This Saturday in Kansas City a whole lot of fighting is going down. Invicta will be streaming their fourth event live through their website just like the past three, but this time around, there's a price tag involved. If you've come across this article it's likely that you have already witnessed one, or even all three of the past Invicta cards. You don't need to be convinced. But for those of you that are on the fence about spending a measly $7.95 to watch a full night of explosive MMA action - let me help you over.
Below, I give you 5 reasons to purchase Invicta FC 4.
5-second KO "Heartbreaker" Veronica Rothenhausler's Pro MMA Debut
Invicta has a habit of starting things off with a bang. This time around should be no different. With all of the hype surrounding Veronica Rothenhausler they could of very well put her on the main card and you wouldn't of heard any complaints. However, they make her tussle with Xtreme Couture Featherweight Katalina Malungahu in the second fight of the evening. Personally, I think it's a great move. Let Veronica earn that spot, and make sure fight geeks tune in for the full card.
After scoring a couple of 5-second knockouts in 2011 on the amateur circuit, there was no reason for Rothenhausler not to make the jump to Invicta as soon as possible. The power that Rothenhausler possesses in her hands could be a huge problem for any girl that decides to step into the Invicta, or any other cage for that matter, with the Reno, Nevada KO artist. We could very well be witnessing greatness folks. And this is just reason number one you should tune in to Invicta FC 4 tomorrow night.
The Shayna Baszler Effect
Looking at the record of Shayna Baszler doesn't exactly tell youthe story of her fighting career. If I was forced to compare her to any male fighter(s) out there the names B.J. Penn and Randy Couture would come to mind. It may not be a record that flies off the paper at you, but believe you me, every win was earned and every loss was hard fought and entertaining. "The Queen of Spades" is one of those fighters that can turn a "maybe I'll tune in card" into a "well, I'm definitely not going to miss this now" event.
You're never off the hook when pitted against Baszler. When she doesn't have a submission hold on you she's punishing every part of your body just looking for an opening. Oh ya, she just so happens to be fighting Invicta FC 2 co-submission of the night winner Alexis Davis. Baszler bested Davis in a 3-round war back in 2010, and you can bet the sequel will exceed the hype. These are two fighters that get after it from bell to bell. Both Baszler and Davis are wuch wizards on the ground that they almost cancel each other out constantly going for finish after finish. While a another ground war is always welcome due to the intense talent both fighters possess, a stand up battle would also be very intriguing.
The winner would be an obvious choice for Invicta's inaugural Bantamweight title bout or could very well be next for the winner of Rousey vs. Carmouche if they so choose to go that route. Last time I checked the first fight between Baszler and Davis was pretty readily available on YouTube, it's worth a watch as is any other Baszler and Davis fight respectively. These are the two fighters on this particular card that are the most battle tested, and tomorrow night we could very well be in for an early fight of the year candidate starring these two warriors.
History Will Be Made, Again
Invicta Fighting Championships handed out their first title to Jessica Penne last October when she submitted Naho Sugiyama via triangle choke. Tomorrow night, in the very same venue, a second title will be awarded to the winner of a Strawweight scrap between Carla "Harvester of Sorrow" Esparza and Bec "Rowdy" Hyatt.
Esparza, also known as the "Cookie Monster," was originally scheduled to do battle with Claudia Gadelha tomorrow night in Kansas City. Unfortunately Gadelha suffered an untimely injury (a broken nose in training) and was forced to withdraw from her bout with Esparza. Enter Bec Hyatt. The Aussie striker was originally slated to take on Scotland's own Joanne Calderwood to kick off tomorrow night's main card festivities. While Esparza's wrestling make her the odds on favorite to come away with the vacant Strawweight strap tomorrow, win or lose, Hyatt's colorful personality and unpredictability will make her a quick star stateside.
Hyatt will make her U.S. debut when she takes center stage with Esparza, carrying an impressive 4-fight win streak into the Invicta cage. Esparza holds a 3-fight win streak of her own. Her only two career losses come against pound-for-pound giant Jessica Aguilar and mixed martial arts legend Megumi Fujii. Calling either of these losses learning experiences for Esparza would probably be a gross understatement.The winner of this fight not only gets to leave Kansas City with a brand new belt strapped around her waist, she also gets the honor of wearing a target on her back for the best 115 pounders in the world to attack.
The last year or so has been rocky to say the least for Smack Girl Open Weight Champion Hiroko "Cat's Eye" Yamanaka. After having her 16-second loss to Cristiane "Cyborg" overturned due to her opponent testing positive for drugs, Yamanaka would be beaten by Dutch kickboxing master Germaine de Randamie in her following bout. This result would not be overturned.
Having not put a win on her resume since the summer of 2011, Yamanaka may very well be feeling like an "Incomplete Queen" heading into her Invicta debut. The once top ranked Featherweight in the world will have a tough task in front of her in the form of Ediane "India" Gomes who brings in an impressive 9-2 record into the Invicta cage, her only two losses coming against Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes, two of the best female competitors in the world today. Expect Yamanaka to leave it all in the cage Saturday night in Kansas City, this is a make or break fight for Hiroko.
Janet Martin's Matchingmaking Prowess
Invicta FC 2 didn't win HOV-MMA 2012 Event of the Year by accident. We didn't toss a bunch of random straws into a hat and pick out a winner. It just doesn't work that way. I blame Invicta FC matchmaker Janet Martin for our pick.
After sitting through plenty of mixed martial arts cards last year, some painstakingly, most reminding me how much I love my hobby/job - it was Invicta FC's 2nd offering that reminded me the most why this is the best sport in the world. From top to bottom I can't recall a promotion that kept me more glued to the screen than Invicta in 2012. How many promotions get it right from the get go? I feel like the brains behind Invicta have studied the best and the worst of every other mixed martial arts promotion, thus having made a near perfect product due to their dedication and astuteness in regards to the game.
A lot of the UFC's global success has to be attributed to the brain of Joe Silva. The man has been a fan of MMA forever, and his excitement when he enters the Octagon after his matchmaking has gone right is always priceless. As Dana always says - how many of those cards actually suck? Only a handful of hundreds, and that's Joe Silva's fault, he is that good. Janet Martin appears to be cut from the same cloth. So many promotions over the years deliver lackluster card after lackluster card with a couple of decent ones sandwiched in between. Invicta isn't interested in being one of those promotions. For example, fights like Paige VanZant vs. Tecia Torres and Amanda Nunes vs. Sarah D'Alelio on tomorrow night's card jump off the page. These are seemingly no-brainers, that as MMA fanboys and girls we can all play armchair matchmakers night and day but ultimately cannot claim we ever thought of these two match ups. It's one of the reason's why our sport is so much fun. And it takes true professionals like Janet Martin to make it a reality.
Esparza vs. Hyatt image via @julesk_fighter
You can purchase, and witness 'Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt' on InvictaFC.com. The fights begin tomorrow night at 7 PM ET.
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