Invicta’s Tonya Evinger wins appeal to remain bantamweight champion

Scott Hirano, Invicta FC
Scott Hirano, Invicta FC

According to a statement released via Twitter on Thursday afternoon, Tonya Evinger has made some history after winning her appeal with the Missouri Office of Athletics. As a result, not only does Evinger retain her Invicta FC women’s bantamweight championship, but her submission loss to Yana Kunitskaya at Invicta 20 has been overturned and ruled a no contest.

Because of the victory in the courtroom for Evinger, Kunitskaya’s reign as the Invicta FC women’s bantamweight champion lasted a mere 13 days.

On the other hand, due to the no contest from their last bout, the tandem of heralded 135-pound fighters will go at it again to determine the true owner of the women’s bantamweight strap. Invicta president Shannon Knapp has stated that she intends to schedule an immediate rematch between Evinger and Kunitskaya with the belt on the line.

Previously serving as Invicta 20’s main event, the title fight came to an end when Kunitskaya submitted Evinger with a first-round arm-bar. However, Evinger appealed her loss to the Missouri Office of Athletics because “referee Mike England wrongly told her to change positions while she was in the submission.” The 35-year-old titleholder argued that because England told her to shift her position, she was forced into a less favorable position that left her no choice but to tap out to Kunitskaya’s submission hold.

With the now infamous no contest under her belt, the veteran mixed martial artist stands at 18-5 overall excluding the bout with Kunitskaya. However, she should begin preparing for the rematch as the belt has the potential to change hands once again so it seems.

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