Invicta FC celebrates one year anniversary

Cassie Rodish stood across the cage from Megan Wright as the bell rang for their fight to begin.

In a span of 36 seconds, Rodish walked to the center, refusing to touch gloves before eating a couple of jabs. Rodish catches Wright in the clinch before taking her to the mat and securing a guillotine choke.

The Rodish vs. Wright bout had been the first fight in at Invicta FC 1, April 26. In the past year, Invicta Fighting Championships, has not only risen to become one of the top MMA promotions in the world, but also has helped bring women’s MMA into new heights.

Cassie Rodish celebrates her victory over Meghan Wright. Credit: Esther Lin – Invicta FC

The promotion currently sports three world champions and some of the most action packed fight cards in 2012. Fighters who have made their way inside of the Invicta cage include legends like Shayna Baszler, Alexis Davis and Kaitlin Young. The most recent acquisitions for the promotion include former Strikeforce champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino and Bellator champion Zolia “The Warrior Princess” Gurgel. Justino made an impressive debut against Fiona Muxlow, scoring a first-round TKO, at the last Invicta while Gurgel suffered a heartbreaking loss to Jennifer Maia.

Besides having well-known talent on the roster, Invicta has helped launch the professional careers of many hot prospects, including Tecia Torres, Jessamyn Duke and Veronica Rothenhausler. Torre and Rothenhausler will fight at the next Invicta FC fight card, while Duke is currently trying out for the next season of the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter.

Michelle Waterson celebrates winning the Invicta FC Strawweight championship. Credit: Esther Lin – Invicta FC

But like any organization in its first year, Invicta had some obstacles. Their first foray into online pay per view, which they did for their fourth event back in January, encountered purchasing issues and fans who purchased the pay per view, received a refund. Although fans were able to watch the card for free, there were still critics, who for one night, said that Invicta would be finished as a promotion. Others thanked Shannon Knapp for giving them such good action for free.

Despite the pay per view issue, Invicta appears to be heading toward a bright future. Although some analysis said that the promotion might be in trouble due to the UFC’s budding women’s bantamweight division, Invicta has solid talent in every one of their weight classes. Knapp, who has a great relationship with other promotions – including the UFC –, has said she would be happy for her talent’s success and that having one less weight class would be easier for her to manage.

Even if the majority of their roster went to other promotions, there are still plenty of undiscovered women fighters around the world and Invicta would be their state to launch their careers into a new stratosphere.

What has been your favorite Invicta FC memory in the past year? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover

Kaitlin Young and Leslie Smith congratulate each other after their fight at Invicta FC 1. Credit: Esther Lin – Invicta FC

Quick Invicta FC facts

Champions

Atomweight champion (105 pounds) – Michelle Waterson

Strawweight champion (115 pounds) – Carla Esparza

Flyweight champion (125 pounds) – Barb Honchack

 

Fight of the Night

Invicta FC 1 – Kaitlin Young vs. Leslie Smith

Invicta FC 2 – Sara McMann vs. Shayna Baszler

Invicta FC 3 – Michelle Waterson vs. Lacey Shuckman

Invicta FC 4 – Alexis Davis vs. Shayna Baszler

Invicta F 5- Sarah Kaufman vs. Leslie Smith

 

Knockout of the Night

Invicta FC 1 – No bonus awarded

Invicta FC 2 – No bonus awarded

Invicta FC 3 – Joanne Calderwood

Invicta FC 4 – Veronica Rothenhausler

Invicta F 5 – Miriam Nakamoto

 

Submission of the Night

Invicta FC 1 – Sarah Schneider

Invicta FC 2 – Sarah D’Alelio and Alexis Davis

Invicta FC 3 – Jessamyn Duke and Stephanie Frausto

Invicta FC 4 – Rose Namajunas

Invicta F 5 – Rose Namajunas