Marisa Messer-Belenchia Replaces Katie Saull in Phoenix Tournament Lineup

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The lineup for Invicta FC Phoenix Tournament: Atomweights has undergone a late change.

Global travel restrictions has forced Canada’s “Queen of the North” Katie Saull (3-4) out of the event. Replacing Saull is fellow Invicta veteran Marisa “Spider Monkey” Messer-Belenchia (3-1).

Connecticut’s Messer-Belenchia is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt who has battled fellow tournament athletes Linda Mihalec and Jillian DeCoursey over her professional and amateur careers.

A shot at reigning Invicta FC atomweight champion Alesha Zappitella is on the line as the fastest-paced format in combat sports returns this Friday, June 11. The event takes place from Memorial Hall in Kansas City and airs live on AXS TV in the United States and will be available worldwide on Invicta FC’s YouTube Channel. To find how to watch the action in your area, click here.

For the first time in MMA history, online fan voting will determine the match-ups for the quarterfinal stage of the tournament. Fans can visit the Phoenix Tournament Voting Portal and vote for the four quarterfinal bouts they want to see.

Phoenix Tournament: Atomweight Participants
Jéssica Delboni
Jillian DeCoursey
Katie Perez
Lindsey VanZandt
Linda Mihalec
Marisa Messer-Belenchia
Paulina Granados
Tabatha Watkins

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.

About Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a globally integrated multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion;  Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.

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  1. […] promotion announced Tuesday that Messer-Belenchia (3-1) will join the eight-woman atomweight field for Friday’s […]

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