Minna Grusander wins Invicta debut in style: ‘The Atomweight title is in sight’

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran

Former IMMAF world champion Minna Grusander extended her professional record to 6-1 on March 24 with an impressive debut victory under the banner of Invicta Fighting Championships.

The 2015 IMMAF amateur world champion took the gold medal back to Finland after coming out on top of the Women’s Strawweight division in Las vegas. ‘Brutsku’ made her professional debut later that year and has gone from strength to strength, currently enjoying a streak of four consecutive stoppage victories.

Her latest triumph and biggest victory to date came at Invicta FC 28 in Salt Lake City, USA. The FinnFighters Gym product admitted to a slow start when facing of against Brazil’s Fernanda Priscila, the opening round saw back an forth action as the Brazilian scored with offence in the early stages before the pair exchanged Guillotine choke attempts, but Grusander would take control with strikes on the ground to finish the round strongly.

Round two served up an outcome that saw Grusander showcase her devastating finishing ability, previously seen on the European circuit. Confident and settled, each touch of the Finn fighter’s jab chipped away at her opponent and forced Priscila to the ground and into defense mode. From there, Grusander forced a stoppage with strikes.

“This first experience with Invicta has been pretty much how I had pictured it,” she explained to IMMAF.org the following day, “very professionally organised and everybody is super friendly and nice, I had a very warm welcome. I was anxiously waiting for my Invicta debut less than 24 hours ago and I’m already anxiously waiting to see what we’ll come up with for my future bouts! No doubt, the vacant title keeps blinking in the corner of my eye.”

Completing a triumphant double-debut, Grusander picked up her first victory in the world’s leading all-Women’s MMA promotion, in addition to seeing through her first win as a 105lb Atomweight contender. After beginning her professional career, Grusander’s attention soon turned towards competing as a top flight Atomweight, but with a lack of opponents, she prepared herself with a series of catch-weight contests before joining the well established Invicta ranks.

“It has been pretty clear when turning pro that I’m too tiny for a Strawweight (115lbs). Most of my pro bouts have been 110lb catch-weights, but it’s been just a matter of time for me to make the obvious decision to get down to Atomweight when getting a spot in a recognized, well competed Atomweight division, like now in Invicta.

“About this first cut… To be honest, pretty much nothing went as planned, but sometimes things just choose to happen a bit differently and you’ll just roll with the punches. With my awesome team of coaches, Sami Sakko and Aleksi Kainulainen, we dealt with what we had and I made the weight as expected and got my heart and body 100-percent into the fight itself.”

Despite facing a degree of difficulty en route to making the Atomweight limit for the first time, Grusander remains highly confident, having learnt from the process.

“It actually gave me a lot of confidence towards the future,” she explained, “after going through this, a bit of a bigger weight cut, with issues, and still having my body performing the way it should, I felt great throughout the weekend.”