Kansas City, Kan. — On Thursday, July 2, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 40: Ducote vs. Lima. The entire fight card aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
Former title challenger Emily Ducote got back in the win column after a three-round bout against UFC alum Juliana Lima. The two veterans traded combinations early, as they gauged range. Lima looked to clinch, but Ducote was able to evade and stay on the outside. After an exchange of kicks, Lima delivered a right hand, followed by a left and finally a right uppercut to stun Ducote. That prompted the Oklahoma fighter to clinch the Brazilian along the fence. She recovered and the pair separated, but not before Lima landed a big knee. The second round saw Ducote score a series of power shots that slowed the advance of Lima. Lima answered with an onslaught of kicks to maintain her distance. Ducote came forward with reckless abandon, landing a heavy combination. Late in the frame, Ducote shot and put Lima on her back. She passed to side control and delivered massive elbows that cut Lima on her right eye. Round three began with a front kick from Lima to the midsection of Ducote. The fight returned to the clinch as Ducote pushed Lima to the fence. The Brazilian used an uppercut to create space and they returned to the center of the cage. Ducote fired with power and volume, further opening the cut on Lima’s cheek. A great level change by Ducote brought the fight to the ground, but only briefly. Ducote’s hard work in the final two frames was the difference in the eyes of the judges, who handed in a unanimous decision for the American.
In the night’s co-main event, atomweights Alesha Zappitella and Lindsey VanZandt battled back and forth for three rounds. Zappitella showed quick feet and head movement early. VanZandt fired a front kick and was taken down. She pushed Zappitella off and scored with an upkick. VanZandt tried to trip Zappitella, but lost position and ended up on her back. From side control, Zappitella showed heavy hips and dropped short elbows. VanZandt worked back to her feet late in the round. Round two began with another takedown from Zappitella. She powered her way past the guard of VanZandt, moving to side control once more. VanZandt was able to work back to her feet and started to implement her will. She landed a heavy low kick and followed it with a powerful right hand that stunned Zappitella. The third round began with VanZandt stuffing a shot from the wrestler. Zappitella stuck with it and eventually dragged VanZandt to the canvas. Zappitella was a bit reckless and VanZandt took her back momentarily. VanZandt’s success was short lived, however as Zappitella spun back to top position. VanZandt scored with a big knee late, but Zappitella put her on back one final time and the judges were called upon to decide the result. The scorecards were diverse, but two judges gave the fight to Zappitella.
Chelsea Chandler moved up in weight to welcome undefeated featherweight Liv Parker to the Invicta cage. Chandler wasted little time, attacking Parker with a big combination early. She ripped the midsection with a left hand and Parker was clearly hurt. A follow-up punch dropped Parker and Chandler followed her to the ground. She took Parker’s back, slapped on a rear-naked choke and coerced a tap in just 65 seconds.
Flyweight newcomers Trisha Cicero and Laura Gallardo went to battle in a clash of styles. The wrestler Gallardo wasted little time coming forward and looking for a takedown. The karate stylist Cicero was able to stuff the first shot, but ultimately ended up on her back. She worked back to her feet and used her kicks to frustrate Gallardo at range. Gallardo was relentless with her takedown attempts. In round two, Cicero scored with an uppercut as she was able to dictate the action while standing. Gallardo changed levels and timed a shot to bring the fight to the ground midway through the round. Cicero was patient and worked back to her feet. The kicks of Cicero landed with regularity, but Gallardo finished the stanza with a late takedown. The final round featured Cicero keeping the fight on the feet and forcing Gallardo to kickbox. The height and reach advantage was a big factor, as Cicero peppered shots. Gallardo looked for a takedown in the final minute, but she couldn’t secure it. The judges were split in their verdict, but it was Cicero who claimed the win.
The night’s action began in the strawweight division as Invicta vet Genia Goodin took on newcomer Shelby Koren. Kentucky’s Goodin was the aggressor early, pushing the action and initiating the clinch. Koren tried to take the back standing, then ultimately pulled guard and looked for an armbar. Goodin responded with a big slam and attacked with an armbar of her own. Koren escaped and returned to the feet to attack with a guillotine. The fight returned to the mat and Koren went for another armbar, but Goodin survived. Round two featured a big hip toss from Koren, but she wasn’t able to keep Goodin on the mat. The pair traded kicks on the feet, with Koren landing a solid right hand off an inside leg kick. With the fight in the balance in the final frame, Goodin was able to secure the mount position and attack with an armbar of her own. That was enough in the eyes of the judges, who rewarded Goodin with the victory.
Emily Ducote def. Juliana Lima by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Alesha Zappitella def. Lindsey VanZandt by split decision (28-29, 29-27, 30-27)
Chelsea Chandler def. Liv Parker by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 1:05
Trisha Cicero def. Laura Gallardo by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Genia Goodin def. Shelby Koren by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.