On Saturday, October 6, Jessica Penne beat Naho Sugiyama via triangle choke to win the Invicta FC atomweight title. Penne's victory capped off an outstanding night of fights at Invicta 3.
Here are three thoughts on the event:
One of the biggest questions surrounding women's MMA is whether or not the depth and talent is there to consistently produce a solid card. That's one of the concerns that UFC president Dana White has expressed when asked about women joining the sport's top organization.
However, it's becoming clear that there is enough depth and talent in women's MMA. If you need proof of this, then all you need to do is watch the fights that took place at Invicta 3. Only three out of the 14 fights at Invicta went to the judges' scorecards, and I believe that there was only one subpar fight on the card. It's rare for the UFC or other organizations to top that.
Invicta is proving to the sports world that there are plenty of high-quality women's mixed martial artists out there. With women being showcased in Invicta, Strikeforce, Bellator and the XFC, I think it's only a matter of time before we see the UFC give them a chance.
It was supposed to be a matchup between the world's top two atomweights, but when it was all said and done, Jessica Penne proved that she's the best in her division. Sugiyama appeared to struggle with her opponent's height and reach throughout the fight, but it was Penne's ground game that proved to be Sugiyama's undoing. Following a takedown, Sugiyama rolled into Penne's guard and looked to land some ground and pound. However, Penne was ready for her. She locked in a triangle choke and held it in place, even as Sugiyama tried to angle her way out of the hold. Sugiyama submitted at 2:20 of round two.
Penne will now go into the record books as the first champion in Invicta history. Hopefully, we'll see her defend her title soon.
There comes a point in every legend's career when he or she has to decide whether it's time to walk away. That time might be approaching for women's MMA pioneer Tara LaRosa. The 34-year-old missed weight and then struggled to keep up with Vanessa Porto during their fight on Saturday night. In truth, LaRosa looked old and slow against her younger opponent. She was unable to check Porto's kicks or to do any real damage. LaRosa simply wasn't the fighter we've grown used to seeing, and I have to wonder if she has any gas left in her tank.
Derek Ciapala is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor for MMA. He has been published on GatewayMMA.com, UltimateApocalypse.com and multiple other websites. You can check him out on Facebook or on Twitter @dciapala.
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