Emily Kagan vs Rose Namajunas
Round One: Kagan comes out swinging, but Namajunas stays calm and composed. Namajunas working for a triangle choke and an armbar with three minutes remaining in the opening frame. Kagan lifts Namajunas off her back and slams her on her head. It's a high-level MMA chess match with two minutes to go in the opening frame, as Namajunas works for a mounted triangle and Kagan passes to side control. With one minute to go, Kagan tries to get the fight back to the mat, but she ends up with Namajunas on top of her. Kagan stacks Namajunas with 28 seconds left. Nice scramble from both ladies as the opening frame winds down.
Round Two: Namajunas works for an armbar and then transitions to a triangle choke with 2:58 to go. Kagan pops out and presses Namajunas against the cage before falling to the mat with two minutes left. Namajunas drops down elbows, but Kagan gets the fight standing and takes control with 1:30 to go. It's a battle of attrition in the final minute of the second frame, as Namajunas' relentless pace seems to be wearing on Kagan.
Round Three: Namajunas likely ahead on the judge's scorecards heading into the third frame. Color commentators Bas Rutten and Julie Kedzie both see the fight two rounds to zero in Namajunas' favor. Kagan seems willing to stand and trade punches in the opening minute of the third frame, but Namajunas takes a deep breath and stays in the pocket. Namajunas locks in a rear-naked choke with 1:21 to go in the round.
The rest of the Invicta FC 4 card is still to come. In the main event and first-ever Invicta FC world strawweight (115 pounds) championship fight, Carla Esparza (8-2) of Redondo Beach, Calif. will face off with rising star “Rowdy” Bec Hyatt (4-1) of Brisbane, Australia.
In the bantamweight (135 pounds) co-main event, submission ace Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler (15-7) of Sioux Falls, S.D. will battle top-ranked striker Alexis Davis (12-5) of Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada.
Also on the main card, Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (4-2-1) squares off against Raquel “Rocky” Pennington (3-2-1) of Colorado Springs, Colo. in a bantamweight tilt, and Amanda Nunes takes on Sarah D'Alelio.
In other Invicta FC 4 main card action, Hiroko Yamanaka (12-2) fights the always entertaining Ediane Gomes (8-2) in a featherweight (145 pounds) contest, and the strawweights take center stage when Joanne Calderwood slugs it out with Livia Von Plettenberg.
Invicta FC 4 Main Card
115 lb. title: Carla Esparza vs. Bec Hyatt
135 lbs.: Shayna Baszler vs. Alexis Davis
135 lbs.: Leslie Smith vs. Raquel Pennington
135 lbs.: Amanda Nunes vs. Sarah D'Alelio
145 lbs.: Ediane Gomes vs. Hiroko Yamanaka
115 lbs.: Joanne Calderwood vs. Livia Von Plettenberg
Invicta FC 4 Preliminary Card
105 lbs.: Stephanie Frausto vs. Cassie Rodish
145 lbs.: Tamikka Brents vs. Amanda Bell
105 lbs.: Liz McCarthy vs. Jodie Esquibe
115 lbs.: Emily Kagan vs. Rose Namajunas
115 lbs.: Tecia Torres vs. Paige VanZant (Torres via unanimous decision victory)
145 lbs.: Katalina Malungahu vs. Veronica Rothenhausler (Rothenhausler via first-round TKO)
105 lbs.: Laura Marcusse-Sanko vs. Cassie Robb (Sanko via submission; second-round rear-naked choke)