Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino Retains Invicta Featherweight Title in 45-Second Romp

By Brian Knapp Jul 10, 2015

Add Faith Van Duin to the growing list of Cristiane Justino victims.

“Cyborg” successfully defended her Invicta Fighting Championships featherweight title, as she put away the overmatched Van Duin with first-round punches in the Invicta 13 headliner on Thursday at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Van Duin (5-2) lasted just 45 seconds.

Justino (14-1) showed no regard for her latest challenger’s skills. She marched forward with fists flying. Violent rights and lefts found their mark, the impact of each punch followed by a sickening thud. Van Duin retreated to the cage, absorbed a knee to the body and hit the canvas. “Cyborg” then followed with a burst of standing-to-ground punches that ended it.

The 30-year-old Justino has needed 91 seconds combined to dismiss her last two opponents, strengthening her reputation as one of MMA’s most feared fighters.

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In the co-main event, Tonya Evinger captured the vacant Invicta bantamweight crown, as she disposed of Irene Aldana with mounted fourth-round ground-and-pound. Aldana (5-2) succumbed to punches 4:38 into round four.

Evinger (16-5) put a prolonged beating on her younger counterpart. She executed takedowns in all four rounds, advanced to full mount on three different occasions and nearly brought it to a close with an armbar inside the first five minutes. Aldana gradually wore down in the face of unwavering pressure. Evinger slid to the back during a takedown in the fourth round, climbed to mount and attempted an arm-triangle choke. After bailing on the submission, the EliteXC alum let loose with a sustained volley of punches, elbows and hammerfists that forced referee Mark Smith to act.

The 34-year-old Evinger has rattled off seven straight victories.

Meanwhile, repeated takedowns and a persistent top game carried Ayaka Hamasaki to a split decision over Herica Tiburcio, as she seized the Invicta atomweight championship in a competitive five-round battle. Two of the three judges ruled in Hamasaki’s favor, casting 48-47 and 49-46 scores; a third saw it 48-47 for Tiburcio.

Tiburcio (9-3) had her moments: The 22-year-old Brazilian threatened Hamasaki with guillotine chokes in each of the first two rounds and advanced to the challenger’s back with a slick transition from the bottom in the third. However, she spent far too much time operating with her back to the canvas. Hamasaki (12-1) capitalized, consolidating her takedowns with occasional guard passes, some ground-and-pound and airtight submission defense.

The defeat halted a four-fight winning streak for Tiburcio, who had dethroned Michelle Waterson in December.

Elsewhere, Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder Pannie Kianzad kept her perfect professional record intact, as she claimed a unanimous verdict against Jessica-Rose Clark in a three-round bantamweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for the unbeaten Kianzad (8-0).

Clark (5-2) never got in gear. Kianzad backed up the Aussie with sweeping left hooks, straight rights and a sneaky jab and gave her pause with knees to the body in close quarters. The 23-year-old Iranian-born Swede struck for takedowns in rounds one and two, piling up points in the grappling exchanges while chewing up clock in top position. Clark did not go away but failed to mount effective offense outside of a few leg kicks.

In other action, Pancrase veteran Amber Brown (5-1) submitted Catherine Costigan (5-1) with a rear-naked choke 3:34 into round one of their pairing at 105 pounds; Syndicate MMA’s Jamie Moyle (3-0) eked out a split decision -- 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 -- over Amy Caldwell Montenegro (6-2) in a three-round strawweight affair; and Amber Leibrock (1-0) knocked out Glendale Fighting Club rep Marina Shafir (1-2) with ground-and-pound 37 seconds into the first round of their clash at 145 pounds.
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