Photo credit: Jack Bratcher / Valesca Machado fought twice in one night to claim the vacant Invicta FC strawweight title.

DENVER — It was freezing outside but Invicta FC 50 got things fired up Wednesday night at ReelWorks in the Mile High City. There were echoes in the air of days gone by when the UFC held their very first event just down the road. That was a different time. Or was it? Invicta FC 50 featured a return to MMA’s early days with a one-night tournament to crown a new strawweight champion.

Four rising stars slugged it out in semifinal matchups resulting in Poland’s Karolina Wójcik taking on Brazil’s Valesca Machado in the main event. Wójcik is a powerful slugger who likes to get inside and make it ugly. Machado, on the other hand, brought in memories of an Anderson Silva, with exceptional movement and footwork and technical precision with her striking.

Machado, 27, and on a four-fight winning streak, used her height and reach advantage to keep Wójcik just out of range for most of the fight. She was patient and used Wójcik’s aggressiveness against her, countering, and pop-shotting her throughout the fifteen minutes. Each round looked similar and it was the perfect strategy against the number one ranked female fighter in Poland.

In the end, Machado took home the unanimous decision victory in front of a highly entertained Denver crowd. Familiar faces roamed the venue. Miesha Tate, Rose Namajunas, Julie Kedzie, Pat Barry. It was a well-run show broadcast live on AXStv and online, and a milestone 50th event for the all-female fight promotion.

The undercard had several standout performances including a kimura submission victory by Talita Bernardo over Katharina Lehner in bantamweight action. Claire Guthrie earned a grueling unanimous decision over Brigid Guthrie, also at bantamweight. Irish brawler Danni McCormack and Maira Mazar put on a fantastic fight in the reserve bout that saw McCormack take the decision. And in the night’s opener Elise Pone took all three rounds for a decision over Melissa Odessa.

Here are the full results from Invicta FC 50:

  • Valesca Machado def. Karolina Wojcik via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) – tournament final for strawweight title
  • Talita Bernardo def. Katharina Lehner via submission (kimura) – Round 2, 4:26
  • Claire Guthrie def. Brigid Chase via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Danni McCormack def. Maira Mazar via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – strawweight tournament reserve bout
  • Valesca Machado def. Ediana Silva via split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29) – strawweight tournament semifinal
  • Karolina Wojcik def. Gloria de Paula via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)  – strawweight tournament semifinal
  • Elise Pone def. Melissa Oddessa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Check out our full play-by-play of the card here.