It could not have worked out any better for Megan Anderson.
With her family in the stands, the Australian slugger finished Charmaine Tweet by second-round TKO, won the Invicta interim featherweight title and promptly called out the soon-to-be UFC featherweight champion. Whoever she might be.
“Dana White, you tell Holly or Germaine to keep my belt warm, because I’m f*cking coming for it,” Anderson said afterward.
The finish came at 2:05 of the second round after an Anderson flurry of punches in the main event of Invicta FC 21 on Saturday night in Kansas City. Anderson repeatedly landed to Tweet’s face and added in a head kick. Tweet turned around and faced the cage, obviously in a ton of pain. Referee Greg Franklin had no choice but to step in.
Anderson (8-2) then challenged the winner of the UFC’s inaugural women’s featherweight title fight between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie. That bout takes place at UFC 208 on Feb. 11 in Brooklyn.
Anderson, 26, had not seen her family since she left Australia in September 2015 to live and train in Lee’s Summit, Mo. Since being at Glory MMA, training with the likes of James Krause and Tim Elliott, her game has developed exponentially. And now she has gold to go with it. Anderson has won four straight, all by knockout.
Tweet (9-6), who hails from Canada, had her moments in the first round, landing big punches toward the end of the round, including a spinning back fist. Tweet tried two more spinning back fists in the second when she was in trouble, but Anderson was pouring it on. Tweet, 39, had won three straight after falling to Cris Cyborg in an Invicta featherweight title fight in 2015.
Cyborg, who has fought her last two fights in the UFC and is currently facing a USADA suspension for failing a drug test, is still the Invicta featherweight champ.
In the co-main event, Raquel Pa’aluhi put on arguably her best performance to date. The Hawaiin up-and-comer quickly took Pannie Kianzad down, controlled her on the ground, got her back and choked her out in the first round. The entire fight lasted 3:40.
Pa’aluhi (6-5) had not fought since losing a title eliminator to Colleen Schneider by split decision last May. The Las Vegas resident won three straight fights coming into that bout and was one victory away from that title opportunity. Pa’aluhi, 26, is now back on that short list of Invicta bantamweight contenders.
Kianzad (8-2) has lost two straight, but both against two of the best bantamweights in Invicta. Kianzad, a Sweden native, had not fought since losing to Tonya Evinger in September 2015. She does own a victory over Jessica-Rose Clark in Invicta.
One of the best knockouts in Invicta history came from the leg of newcomer Leah Letson. Letson finished Elizabeth Phillips by highlight-reel head kick at just 1:18 of the first round. Letson (4-1), who serves in the military, is just months away from being deployed again. Phillips (5-5) was released by the UFC last year after going 1-3 in the promotion.
Andrea Lee returned from a 10-month layoff and didn’t show a single shred of ring rust. Lee put it on Jenny Liou, ultimately finishing via liver punch at just 1:14 of the first round. Lee (5-2) was coming off a nine-month suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) for failing a drug test for illegal diuretics. Liou (6-5) has now lost two straight.
Celine Haga choked Amy Montenegro out, but still lost the fight by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in a bizarre finish. Montenegro went out at the bell to a Haga rear-naked choke, but referee Greg Franklin deemed the fight over and not a submission victory for Haga. Montenegro (8-2) has won two in a row. Haga (10-14) came in on a four-fight winning streak.
In the opener, Christine Ferea defeated fan-favorite Rachael Ostovich via TKO at 1:29 of the third round. Ferea, who was making her pro debut, caught Ostovich with a head kick in the back-and-forth bout. Ostovich (3-3) had won three of her last four.
Also on the card, 21-year-old prospect Aspen Ladd defeated Sijara Eubanks by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).