The last time the world saw Pearl Gonzalez in action, she lost a technical decision to Vanessa Porto at Invicta FC 34. On Friday night in the main event of Invicta FC 37 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, “The Chi-Town Princess” dominated Brogan Sanchez for three rounds to nab a hard-fought but well-deserved win.
Gonzalez (10-4) landed decent leg kicks and punches upstairs against “Killer Bee” but it was her takedowns and ground control that did the job. Gonzalez landed a few judo throws and whenever she was on top on the canvas, the Chicago native controlled the pace and dished out solid ground-and-pound. Sanchez defended herself nicely enough, but Gonzalez slammed several elbows and punches onto the Guam native’s head and arms.
Sanchez (6-1) never stopped trying to turn the tables, but Gonzalez was on point from start to finish, and she wound up walking out of the Invicta cage the victor via unanimous decision. All three judges favored Gonzalez with scores of 30-27, allowing the Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran to get back on track in the win column.
Things were going nicely for Brazil’s Marilia Santos, but everything fell apart once she tried pulling guard from within the clinch. Santos (10-4) made the ill-advised move against Mariya Agapova (8-1), who took full advantage by issuing a sinister dose of ground-and-pound. Santos was not able to escape from underneath the Kazakhstani flyweight and Agapova alternated between heavy punches and elbows. With just seconds remaining in the first, Santos was getting pelted too much, which forced referee Marcio Laselva to intervene, ending the mugging at 4:55 of the stanza.
Kay Hansen has been incredibly active inside the cage the past 18 months and she looked like a top contender on Friday as she thoroughly waxed Nicolle Caliari before submitting her. Hansen scored multiple takedowns and threatened with an assortment of submissions, but the Brazilian always was able to escape. However, early in the third, Hansen (6-3) took her foe down yet again but once she moved to top control, she locked in a modified guillotine choke and forced Caliari (4-2) to tap. The end of the flyweight contest officially came at 1:14 of the third.
Just as soon as their atomweight fight began. it was over. However, it wasn’t the sort of win that Lindsey VanZandt wanted. It wasn’t the way Shino VanHoose (6-6) preferred to lose, either, as she’ll likely be out of action for quite some time. VanZandt (7-2) landed a powerful downward right leg kick, but once it connected just above VanHoose’s knee, her knee caved in and VanHoose collapsed. Referee Laselva immediately waived the battle off, ending the atomweight skirmish just 37 seconds in due to the gnarly knee injury.
Even though she was pinned against the cage for much of the battle and suffered a nasty gash on her forehead, Linda Mihalec prevailed in an atomweight contest against Marisa Messer-Belenchia. Mihalec (2-0) used her reach to land the better strikes from a distance, but she shorter “Spider Monkey” continuously got inside and tied her up. However, the judges preferred the striking of “F109” and gave her a unanimous decision win via tallies of 30-27 (twice) and 29-28. Messer-Belenchia fell to 3-1 for her effort.
Hope Chase was far too much for fellow bantamweight Megan Cawley to handle as she took her out in the opening round. Chase (2-1) scored an early takedown and controlled “Killa” completely on the canvas. “Hurricane” began slamming a plethora of punches onto Cawley (0-2) who couldn’t explode back to her feet and before she knew it, Chase was on her back. From there, Chase sunk in the rear-naked choke and forced the tap at 3:28 of the frame.
Flyweight Claire Johnson was stellar in her pro debut as she tapped out fellow debutant Jordan Kaaze in the third. Johnson scored a takedown in each round and completely shut Kaaze down on the canvas before finally closing her out midway through the final frame. After “Grizzly” took Kaaze down again, she slithered onto her back, thought about an inverted triangle, and then forced the tap when she locked in an armbar. The end came at 2:20 of the stanza.