Jihn Yu Frey (6-2) cemented her status as the top candidate to challenge for Ayaka Hamasaki's atomweight title, defeating Ashley "Smashley" Cummins in the co-main of Invicta FC 24. The 32-year-old fought off multiple armbar attempts, showed off high-level wrestling and jaw-dropping submission defense -- en route to a win by unanimous decision.
With the victory, the surging Texan is now undoubtedly the No. 1 contender for a world title shot. Frey already collided with Hamasaki once, losing via a controversial doctor stoppage at Invicta FC 19. Defeating Cummins -- an Invicta Fighting Championships pioneer -- was the statement she needed to prove she's worthy of another championship opportunity.
The title rematch is likely to go down later this year, unless Hamasaki vacates her belt to fight for another promotion. Elsewhere on the Invicta FC 24 fight card, promotional newcomer Mara Borella scored a decision win over UFC vet Milana Dudieva. Borella, also making her Invicta FC debut, utilized heavy pressure from top position and mounted an impressive arsenal of strikes.
Invicta FC 24 also saw Pam Sorenson hop back into the win column following her recent loss to Ediane Gomes. Additionally, Karina Rodriguez and Miranda Maverick reigned supreme. In other action, Iceland's Sunna Davidsdottir coasted to a unanimous decision win over hometown favorite Kelly D'Angelo, and Felicia Spencer tapped out Amy Coleman by rear-naked choke.
With Megan Anderson jumping into the UFC, Invicta's featherweight division is suddenly wide open. Perhaps Sorenson will meet Spencer in a title fight or championship eliminator later this year. Invicta FC returns in August with a stacked card -- complete with two title fights -- in California.