Kanako Murata capped of a spectacular, two-year run to claim the Invicta FC strawweight in Kansas City.
In the main event of Invicta FC 38, judges handed the Japanese fighter a split decision win over Emily Ducote to claim the vacant title.
For 25 minutes, both women went threw everything they had at each other, but it was the wrestling prowess of Murata that seemed to give her the edge.
Since 2017 Murata has been on a tear, winning all seven fights with the likes of RIZIN, Pancrase and DEEP.
But her win with Invicta may be the most significant yet, with a title and the very real possibility that the UFC now awaits.
If recent history is any judge, Kanako Murata is soon to get a call from the UFC.
Murata (12-1) won a grueling, back-and-forth fight with Emily Ducote on Friday night to claim the vacant strawweight championship in the main event of
Each of the past three Invicta strawweight champions — Angela Hill, Virna Jandiroba and Briana Van Buren — vacated the belt to go to the UFC.
“All I can think of is that my opponent was very, very tough and it was a very tough fight,” Murata said in a post-fight interview.
In what was originally scheduled to be the night’s headliner, flyweight champion Vanessa Porto took on Mexico’s Karina Rodríguez in an all-out war. Rodríguez missed weight for the bout and fight became a non-title affair, but that did not stop the action, in any way at all.
After a tough opening, the second round kick off big. The left eye of Rodríguez swelled badly to open round two, but she was unfazed, securing the clinch and kneeing Porto multiple times in the face. Blood poured from Porto’s nose, but she moved forward aggressively.
Strawweight Mallory Martin continued her winning ways, defeating Cynthia Arceo on the scorecards.
Martin delivered heavy ground and pound, battering the promotional newcomer with elbows and punches. Martin moved to 6-2 with the decision win.
Flyweights Shanna Young and Maiju Suotama met for a second time, with Young again coming out victorious. The night kicked off with a clash of bantamweight newcomers as New York’s Taneisha Tennant met Las Vegas-based Serena DeJesus.
Invicta 38 official results
Kanako Murata def. Emily Ducote
Vanessa Porto def. Karina Rodríguez
Mallory Martin def. Cynthia Arceo
Shanna Young def. Maiju Suotama
Lisa Verzosa def. Kerri Kenneson
Auttumn Norton def. Shaianna Rincón
Taneisha Tennant def. Serena DeJesus