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Accused of using ‘stinky strategy,’ Invicta FC’s Minna Grusander calls team Frey’s accusations ‘disgraceful’

Minna Grusander ahead of her atomweight title fight opposite Jinh Yu Frey at Invicta FC 30 in Kansas City, Mo., on July 21
Invicta FC, Dave Mandel

Minna Grusander’s title bout with Jinh Yu Frey already had its fair share of controversy, but comments made by Frey’s husband following the fight have added another layer to the budding feud.

The two atomweights recently battled for a vacant championship in the main event of Invicta FC 30 and it was Frey who earned a unanimous decision victory and the title after five rounds via scores of 49-46, 48-47, and 48-47. It was a close fight, one that saw a fair share of discussion on commentary and on social media in regards to whether the judges got it right, but it was the Frey camp that later lobbed a claim of impropriety at Grusander despite walking away with the win.

Douglas Frey, Jinh’s husband and coach, wrote a tweet in which he said that Grusander “was the most disgusting smelling person I’ve ever been around” and he implied that she intentionally used poor hygiene as a tactic to distract Frey and gain an advantage in the fight. The tweet has since been deleted — though a post on Frey’s Instagram also addressed the odor controversy — but Douglas maintained his story in response to fans questioning him.

In one reply, he wrote that Grusander was making use of an old wrestling trick called “the stinky strategy”.

MMA Fighting spoke to Grusander about the accusation and she let it be known that she isn’t amused by the situation.

“I think the fact that they are even making up and shouting out this little bulls**t, it’s pretty disgraceful right now,” said Grusander. “I’ve heard and seen some bad losers in sports in general and I kind of understand the trash talk in combat sports prior to an upcoming bout, but I can’t really figure out the purpose of their actions right now.

“I don’t think I’ve seen everything, I’m not really digging deep into what they’re talking about me, I’m just amazed how immature they’ve been with it.”

Invicta FC broadcaster Laura Sanko, who interviewed Grusander in the cage immediately following the fight, came to the defense of the Finnish fighter and expressed disappointment in Douglas’s comments, to which he responded by saying that he could understand Grusander’s conversations with her team due to him taking “Icelandic language lessons”:

At that comment, Grusander did manage to find some humor in the situation, though it only made her think even less of Douglas.

“With all this Icelandic stuff and ‘bad-smelling thing,’ it really sounds like some first-grader wannabe badass bully desperately trying to put down someone even when they can’t come up with anything,” said Grusander.

A native of Salo, Finland, currently fighting out of Turku, Grusander has no idea why Jinh or Douglas would have any beef with her as she saw nothing during the lead-up to the fight that would indicate there was anything less than “great mutual respect” between them. She added that one thing she loved about fighting for Invicta is that the promotion appears to be “above that weird trash talk” that is endemic of many MMA promotions.

Post-fight, Grusander told Sanko that she was unsure about being in position to challenge Frey again, but having rewatched the fight in the days since, she’s more confident than ever that she won at least three of the five rounds against Frey and she is all in for an immediate rematch should that be what Invicta officials decide.

Her sole priority is settling the score with Frey and she isn’t concerned about having any further interaction with her rival’s husband.

“I don’t think we need to figure anything out outside the cage,” said Grusander. “We can get inside the cage and figure it out there.”

“After all this that’s happened here, I really feel like there’s just no respect left towards them and they won the fight, and I feel like they are lucky winners in the fight and they are still bringing stuff up and whining and making up all this bulls**t,” she continued. “So I’m pretty anxiously waiting what will they come up with when I’m working her ass next time.”

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