Tonya Evinger refused to allow Pannie Kianzad even a whiff of victory.
The Invicta Fighting Championships bantamweight titleholder steamrolled Kianzad in the Invicta FC 14 headliner, as she disposed of the previously unbeaten prospect with second-round punches on Saturday at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. The end came 3:34 into round two. Because Kianzad failed to make weight for the bout, it was made a non-title affair.
Competitive it was not. Evinger (17-5) bullied her way into the clinch in the first round, drove the onetime Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titlist to the canvas and bludgeoned her with ground-and-pound. By the end of the frame, Kianzad (8-1) had a bloody nose and wore a look of resignation. Evinger floored her with a straight right hand inside the first 10 seconds of round two, kicked at her legs and stepped into a dominant position. She eventually slid to mount and unleashed a torrent of punches, hammerfists and elbows that netted the stoppage.
The 34-year-old Evinger has won eight fights in a row.
In the strawweight co-main event, DeAnna Bennett kept her perfect professional record intact with a controversial unanimous decision over former Invicta champion Katja Kankaanpaa. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for the undefeated Bennett (8-0).
Kankaanpaa (10-3-1) pushed a frenetic pace and seemed to be the aggressor throughout the 15-minute fight. Bennett threatened with guillotines in the first and second rounds, stymying the Fin’s momentum and perhaps swaying the judges to her side. Kankaanpaa saved her best effort for round three, where she secured a pair of takedowns, moved fluidly between the back and side control and hunted arm-triangle chokes. Bennett, however, weathered the surge to see the final bell and pocket the decision.
The 34-year-old Kankaanpaa has dropped back-to-back bouts for the first time in her career.
Meanwhile, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 alum Roxanne Modafferi recorded her third win in four outings, as she put away Mariana Morais with third-round ground-and-pound from the mount in a featured bout at 125 pounds. Morais (9-3) succumbed to an accumulation of blows 4:40 into round three.
Modafferi (18-12) leaned on technique and experience. She executed multiple takedowns, stifled Morais with her top game and achieved full mount in all three rounds. The pressure proved to be too much for the 19-year-old Brazilian, who threatened with a no-arm guillotine choke early in round three but offered little else in terms of meaningful offense. Modafferi escaped the guillotine, assumed top position and eventually worked her way to mount late in the frame. From there, the Syndicate MMA rep dropped a consistent stream of punches and elbows until referee John McCarthy had seen enough.
The defeat snapped a five-fight winning streak for Morais.
Elsewhere, Karate Mafia Fight Team’s Andrea Lee submitted Rachael Ostovich with a third-round armbar in a flyweight showcase. Ostovich (2-2) issued a verbal tapout 4:58 into round three, bringing an end to her modest two-fight winning streak.
Lee (3-1) was sensational. The 26-year-old Louisianan focused her attack on the body with punches, knees and kicks and doubled over Ostovich more than once inside the first five minutes. The Hawaiian judoka survived near-finishes in rounds one and two, but she was not as fortunate in the third. There, Lee swept into top position, dropped elbows and transitioned to the back. The bloodied and flattened-out Ostovich struggled to stay in the fight but left her arm exposed during a scramble in the closing seconds and paid the price.
In other action, Cindy Dandois (6-2) tapped Megan Anderson (4-2) with a triangle choke 2:41 into the second round of their match at 145 pounds; Sharon Jacobson (4-1) claimed a unanimous decision over Jamie Moyle (3-1) in a three-round strawweight tilt, drawing 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 nods on the scorecards; Jinh Yu Frey (4-1) captured a unanimous verdict from Liz McCarthy (2-3) in a three-round battle at 105 pounds, earning 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 marks from the judges; J.J. Aldrich (2-1) knocked out Rosa Acevedo (3-3) with a series of knee strikes 2:24 into the first round of their strawweight affair; Aspen Ladd (2-0) submitted Amanda Bobby Cooper (1-1) with an armbar 4:42 into round two of their flyweight clash; and Felicia Spencer (1-0) took care of Rachel Wiley (0-1) with elbows and punches 3:32 into the first round of their encounter at 155 pounds.