Jinh Yu Frey seems poised for another atomweight title shot.
The talented Texas native outpointed Ashley Cummins by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) in a back-and-forth affair Saturday night in the main event of Invicta FC 24 in Kansas City. Frey survived several deep armbar attempts from Cummins in the three-round affair, but won the bout with her wrestling and elbows from top position.
Frey (6-2) had not fought since falling to Invicta atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki by second-round doctor’s stoppage last September. Hamasaki opened up a cut on Frey, who was winning the fight at the time, and the doctor stepped in. At the time, Frey disputed the call and many felt she should have been given an immediate rematch for the 105-pound belt.
On Saturday, Frey might have given Invicta little choice, picking up a victory over the game Cummins. Frey, 32, has won four of five and is one of the biggest names on the roster with recent defections to the UFC.
Cummins (5-4) would have also been angling for a title shot if she won. The St. Louis-area police officer was on a two-fight winning streak and was coming off a win over former Invicta top atomweight contender Amber Brown in March. That bout was the first at atomweight for Cummins, 29, who seems to have found a home at 105.
In the main event Saturday night, Mara Romero Borella had a fine Invicta debut, beating UFC veteran Milana Dudieva by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28). Bolero’s top game carried her against Dudieva, who also had her moments, including several solid submission attempts and judo throws.
Borella (11-4, 1 NC) is undefeated in her last six fights and has not lost since 2015. The 31-year-old Italian fighter could make some noise in a wide-open flyweight division moving forward. Dudieva (11-6) was also making her Invicta debut. The 28-year-old Russian has lost three straight after dropping her final two bouts in the UFC.
Pam Sorenson is looking like a serious contender for the in flux Invicta featherweight title after she defeated debuting Helena Kolesnyk by first-round armbar submission. Sorenson (6-2) has won four of five with a close split decision loss to Ediane Gomes back in May the only defeat. Sorensen, 31, picked up the first submission victory of her career.
Kolesnyk (5-1) has had a hectic few weeks. The previously undefeated Ukraine native was supposed to challenge Megan Anderson for the Invicta featherweight title in the main event of this card, but Anderson was tabbed by the UFC to face Cris Cyborg at UFC 214 on July 29.
So Kolesnyk, 27, was placed into a featherweight main event fight with Invicta bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger, which would have also been the main event. But when Anderson pulled out of the Cyborg fight due to personal reasons, the UFC brought over Evinger to face Cyborg in two weeks. Kolesnyk was left without an opponent, until Invicta got Sorensen to fill-in on short notice.
Invicta might have found another gem from Mexico’s Team Lobo. Karina Rodriguez debuted with a bang Saturday night, beating Barbara Acioly via first-round TKO. Rodriguez (5-2) showed off boxing skills that would have made her teammates Alexa Grasso and Irene Aldana proud. The flyweight Rodriguez, 31, has won two straight, while the 24-year-old Acidly (4-1) dropped the first fight of her young career.
Also on the card, Miranda Maverick beat Gabby Romero by unanimous decision, Sunna Davidsdottir defeated Kelly D’Angelo by unanimous decision and Felicia Spencer took out Amy Coleman via submission with a rear-naked choke at 3:17 of the first round.