two of their tilt at 125 pounds; Julia Budd (3-2) put away Elina Nilsson (2-3) on punches and elbows 3:49 into the first round of their 145-pound showdown; Carla Esparza (7-2) halted Sarah Schneider (6-6) on punches 4:28 into round two of their battle at 115 pounds; and Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (8-6) captured a unanimous decision from Angelica Chavez (4-2) in their 105-pound matchup, earning 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 nods from the judges.
Finally, Raquel Pennington (2-1) took a unanimous decision from Sarah Moras (2-1) at 135 pounds, with 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 scorecards from the judges; Jessamyn Duke (1-0) stopped Suzie Montero (1-1) on elbows and punches 2:32 into the third round of their 135-pound bout; Jocelyn Lybarger (1-0) captured a unanimous verdict over Cheryl Chan (0-1) at 125 pounds, sweeping the scorecards by matching 29-28 counts; and Team Quest’s Liz McCarthy (1-0) forced a doctor stoppage against Jessica Philippus (0-1) in between rounds one and two of their 105-pound match.