The co-main event of tonight’s Invicta FC 6 pay-per view was a three-round battle between two undefeated strawweight contenders. Ayaka Hamasaki and Claudia Gadelha met in the cage to determine the next challenger for champion Carla Esparza’s belt.
Esparza was originally set to compete in the event, but it was a knee injury that forced her to withdraw. Hamasaki and Gadelha stepped up to the challenge and put their skills on display as they fought to become the new No. 1 contender.
As you would expect from the women, they quickly charged to the center of the cage looking to press the action.
The Brazilian Gadelha was able to land an early takedown and and control Hamasaki on the canvas as she continuously looked for a head-arm triangle as she peppered Hamasaki’s body with some ground-and-pound.
Hamasaki was unable to get the more powerful Gadehla out of the top position,
Near the end of Round 1, Gadehla landed a knee to the head of Hamasaki as she was on the ground and the referee jumped in to put a pause to the action. Referee Greg Franklin deducted one point for the illegal blow as the round came to an end. It was a great start to the first round for Gadelha, but the foul spoiled her dominance and likely led to a 9-9 round on the judges scorecards.
The second round began with another takedown from Gadelha as she looked to continue her first round success and make up for the lost point.
Gadelha eventually worked her way to full mount with just over a minute left in the round as she postured up and landed some big blows to the head of Hamasaki before looking for another arm triangle with thirty seconds to go. Hamasaki was able to hang on to the final bell of Round 2 as Gadelha finished another dominating round.
The third round was much of the same with Gadehla’s overwhelming ground game taking the fight to the mat and taking Hamasaki’s back. In a scramble, the Japanese contender was able to reverse position and get top position of her own as she threatened to force a draw if she could right out the top position.
Unfortunately for Hamasaki, Gadehla was able to get back in to full mount where she threw some powerful shots that led to some fight ending ground-and-pound.
Gadehla advances to 10-0 and will now take on Carla Esparza for the title in her next bout.