It was a throwback of sorts on Friday night as Invicta Fighting Championships delighted mixed martial arts fans with an eight-fighter same-day tournament inside Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. But instead of Royce Gracie submitting larger men left and right, it was Miranda Maverick who ruled over everyone else in the Phoenix Rising Series 2 event on UFC Fight Pass.
Maverick (8-2) first toppled Victoria Leonardo (6-2) in her first match by landing better punches and controlling the action from within the clinch. Maverick thwarted Leonardo's takedown attempts and won a unanimous decision — her only judges' verdict of the night — and from there, she submitted her next two opponents.
The Springfield Fight Club representative made quick work of Shanna Young (7-3) in the semifinals, taking her down and quickly moving to her back. Once she set in both hooks, "Fear The" Maverick locked in the rear-naked choke, forcing Young, who bested Maiju Suotama (8-5) in the quarterfinals via decision, to tap out at the 2:35 mark of the first.
Her win set up a rematch with DeAnna Bennett, whom she lost to via unanimous decision back at Invicta FC 34 in February. Bennett (12-6-1) made it to the finals by beating Liz Tracy (5-4) by questionable decision and then subbing Daiana Torquato (10-4) — who edged Milana Dudieva (12-9) via decision in the first bout — with a rear-naked choke at 3:34 of the first. When the two flyweights squared off in the finals, it was a nip-and-tuck battle until the end.
After the two spent most of the first two rounds in the clinch and sizing each other up, Maverick finally dragged the fight to the canvas in the third. The Missouri resident eventually slithered onto Bennett's back and threatened with the rear-naked choke. Bennett did a fine job of fending it off, but eventually Maverick locked in the neck crank across her foe's jaw and forced the tap. The end came at 3:38 of the final round, giving her the victory on what was the biggest night of her career thus far.
In the two tournament reserve bouts, Kay Hansen (5-3) dominated Carolina Jimenez (6-1) en route to a unanimous decision win and Chantel Coates (2-1) edged Flore Hani (1-2) via split decision.
Also on the card, Josee Storts (2-0) dominated Helen Lucero (0-1) before subbing her via triangle-armbar at 4:21 of the opening frame and Mariya Agapova was ruthless in dispatching Alexa Conners (5-4) with a wicked liver kick and punches to the head before dispatching her via rear-naked choke at 3:03 of the first. Both fights were at flyweight.