Are you on the fence about watching tonight’s Invicta 9? You’re not alone.
Sure, it’s free (if you have UFC Fight Pass). Sure, some good fights will be seen from the all-female promotion.
But somehow, it’s slipped out of sight and out of mind of most MMA fans. Women’s MMA, long under-represented and under-appreciated, is suddenly available every week with the UFC’s new season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Earlier in the year, there was some excitement about Invicta’s return to action. Invicta 8, with headliner Michelle Waterson poised as the promotion’s star, was (fairly) eagerly anticipated back in September. Sadly, most post-fight discussion seemed centered around the poor showing of Waterson’s opponent, the 47 year old Yasuko Tamada.
Earlier this week, our own Jim Genia wrote about tonight’s event in less than glowing terms:
There aren’t too many stars left in the organization now that the UFC has picked it clean for their TUF 20 venture and to swell their WMMA ranks… in determining whether or not you should watch, the mystery of who can do what makes getting excited tough…
Well, I think Jim missed one star… or a star of the future. I think she’s a good reason to check out Invicta 9.
Invicta 9 features the return of Mizuki Inoue, the 20 year old from Nagoya, Japan who scored a memorable victory over TUF 20 cast member Bec Rawlings in her US debut last year at Invicta 6.
I reported on the bout for MMA Frenzy last year (note that Rawlings, seen to Inoue’s right in the above pic, was using the surname Hyatt at the time). Inoue showed boxing that Mo Lawal described on commentary as among the best he’s seen in MMA, and I don’t think he’s too far off. Inoue showed a nice jab, some good counter-punching, and an especially sharp leg kick in the clinch — a classic Muay Thai technique that you don’t often see in MMA.
Inoue showed potential and fire, plus, she’s young — only ten fights into an MMA career, at age 20.
Check out these Invicta highlights and see if they catch your interest: