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'Cyborg' Smashes Tweet to Retain Invicta Featherweight Title

Read on for Invicta FC 11 results...
With the first shot that landed, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino got Charmaine Tweet’s attention. Just 46 seconds later, the fight was over.

After an 18-month layoff, Justino returned in spectacular fashion at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Friday night, blasting the Canadian with a straight right hand down the pipe. A second right hand connected and dropped Tweet to the canvas. Follow up blows left her bloodied, and after Justino backed off to let her battered opponent get back to her feet, the ferocious featherweight champion continued her assault, backing Tweet into the fence and pounding her with heavy shots that prompted referee Herb Dean to step in and stop the fight.

A jubilant “Cyborg” scaled the side of the cage in celebration before Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp wrapped the title belt around her waist as the final decision was read.

Now that Friday’s contest is out of the way, the question on everyone’s mind is what comes next for the former Strikeforce champion?

Justino and UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey have been circling each other and trading verbal jabs in the media for years – the Brazilian inviting the American back to the 145-pound ranks, with the Olympic bronze medalist suggesting that if “Cyborg” wants a fight, she needs to hit 135 pounds on the scale. Following her victory, Justino said she is going to continue her push to make the bantamweight limit and said the UFC is in her future, but did not specifically call out Rousey.

Given how dominant the two champions have been and the bad blood that exists between them, a bout between the bitter rivals has the potential to do big business; it’s just a matter of if all the parties involved will be able to come together to make it happen.

UFC President Dana White was in attendance Friday night and witnessed “Cyborg’s” latest conquest first hand. Tomorrow night, he’ll be seated next to the Octagon to watch Rousey defend her title against Cat Zingano and if “Rowdy” picks up a similarly impressive victory, the often-discussed grudge match between the two most dominant female fighters in the sport today could be closer to happening.

For now, Justino remains an unstoppable force in four-ounce gloves, picking up her 14th career victory and 12th stoppage win in spectacular fashion.

Grasso dominates early, extends winning streak to seven against Inoue

Alexa Grasso is a star in the making.

The 21-year-old took a step up in competition Friday night, sharing the cage with 20-year-old Japanese standout Mizuki Inoue in the Invicta FC 11 co-main event, where the Guadalajara, Mexico native was able to showcase her deep and diverse offensive arsenal.

Countering well from the outset, Grasso left Inoue battered and bloodied through the first five minutes. After doing more of the same early in the second, the Lobo Gym product scrambled effective midway through the second as Inoue shot for a takedown, locking in an inverted triangle attempt.

In the third, the resilient Inoue came out hard, controlling most of the opening half of the final frame on the mat. While Grasso was able to sweep and get to her feet, Mizuki continued her relentless pursuit of the takedown, dragging the fight back to the ground, but she wasn’t able to secure the finish before the final horn sounded.

When the scores were read, they all fell in favor of Grasso, who moves to 7-0 with the unanimous decision win. Following the victory, an excited and emotional Grasso politely asked for a title shot, hoping for the opportunity to face off with Katja Kankaanpaa next time out.

Whether she get meeting with “Killer Bunny” or perhaps gets called to the UFC Octagon, one thing is for certain: Grasso has the skills and quiet charisma to become a superstar in this sport and it’s only a matter of time until that happens.

DEANNA BENNETT VS. NORMA RUEDA CENTER

After beginning her career at bantamweight and finding success at flyweight, DeAnna Bennett made her strawweight debut in this one, taking on the 27-year-old Norma Rueda Center in the most tactical, even contest on Friday night’s fight card.

This was a bout where neither fighter really let loose, and a great deal of the 15-minute affair was fought in the clinch along the fence. Bennett staggered Center with a clean right midway through the first, but couldn’t capitalize, and from there, it was a nip-and-tuck affair with both fighters having their moments.

Midway through the third, Center started to get frustrated and channeled her inner Diaz Brother, dropping her hands and calling Bennett in. The Pit Elevated product obliged, a flurry would ensue, but then they would quickly find themselves back on the fence, pummeling for positioning.

In the end, the judges saw it 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for “The Argentine Assassin,” DeAnna Bennett.

IRENE ALDANA VS. COLLEEN SCHNEIDER

Bantamweights need to watch out for Irene Aldana.

Less than a minute into the main card opener, Colleen Schneider lost her footing as she backpedaled and the Guardalajara, Mexicio native pounced, quickly jumping on Schneider’s back and fishing her arm under the chin. From there, Aldana torqued backwards, bringing Schneider to the ground, where she tightened her squeeze and drew the tap.

The Lobo Gym product is now 2-0 under the Invicta FC banner, having earned a first-round submission win over TUF 18 contestant Peggy Morgan in her promotional debut back in September. Now 5-1 for her career, the 26-year-old could potentially earn a call up to the UFC Octagon in the future, but for now, she appears to be a force to be reckoned within the 135-pound ranks.

JAMIE MOYLE VS. J.J. ALDRICH

The final bout on the preliminary portion of the card featured a pair of experienced amateurs that picked up their first professional wins under the Invicta FC banner last time out, as J.J. Aldrich earned a unanimous decision over Delaney Owen and Moyle did the same against Jenny Liou Shriver.

This one didn’t take long and it was all Moyle, who took Aldrich to the mat off a kick and put her grappling skills to good use, transitioning to the back, sinking in her hooks and lacing up a rear naked choke. Aldrich tried to fight the hands, but Moyle had the choke in too deep, putting the Denver-based fighter to sleep just before the midway point of the opening round.

Having showcased her striking in her debut and her submission game in her sophomore appearance, “Loveboat Jamie” is quickly becoming one to watch in the Invicta FC strawweight division.

BRIANNA VAN BUREN VS. AMY MONTENEGRO

After a grinding first round where neither fighter was able to gain any kind of serious advantage, Van Buren started the middle stanza with a bang, landing a clean right hand over the top that opened a cut over the left eye of Montenegro. But the Washington State native didn’t waver and what was a tepid affair turned into a really fun fight.

Like the second frame, the third round featured a little bit of everything – Van Buren diving on a back take and transitioning to a kimura, Montenegro defending and dropping a torrent of elbows from top position, and hard positional battling along the cage. Down the stretch, it was Montenegro in front and offering more offense and the scores reflected that as the 31-year-old picked up a unanimous decision win to extend her winning streak to three and her record to 6-1 overall.

CHRISTINE STANLEY VS. LAURA SALAZAR

Two competitors from the California regional circuit squared off inside the Invicta cage in the second bout of the evening, a contest that came together just 48 hours prior to the show. Salazar entered with a perfect 3-0 record, while Stanley came in at 3-1, with her lone setback coming against TUF 20 contestant Justine Kish.

This one was all Stanley from the outset as the Team Hurricane Awesome representative cracked Salazar with a right hand early and never relented. Though Salazar chased takedowns and a chance to recover, Stanley worked back to her feet along the cage, landed a pair of heavy knees and eventually landed enough to bring Mike Beltran in to stop the fight just after the midway point of the opening round.

ANA CAROLINA VIDAL VS. ASPEN LADD

Flyweight newcomers kicked off the 11th Invicta FC event as both Vidal and Ladd made their professional debuts in this one. The 19-year-old Ladd went 8-1 as an amateur, earning five stoppage wins, while the San Diego-based Vidal scored a first-round submission win in her lone amateur appearance to go along with an accomplished resume in both gi and no gi jiu jitsu.

While Vidal got the fight to the floor early, Ladd was able to reverse the position and go on the offensive. As the Brazilian continued to hunt for submissions, Ladd defended well and continued to rain down blow, battering Vidal.

Late in the opening round, the 19-year-old debutant took the back and unloaded, prompting referee Mike Bell to step in and wave off the bout, giving Ladd a first-round stoppage win in her first professional appearance.

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