On Saturday, July 13, Invicta Fighting Championships held Invicta Fighting Championships 6: Cyborg vs. Coenen II from the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, Mo.

The event was headlined by the promotion’s inaugural featherweight title fight between Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino and Marloes Coenen. The fight was a rematch of a 2010 bout under the Strikeforce banner in which Cyborg won via third-round TKO.

In addition to the main event, undefeated strawweights Ayaka Hamasaki and Claudia Gadelha faced off to determine the No. 1 contender for Carla Esparza’s title. Another No. 1 contender was determined on the card when Leslie Smith made her flyweight debut against Brazilian Jennifer Maia. The winner will challenge current champion Barb Honchak later this year.

The event aired live on pay-per-view on July 13 for $14.95, beginning at 8 p.m. CT. A two-fight preliminary card streamed free on Ustream starting at 6 p.m. CT.

“Cyborg” destroys Coenen , wins featherweight title

Brazilian Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino battered Dutchwoman Marloes Coenen for four straight rounds, earning the Invicta featherweight title with a one-sided TKO win.

Coenen quickly latched onto a body lock and looked for a takedown, but Cyborg pinned her against the cage. After a wild exchange, Cyborg got a body lock of her own and tossed Coenen to the mat. Cyborg dropped heavy shots, but allowed Coenen to stand. The Brazilian landed a big right hand that dropped Coenen. Cyborg allowed Coenen to get back to her feet again before violently slamming her to the canvas with a suplex as the round closed.

In the second, Coenen again closed the distance early and dragged Cyborg on top of her. Cyborg opted to stand before slamming Coenen down once more. Coenen looked for a leg lock, but Cyborg again brought the fight back to standing. A big shot from Cyborg rocked Coenen and she looked for a finish. Coenen survived, but Cyborg continued to batter her standing and refused to engage her on the ground.

Cyborg continued to throw Coenen around in the third, tossing her to the mat and then making her stand. The Brazilian followed each stand up with heavy strikes and then another takedown. Cyborg scored with a massive body shot in the final minute of the round and flurried along the cage. Coenen covered up and managed to survive the round.

The pair traded body locks along the cage to start round four, with Cyborg putting Coenen on her back. Cyborg stood again and rocked Coenen with a big right hand. She followed her to the ground, mounting her. Coenen absorbed a full-on assault until referee John McCarthy finally waived off the contest.

Gadelha batters Hamasaki

Brazilian strawweight Claudia Gadelha remained unbeaten and earned a shot at Carla Esparza’s title with a dominant performance against Japan’s Ayaka Hamasaki.

Hamasaki shot for a takedown almost immediately. Gadelha stuffed it, but the Japanese fighter pressed her against the cage. The pair separated, but Gadelha scored with a takedown and landed in the half guard. She worked to pass, but Hamasaki tied her up. In the waning seconds of the round, Gadelha landed a knee to a downed Hamasaki that resulted in a point deduction.

Round two started as a replay of the first. Hamasaki shot and Gadelha stuffed her. The Brazilian answered with a takedown of her own, passing to side control. Gadelha dropped short shots to Hamasaki, which allowed Gadelha to move to the mount. As the round came to a close, Gadelha attacked with an arm-triangle choke, but the bell saved Hamasaki.

Hamasaki missed with a wild strike to begin the third round and Gadelha quickly took her back. She worked for a rear-naked choke, but Hamasaki was able to spin into her guard. Gadelha powered back into the top position and then took Hamasaki’s back again. She rained down big shots and then transitioned to the mount. From there, it was just a matter of time as referee Greg Franklin saved Hamasaki from further punishment just before the four-minute mark.

Taylor outstrikes D’Alelio

Bantamweight Lauren Taylor continued her march up the Invicta 135-pound ranks with crisp striking, edging veteran Sarah D’Alelio on the scorecards.

D’Alelio opened the aggressor, landing with a leg kick and a superwoman punch. Taylor responded with a takedown along the fence. D’Alelio used a switch to get Taylor’s back. She worked for a reverse triangle choke, but Taylor powered out and got back to her feet. Taylor again scored with a takedown, but D’Alelio neutralized her from the bottom.

Taylor scored early with her hands, snapping the head of D’Alelio back. D’Alelio fired back with leg kicks. Both scored with their hands during some wild exchanges, but Taylor dove in deep for a takedown and put D’Alelio on her back against the fence. D’Alelio returned to her feet as the round expired.

It was more exchanges to kick off the final round. Taylor’s use of straight punches continued to allow her to land with consistency. D’Alelio fired back with hooks and shovels, but she landed less frequently. D’Alelio’s nose began to pour blood midway through the round from Taylor’s punches. The pair fired away in the waning moments of the fight, hoping to steal the fight on the scorecards.

When the scores were revealed, it was Taylor who kept her undefeated record intact with a unanimous decision win.

Smith tops Maia in back-and-forth affair

In a battle to determine the No. 1 contender for Barb Honchak’s 125-pound title, Leslie Smith edged Brazilian Jennifer Maia by decision in a spirited war.

There was no feeling-out process as Smith threw her hands early and Maia answered back with kicks. Maia secured a body lock along the fence, but Smith pummeled out and separated. The pair continued to trade heavy shots until Smith caught a kick and put Maia on her back. The Brazilian swept to the top position, but Smith quickly got back to her feet. A late flurry of combinations from Smith likely won her the frame.

Round two started with both fighters firing away, but Maia scored with a takedown. Smith used a leg lock to sweep to the top and she went to work from the top until Maia scrambled to her feet. Wild exchanges ensued, as Smith delivered a big right hand. Maia secured a takedown late in the round, but Smith countered with an armbar as the round closed.

The final stanza started with a wild firefight between the two flyweights. Both scored with heavy shots and continued to stand right in front of each other. Smith wobbled Maia along the cage with a flurry, but the Brazilian caught a leg kick and put Smith on her back. Smith powered into the top position and attacked with a one-arm guillotine. Smith continued to work from the top until the final bell.

Smith took the unanimous decision nod to earn a crack at Honchak later this year.

Penne chokes Rivera-Calanoc

Former Invicta FC atomweight champion Jessica Penne got back in the win column with a first-round submission victory over Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc.

The fighters took their time feeling each other out on the feet. Penne looked for her jab and Rivera-Calanoc sought a home for her overhand right. A right hand from Rivera-Calanoc connected, but Penne ducked under a follow-up punch and scored with a big takedown. Penne moved to mount with a guillotine attempt and then took Rivera-Calanoc’s back. Once there, Penne locked on a fight-finishing rear-naked choke, coercing a tap with three seconds remaining in the first round.

Calderwood too much for Center

Scottish strawweight Joanne Calderwood stayed unbeaten by using a patient striking attack to best late-replacement opponent Norma Rueda Center.

Calderwood stalked Center early, looking for her range. Center flurried, but Calderwood scored with a counter jab. Calderwood shrugged off a takedown attempt from Center and scored with short shots from the clinch. Center managed a late takedown to close out the round, but Calderwood bounced back to her feet quickly.

The second round started slow as Center circled the cage with Calderwood following her. Calderwood cut her off and pinned her against the fence to unleash a series of knees and punches. Center shot for a takedown and ate a knee in the process. Another takedown from Center was stuffed as Calderwood continued to be patient with her attacks.

Round three began with Center getting in deep on a single-leg takedown and dragging Calderwood to the mat. Calderwood worked to the fence and used it to get back to her feet. It was short-lived as Center took her back down, but Calderwood locked up Center’s right arm. Center defended until the referee separated them in the waning seconds of the fight.

Calderwood’s efforts were rewarded on the judges’ scorecards.

Inoue ekes past Hyatt

At just 18 years old, Japan’s Mizuki Inoue was calm and composed in her first Invicta appearance, edging Australia’s Bec Hyatt by a closely contested decision.

Hyatt opened the fight throwing big overhand rights. Inoue sat back and looked for an opening. The Japanese fighter engaged a clinch and pressed the fight along the cage. The pair traded knees as they jockeyed for position. Inoue brought the fight to the ground late and looked for an armbar, but Hyatt escaped and rained down shots until the horn sounded.

Inoue closed the distance much sooner in round two, pressing Hyatt against the fence and bringing the fight to the mat once more. She worked hard to pass to side control, but Hyatt continued to scramble from her back and eventually got back to her feet. The Australian unloaded on her younger foe in the final minute of the frame, but the bell halted her assault.

Round three began much like the first as Hyatt scored from distance with her hands. Inoue appeared hurt briefly as Hyatt flurried, but the Japanese fighter tied up Hyatt in a clinch to slow the attack. Inoue fired back with her jab, but continued to back up as Hyatt pressed forward.

The judges gave Inoue two of the three rounds for a unanimous verdict.

Nakamoto stops Yankovich by TKO

In a match-up of striking specialists, former Muay Thai world champion Miriam Nakamoto kept her record unblemished with a vicious stoppage win over former boxing title holder Duda Yankovich.

Nakamoto quickly closed the distance and began to work knees and elbows along the cage. She dropped Yankovich with a knee, but the Team Nogueira fighter attacked with a heel hook from her back. Nakamoto escaped and punished Yankovich as she returned to standing. A flurry of knees and punches forced referee Mike England to waive off the contest.

Torres hands Namajunas first loss

Two of the most promising strawweight prospects squared off as Tecia Torres remained undefeated and handed Rose Namajunas her first loss with crisp combinations in a high-energy affair.

The opening round was lightning fast as the fighters wasted little time feeling each other out on the feet. Torres scored with crisp combinations, but Namajanus answered back with counter shots. Torres scored a takedown, but Namajunas quickly attacked an arm to get the fight back to the feet. Late in the frame Namajunas looked for a flying armbar and appeared to be close to a finish, but Torres managed to escape and rained down heavy punches to end the round.

In round two, Torres began to open up with her hands, scoring at will. Namajunas found herself against the cage on multiple occasions with Torres unloading on her. The frenetic pace continued as both fighters landed heavy shots.

Namajunas pushed forward to start the final round. She initiated a clinch and dragged Torres to the mat with a headlock. Torres did her best to neutralize Namajunas from the bottom, but she was unable to get back to her feet for the remainder of the fight.

The back-and-forth battle went to the scorecards, where Torres took home the unanimous verdict.

Kagan claims questionable decision over Cummins

Strawweight Emily Kagan scored a split decision win over Ashley Cummins. Cummins pushed forward for the majority of the fight, with Kagan countering and avoiding takedowns. Each fighter rocked the other during the course of the fight, but neither was able to score a finish. Two of the judges gave Kagan all three rounds for her patient striking and takedown defense, despite the success Cummins had with her own strikes.

Von Plettenberg outworks Catron

A last-minute flyweight match-up between Kathina Catron and Livia von Plettenberg ended with von Plettenberg taking home a victory by unanimous decision. Von Plettenberg was originally scheduled to meet Cassie Robb at atomweight, but von Plettenberg missed weight badly. Catron was called on with just hours’ notice and gave “T-Rex” everything she could handle for three rounds, but ultimately the Team Quest product’s takedowns were the difference.


Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino def. Marloes Coenen by TKO (strikes). Round 4, 4:02 – for inaugural featherweight title
Claudia Gadelha def. Ayaka Hamasaki by TKO (punches). Round 3, 3:58
Lauren Taylor def. Sarah D’Alelio by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Leslie Smith def. Jennifer Maia by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jessica Penne def. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:57
Joanne Calderwood def. Norma Rueda Center by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Mizuki Inoue def. Bec Hyatt by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Miriam Nakamoto def. Duda Yankovich by TKO (knees and punches). Round 1, 2:08
Tecia Torres def. Rose Namajunas by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Ediane Gomes vs. Tamikka Brents*
Emily Kagan def. Ashley Cummins by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
Livia von Plettenberg def. Kathina Catron by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

*Brents suffered a knee injury warming up for her fight and the fight with Gomes was canceled.

Photo: Cris “Cyborg” Justino (Esther Lin/Invicta FC)