It wasn’t that long ago when Amber “The Bully” Brown was advocating to fight in Invicta Fighting Championships, an aspiration of every fighter who competes in a women’s division.
In the last 12 months, not only has Brown competed in the Invicta cage, she’s also becoming one of the stars in the atomweight division. The Bully ended 2014 with a split-decision win over Liz McCarthy in what was a bloody war. Last night, she played spoiler to Catherine “The Alpha Female” Costigan, handing the Irish prospect the first loss in her professional mixed martial arts career.
While fans dubbed Costigan the “female “Conor McGregor,” Brown wasn’t in any way deterred. She took down the Alpha Female early in the first round and kept top position for the remainder of the fight. After being on the receiving end of some vicious ground-and-pound, Costigan turned her back and Brown secured a rear-naked-choke and forced the Alpha Female to tap.
Some believe that Brown is next in line for a shot at the 105-pound championship. The Bully did call for a title match, but also said that one more fight would be good enough for her before competing for a world title.
The 105 division went through a changing of the guard after Herica Tiburcio submitted Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson to win the belt. Ayaka Hamasaki grinded out a tough split-decision win over Tiburicio to win the atomweight title and be the first Japanese fighter to capture Invicta FC gold.
Title shot or not, Brown has asserted herself as one of the rising stars in Invicta’s atomweight division.
Brown made her professional debut in 2012, winning her first two fights in King of the Cage: a decision victory over Ashley Aguirre followed by a first-round TKO win over Abbey Higginbotham. She suffered her first loss after Emi Fujino submitted her with a neck crank at Pancrase 247. Two months later she submitted Kikuyo Ishikawa with an armbar at Pancrase 250, which led her to the Invicta cage.
Brown is someone fans can get behind. During her post-fight speech she talked about the hard work and dedication she put in leading up to the fight. It was inspirational but not preachy – not that there’s anything against praising the Lord despite what Dana White thinks.
I could see Brown fighting for the gold down the road or taking on tough competition like Jinh Yu Frey, Jodie Esquibel and Simona Soukupova in her next fight.