Port Moody’s own Julia Budd continued her path toward the Invicta Fighting Championships Featherweight Title, scoring a dominant third round submission (the first of her career) win over hometown favorite Mollie Estes at Invicta FC 5 in Kansas City, Missouri last Friday.
The win was Budd’s third with Invicta, and she moves into her own territory as the only Featherweight in the promotion to hold three wins, going a perfect 3-0 now since her first appearance for them in July. Budd displayed some of the new tricks she had alluded to in Vancity Buzz’s interview with her previously, and dominated all aspects of the fight, keeping Estes’ striking at bay, and neutralizing her attempts at transitions on the ground. She was able to take Estes down on numerous occasions throughout the opening frames, and at one point when they both found themselves pressed up near the cage, she created an opportunity, picking up her opponent and slamming her to the ground. The end came one minute into the final frame, when Budd took Estes’ back and was able to apply a rear naked choke for a submission victory. The finish came at 1:04 of the third round.
While it has been confirmed that the night’s other victorious Featherweight Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino will challenge Marloes Coenen for the Featherweight title, Budd left the fight relatively unscathed, and should be ready for the next Invicta event should the promotion have a matchup for her. The most logical matchup may be the originally planned bout between Budd and Brazilian Ediane Gomes, however, Gomes’ timetable for return from injury will dictate whether that will happen. Fiona Muxlow, Budd’s second opponent for Invicta FC 5 (before being pulled to fight Justino) has expressed the desire to drop a weight class and make a run at the Bantamweight division, so that fight is unlikely to happen. If Gomes is unable to return for Invicta FC 6, and the promotion wants to keep Budd busy, the only other closely ranked option may be Elaina Maxwell. This was a match originally slated for Invicta FC 3 last October, however, Maxwell sustained a concussion while training and has not fought since. Recently, however, she stated that she will likely be ready to return in the summer. Either Gomes or Maxwell could be the next step for Budd. But for now, she can revel in her first career submission victory, and get ready for new challenges ahead.
Check out these photos of Budd’s Thursday weigh-in and Friday victory, which come courtesy of Rob Tatum and TheMMACorner.com, who were ringside for the event. You can follow Julia on Twitter @JuliaBudd
Written by Matt Paligaru. Connect with Matt on Twitter @paliontology
PHOTO CREDITS – ROB TATUM / THEMMACORNER.COM