Invicta FC 22 Betting Breakdown: Tonya Evinger vs Yana Kunitskaya

480Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests each week in mixed martial arts In the latest installment, we look at the main event of Invicta FC 22 Tonya Evinger defends her bantamweight title as she takes on Yana Kunitskaya in a rematch of their bout from Invicta 20.   Tonya Evinger (Record: 18-5, -210 Favorite) The Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion was stunned at Invicta FC 20 by Yana Kunitskaya, but the final result was later overturned to a no contest. Evinger has amassed one of the longest unbeaten streaks in MMA. Her last loss was back in 2011 to Sara McMann. With a victory on March 25, her impressive run would stretch to 11 straight fights. A collegiate wrestler at Missouri Valley College, Tonya Evinger has developed into one of the top bantamweight fighters in the world. Evinger is a veteran of the sport and it took her some time to come into her own. Her pace is very difficult for her opponents to deal with. She imposes her will on her opponents utilizing her backbone of amateur wrestling. Evinger is an excellent wrestler that is capable of taking even the best fighters in the division to the mat. From there, she uses her size and stature to put weight on her opponents wearing them out with strikes and control. It’s a very similar approach that fellow bantamweight Julianna Pena utilizes against opponents. The one area Evinger is vulnerable is with submissions. Four of her five career losses have come by submission and that doesn’t even include the no contest loss. On the mat, she can put herself in some tenuous situations and that’s an area opponents can exploit.   Yana Kunitskaya (Record: 9-2, +160 Underdog) The child of two professional athletes, Yana Kunitskaya was pushed into sports at a young age in her native Russia. She was a talented taekwondo martial artist winning competitions already by the age of 12. She fought professionally from 2009 to 2012 before announcing her retirement from MMA. She returned in 2016 and has compiled a 1-1-1 record including overturned victory to a no contest against Tonya Evinger. The Russian bantamweight is first and foremost a striker. She has a well-developed stand up game combining punches and kicks. She lands well in combination and can connect with power. Seven of her nine career wins are by knockout which is a rarity in this division. Her defensive wrestling is certainly a hole in her game and she can be taken to the mat regularly in fights. She has shown an ability to transition on the mat, but is certainly at an overall disadvantage in a ground fight.   Matchup In a rematch for Invicta FC bantamweight gold, Yuna Kunitskaya will once again try to defeat Tonya Evinger for the championship. In their first fight, Kunitskaya was announced the winner after submitting Evinger early in the first round. However, the result was later overturned after it was ruled the referee incorrectly called an infraction on Evinger which led to her being submitted. While the first bout was quick, it was clear that Evinger was able to get Kunitskaya to the ground with relative ease. Evinger certainly put herself in a tough situation while on the ground, but the offensive wrestling wasn’t an issue. What I think happens is that Evinger takes a more cautious approach on the mat. She knows she can secure takedowns throughout the fight and there’s little reason to be aggressive in the grappling exchanges. Look for the champion to secure takedowns in each round winning the fight from start to finish for a wide decision on the scorecards. The shock result of the first fight has seen an overreaction to the line (currently -210) which I think is a good number to at least consider in a small parlay. If the line drops further to under -175, then I will be looking at a moneyline play on the bantamweight champion.

Written by Jay Primetown

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