Alexa Grasso made an example of Jodie Esquibel.
In her first appearance in 17 months, the 22-year-old strawweight sensation carved up Esquibel across 15 lopsided minutes and walked away from their Invicta Fighting Championships 18 headliner with a unanimous decision on Friday at the Kansas City Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri. Grasso (8-0) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26 marks from the judges.
Esquibel (5-2) tried valiantly, albeit unsuccessfully, to keep it competitive. Grasso picked her apart with jabs and punching combinations from the outside, made the Jackson-Wink MMA export pay for takedown attempts and smashed her with short punches, knees and elbows in close quarters. By the time it was over, Esquibel was barely recognizable.
In the flyweight co-main event, Polish prospect Agnieszka Niedzwiedz kept her perfect professional record intact with a three-round unanimous decision over Alliance MMA’s Christine Stanley. All three cageside judges scored it 30-27 for Niedzwiedz (8-0).
Stanley (5-2) had no answer for the variety of offensive weapons the Pole had at her disposal. Niedzwiedz held the advantage in a majority of the standup exchanges and executed takedowns in all three rounds. She did some of her best work in round three, where she grounded Stanley and threatened with a keylock and brabo choke before settling for the decision.
Meanwhile, Hakushinkai Karate star Mizuki Inoue tapped Lynn Alvarez with a second-round armbar in their featured attraction at 115 pounds. Alvarez (6-4) conceded defeat 3:00 into round two.
Inoue (12-4) delivered a takedown in the first round, achieved full mount and advanced to the back. Though her bid for a triangle choke failed, the tone had been set. In round two, Inoue tossed Alvarez to the mat, softened her with punches and snatched an exposed limb for the tapout.
The 21-yer-old Inoue has rattled off four straight wins.
In other action, Cindy Dandois (7-2) submitted Jessamyn Duke (3-5) with a scarf hold arm lock 93 seconds into the first round of their bantamweight tilt; Megan Anderson (7-2) disposed of Peggy Morgan (4-4) with punches 4:09 into round one of their pairing at 145 pounds; Tessa Simpson (5-1) claimed a unanimous decision over Simona Soukupova (5-4-1) in their three-round atomweight affair, drawing 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27 marks from the judges; Aspen Ladd (4-0) stopped Jessica Hoy (1-1) with elbows and punches 3:14 into the second round of their encounter at 135 pounds; and Sijara Eubanks (2-1) took care of AmberLynn Orr (0-1) with punches and elbows 4:41 into round one of their bantamweight clash.