Virna Jandiroba has a stranglehold on the Invicta Fighting Championships bantamweight throne -- quite literally.
The undefeated Brazilian retained her title with a sublime performance, as she submitted Janaisa Morandin with a second-round arm-triangle choke in the Invicta 31 headliner on Saturday at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri. Morandin conceded defeat 2:23 into Round 2, the champion’s squeeze too much for her to endure.
Jandiroba was flawless. The 30-year-old executed multiple takedowns and carved through Morandin’s guard with breathtaking ease. In the second round, Jandiroba dragged the challenger to the canvas, moved to full mount and framed the arm-triangle choke before sliding to the side and eliciting the tapout. The outcome was never in doubt.
In the aftermath of Invicta 31 “Jandiroba vs. Morandin,” here are four matches that ought to be made:
Virna Jandiroba vs. Mizuki Inoue-Heather Clark winner: Clearly a big fish in a small pond, Jandiroba could punch her ticket to the Ultimate Fighting Championship at any time. Her record now stands at 14-0, with 11 of those wins resulting from submissions: six by rear-naked choke, three by armbar, one by triangle choke and one by arm-triangle choke. Since joining the Invicta roster in December, Jandiroba has defeated Inoue, Morandin and Amy Montenegro, emerging as the woman to beat at 115 pounds. Inoue and Clark will face off at Invicta 32 on Nov. 16 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with the winner perhaps surfacing as a possible No. 1 contender.
Pearl Gonzalez vs. Vanessa Porto: Gonzalez moved to 3-0 under the Invicta banner with a unanimous decision over Daiane Firmino in the flyweight co-main event. Scores were 30-27, 29-28 and 29-27. Gonzalez attacked on several fronts but proved most effective on the ground, where she attempted a variety of submissions and piled up points with ground-and-pound, both from top position and on the bottom. Porto finds herself on a two-fight winning streak after she submitted Mariana Morais with a first-round armbar at Invicta 27 in January. The 34-year-old Brazilian holds other notable victories against Milana Dudieva, Roxanne Modafferi, Jennifer Maia, Tonya Evinger and Kalindra Faria.
Lisa Spangler vs. Raquel Pa'aluhi: Spangler kept her professional record intact and established herself as a person of interest at 135 pounds, as she eked out a split decision over Shanna Young in a three-round bantamweight showcase. Operating out of a Gracie Barra affiliate in Portland, Oregon, the 22-year-old prospect shook off a badly bloody nose, walked through a variety of kicks from Young and did her best work when it mattered most. Spangler swarmed her counterpart with punches in the third round and snatched a standing guillotine in the waning moments, putting an exclamation point on her performance. Pa’aluhi, 27, was Young’s original opponent before an injury prompted her withdrawal. The Hawaiian has not fought since she lost a unanimous verdict to Yana Kunitskaya in a failed bid to capture the vacant bantamweight crown at Invicta 25 in August 2017.
Miranda Maverick vs. Liz Tracy: Maverick rebounded from her first professional setback, as she submitted the previously unbeaten Victoria Leonardo with an armbar in the first round of their flyweight feature. Leonardo bowed out 3:26 into Round 1. Maverick executed a takedown, transitioned to half guard and advanced to full mount before maneuvering into position for the armbar and securing the tapout. Tracy has rattled off back-to-back wins since she suffered a split decision defeat to Andrea Lee in 2017. The 30-year-old Team Trident export last competed at Invicta 29 on May 4, when she outpointed Cheri Muraski across three rounds.