Laura Sanko, Invicta FC’s post-fight, in-cage interviewer, joined Jason Kelly (@JayKellyMMA) and Joe Rizzo (@RearNakedChoke) on this episode on RNC Radio to recap Invicta 14 and an abundance of other MMA-related topics.

Audio available for download on iTunes or on Stitcher Radio

Sanko (@Laura_Sanko), who took on the media gig after winning her only Invitca fight, jumped into the role with little-to-no experience. Sanko has improved in leaps and bounds, and she said Invicta 14 was her best showing yet. The former atomweight combatant spoke about her growth in the position, some of her favorite moments and her signature look that had Twitter buzzing on Saturday night.

In women’s MMA, there is no more sought-after fight than UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey vs. Invicta FC featherweight Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. Sanko talked about the possibility of the bout, plus Justino’s fight at a catchweight of 140 pounds, scheduled for Invicta FC 15 in November. Sanko also gave her thoughts on Rousey’s next opponent, Holly Holm, who was abruptly placed in a title match ahead of Miesha Tate.

Shedding some light on Nick Diaz’s five-year suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a marijuana-related failed drug test in a bout against Anderson Silva in January 2015, Sanko agreed with the masses that the penalty was a little harsh. Sanko also talked about the amount of mixed martial artists she thinks use marijuana in the sport, and how she feels about it being a banned substance.

As for Invicta, Sanko discussed the resurgence of bantamweight champ Tonya Evinger, the impressiveness of Andrea “KGB” Lee as of late, DeAnna Bennett’s couple of judges’ gifts (and her petting of Sanko’s hair), the retirement of Katja Kankaanpää and what the promotion has planned in the coming months.

As always, feel free to comment below or send feedback about the show to @RNCRadio or @CombatPress on Twitter, or on Facebook at RNC Radio or Combat Press.

About The Author

Jason Kelly
Radio Host

Jason Kelly has been a lifelong fan of martial arts and was instantly hooked on MMA after watching the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 1 at 12 years old. The Canadian dabbled in martial arts and MMA over the years, but the sport he excelled at was basketball. Jason’s introduction to MMA media started at MMA Religion, which led to his position as a feature writer on MMA DieHards. Jason eventually became the Feature Content Manager at MMA DieHards. His duties at MMA DieHards led to hosting MMA DieHards Radio and MMA Cypher Radio with Corey Charron, before going on to join Joe Rizzo's longtime-running show, Rear Naked Choke Radio. Following a short hiatus from covering the sport he loves, Jason joined the staff at Combat Press. Aside from his interest in MMA, Jason has a passion for hip hop, especially battle rap. He considers himself a hip hop connoisseur and is always up for a conversation on the subject.

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  • Juchi

    I’m surprised these folks don’t grasp the obvious re: the Rousey/Holm fight. The two major reasons for the fight now is that Rousey is improving at a faster pace than Holm and secondly, if Holm has a fight against any of the top contenders, she could very well lose and the UFC would be out a substantial payout.

  • Juchi

    Cyborg vs Evinger is the only fight at 140 that makes sense in Invicta unless they can bring Tate over to fight.

    • J.D.

      It’s about time Cyborg actually fought some top 10 contenders in her own division, rather than go looking for fights against lighter opponents. She’s hardly fought any top 10 featherweights. I reckon Tonya would be a great opponent, but even if cyborg weighs in at 140, she’ll bulk up to close to 160 by fight night whereas Tonya is unlikely to make any more than 145 for the actual fight.

      Looking at other potential competitors in Invicta FC, they’re hardly jumping out as obvious opponents apart from Latoya Walker (5-0), she could make the 140 cut and fight around the same weight as Cyborg.

      Other than those two, I reckon they’d have to look outside Invicta for credible opponents. Marloes Coenen for one will be campaigning for the fight, but 0 – 2 against Cyborg, it’s a tough sell plus she’s contracted to Bellator. Miesha Tate has said she’d take the fight, but I reckon cupcake would beat Cyborg, so doubt Zuffa would risk someone else raining on Ronda’s parade. Then there’s Julia Budd, but again, she’s contracted to Bellator.

      Remember of course that Cyborg will still have to make at least one fight at 135 before she fights Ronda, again, not many potential opponents coming to mind.

      • Juchi

        What top 10 contenders, JD? Perhaps Walker. I have yet to see her in action but she looks like she has potential, but when the top 2 contenders move to Bellator, the former #3 contender, Gomes, drops to 135 to try and take the title and gets defeated in her first 2 fights, it sounds like you have a bunch of fighters in the top 10 but none are really contenders.
        As someone that has followed WMMA for a while, JD,any idea why Cyborg never fought Budd? They were in the same organizations and weight division for about 5 years, and perhaps even more puzzling, why have Budd and Coenen never fought despite being in the same organizations (Strikeforce, Invicta & Bellator) even longer?
        I would hazard to guess than many of the BW top 10 contenders could, and actually, many have, beaten their heavier counterparts. It’s one of the reasons that Cyborg has given since late 2011 for moving down to BW – that’s where the competition is. Hopefully, 2016 is the year she finally does it.

        • J.D.

          Yeah, you have a point, there seems to be a very small talent pool at 145, which is why Ronda moved to 135.

          I think Walker is still quite new, but she looks strong and has a well rounded game.

          I know Coenen has called out Justino for number 3, but I wouldn’t look forward to that any more than Rousey Tate 3 or Shamrock Ortiz 4.

          Sadly I doubt Justino vs Rousey will happen. Coenen and Budd are in Bellator and Justino would have to go there to face them, but there’s no inkling that she intends to do so.

          • Juchi

            I think there is far too much money to be made for Cyborg/Rousey not to happen – for all parties concerned: UFC, Cyborg & Rousey. I’m a greedy SOB, so I’m hoping for a fight at 135 that will prove nothing, another at catch weight that still won’t be conclusive and finally an exit fight for Rousey at 145 to bring in the FW division to the folds of the UFC. That should take a 2 year span and hopefully by then the FW division can be built up to a respectable level. Call me delusional but a guy can always dream.

  • Jeff

    I’d like to see Evinger vs. Meisha–then the winner v. Ronda. And have Laura do the ring interviews :-)

    • J.D.

      100% Laura over Joe any day!

  • Jeff

    Try looking at Nick’s lawyer’s statement–the NSAC ignored two negative tests and simply made an example out of him because they thought he disrespected them. So he’s not a “jackass,” because he didn’t really test positive, at least not by any accepted protocol.