Pam Sorenson had always dreamed about becoming a world champion and on Friday night, that dream came true.
Sorenson (8-3) dominated longtime mixed martial arts veteran Kaitlin Young for five rounds, pitching nearly a shutout en route to a lopsided unanimous decision win in the main event of Invicta FC 36 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. "Bam" did virtually whatever she wanted inside the cage and even the shaky judging of the night couldn't ruin her night.
Sorenson scored takedowns in every round and threatened "The Striking Viking" with rear-naked chokes and armbars, but she was never able to finish off the veteran. Young (10-10-1) dug herself a hole in the first when she nailed her foe with an illegal knee to Sorenson's head while she was down, which cost her a point. Sorenson never let up, however, and coasted to the win, which she nabbed via tallies of 50-44, 49-45 and a head-scratching 48-45, allowing her to capture the vacant featherweight title.
After losing three straight bouts inside the Bellator cage, Emily Ducote was sensational in her Invicta Fighting Championships debut as she took out Janaisa Morandin in the first. Morandin (10-3) kept a distance early by landing several powerful kicks to Ducote's legs and body, but once "Gordinha" caught one of those kicks, it was over. Ducote (8-5) cracked the former title challenger with a laser-like right to the face, dropping her. From there, Ducote, sensing a knockout, pounced and unloaded several punches to the noggin before referee Nick Berens pulled her off. The TKO came at 4:03 of the opening frame.
Brazil's Jessica Correa Delboni scored a takedown in the first and controlled the direction of her atomweight showdown with Lindsey VanZandt. "Damsel" replicated what Delboni did in the second, but then Delboni (9-1) returned the favor in the third. The matchup was essentially which woman scored the takedown first, and that's how their 15 minutes played out. In the end, it was Delboni who prevailed via split decision, winning the battle with scores of 29-28 (twice) and 28-29. VanZandt fell to 6-2.
Victoria Leonardo and Stephanie Geltmacher tore into each other for 15 brutal minutes, each landing powerful punches and kicks. Leonardo (6-1) suffered a swollen right eye, but Geltmacher (4-1) had her nose busted up and her face cut, bleeding all over the new Invicta FC cage canvas. However, "Hold Fast" was initially announced as the victor via split decision, but the Kansas commission realized it had made a mathematical mistake and quickly reversed the decision. With that said, Leonardo was officially declared the winner by way of unanimous nod, with all three judges seeing it 29-28 for "Fury."
Alyse Anderson was too much for fellow atomweight Katie Saull to handle as "Lil Savage" scored multiple takedowns en route to victory. Anderson (5-1) appeared to be in control of the action throughout, especially on the canvas, and even though Saull (3-4) had her moments, Anderson did more than enough to seal the deal. However, Anderson barely edged "Queen of the North" on the cards as she won via split decision. While one judge surprisingly favored Saull 29-28, that score was overturned by the other two cards, which had it 30-27 and 29-28 for Anderson.
Caitlin Sammons was getting picked apart on the feet from the quick feet and powerful hands of Chantel Coates. Sammons' slightly damaged face began mirroring her "Ginger" nickname as Coates seemed on the verge of possibly scoring a stoppage, but when Sammons (2-0) had seen enough of the striking, she took Coates down. From there, Sammons quickly took "Killa's" back and sunk in the rear-naked choke. Coates (1-1) couldn't escape and had no choice but bow out, ending the flyweight showdown at 4:10 of the second.
Jiu-jitsu brown belt Erin Harpe used a solid takedown game and ground control to offset the better overall striking game from fellow bantamweight Auttumn Norton (0-1), winning a split decision along the way. Harpe (2-0) busted up Norton's nose in the third on the ground and was given the judges' nod via tallies of 28-29, 29-28 and 29-27.
Lastly, Julia Ottolino performed well in her professional MMA debut as she out-struck and eventually out-pointed fellow debutant Megan Cawley to open the show. Ottolino (1-0) used her 5'10" and long reach to pick "Killa" apart from a distance and landed a multitude of punches in spurts. But even though "Chicago" was rocked by a left hook in the second, Ottolino controlled the distance and pace for much of the bantamweight contest and won the judges' verdict with scores of 30-27 across the board.