Photo Credit: Esther Lin / Invicta Fighting Championships
Picture 1 – Rothenhausler vs. Malungahu / Featherweight (145 pounds) Veronica Rothenhausler (left) made an explosive professional debut, crumbling Katalina Malungahu (right) with a hard right hand in undercard action at the Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt, women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. on Saturday, Jan. 5, live on InvictaFC.com
Picture 2 – Calderwood vs. von Plettenberg – Dressed fashionably in Scottish attire, Joanne Calderwood (right) continued her perfect run as a professional, this time battering Livia Von Plettenberg (left) of Austria with continuous strikes to coast to a unanimous decision victory.
Picture 3 – Ediane Gomes vs. Hiroko Yamanaka – Ediane Gomes (near) cracks Hiroko Yamanaka (far) with a straight right hand in their featherweight matchup. Gomes earned a unanimous decision win after three rounds of battle.
Picture 4 – Sarah D’Alelio vs. Amanda Nunes – Sarah D’Alelio (left) executed her takedowns effectively enough to neutralize the punching power of fellow bantamweight (135 pounds Amanda Nunes (right).
Picture 5 – Leslie Smith vs. Raquel Pennington – Leslie Smith (left) and Raquel Pennington (right) exchanged powerful strikes on their feet for three straight rounds before Smith was declared the victor by unanimous decision.
Picture 6 – Shayna Baszler vs. Alexis Davis – Shayna Baszler “THE QUEEN OF SPADES” (left) tags old rival Alexis Davis (right) with a right hand in their much-anticipated rematch to a 2010 meeting.
Picture 7 – Shayna Baszler vs. Alexis Davis – In the third round, a bloodied Davis (left) put Baszler (right) to sleep with a rear-naked choke, avenging the 2010 loss to Baszler.
Picture 8 – Carla Esparza vs. Bec Hyatt – In the main event and first-ever Invicta FC strawweight (115 pounds) championship fight, Carla Esparza (left) was able to repeatedly take Bec Hyatt (right) down, but unable to finish the tenacious Australian.
Picture 9 – Carla Esparza vs. Bec Hyatt – Hyatt (left) lands a left hand to the chin of Esparza (right).
Picture 10 – Carla Esparza wins – Esparza (right) with her hands raised and the Invicta FC strawweight championship belt around her waist after being awarded a unanimous decision victory after five rounds of action.
KANSAS CITY, KAN. (Jan. 6, 2013) – 25 old sensation Carla Esparza “COOKIE MONSTER” (9-2) of Redondo Beach, Calif. earned a five-round unanimous decision over a game Bec Hyatt “ROWDY” (4-2) of Brisbane, Australia to become the first-ever Invicta Fighting Championships strawweight (115 pounds) champion, in the main event of a star-studded 13-bout women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event at Memorial Hall in Kansas City on Saturday, Jan. 5, live on InvictaFC.com.
Esparza effectively weathered the storm brought on by the 23-year-old Hyatt, who took the title fight on just over a week’s notice after Esparza’s original opponent, Claudia Gadelha, was forced to withdraw from the matchup due to a broken nose sustained in training. Hyatt was originally slated to face Joanne Calderwood on the main card.
Esparza repeatedly took Hyatt down whenever the Australian attempted to explode on her feet. Esparza controlled the action on the ground, but was unable to finish Hyatt at any point.
In the bantamweight (135 pounds) co-main event and a much-anticipated rematch, Alexis Davis (13-5) of Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada avenged a 2010 loss to fellow top contender Shayna Baszler “THE QUEEN OF SPADES” (15-8) of Sioux Falls, S.D., putting Baszler to sleep with a rear-naked choke in the third round (:58) of their matchup.
Davis and Baszler engaged in a competitive battle on the mat for much of the first two rounds before finishing the second stanza on their feet, exchanging blows.
In the outset of the third frame, the two traded shots on their feet again before Baszler slipped and gave Davis the opportunity to take Baszler’s back and secure the finishing hold. Baszler refused to tap out and, instead, went to sleep, prompting the referee to stop the action at the 58 second mark of the round.
In other Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt main card action, Leslie Smith “THE PEACEMAKER” (5-2-1) of Pleasant Hill, Calif. engaged Raquel Pennington “ROCKY” (3-3) of Colorado Springs, Colo. in a three-round firefight, outslugging Pennington to earn a unanimous decision victory in bantamweight action.
Sarah D´ Alelio “THE MONSTER” (7-3) of San Jose, Calif. effectively neutralized the dangerous punching power of Amanda Nunes “LIONESS OF THE RING” (7-3) of Salvador Bahia, Brazil, taking the bantamweight fight to the mat repeatedly before earning a unanimous decision. An illegal upkick to the face by Nunes in the second round cost her a point on each of the judges’ scorecards.
Ediane Gomes (9-2) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. notched her second consecutive Invicta FC victory and her third straight win overall, by taking a unanimous decision from Hiroko Yamanaka (12-3) of Kisarazu, Japan in a featherweight (145 pounds) tilt.
Joanne Calderwood (5-0) of Glasgow, Scottland used her long reach to keep Muay Thai champion and Matt-Lindland protégé Livia von Plettenberg (1-1) at bay and punish Von Plettenberg with a mix of front kicks to the face and knee and elbow strikes for the majority of three rounds before being awarded a unanimous decision.
In preliminary card action, Veronica Rothenhausler (1-0) of Reno, Nev. made an explosive professional debut, crumbling Katalina Malungahu of Las Vegas, Nev. to the canvas with a right hand to the chin in the first round (1:12) of their featherweight matchup.
Complete Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt Results:
Carla Esparza def. Bec Hyatt via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
Alexis Davis def. Shayna Baszler via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, :58
Leslie Smith def. Raquel Pennington via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sarah D’Alelio def. Amanda Nunes via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Ediane Gomes def. Hiroko Yamanaka via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Joanne Calderwood def. Livia Von Plettenberg via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Cassie Rodish def. Stephanie Frausto via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 1:04
Tamikka Brents def. Amanda Bell via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jodie Esquibel def. Liz McCarthy via majority decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Rose Namajunas def. Emily Kagan via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 3:44
Tecia Torres def. Paige Van Zant via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Veronica Rothenhausler def. Katalina Malungahu via KO (punch) – Round 1, 1:12
Laura Marcusse-Sanko def. Cassie Robb via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:07
FIGHTER LEGION® is on
About Invicta Fighting Championships:
Invicta Fighting Championships Invicts FC is a world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp and sports aficionado Janet Martin, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible matchups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.
Press relations officer: Contact: Mike Afromowitz