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Invicta FC Phoenix Series 2 results: Miranda Maverick avenges loss to DeAnna Bennett, wins one-night flyweight tournament

Miranda Maverick
Invicta FC

In one night, Miranda Maverick avenged her last loss, defeated three women, and possibly emerged as Invicta FC’s No. 1 contender at 125 pounds.

Maverick (8-2) won Friday’s Phoenix Series 2 one-night flyweight tournament in Kansas City, Kan., submitting DeAnna Bennett (12-6-1) in the finals with a second-round rear-naked choke. This was a rematch of their fight at Invicta FC 34 in February, which Bennett won by unanimous decision.

The 22-year-old Maverick also picked up wins over Shanna Young and Victoria Leonardo in her tournament run, and after beating Bennett, she spoke about the commitment that brought her to this moment.

“I walk out to that song (Champion by Carrie Underwood) because the lyrics are my life,” Maverick said. “I’ve been working my whole life for this moment. I go to work, I go to school, I go to the gym more than anybody I know, and it’s all for this moment right here. To be with these people right here and represent God and my corner too and here’s the moment I’ve been waiting for.”

Bennett earned her spot in the finals with a submission win over Daiana Torquato and a decision win over Liz Tracy. All semifinal and quarter-final bouts were one-round affairs. The semifinals were determined by random draw after none of the opening bouts ended in a finish (the woman who recorded the fastest finish would have had their pick of who to fight in the next round).

From the start of their rematch, Maverick looked sharp, consistently countering and beating Bennett to the punch. Even when Bennett caught a kick late in round one, Maverick’s takedown defense held up and she continued to give Bennett problems in round two.

When Bennett went for another takedown, Maverick stuffed her and reversed the position against the cage. It was difficult to control Bennett, who repeatedly attempted to out-muscle Maverick, but overall Bennett could not get much going offensively.

In the third, it was Maverick who scored a fateful takedown before patiently working to attack from Bennett’s back as the two rested against the cage. Maverick searched for a choke and though Bennett managed to tuck her chin in against her chest, Maverick squeezed until Bennett was forced to tap out at the 3:38 mark.

Maverick now finds herself in prime position to challenge the winner of the upcoming flyweight title bout between champion Vanessa Porto and Karina Rodriguez.

In the co-main event, Kazakhstan’s Mariya Agapova (7-1) made a sensational Invicta debut by taking out Alexa Conners (5-4) in Conners’s first fight at 125 pounds. The unorthodox Agapova proved to be an absolute nightmare to solve, and Conners was eventually clipped with a right hand and a shot to the liver that had her retreating along the fence. Agapova unloaded with strikes until she saw an opening to take Conners’s back and finish with a choke.

In other notable main card action, 20-year-old flyweight Kay Hansen dominated Carla Jimenez in a flyweight tournament reserve bout, and flyweight Josee Storts made short work of 41-year-old pro debutante Helen Lucero, dominating her on the ground and finishing with a triangle armbar.

Other first-round tournament action saw Torquato defeat veteran Milana Dudieva, and Young, coming off of a Contender Series appearance, outpoint newcomer Maiju Suotama.

Tournament matchups were initially decided by random draw at Thursday’s weigh-ins.

For full Invicta FC Phoenix Series 2 results, click here.