‘Cyborg’ KOs Daria Ibragimova to Retain Featherweight Title in Invicta 15 Main Event
It lasted longer than most anticipated, but Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino made sure the Invicta Fighting Championships featherweight title was not going anywhere.
Justino wiped out M-1 Global vet Daria Ibragimova with a counter right hook to retain her 145-pound crown in the Invicta 15 headliner on Saturday inside The Hangar at OC Fair in Costa Mesa, California. “Cyborg” finished it 4:58 into the first round, as she posted her fifth consecutive victory.
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Like so many others who had come before her, Ibragimova (9-2) was game but outmatched. The Russian grappler spent much of the bout clinging hopelessly to a single-leg. Justino looked bored at times and amused at others, as she defended the takedown attempts with balance and agility. The 30-year-old Chute Boxe rep shined in the standup exchanges, ripping into Ibragimova with punches and clinch knees. In the waning moments of the first round, Justino slipped a right hand and cut down her opponent with a clean right hook. Follow-up punches mopped up what was left of Ibragimova, her seven-fight winning streak at an end.
In the co-main event, Livia Renata Souza retained the Invicta strawweight championship in style, as she dispatched DeAnna Bennett with a first-round body kick and follow-up hammerfists. Bennett (8-1) met her end 90 seconds into round one, falling from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Souza (9-0) hit the gas behind a stout right hand, doubled over the challenger with a liver kick and followed her to the canvas. Her body short-circuited, the kneeling Bennett could not defend herself from the subsequent attack. After several rapid-fire hammerfists from Souza, referee Jason Herzog had seen enough.
Meanwhile, Pancrase and King of the Cage veteran Amber Brown submitted Shino VanHoose with a first-round guillotine choke in a featured battled at 105 pounds. VanHoose (4-4) conceded defeat 2:36 into round one.
Brown (6-1) smothered the 20-year-old in the clinch before yielding a trip takedown. VanHoose tried to establish her position but wandered into a full-guard guillotine with no means of escape. The tapout followed soon after, as the surging Brown recorded her fourth straight win and set her sights in Invicta atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki.
Elsewhere, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 20 graduate Angela Hill disposed of Alida Gray with first-round punches and knees in a strawweight showcase. Hill (5-2) brought it to a close 1:39 into round one, snapping a two-fight losing streak in the process.
Gray (4-3) wandered aimlessly at a distance and had no answer for the Alliance MMA rep’s standup skills. Hill tagged the America judoka with multiple right hands, one of which staggered the 38-year-old and had her ducking for cover. She swarmed with knees and punches upstairs before a final knee to the body folded Gray and prompted referee John McCarthy to intervene.
In other action, ballyhooed Japanese prospect Mizuki Inoue (10-4) submitted Lacey Schuckman (11-9) with an armbar 3:41 into the third round of their strawweight encounter; CSW export Colleen Schneider (10-6) captured a split decision -- 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 -- over Raquel Pa’aluhi (5-5) in a three-round confrontation at 135 pounds; and Megan Anderson (5-2) put away Amber Leibrock (1-1) with third-round knee strikes and punches 2:33 into the third round of their featherweight clash.