The 25-year-old Canadian became just the third featherweight champion in the promotion’s history when she submitted Pam Sorenson (7-3) to claim a vacant title in the main event of Invicta FC 32 on Friday at Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Okla.
It took Spencer (6-0) four rounds to use her grappling to soften up the more experienced Sorenson, but she was eventually able to secure back control and lock on a fight-ending rear-naked choke at the 4:23 mark of round four.
Spencer proved that her Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt was legitimate as she needed every ounce of her grappling expertise to control Sorenson, who had success bruising Spencer up when the action was standing. But Spencer set the tone early in with a quick trip in round one, attacking with a choke attempt and also landing punches from back control.
In rounds two and three, it was still Spencer who primarily dictated where the fight went, though Sorenson did attempt to pull guard for a guillotine in the second frame. Spencer calmly defended and then regained control by pressing Sorenson against the cage as she did throughout the match.
Sorenson was still going strong in round four and she managed to score with a trip, but couldn’t capitalize. Spencer blocked a second trip attempt, which put her in position to attack from back control again, and this time she was able to seal the deal.
“I feel like it’s really for my team and my family and everyone out here supporting me and I couldn’t be out here without you guys,” Spencer said after the fight of what it meant to become an Invicta champion. “I’m just honored to be here.”
After failing to make the strawweight limit, Mizuki Inoue (13-5) did her best to erase that gaffe by shutting down opponent Viviane Pereira (13-3) for three rounds in the co-main event. The UFC import had success early on working from Inoue’s guard, but Inoue slipped out and then spent the remainder of the round in control. She achieved full mount against the cage and landed shots from top position.
The second and third frames saw little output from Pereira, who struggled to get past Inoue’s jab. Inoue mixed in a takedown and combinations to seal the deal, earning three 30-27 scores to capture the unanimous decision. Afterwards, Inoue used her interview time to apologize to Pereira for missing weight and thank her for still going through with the fight.
Veteran atomweight Ashley Cummins (7-4) handed Jessica Delboni (7-1) her first pro loss with a measured three-round performance that saw her utilize her jab to keep Delboni at bay, and counter-wrestling to prevent Delboni from capitalizing on her takedowns. In fact, it was Cummins who threatened to win by submission when she worked on an armbar in the closing moments of round one.
In the end, the striking and wrestling of Cummins were too much and she took a unanimous decision with a trio of 30-27 scores. Post-fight, she called for the UFC to give the 105-pound division a chance.
“Dana White, you’re missing out on some exciting fights at 105,” Cummins said. “It’s time to start the atomweight division in the UFC.”
In her first fight for Invicta in four years, former company matchmaker Kaitlin Young (9-9-1) picked up a quick TKO-win over short-notice replacement Sarah Patterson (5-5) in a 150-pound catchweight bout (Patterson came in heavy at 154.5 pounds). Patterson had no answers for the aggressive Young and after a stiff leg kick left her limping, she succumbed to a flurry of punches from Young at the 1:25 mark of round one.
Julia Avila (6-1) established herself as the No. 1 contender at 135 pounds with a one-sided drubbing of Alexa Conners (5-3). “Raging Panda” came out of the gates hot and never let up, bloodying Conners early and bullying her against the fence with a torrent of punches. The gutsy Conners withstood the onslaught until the closing moments of round two, where Avila caught her with a nasty front kick before finishing with punches 4:43 into the round.
Post-fight, Avila called for a shot at Invicta bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman.
In other notable main card action, Kathryn Paprocki (2-0) used her wrestling to spoil the pro debut of Glory kickboxer Isis Verbeek (0-1) with a unanimous decision win, Stephanie Geltmacher (4-0) won a unanimous decision over Liz Tracy (5-3) after an exciting standup scrap, and EBI champion Erin Blanchfield (3-0) won the battle of 19-year-olds with a gritty majority decision nod over Kay Hansen (3-2),
See the full Invicta FC 32 results here.