After failing to make weight on Thursday, the 34-year-old veteran was forced to surrender her atomweight belt while Ashley Cummins still had the opportunity to become champion and avenge a prior loss to Frey from 2017. In what ended up as a back-and-forth striking battle, Frey managed to thwart Cummins’ chance to go home with the title after edging her out in a hard-fought unanimous decision over five rounds.
In the first meeting, Frey and Cummins spent the majority of the fight battling it out on the ground but the rematch showed that both athletes were ready to throw some heavy leather.
While the title was only up for grabs for Cummins, that didn’t stop Frey from seeking the knockout as she threw a lot of power punching combinations over the course of the fight. As for Cummins, she showcased good footwork and fast hands to keep Frey honest during the various exchanges on the feet.
Cummins managed to connect with a clubbing elbow from inside the clinch in the second round that seemingly angered Frey, who came back after her with a flurry of punches. Frey cracked Cummins with a nasty left hook that opened a cut over the eyebrow that resulted in blood streaming down the side of her face. Frey then followed up with a short right that dropped Cummins to the canvas, although she quickly recovered after being caught off guard.
While the knockdown definitely hurt her cause, Cummins refused to back down and she returned fire one round later when she staggered Frey momentarily with another of those damaging inside elbows.
The championship rounds saw Cummins continue to march forward with her combinations but she wasn’t landing with much accuracy. Still her activity was impressive as she never slowed down while avoiding Frey whenever she came lunging forward.
After 25 minutes, Frey had done just enough to get past Cummins for the second time with the scorecards all reading 48-47 in her favor. As happy as she was to walk away with the victory, Frey was understandably disappointed in herself for missing weight, which has her contemplating her future in the atomweight division.
“After this fight, we’re going to go home and see if 105 [pounds] is the place for me to stay or it’s time to go up,” Frey said following the decision win.
With Frey getting the win, Invicta FC will now look to crown a new atomweight champion but it remains to be seen if the former title holder will make another attempt to reclaim the belt or not.
Miranda Maverick may have just earned her shot at Invicta gold.
While the 22-year-old flyweight felt like she was already worthy of a title fight opportunity, Maverick had a point to prove while taking on Pearl Gonzalez in the co-main event on Friday night.
Putting an emphasis on her grappling, Maverick was aggressive on the ground whether she was on top or the bottom. She was constantly threatening with submissions with Gonzalez doing her best to play an escape artist to stay out of trouble.
Even in the moments when Gonzalez was able to break free or even land a quick takedown of her own, Maverick was able to slip free and then get back to a dominant position. Maverick showed powerful hips on top as she launched powerful punches and kept the pressure on Gonzalez as she sought to improve her position.
With time running out in the final round, Gonzalez knew she was down on the scorecards but she just couldn’t stave off Maverick’s potent ground arsenal. For every action Gonzalez took, Maverick had two or three options prepared for a counter attack.
As soon as the final horn sounded, Maverick jumped to her feet to do a victory lap around the cage with the judges’ confirming her victory with scorecards reading 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26 all in her favor.
“Look out, I’m coming,” Maverick shouted when sending a message to the rest of the flyweight division.
After suffering back-to-back losses, Alesha Zappitella got back on track with a unanimous decision win over Kelly D’Angelo in atomweight action.
Coming from a wrestling background, Zappitella definitely looked explosive when rushing forward and seeking takedowns but she also seemed content to test her striking against D’Angelo as well.
Zappitella kept a frantic pace at all times, which forced D’Angelo to try and keep up. She did manage to stuff the wrestler’s offense at different moments during the fight but the consistant barrage and well-timed transitions from grappling to striking allowed Zappitella to rack up points on the scorecards.
Following the fight, Zappitella was noticeably emotional as she celebrated the win after falling in the first two losses of her pro career in 2019.
20-year-old flyweight Eric Blanchfield is best known as a grappler but on Friday night at Invicta FC 39, she started to earn a reputation as a knockout striker.
Rather than looking for the takedown, Blanchfield opened the fight with a head kick that floored Victoria Leonardo and nearly allowed her to secure the finish right there. Leonardo survived but time was ticking away until her night was finished.
After noting that Leonardo had struggled with southpaws in the past, Blanchfield came out firing again in the second round with a blistering series of punches looking to set up her left high kick again.
The game plan paid off when Leonardo defended a combination but failed to get her hand back up again in time to stop another devastating kick coming from Blanchfield. This time, the foot landed flush across Leonardo’s face and she went crashing to the canvas as the referee swooped into call a stop to the fight.
With her only loss coming by split decision to current UFC fighter Tracy Cortez, it seems likely Blanchfield won’t be waiting much longer until she’s getting a call to possibly join her inside the Octagon.
Jillian Decourcey hands Linda Mihalec her first defeat
Returning to the winner’s circle in Invicta FC for the first time since 2018, Jillian Decourcey was happy to show off her grappling skills en route to a unanimous decision victory over previously undefeated atomweight Linda Mihalec.
While it was Mihalec who clearly wanted the fight on the ground, it was Decourcey that made the most of those positions. She did a great job fending off takedowns and then finding openings to look for submission attempts or reversals that kept Mihalec guessing round after round.
The decision ultimately came down to Decourcey’s superior ground skills, which definitely frustrated Kentucky native as Mihalec watched her own strategy work against her over the course of three rounds.
In the opening fight on the card, bantamweight prospect Monica Franco fended off a ton of takedown attempts from Tina Pettigrew while trying to make her pay with strikes every time they got locked in a grappling exchange.
While Pettigrew did manage to drag Franco down early and work for a submission, she struggled to bring the action back to the mat past the opening round. In return, Franco punished Pettigrew with punches on the inside, peppering away at her while resisting the constant wrestling attacks.
Franco may have been stuck playing takedown defense for a big part of the fight but she was still mounting the only real striking offense with tagging Pettigrew repeatedly over 15 minutes . When it was over, Franco moved to 2-0 in her career with the unanimous decision victory.
Check out the full results for Invicta FC 39 here.