Video: Watch a Mackenzie Dern get the tap in her Invicta FC debut

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News

Dann StuppMackenzie Dern made a successful Invicta FC debut – and showed off some improved striking – in Friday’s Invicta FC 26 co-headliner.

Dern (5-0), a 24-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and world-champion grappler, continued an undefeated start to her MMA career with a third-round submission victory over Kaline Medeiros (8-6).

The fight, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo., expectedly featured some grappling, but Dern, an LFA vet who turned pro just 16 months ago, also displayed some much-improved striking.

Check out the highlights above as Dern uses some early striking, inlacing some overhand rights and knees, to eventually set up the fight-ending armbar.

Also on the card, flyweight champion Jennifer Maia (15-4-1) defended her title with a rather lopsided unanimous-decision victory over game challenger Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (10-1) in the headliner.

It marked the 29-year-old Brazilian’s second title defense and pushed her winning streak to six.

Check out the highlights from the full eight-bout card above.

And for more on Invicta FC 26, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Invicta FC 26 results: Jennifer Maia retains belt with win over game Agnieszka Niedzwiedz

Agnieszka Niedzwiedz didn’t make it easy, but there was simply no getting rid of 125-pound champion Jennifer Maia in the headlining affair of Friday’s Invicta FC 26.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Maia (15-4-1), who was knocked down a couple of times by a perpetually unbothered Niedzwiedz (10-1). But, while Niedzwiedz herself stayed in the fight until the final bell, Maia was ultimately the fresher fighter as the fight advanced into the championship rounds. Maia’s ability to recover from danger and the late rally, paired with her efficient striking, did the trick.

With across-the-board 49-46, 49-46 and 49-46 scores, Maia defended the 125-pound title she’s held since 2016. As a bonus, she had her post-fight interviewed translated by none other than the UFC women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes.

Poland’s Niedzwiedz, in turn, suffered the first loss of her pro career at only 22. The headliner streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo.

The first round saw Niedzwiedz going in assertively with three and four-strike combos, while Maia seemed more interested in keeping the distance. The challenger had more volume, but the champion responded and countered accordingly. Maia was the first one to connect a somewhat significant blow in a technical round, but Niedzwiedz turned the tables later on with a right hand that knocked down Maia. Niedzwiedz followed her to the ground but a finish didn’t materialize.

Niedzwiedz, once more, rocked Maia early in Round 2. Maia, however, was able to keep it together long enough to drive the challenger to the fence. There, Maia clinched and kept just enough pressure to recover. Niedzwiedz threw knees and angled for a takedown but didn’t land anything. As they broke off, strikes were thrown on both ends toward the center of the cage. Despite the early scare, Maia looked alert. The champ peppered in some solid punches, but Niedzwiedz remained stone cold as she ate the damage. The round ended with the two fighters clinched against the fence – Maia, however, was the one in control.

Maia pushed the pace to start off Round 3, landing the harder shots on a still-game Niedzwiedz. The Polish challenger’s judo background paid off almost three minutes into it as she took Maia down and landed in favorable position. Maia managed to restore guard but, despite her efforts to keep Niedzwiedz close, a few elbows made their way to her face. Niedzwiedz, however, eventually relented, and the two went back to their feet.

The fourth round took place mostly with uneventful clinch battles against the cage. While they took turns, and both landed some blows in the brief moments they broke away, Maia controlled most of the action. Niedzwiedz came out aggressively in the final frame, which saw the two fighters once more engaged in overall balanced striking exchanges in the center of the cage. Maia looked fresher and landed the more damaging blows, but Niedzwiedz pressed on.

Both fighters looked impressively active at the end of a balanced 25-minute match – which they sealed with a hug. Niedzwiedz didn’t take the win but certainly earned some serious respect by hanging tough in one grind of a fight.

Full Invicta 26 results:

  • Champ Jennifer Maia def. Agnieszka Niedzwiedz via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) – to retain flyweight title
  • Mackenzie Dern def. Kaline Medeiros via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 4:45
  • Janaisa Morandin def. Kinberly Novaes via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 and 30-27)
  • Vanessa Porto def. Milana Dudieva via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 3:02
  • Virna Jandiroba def. Amy Montenegro via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:50
  • Amber Brown def. Tessa Simpson via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 0:50
  • Karina Rodriguez def. Christine Ferea via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Kay Hansen def.  Emilee Prince via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:23

For more on Invicta FC 26, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

Unbeaten Agnieszka Niedzwiedz not afraid to lose – but isn't about to start at Invicta FC 26

A belt? Yeah, that’s great. But it’s not the most important part of what Agnieszka Niedzwiedz is trying to accomplish Friday.

Niedzwiedz (10-0) headlines Invicta FC 26 looking to dethrone flyweight champ Jennifer Maia (14-4-1), which means that, at 22, the Polish challenger has a chance to add a gold ribbon to what has so far been a strictly victorious career.

That conquest, of course, excites her, but for reasons beyond the shiny object she’ll get to show for it.

“The most important for me is knowing that Maia is, right now, the No.1 in our division,” Niedzwiedz told MMAjunkie ahead of the bout, which airs on UFC Fight Pass from Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo. “I know when I beat her, I’ll be the best in the world. This is more important for me than the belt. The belt is a great thing, but it’s only extra.”

If you want to raise your profile in the U.S., beating a more experienced
champ in a headlining bout is one way to do it. Doing it after winning yet another headliner, against yet another ex-title-challenger and seasoned vet in Vanessa Porto, is even better.

But while she understands the big step a title win would be in terms of a popularity boost, getting her name out there isn’t really what Niedzwiedz has set out to do.

“People in Poland don’t know who I am,” Niedzwiedz said with a laugh. “For sure, in the world I’m more popular than in Poland. But I don’t care. I’m not doing this, because I want to have a lot of fans and stuff like that.”

The private jets and high-profile TV spots that seem to be the perks of a champion’s life for some, that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case for Niedzwiedz.

“Right now I’m happy that I’m not so popular, because I can have a normal life,” Niedzwiedz said. “I don’t like this media stuff and whole part of MMA. So I’m happy that I can be with my family in peace.”

That family includes a two-year old son who Niedzwiedz will unequivocally tell you is her main priority, so much so that joining the season of “The Ultimate Fighter” that crowned the UFC’s inaugural 125-pound champion in Nicco Montano never was even a thought.

Recognition in MMA, Niedzwiedz understands, will come with time. Besides, she might as well enjoy it now. If her lofty goals come to fruition, the days of laying low are numbered.

“For sure I want to have the UFC belt,” Niedzwiedz said. “It’s the biggest goal in MMA. So it’s my goal.”

‘I’m not afraid to lose’

Being the UFC’s 125-pound champion is an objective, however, that Niedzwiedz is putting on the backburner for now. With her focus geared entirely toward Maia, the flyweight knows that whether she wins or loses will be the difference between post-fight plans A and B.

And she’s not stressing over either of them.

Winning, though, is the plan – and it’s one that Maia has been able to execute so far. After her professional debut in 2012, when Niedzwiedz was only 17, she went on a tear in the European scene. By the time of her U.S. debut, at Invicta FC 18, she’d finished all but one of her fights.

As many fighters will tell you, there are valuable lessons to be taken from setbacks. Niedzwiedz, of course, hasn’t had any of those in MMA. But that’s one of the aspects in which a decade-long career in another combat sport comes in handy.

“I’m not afraid to lose,” Niedzwiedz said. “I lost many, many times in judo. My family, my friends and my trainer, they don’t give me that added pressure that, ‘You have to win, you have to win.’

“I’m going to fight, and I know that either I win or lose, I must come home to my family. I know they love me no matter what.”

To which she promptly added, with a laugh.

“For sure, it won’t be in this fight with Maia,” Niedzwiedz said. “Because I want to win this fight really bad. So it’s not yet.”

Of course, coping with adversity is not all her athletic background was helpful in. If it hadn’t been for the fact that she’d been involved in judo since she was 7, it’s unlikely that Niedzwiedz would have been given the suggestion to try MMA in what was only her third jiu-jitsu session.

And even more unlikely that merely a month later, having just picked up on the basics of striking, she’d be doing her debut.

“I took that fight, and it felt really cool for me,” Niedzwiedz said matter of factly. “And I don’t know. I took another fight, another and another.”

Ultimately, the adrenaline appealed to her. That and, Niedzwiedz calmly adds, the fact that she “can punch and the blood is coming.” One thing led to the other and here she is, in her early twenties, taking the steps toward achieving her ultimate goal of being a UFC champion.

The next step, of course, is Maia. And beating her will mean accomplishing something that five other women, over a three-year period, weren’t able to do.

As she heads into yet another 25-minute bout, Niedzwiedz welcomes the thought of meeting an opponent with reliable cardio. After all, Maia did recently go five rounds with both “The Ultimate Fighter 26” semifinalist Roxanne Modafferi and fellow countrywoman Porto.

But knowing that she’ll have a game opponent should it come down to the championship rounds doesn’t mean Niedzwiedz is planning on using them.

“My gameplan is simple: I want to finish the fight before the time,” Niedzwiedz said. “In the second round, maximum.”

For more on Invicta FC 26, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

Jennifer Maia puts 125 title on line vs. Agnieszka Niedzwiedz at Invicta FC 26 in December

Invicta FC will return in December, a week later than had been previously reported, and the flyweight title will be on the line in the main event.

Invicta FC 26 takes place Dec. 8 at Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo. The card had been expected to take place Nov. 30 at Park Theater in Las Vegas. Instead, the card heads to a familiar venue for the promotion.

An Invicta FC official told MMAjunkie that while promotion President Shannon Knapp had applied for an appropriate license to hold the event in Las Vegas, Invicta FC never had formally announced the event for Nov. 30.

In the headliner, flyweight champion Jennifer Maia (14-4-1) will put her belt up for grabs against unbeaten challenger Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (10-0), the promotion announced on Wednesday. The card will stream live on UFC Fight Pass.

Also on the card, Mizuki Inoue (12-4) returns to take on Janaisa Morandin (9-1) at strawweight, and Vanessa Porto (18-8) meets Jessica-Rose Clark (7-4) in a flyweight bout.

Brazil’s Maia won the interim flyweight title in March 2016 with a unanimous decision win over Porto. She was promoted to full champ later that year and defended the title with a split decision over Roxanne Modafferi in September 2016.

Niedzwiedz, from Poland, has wins in both her fights under the Invicta FC banner. In June 2016, she outpointed Christine Stanley in her promotional debut. And in May, at Invicta FC 23, she took a decision from Porto. Of her 10 career wins, seven have been by stoppage.

The Invicta FC 26 card includes: can be found below:

  • Champ Jennifer Maia vs. Agnieszka Niedzwiedz – for flyweight title
  • Mizuki Inoue vs. Janaisa Morandin
  • Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Vanessa Porto

For more on Invicta FC 26, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie