Livia Renata Souza made sure the "Killer Bunny" came up a hare short Friday night.
Souza used a triangle choke in Round 4 to take Katja Kankaanpaa's strawweight title at the Invicta FC 12 women's MMA card at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Souza showed off her black belt judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills in the first round, using a trip to get Kankaanpaa to the mat, then taking control of Kankaanppa's back for much of the round with the help of a body triangle. She unsuccessfully tried to finish Kankaanpaa with multiple rear naked choke attempts.
The fight was much more even in Rounds 2 and 3. Souza was comfortable grappling with Kankaanpaa with her back on the mat, often jumping into guard to initiate the action.
By Round 4, she used the same tactic to set up Kankaanpaa for the finish, alternating attempts at a choke and an armbar before the former forced Kankaanpaa to tap at 3:58.
Souza improved her record to 8-0, with seven of those wins coming by submission.
Flyweight: Vanessa Porto def. Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards)
Porto avenged an earlier loss to Modafferi in a bout where both fighters mostly stayed on their feet. Modafferi, aka the “Happy Warrior,” tried to offer an entertaining performance, but it got her in trouble in Round 2. Her spin kick attempt left her open for right hand that staggered her, and she wasn’t a serious threat for the rest of the fight.
Featherweight: Faith Van Duin def. Amanda Bell by submission (rear naked choke). Round 2, 0:38
Bell showed off some impressive resiliency and flexibility fighting her way out of a Round 1 armbar that initially looked like a sure submission. But she wouldn’t be as lucky early in Round 2 when Van Duin cinched in a rear naked choke for the tapout.
Bantamweight: Raquel Pa'aluhi def. Ediane Gomes by unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)
Underdog Pa’aluhi dominated Gomes in the first two rounds. She used a hip throw to take Gomes down early in Round 1, then controlled her on the mat for the balance. In the second she regularly tagged Gomes with right hands and right leg kicks before using a right knee to the ribs to send a wincing Gomes to the mat. Gomes took down Pa’aluhi in Round 3 and controlled her against the cage. But Pa’aluhi, clearly knowing she had taken the first two rounds, was content to limit Gomes’ attack in full guard from below. When Gomes tried to create separation to attack, Pa’aluhi's triangle choke attempts were enough to keep Gomes at bay.
Featherweight: Latoya Walker def. Peggy Morgan by unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards)
Peggy Morgan tried to use her 6-1 frame to attack former Golden Gloves champ Latoya Walker with kicks from afar. But when Walker was able to get on the inside, she leveled Morgan regularly, opening up multiple cuts on her face. A desperate Morgan started going for more clinches and at one point in the third round got Walker’s back while both were standing against the cage. But Walker powered out of a rear naked choke attempt and continued pummeling Morgan to finish the bout.
Strawweight: Lacey Schuckman Jenny Liou by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 1:53.
Liou cut a lot of weight before the bout but still came in 3 pounds over the 115-pound limit. The fight went no better than the build-up as Schuckman pounded Liou into the fence early and finished her off.
Strawweight: Sharon Jacobson def. Delaney Owen by unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards).
Flyweight: Shannon Sinn def. Maureen Riordon by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Bantamweight: Sijara Eubanks def. Gina Begley by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 4:59.