On December 7th, Invicta FC is bringing a stacked card to the Ameristar Casino for Invicta FC 7 “Honchak vs. Smith”. This card is outstanding and is stacked from top to bottom. It will feature 3 exciting title fights, so this is an event you do not want to miss. Invicta FC flyweight champion Barb Honchak defend her title for the first time against the incredibly tough Leslie “the Peacemaker” Smith. Invicta FC strawweight champion Carla Esparza is also looking to defend her belt for the first time as she takes on the undefeated Nova Uniao representative Claudia Gadelha. The third feature fight will be a scrap between two undefeated prospects in Lauren Murphy and Miriam Nakamoto, the winner of which will become the first Invicta FC bantamweight champion.

While the card is stacked with top female talent in Julia Budd, Joanne Calderwood, Vanessa Porto, Leslie Smith, and others, I believe the fighter to watch is Miriam “the Queen of Mean” Nakamoto.

With a record of 2-0-1 (NC) Miriam Nakamoto is still very green in the sport of mixed martial arts. However, prior to making her mixed martial arts debut in 2012, Nakamoto was an extremely seasoned and talented Muay-Thai fighter and it shows in her absolute domination of her two opponents in the mixed martial arts arena.

She amassed a stellar 15-0 record during her Muay-Thai career where she collected several prestigious titles such as the Queen’s Cup in Thailand and the IMTA-TBA World Title, a title received after she defeated women’s Muay-Thai legend Angela Rivera Parr (the wife of Muay-Thai royalty John Wayne Parr). The pinnacle of her Muay-Thai career was the domination of Claire Haigh in which Nakamoto became a WBC Muay-Thai champion.

We haven’t seen a lot of Nakamoto yet. Her MMA debut against Elizabeth Phillips was extremely dominant and brutal. Nakamoto used her technical Muay-Thai to wear down the inexperienced Phillips. Nakamoto demonstrated stellar takedown defense, and managed to punish Phillips in the clinch. Nakamoto defeated Phillips by TKO in the second round due to knees.

Her second MMA fight was her Invicta FC debut against TUF season 18 alumni Jessamyn Duke at Invicta FC 5. The fight was short, with both strikers banging it out on the feet with Nakamoto getting the better of the exchanges. At roughly 2:20 of the first round, Nakamoto threw a knee to a technically grounded Duke and dropped her. The fight was originally deemed a win for Nakamoto, but has since been changed to a No Contest.

Nakamoto jumped straight back into the mix at Invicta FC 6 against Duda Yankovich and dominated with a steady serving of knees and punches, ending the fight at 2:08 of the first round.

Who is Lauren Murphy?

Enough about Nakamoto lets look at her opponent Lauren Murphy. Murphy’s MMA career has been equally as impressive, as she currently holds an MMA record of 7-0 with 5 TKO wins. Murphy possesses some real power and some great boxing, which makes her a pretty formidable opponent in the Invicta FC bantamweight division. The two most notable names on Murphy’s record are Sarah D’Alelio and Kaitlin Young, both of whom were defeated by unanimous decision.

Questions Going Into the Fight:

  • Murphy’s hands have looked great in the past, but will she choose to stand with Nakamoto?
  • Will Murphy be able to force the takedown on “the Queen of Mean”?
  • How is Nakamoto’s Jiu-Jitsu?

Fight Prediction:

I expect this to play out as a striking match between the two ladies. Murphy is tough, but she has not faced anyone with the striking capabilities of Nakamoto. I expect this to play out in the same fashion as Nakamoto’s two prior fights; she will use her kicks and knees to wear down Murphy and wrap things up in the late first round or early second round.

My Prediction: Miriam Nakamoto via TKO (Knees) in the Second Round