Invicta FC 31 delivered its usual mix of finishes and fun back and forth brawls on Saturday night. In the main event Invicta strawweight champion Virna Jandiroba continued to impress, moving her undefeated record to 13-0 and retaining her 115lb crown.
Looking to take ‘Carcara’’s title was fellow Brazilian Janaisa ‘Evil Princess’ Morandin (who came into the title fight with a 10-1 record).
In the first round the BJJ-dominant Jandiroba beat the more Muay Thai influenced Morandin to the punch, before bull rushing her opponent to the fence with a takedown attempt. Switching from single leg, to double leg, to eventually a body lock, Jandiroba took Morandin down and swarmed into full mount. Once there Jandiroba threw a flurry of punches until Morandin could secure half-guard. The remainder of the round was spent with Morandin fighting off Jandiroba’s ground and pound and attempts to reestablish mount.
In the second Morandin started swinging for the fences, but Jandiroba evaded well. Jandiroba landed with an overhand right and glanced Morandin with a head kick before attempting, and completing, a simple takedown. The champion quickly took full mount and peppered Morandin with punches. As soon as Morandin tried to defend, by getting to half-guard, Jandiroba hopped on an arm-triangle. Before Morandin could realize she had been tricked into the submission, Jandrioba had swum across to her left and had began torquing on the choke. It didn’t take long for Morandin to tap.
The submission victory was Jandiroba’s 11th in 13 contests. The only women to make it to the judges’ scorecards with her are UFC veteran Ericka Almeida and former DEEP Jewels champ Mizuki Inoue. The smothering performance from Jandiroba showed she’s not only a legitimate Invicta champion, but she’s also one of the best fighters currently competing outside of the UFC.
The co-main event saw former UFC strawweight Pearl Gonzalez take on Daiane Firmino in the flyweight division. The more battle-tested Gonzalez was able to outclass Firmino, who was making her debut outside of Brazil, to take a unanimous decision victory. Gonzalez is now 3-0 since signing with Invicta in 2017, off the back of a two fight run in the UFC. Before the fight Gonzalez was told that a win would set her up with a shot at the vacant Invicta flyweight title.
One of the more entertaining fights on the card was between Lisa Spangler and Shanna Young at bantamweight. Spangler took the split decision victory and seemingly a broken nose for her trouble. Before that both Mallory Martin and Miranda Maverick got stoppage victories, singling them out as potential Invicta stars in the 115 and 125 lb divisions.
Another entertaining brawl was had between Kelly D’Angelo and Lindsey VanZandt. D’Angelo took the unanimous decision thanks to her threatening with deep and prolonged submission attempts. The other stoppage of the night came between strawweights Kay Hansen and Helen Peralta. Hansen won via TKO in the third with just 44 seconds remaining.
The first fight of the night ended in a draw after featherweight Audrey Wolfe was deducted a point for a blatant headbutt. Wolfe landed the illegal blow on Holli Salazar while on the ground in the third round, costing herself the decision victory.
See below for full results and highlights of the finishes from Jandiroba, Martin, Maverick, and Hansen:
Strawweight: Virna Jandiroba def. Janaisa Morandin via submission (arm triangle), round two (2:23).
Flyweight: Pearl Gonzalez def Daiane Firmino via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-27).
Bantamweight: Lisa Spangler def. Shanna Young via split decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28).
Strawweight: Mallory Martin def. Ashley Nichols via TKO (elbows), round three (1:05).
Flyweight: Miranda Maverick def Victoria Leonardo via submission (armbar), round one (3:26).
Atomweight: Kelly D’Angelo def. Lindsay VanZandt via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Strawweight: Kay Hansen def. Helen Peralta via TKO (punches), round three (4:15).
Featherweight: Holli Salazar and Audrey Drew fight to a majority draw (28-28, 28-28, 28-28).