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Rose Namajunas THUGBLOG #2: Falling Off the Ladder


(Image via Rose Namajunas/SuckerPunch Entertainment. Click for full-size version.)

By Rose Namajunas

It now has been about one and a half months since my first professional loss, and I have to say I feel great! Well just at the moment. Let’s not talk about my unattractive cry-athon that took place for God knows how long. It’s okay though, I’m glad everything happened the way it did. Pat’s mom told me something great. She said, “It’s better to fall off a ladder closer to the ground than all the way at the top.” She’s right because some people fall when they are so high they never come back from it.

Either way it still sucks to fall, especially when so many people out there are watching your every move, waiting for the chance to kick you when you’re down. Even though they are watching you so hard that they don’t even realize how pathetic their own lives are. How sad is that? They won’t ever know what this sucky feeling feels like because they don’t have the guts to climb up the ladder. They also won’t ever see how beautiful the view is. It reminds me of another great quote that went something like, “The more you avoid death the more you avoid living.” People are so afraid of getting hurt that they fear life itself. I have fear but I won’t let that stop me from taking chances and chasing my dreams.

I have learned a lot in my amateur and first two pro fights but not nearly as much as I have learned in the past month and a half. Now I know I have things to work on, and more importantly it doesn’t seem as easy as it did a few months ago! Before my pro debut in Invicta I went into that fight knowing I would be the greatest in the world one day but I didn’t have any proof that I was on that level yet. Going from that to setting a world record for the fastest submission with a flying armbar made me forget that I am competing at a really high level with a huge experience disadvantage.

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Bellator Closes Down Women’s Division; Felice Herrig Snatched Up by Invicta


(Go gentle into that good night, hot secretary. /Photo via Sherdog)

The writing’s been on the wall for a some time now — Bellator didn’t put on any women’s fights during their brief 2013 Summer Series, only featured three women’s bouts during all of Season 8, and hasn’t hosted a women’s tournament since 2010. Last night, Bjorn Rebney released a statement confirming that their last three contracted female fighters have been released, and that Bellator will no longer be promoting women’s MMA:

Jessica Eye, Jessica Aguilar and Felice Herrig represent all that is good in women’s MMA. Both Eye and Aguilar are ranked No. 1 in the world in their respective divisions and carry themselves with class and distinction, elevating the women’s game. I’ve said many times that fighters need to fight, and fight often. Given our current focus, we are not in a position to provide these very deserving women regular and recurring fights on a large platform, and I felt it was best to let them go and secure options that did. I genuinely wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors and will be rooting for each of them wherever they fight.”

Since the arrival of Invicta FC last year, followed by the debut of female bantamweights in the UFC, the marketplace for women’s MMA has become much more competitive. Bellator’s early efforts to promote women’s fighting were admirable, but at some point they began to lose interest. Notably, Bellator virtually forgot about Zoila Frausto after she won the promotion’s inaugural strawweight tournament, and there’s been nothing resembling a long-term strategy for women in Bellator since then. Essentially, there are other promotions doing women’s MMA much better these days, and with bigger stars. (See: Rousey, Cyborg.) Seems like a good time to walk away.

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Report: ‘Cris Cyborg’ To Compete in Two Muay Thai Fights in One Night, Because She’s Just That Nasty


(Photo via Esther Lin/Invicta FC)

It hasn’t even been two weeks since Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino fought and won in MMA against Marloes Coenen at Invicta FC 6, but the new featherweight champion has booked not one but two Muay Thai fights for herself on August 25th in Thailand. “Cyborg will take on France’s top kickboxer Angelique Pitiot and Italy’s Annalisa Bucci, with one taking three rounds and the other two rounds,” Wombat Sports reports.

“Cyborg” represents the famed Brazilian Chute Boxe team, which has Muay Thai as its base, but according to the report, the fighter has never previously been to the kickboxing style’s motherland of Thailand. While many fighters travel to exotic locations in the weeks after fights for vacation, Justino is going to Thailand to fight two women back-to-back just because she can.

Say what you will about her questionable Tito Ortiz-driven decision of turning down a contract with the UFC, but this lady isn’t afraid to fight for her money, that’s for sure. We don’t know much about her two scheduled opponents but considering the fact that five rounds of shadow-boxing — much less actual fighting — gets us winded, we’re quite impressed with Cyborg’s latest goal.

Oh yeah, Kim Couture is also on the card, fighting Thai fighter Petchrocha Looksaikongdin. First off, we didn’t realize that “Sugar Free” (ugh) was still competing. Secondly, fighting someone with that many syllables in their name, in their own backyard, doesn’t seem like a great idea for Kim, who is no stranger to unfortunate beat-downs.

After the jump: Cris Cyborg destroys some broad named Edna in a Muay Thai rules bout back in 2006.

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Invicta FC 6: Some of These Other Chicks Are Hella Scary Too Tho

I love Leslie Smith, but there’s no way I’m not using this kickface.    PhotoProps: Esther Lin / Invicta FC

Invicta continues to impress with good matchmaking and stellar action in its latest card, and for the first time, Invicta is available widely through pay per view, leaving behind any old issues with UStream. Apparently this is the first all-female MMA pay per view, so it’s a historic night, and the fights delivered, as usual.

Since I’ve already effectively spoiled the main event for you, why not follow along as I talk out loud about how cool the show was and which ladies be scary.

 

CagePotato’s Professional Gangsta “Thug” Rose Namajunas was glorious in defeat last night, putting on a highly entertaining bout with Tecia Torres that was an early pick for Fight of the Night.  Namajunas looked for a flying armbar, but I guess Torres had heard something about it.

Also, Thug Rose gives zero fucks about your stupid resets, Big John:

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Could Invicta FC Be Headed to Showtime? Short Answer: Probably


(Well, that’s *one* way to hype a marquee WMMA fight, we guess.) 

When Showtime ended their relationship with Strikeforce this past January, they left behind a massive void in the MMA world that has been tirelessly documented in the time since by…next to no one, quite honestly. Sure, we all loved Strikeforce when it wasn’t moments away from descending into utter chaos (and even when it was), but with the UFC holding an event on 1 of its 14 channels every other week and Bellator quietly putting on smaller-level shows in between, it seems as if we’ve quickly forgotten about Showtime’s once quintessential role in MMA broadcasting.

Well, it appears as if all that could change in the near future, as Showtime Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinoza recently told FOX News Latino that the network was interested in a return to the MMA world and specifically, a partnership with Invicta FC. This statement did not come without a bit of hesitance, though:

The hesitation right now is really we’re investigating the market. The real question is … given the TV landscape as it stands now, the MMA landscape, is there a demand for more MMA on television? I have my doubts because there’s quite a few hours already being programmed.

(Invicta) knows how to make noise and do good-sized events on a budget. It would be interesting to see what they can do on a bigger platform. 

A move to Showtime would be the perfect move for Invicta to say the least. The promotion has rapidly gained popularity over the course of their first handful of events to the point that the Invicta 4 online stream crashed due to overcrowding.

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[UPDATE] MMA Manager Brett Atchley Banned from Attending Invicta FC Events

One week ago today, Invicta FC CEO Shannon Knapp posted a Facebook message warning fighters and fans about the predatory, deceitful and manipulative tactics of MMA manager Brett Atchley, causing numerous other fighters to come forward and describe in great detail what a rotten individual he apparently is. Now, Knapp has revealed that Atchley will no longer be allowed to attend future Invicta FC events. Via Inside MMA:

“In light of the documented information that has come to us – and this is via text messages from Mr. Atchley, along with email and things of that nature – with the misuse of our company name, my name [and] also in light of the fact that some of these sexual misconduct allegations have taken place at our events, we’re going to stand firm in saying Mr. Atchley will not be welcome at our events.”

Couldn’t have happened to a[n allegedly] nicer guy.

In his defense, Atchley offered the following statement:

I am stunned and deeply saddened that my reputation as a hard-working manager can be torn apart by a few unfounded malicious attacks against me and my character. I categorically deny all of the false allegations that have been made and look forward to an opportunity to clear my name.”

If it were only “a few” allegations, Atchley probably wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. In reality, there are multiple reports here and here covering the things that he’s been accused of doing – all of it very serious, heavy stuff.

It didn’t exactly help his cause that he would supposedly do all of it while falsely representing Invicta FC, either. Invicta unsurprisingly wants to distance themselves as much as possible from him, and banning him from events sends a strong message that his actions do not represent the promotion.

We’ll keep you up-to-date as this continues to unfold.

@SethFalvo

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With Her Original Opponent Injured, Cris Cyborg to Smash Fiona Muxlow at Invicta FC 5


(“Oh hey, didn’t see you there. When my doctor first informed me that I would be getting murdered by Cris Cyborg this April, I had lots of questions; Is there anything I can do to prevent getting murdered? Would bringing a friend to the fight help my chances? Why me, God, WHYYYY?!“) 

It has recently been announced that Cris Cyborg’s originally scheduled opponent for her Invicta FC debut on April 5th, Ediane Gomes, has been forced to withdraw from their Invicta FC 5 bout with a rib injury. It’s a real shame, because as someone who used to beat up dudes on the Brazilian underground fight circuit (Fallon Fox’s doppelganger, if you will.*fires invisible pistols*), Gomes was being given more than a snowball’s chance in Hell against Cyborg, a privilege few of her opponents have been able to enjoy.

But now, stepping in on short notice against the former Strikeforce women’s featherweight champ will be Fiona Muxlow, a 6-2 grappling specialist out of Queensland, Australia. Originally scheduled to face Julia Budd at the event (who is now awaiting a replacement opponent as of this write up), Muxlow has not competed since dropping a first round armbar to Marloes Coenen at DREAM 18 on New Year’s Eve last year, snapping a three fight win streak in the process.

Although Muxlow is coming off a loss — one she was utterly dominated in at that — and lacks any notable victories, one should look beyond the numbers to see what this woman is truly capable of. For starters, she began her MMA career by submitting three straight opponents in a one night tournament, so we know she’s a finisher and has cardio for days to boot. Secondly, Muxlow has a poker face that will burn a hole right through your soul. That HAS to count for something in this topsy-turvy world, dammit.

Now that Invicta will be implementing “random” drug tests in the near future, does anyone give Muxlow a decent chance against Cyborg, or should we just start prepping the hospital bed?

-J. Jones

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Invicta FC to Implement Random Drug Testing in Future Events, Cris Cyborg Totally Not Worried About It


(Santos might have had stanozolol coursing through her veins that night, but it was nothing compared to the elevated levels of fabulousness found in Gus Johnson’s post-fight sample. Photo via Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

If English is your first or even second language, then chances are you had some trouble deciphering Tito Ortiz’s recent press conference in regards to client Cris “Santos” Cyborg’s decision to leave the UFC. The basic gist: Cyborg fighting at 135 is “impossible for her to happen,” and Invicta FC will serve as her feeding grounds for the time being. We just hope the folks over at Invicta know that the Cyborg doesn’t want to be fed, she wants to hunt.

But in a somewhat ironic turn of events, Invicta FC has announced that it will be implementing random drug tests at all future events just two days after signing Cyborg. Via MMAJunkie:

For the first time in its short history, Invicta FC will utilize random drug testing for its upcoming fifth event on April 5. Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp confirmed the news on Sunday evening. Fighters who will be competing in April were informed of the new policy in late January. An independent agency in conjunction with the Missouri Office of Athletics will handle the testing.

The new anti-PED policy will extend to all future Invicta FC events. The promotion is currently fielding offers from a number of independent testing agencies and hopes to confirm its new testing partner later this week. 

So…regretting turning down a spot on Pink Fight MMA’s inaugural card yet, Cristiane?

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Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Santos Signs With Invicta FC, Will Debut Against Ediane Gomes


Oh, this? It’s just a video of Gomes beating up some random Brazilian guy, no big deal.

Just one week after Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Santos asked to be released from her UFC contract, the feared Brazilian striker has already found a new home. There was never any doubt as to where Santos would go once leaving the UFC, but yesterday it was announced that Cyborg has officially signed with Invicta FC.

Cyborg will be making her promotional debut at Invicta FC 5 on April 5. Her opponent will be the other scary Brazilian featherweight, Ediane Gomes, who was originally booked to beat the tar out of Julia Budd. Here’s what you need to know about Gomes: She is 10-2 overall, she is riding a four fight win streak, she most recently beat up Hiroko Yamakana in January, and her last loss came by armbar against Ronda Rousey. Oh yeah, and she once beat up a guy in Rio Heroes, yet none of his friends made fun of him for it (see above).

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Invicta FC 5 Announced With Two Title Fights, Zoila Gurgel and Sarah Kaufman’s Debuts, And the Return of Bec Hyatt and Veronica Rothenhausler


(Thai glamour shot via Michelle Waterson’s Facebook page.)

Not that we don’t appreciate the UFC’s generous one-female-fight-every-couple-months schedule, but in terms of competitive matchups and depth of talent, Invicta FC is still the premiere promotion for women’s MMA. And as long as they can avoid more technical foul-ups this time, Invicta’s fifth card looks like a real corker.

As announced yesterday via press-release, Invicta FC 5 will go down Friday, April 5th at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, featuring two title fights and 12 more bouts featuring a deep roster of well-known contenders. Check out some of the matchup highlights below, and the full event lineup at the end of this post…

Jessica Penne (10-1) vs. Michelle Waterson (10-3), for atomweight championship: Penne won Invicta’s inaugural 105-pound title last October at Invicta 3 with her submission victory over Naho Sugiyama. The Karate Hottie won her Invicta debut at the same event, defeating Lacey Schuckman by split-decision and increasing her total win streak to four.

Barb Honchak (7-2) vs. Vanessa Porto (13-5), for inaugural flyweight championship: Honchak is on a roll with six straight wins — including a decision over Felice Herrig and a submission of Roxanne Modafferi — and has gone 2-0 under the Invicta banner. Porto is coming off her decision win over Tara LaRosa at Invicta FC 3, which followed a loss to Sarah D’Alelio.

Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-2) vs. Jennifer Maia (6-2): With her Bellator career now in the rear-view mirror, Zoila Gurgel will make her Invicta FC debut in a flyweight bout against Chute Boxe-bred newcomer Jennifer Maia.

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