Timing is everything when it comes to the sport of mixed martial arts. Last night, Kansas City’s newest adopted daughter took full advantage of a unique situation; a situation that she helped create with her own hands.
Before making her way to the States to compete for Invicta FC, Queensland, Australia’s Megan Anderson (7-2) put together an impressive 4-1 record on home soil, punctuated by two submission victories less than two months apart from one another. After suffering a loss in her Invicta debut, Anderson suddenly turned out into a KO machine.
Anderson’s 2016 went a little something like this; TKO via knees and punches, TKO win via head kick and punches and TKO win via absolute obliteration. A 3-0 record with 3 finishes via TKO would earn the Gold Coast born fighter a main event slot against a seasoned veteran at Invicta FC 21.
When Megan Anderson beat Peggy Morgan by TKO in the first round of her Invicta FC 18 match on July 29th, she seemed like the prime candidate to face Cyborg if/when she came back to defend her belt. When asked about the potential title fight matchup in her post-fight interview, Anderson seemed reverent and non-committal – “I think it’s pretty cool that Cyborg said she was watching,” Anderson said, “I feel like she’s one of the pioneers of this sport. She’s been undefeated for over 11 years, she deserves respect, she’s been at the top for a very long time. But it’s all up to Julie [Kedzie] and Kaitlin [Young], I’ll fight whoever, I don’t really give a shit.”
After surviving 46 seconds inside of a cage with the infamous ‘Cyborg’, Regina, Saskatchewan’s Charmaine ‘Not So Sweet’ Tweet (9-6) was given another chance to capture Invicta gold against Anderson.
When current Invicta FC featherweight champion Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino’s future was called into question due to another failed drug test, a headlining bout to crown a potential future title challenger would be turn into an interim title bout.
The women’s featherweight landscape has since changed drastically. On December 13th, the UFC announced that it would open up a women’s featherweight division and the inaugural title fight would be between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie, after negotiations to have Cyborg in that fight soured. A week later, Cyborg made news as she was notified of a potential anti-doping violation from USADA.
With Cyborg not having defended her belt in over a year and potentially out for a while, Invicta made last Saturday’s main event between Anderson and Charmaine Tweet for the interim featherweight title.
Fast forward to fight time. After an initial hesitation, Anderson and Tweet would touch gloves before referee Greg Franklin called for the five round title fight to begin. Right off the hop, Anderson landed a couple of jabs a kick and a hard right before employing the clinching and using her weight to wear down Tweet against the cage. Shortly after breaking away, Tweet’s awkward movement would cause problems for Anderson. A counter right-hand would stun the Aussie forcing her to clinch her opponent again and collect her senses. After exchanging knees to the body in the clinch, the two would break away shortly after the half way marker of the 1st round and Anderson would land some heavy shots before being tied up by Tweet.
Tweet’s trademark ‘Sask-Slap’ (the same one that knocked out Latoya Walker at Invicta FC 17) lands but misses Anderson’s sweet spot before Tweet attempts a guillotine on the 2-time Invicta FC performance of the night winner to no avail. A late round takedown would secure the 1st stanza for the now blooded Anderson who heads to her corner for some tutelage from her ‘The James Krause’ led corner.
After some back and forth action midway into the 2nd round, a damaged Tweet would attempt not one, but two ‘Sask-Slaps’ in “Hail-Mary’ attempt before meeting her ultimate demise. A left head kick would finally force Franklin to call the contest after a defenseless and broken Tweet covered up to let the gore flow out of her nostrils.
I cannot, I repeat, I cannot even express the importance of Anderson’s post-fight victory speech. With ‘Cyborg’ being potentially being suspended to at least late 2017, Anderson all of a sudden becomes the must see heavy hitting attraction of the 145 lbs. division.
“Hey Dana White, you tell Holly or Germaine to keep my belt warm because I’m f**king coming for it.”
With the inaugural featherweight women’s title bout between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie just under a month away, we have a simple message for Megan Anderson, STAY READY. Unfortunately for the UFC brass, high-profile injuries have become far too commonplace over the past handful of cards.
What a difference six months makes.