Fight Facts: Invicta FC Phoenix Series 3

By Jay Pettry Mar 9, 2020

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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Invicta Fighting Championships on Friday staged its third one-night tournament, this time in the women’s bantamweight division. Invicta Phoenix Series 3 featured the infrequent occurrence of every fighter making weight, a record number of decisions and the stateside debut of open scoring in MMA.

JUDGES HATE THIS ONE WEIRD TRICK: For the first time in a modern major MMA organization in the United States, Invicta and the Kansas Athletic Commission implemented open scoring. Between rounds, commission officials held up displays of the scores for the red and blue corners.

CHANGE PLACES!: While the tournament was initially named the Phoenix Rising Series, it has since been shortened to the Phoenix Series for undisclosed reasons.

THIS WILL NOT GO ON YOUR PERMANENT RECORD: Initially implemented at Phoenix Series 2 in 2019, all quarterfinal, alternate and semifinal tournament bouts lasted one round and were deemed exhibitions. As such, only three fights at this event were officially added to fighters’ professional records—the fewest, along with Phoenix Series 2, of any Invicta card.

SCALES NEVER FAIL: No fighter missed weight for Phoenix Series 3, making this card the first since Invicta 30 in July 2018 to see every fighter scheduled to compete made weight without issue.

THE SIGN OF THINGS TO COME: Phoenix Series 3 is the fifth Invicta event to ever take place in which every fighter hit her proper weigh-in marks, joining Invicta 5, Invicta 13, Invicta 17 and Invicta 30.

GETTING YOUR MONEY’S WORTH AND THEN SOME: Although 11 fights took place on the card, three were scheduled for three rounds. Only one fight ended before the final bell, making this card the fifth in company history in which one bout or fewer ended by stoppage.

WAIT, REALLY?: Across the last three Invicta events—spanning 24 fights—merely two bouts have ended in a finish. This lack of stoppages makes for a three-event average finish rate of 8.3 percent.

TEN LITTLE JUDGES: Ten bouts ended in the hands of the judges, giving Phoenix Series 3 the most at a single Invicta event.

UNINEAMOUS: Nine of those 10 decisions were unanimous verdicts, also setting the Invicta record for the most all-time in one night. No prior event ever had more than seven unanimous calls (Invicta FC 4).

SHE HUNGERS FOR ARMS: The main event went all five rounds, as Julija Stoliarenko won her first career bout by decision. All eight of her previous victories had come by first-round armbar.

THE BATTLE ANGEL LOVES EVERY SECOND: In dropping a split decision to Stoliarenko, Lisa Verzosa has still gone the distance in every fight in her career.

AVERAGING 2.25 FIGHTS PER CONTESTANT: The eight quarterfinalists participating in the tournament combined for a pro record of 13-5. This 18-fight total represents the same amount of combined experience for the two women in the main event.

THREE TIMES TO TANEISHA: Taneisha Tennant became the third Invicta fighter to win three times in one night, as she took unanimous decisions over Brittney Victoria Grizzelle, Hope Chase and Taylor Guardado. The other two before her to accomplish this feat were Brianna Van Buren and Miranda Maverick.

THOSE NASTY KANSAS TECHNICALITIES: Despite the fac that she won two bouts to reach the tournament final, Guardado made her official professional debut against Tennant. It came after a thorough amateur career (2009-11) that saw her recorded wins over Raquel Pennington, Amanda Bell and Ashlee Evans-Smith while also facing Ronda Rousey along the way.

THANKS FOR COMING OUT: Even though Mitzi Merry and Kelly Clayton picked up victories over Morgan Hickam and Florina Moeller, neither woman received an opportunity to move on in the tournament, as every quarterfinalist and semifinalist stayed healthy. Neither woman’s record changed as a result of their wins.

WHAT WILL PHOENIX SERIES 4 OFFER?: Although she won the Phoenix Series 3 bantamweight tournament, Tennant was not automatically awarded a title shot. Phoenix Series 1 saw the belt on the line for the winner, while Phoenix Series 2 potentially awarded a championship opportunity to the victor.

WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ TOURNAMENTS: In the only non-title, non-tournament bout on the card, Kay Hansen defeated Liana Ferreira Pirosin by decision. In victory, Hansen tied for the sixth-most wins in the Invicta cage (six) and the fourth-most appearances (nine).

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Invicta Phoenix Series 3, Verzosa had never been defeated (five fights), neither Stoliarenko (13 fights) nor Verzosa had ever competed beyond the third round and Pirosin had never lost consecutive bouts (10 fights).
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