No Controversy Added: Evinger Retains

Back in November, at Invicta FC 20, Tonya Evinger was forced to submit to an armbar from a Russian newcomer named Yana Kunitskaya in just 1:59. It was the first loss Evinger had since losing to Sara McMann in July 2011, and Evinger had lost her Invicta bantamweight championship…briefly.

Evinger appealed the bout to the Missouri Athletic Commission, claiming the referee forced her to move from a legal position, causing the submission. She won the appeal and won her title back, but a rematch between the two would set up for the main event of Invicta FC 22. This time, Evinger did not leave any controversy, submitting Kunitskaya with a rear-naked choke late in the second round to retain the title.

The two came out swinging, with Evinger managing to get a takedown, but Kunitskaya quickly stood right back up and latched on, attempting a standing guillotine — the first of many submission attempts from the challenger in the opening round. Evinger escapes, but Kunitskaya quickly attempts an armbar. Evinger escapes that, and she quickly fires a few punches. Kunitskaya managed to get the champion in a heel hook next, but once again Evinger manages to escape.

The submission attempts continue with a kneebar attempt next, but another miss. After taking some elbows, Kunitskaya goes for another two armbar attempts. Evinger escapes both and ends the round with a hard knee to the challenger’s chest.

Evinger attempted a takedown early in the second round, just like the first, but she and Kunitskaya ended up in a clinch, with the challenger failing once again to lock in a standing guillotine. Then, Kunitskaya got in a takedown of her own, but the champion quickly got back up standing and earned a takedown of her own. Evinger rained down shots from top position, while the challenger fired back with elbows. Eventually, after another successful submission dodge, Evinger got Kunitskaya’s back late in the round and locked in a rear-naked choke. Kunitskaya could not escape and was forced to tap, giving Evinger the win, a successful title defense and some revenge.

During the broadcast of Invicta FC 22, it was formally announced that Cris Cyborg was vacating the Invicta featherweight championship, making Megan Anderson the new undisputed champion.

Invicta FC 22 Results:
Invicta FC bantamweight championship: (c.) Tonya Evinger def. Yana Kunitskaya via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 2, 4:32)
Livia Renata Souza def. Ayaka Hamasaki via TKO (Rd. 1, 1:41)
Jodie Esquibel def. DeAnna Bennett via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Ashley Cummins def. Amber Brown via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Sunna Davidsdottir def. Mallory Martin via unanimous decision (39-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Miranda Maverick def. Kal Holliday Schwartz via submission (armbar) (Rd. 1, 3:01)
Felicia Spencer def. Madison McElhaney via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 29-28)

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