There are worse things you can be than a grinder in the cage who wins some and loses some but always gives it their all. Such is the case with Jodi Esquibel, the Team Jackson fighter who almost made it into the house for TUF 23, and who’s amassed a mottled record in the Invicta cage. At tonight’s Invicta FC 22, Esquibel squared up against a tough DeAnna Bennett, and though she at times dangled perilously close over the edge of defeat, somehow Esquibel managed to scrap her way to a close victory.

Round 1 saw neither woman really make her mark on the feet, although they did throw leather. But when Esquibel scored a takedown, it was Bennett who turned up the heat – with said “heat” coming by way of an ultra-tight armbar. Esquibel toughed it out, but for sure lost the round.

Bennett kept up the onslaught in the second, tagging her foe with a knuckle sandwich to the dome, but that’s the sort of the punishment the fighter from New Mexico thrives on, and by round’s end she was landing punches that were taking IQ points from Bennett. Esquibel didn’t let up in the third, somehow finding openings whenever Bennett came within range, and by the final horn she had definitely taken the round – and the fight.


Results: Jodi Esquibel def. DeAnna Bennett via Split Decision