Invicta FC 35 Results: Rodríguez Gets Revenge, Edges Bennett to Claim Title Shot

Kansas City, Kan. — On Friday, June 7, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 35: Bennett vs. Rodríguez II from Memorial Hall. The entire fight card aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

There’s a new No. 1 contender in the flyweight division as Karina Rodríguez defeated DeAnna Bennett to earn a title shot against champion Vanessa Porto. The pair had met previously at Invicta FC 28, with Bennett earning a decision victory. The rematch began with a tightly contested first round. Rodríguez popped her jab over and over to keep Bennett at range. Bennett took her time adjusting, but eventually found her range and scored with punches of her own. The pair traded combinations throughout the frame, as the entire round was spent on the feet. In the second frame, Bennett used her boxing to set up her takedown attempts, but unlike the pair’s first meeting, Rodríguez was able to keep the fight upright. Bennett’s control along the fence changed the flow of the fight. The last stanza began with a big body kick from Rodríguez. That prompted Bennett to shoot and eventually secure the fight’s first takedown. That would be the story of the remainder of the fight, as Bennett worked relentlessly to bring the fight to the mat. The fight went the distance and it was Rodríguez’s name called when the scorecards were revealed.

UFC veteran Viviane Pereira put the first blemish on the record of atomweight Alesha Zappitella with a dominating performance in the night’s co-main event. Zappitella came out firing punches, but despite her clear speed advantage, she could not get inside the range of the former strawweight Pereira. The Brazilian used her counter striking to batter the smaller Zappitella at range. A series of jabs forced the face of Zappitella to swell. Zappitella tried to implement her wrestling attack, but Pereira stuffed all of her attempts to get the fight to the mat. In round two, the constant shots from Pereira appeared to break the nose of Zappitella, as it poured blood and she was forced to breathe through her mouth. Pereira dropped Zappitella with a right hand just as round two came to a close. The final round was more of the same, as Pereira cruised to the lopsided decision victory.

Japan’s Kanako Murata put the strawweight division on notice in her promotional debut, submitting Brazilian Liana Pirosin inside the first round. Murata powered into a quick takedown and looked for a choke. Pirosin scrambled free and briefly took Murata’s back and worked for a choke of her own. Murata squirmed free and regained top position. She passed to Pirosin’s back, trapping her left arm with a leg. That allowed her to slap on a rear-naked choke and coerce the tap from the Brazilian less than halfway through the opening frame.

Lisa Spangler remained unbeaten, edging former bantamweight title challenger Katharina Lehner by unanimous decision. The fight was spent on the feet throughout its entirety with neither fighting wanting to give an inch. Spangler threw low kicks in the opening frame as Lehner peppered with jab, as both looked to find their range. The technical striking chess match continued throughout the first round. In round two, both fighters took turns opening up and firing overhand rights. The low kicks of Spangler took their toll on the German fighter as the fight progressed. In the final stanza, Lehner’s pace slowed and she took deep breaths. Spangler threw with more volume in the fight’s final minutes, putting the finishing touches on a decision victory to remain undefeated.

Minnesota’s Kaitlin Young used her striking prowess to get the better of former featherweight title challenger Faith McMah. Young went to work right away with kicks to the lead leg of the Kiwi fighter. McMah stayed on the outside, absorbing each kick. Young was able to close the distance and score with elbows over the top of McMah’s guard. In round two, McMah earned a brief takedown, but she could not keep Young down. Young continued to batter McMah’s lead leg, slowing her movement. In the third round, Young poured it on with a barrage along the fence. The onslaught hurt McMah, who crumbled to the canvas, forcing the referee to intervene.

In a clash of California bantamweights, it was Stockton’s Chelsea Chandler who stopped Los Angeles fighter Brittney Victoria by second-round TKO. The pair threw heavy punches right away. Chandler waded through Victoria’s punches and initiated the clinch. When they separated, Chandler cracked Victoria with a heavy right hand that hurt her. She followed her to the mat and unleashed a barrage of elbows and took Victoria’s back as the round expired. Round two began much the same, but another right hand from Chandler hurt Victoria badly. Chandler again dropped heavy elbows, but Victoria was able to survive. An armbar attempt from Chandler allowed Victoria to scramble to her feet. That was short lived, however. Chandler dropped Victoria once again and put her away with a flurry of punches.

Atomweights Kelly D’Angelo and Jillian DeCoursey put on a show in the night’s third bout. The power punching of D’Angelo was the story of the first round. She battered DeCoursey with punches and scored with heavy hammerfists when DeCoursey looked for a takedown. The tide turned early in round two, as DeCoursey was able to change levels and get the fight to the ground. She couldn’t keep it there, as D’Angelo scrambled back to her feet. The pair continued to trade heavy shots and takedowns throughout the final frame, but it was D’Angelo who was able to frequently find top position. A late heel hook attempt from DeCoursey was too little, too late, as the fight was sent to the judges at cageside, who returned a unanimous verdict for Missouri’s D’Angelo.

Thailand’s Loma Lookboonmee returned to the Invicta cage and spoiled the promotional debut of Brazilian Monique Adriane after three, hard-fought rounds. The kicking arsenal of Lookboonmee was on full display as she spun Adriane around like a top just moments into the fight with a body kick. The Brazilian countered the kicks with heavy punches to keep the fight close. Lookboonmee secured the fight’s first takedown with a trip. She dropped heavy elbow from half guard. The second round was electric, as both fighters turned up the pace. Adriane caught a kick and planted Lookboonmee on her back, but the Thai fighter scrambled to her feet. Adriane tried to repeat the feat moments later, but Lookboonmee reversed it and put the Brazilian on her back. The final round was spent largely on the feet with Lookboonmee repeatedly kicking the midsection of Adriane. A late takedown from Lookboonmee sealed the deal as she swept the scorecards.

Kicking off the night’s action was a battle of debuting strawweights as Kentucky’s Genia Goodin took on California’s Valerie Wong. Goodin’s height and reach advantage was quickly neutralized as Wong looked for a takedown. However, it was Goodin who brought the fight to the ground and maintained top position. Wong was active from her back, looking for submissions, but Goodin showcased good defense. It was more of the same in the second frame, as Goodin looked for a leg lock, but Wong countered with a rear-naked choke attempt. The third stanza was all Goodin, who used her clinch game to keep Wong pinned against the fence. The judges were split, but it was Goodin who left the cage victorious.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Karina Rodríguez def. DeAnna Bennett by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) – flyweight tournament final
Viviane Pereira def. Alesha Zappitella by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Kanako Murata def. Liana Pirosin by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 2:10
Lisa Spangler def. Katharina Lehner by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Kaitlin Young def. Faith McMah by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 3:52
Chelsea Chandler def. Brittney Victoria by TKO (punches). Round 2, 3:58
Kelly D’Angelo def. Jillian DeCoursey by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Loma Lookboonmee def. Monique Adriane by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Genia Goodin def. Valerie Wong by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 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 (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Invicta FC 35: Bennett vs. Rodríguez II Official Weigh-in Results

Kansas City, Kan. — On Thursday, June 6, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 35: Bennett vs. Rodríguez II. The event takes place from from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., on Friday, June 7, with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

In the night’s main event, the flyweight contender tournament will come to a close as UFC veteran DeAnna Bennett (10-4-1) rematches Mexico’s Karina Rodríguez (7-3). The pair met previously at Invicta FC 28, with Bennett edging Rodríguez by decision. The pair meet again with a flyweight title shot on the line. Bennett defeated Missouri’s Miranda Maverick and Rodriguez topped UFC veteran Milana Dudieva in the tournament semifinals at Invicta FC 34 in February. The winner will be the next to challenge Brazilian champion Vanessa Porto.

Below are the results of the event’s weigh-ins.

Flyweight Contender Bout: DeAnna Bennett (125.3) vs. Karina Rodríguez (125.4)
Atomweight: Alesha Zappitella (106) vs. Viviane Pereira (106.7)*
Strawweight: Kanako Murata (116) vs. Liana Pirosin (115.8)
Bantamweight: Katharina Lehner (135.4) vs. Lisa Spangler (135.4)
Featherweight: Kaitlin Young (145.8) vs. Faith McMah (146.4)#
Bantamweight: Chelsea Chandler (136) vs. Brittney Victoria (134)
Atomweight: Kelly D’Angelo (108.8)* vs. Jillian DeCoursey (105.4)
Atomweight: Loma Lookboonmee (105.5) vs. Monique Adriane (105.6)
Strawweight: Valerie Wong (114.5) vs. Genia Goodin (114.3)

* – Pereira and D’Angelo missed the atomweight limit of 106 pounds and were fined 25 percent of their respective fight purses

# – McMah missed the featherweight limit of 146 pounds and was fined 25 percent of her fight purse


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 (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Invicta FC 35 Features DeAnna Bennett vs. Karina Rodríguez II

Kansas City, Mo. — The lineup for Invicta Fighting Championships 35 has been finalized.

On Friday, June 7, the promotion again touches down at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The event will stream live on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT.

In the night’s main event, the flyweight contender tournament will come to a close as UFC veteran DeAnna Bennett (10-4-1) rematches Mexico’s Karina Rodríguez (7-3). The pair met previously at Invicta FC 28, with Bennett edging Rodríguez by decision. The pair meet again with a flyweight title shot on the line. Bennett defeated Missouri’s Miranda Maverick and Rodriguez topped UFC veteran Milana Dudieva in the tournament semifinals at Invicta FC 34 in February. The winner will be the next to challenge Brazilian champion Vanessa Porto.

The co-main event will take place in the atomweight division as undefeated wrestling stalwart Alesha Zappitella (5-0) takes on four-fight UFC alum Viviane Pereira (13-3), who makes her debut in the 105-pound division. Zappitella bested former title challenger Amber Brown in her last outing, while Pereira took on top strawweight MIZUKI in her promotional debut.

Joining the top two match-ups will be seven additional bouts. Japan’s Kanako Murata (9-1) meets fellow strawweight newcomer Liana Pirosin (7-2), former bantamweight title challenger Katharina Lehner (7-1) returns to take on undefeated Lisa Spangler (3-0), featherweight Kaitlin Young (9-9-1) clashes with New Zealand’s Faith McMah (6-3), California bantamweights collide as Stockton’s Chelsea Chandler (1-1) meets undefeated Los Angeles fighter Brittney Victoria (3-0), Missouri’s Kelly D’Angelo (3-2) takes on New York’s Jillian DeCoursey (2-1) in an atomweight affair, Thailand’s Loma Lookboonmee (2-1) welcomes Brazilian atomweight Monique Adriane (4-1) to the Invicta cage, and strawweights Valerie Wong (0-0) and Genia Goodin (0-0) make their professional debuts.

The current Invicta FC 35 fight card can be found below:

Flyweight Contender Bout: DeAnna Bennett (10-4-1) vs. Karina Rodríguez (7-3)
Atomweight: Alesha Zappitella (5-0) vs. Viviane Pereira (13-3)
Strawweight: Kanako Murata (9-1) vs. Liana Pirosin (7-2)
Bantamweight: Katharina Lehner (7-1) vs. Lisa Spangler (3-0)
Featherweight: Kaitlin Young (9-9-1) vs. Faith McMah (6-3)
Bantamweight: Chelsea Chandler (1-1) vs. Brittney Victoria (3-0)
Atomweight: Kelly D’Angelo (3-2) vs. Jillian DeCoursey (2-1)
Atomweight: Loma Lookboonmee (2-1) vs. Monique Adriane (4-1)
Strawweight: Valerie Wong (0-0) vs. Genia Goodin (0-0)

Tickets for Invicta FC 35 are on sale now through Eventbrite.


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 (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Phoenix Rising Results: Brianna Van Buren Crowned New Strawweight Champion

Kansas City, Kan. — On Friday, May 3, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted its inaugural Phoenix Rising tournament from Memorial Hall. The event aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

There’s a new strawweight champion as Brianna Van Buren won three fights in one night, submitting Kailin Curran in the Phoenix Rising tournament final. The opening stanza featured Van Buren scoring with inside leg kicks. Curran tried to keep the fight at range, but Van Buren changed levels and slammed her to the mat. Once on top, Van Buren was dominant. She controlled the Hawaiian with short shots, but could not find a finish. In the second frame, Van Buren again secured a takedown and immediately passed to mount. She delivered heavy shots, forcing Curran to give up her back along the fence. Curran defended briefly, but it wasn’t enough, as Van Buren locked in the choke and claimed the title.

The evening’s lone non-tournament bout featured Kay Hansen vs. Magdaléna Šormová. Hansen was relentless in the first round, putting the Czech newcomer on the mat and pounding on her with elbows. Šormová was undeterred, looking for armbars from her back and throwing upkicks. In round two, Šormová was able to gain the top position for the first time and she did not relinquish it until just before the horn sounded at the end of the round. She patiently attacked Hansen and nearly passed to mount. The final round saw Hansen look for a throw, but Šormová countered it and took her back. She worked hard for a choke, but Hansen was able to escape and gain top position late in the frame. Hansen went for an armbar with just seconds remaining in the fight, but Šormová was able to survive to the final bell. When the scorecards were read, the judges again dissented, but Šormová scored the split decision win in her promotional debut.

The second half of the semifinals saw Kailin Curran go to war with Sharon Jacobson. After a brief feeling-out process, Jacobson looked for a takedown. Curran countered with a big throw that put her in top position. Jacobson was able to work back to her feet and land big knees along the fence. When the pair separated, Curran was able to land her jab and bloody the nose of Jacobson. The Colorado fighter was able to execute a throw of her own and put Curran on the ground. She passed to side control and landed short shots. Curran powered back to her feet late in the fight and the fight was sent to the judges. All three judges rewarded Curran for her efforts, giving her the second spot in the tournament final.

In the night’s first semifinal match-up, California’s Brianna Van Buren called her shot, selecting Juliana Lima as her opponent with the only finish in the quarterfinals. Lima used her length to stay on the outside early. Van Buren scored with heavy punches before ducking under and scooping up the Brazilian for a huge slam. She worked from the top position, keeping Lima on her back. Lima used an armbar attempt to get back to her feet, but it was short lived as Van Buren slammed her violently to the mat yet again. There was little doubt on the scorecards as Van Buren advanced to the finals.

The tournament’s reserve match-up featured newcomers Alyssa Krahn and Itzel Esquivel. It was the Texas fighter Esquivel who started with heavy kicks, prompting Krahn to work for a takedown. The Canadian Krahn had to work hard to bring the fight to the ground, but she got it there midway through the round. Once in top position, she was able to control Esquivel and score with punches. When it was over, the judges again rendered a split decision, with Krahn edging Esquivel.

The final tournament quarterfinal featured high-powered wrestler Sharon Jacobson against former atomweight title challenger Amber Brown. Jacobson grabbed a single and took the fight to the ground, but Brown used a heel hook attempt to gain the top position. Jacobson scrambled to her feet and the pair traded clinch knees. An arm-drag takedown from Jacobson turned the tide, as she overwhelmed Brown with punches and secured the mount. She delivered elbows and took Brown’s back late to secure the unanimous decision victory and move to the semifinal round.

Brianna Van Buren scored the night’s first finish as she submitted India’s Manjit Kolekar with an armbar. Van Buren scooped up Kolekar and slammed her to the canvas in the opening minute of the fight. She passed to mount and then looked to take Kolekar’s back. A series of punches from Van Buren forced Kolekar to cover up and expose an arm. Van Buren latched on and coerced the tap at the 3:20 mark to move on to the semifinals.

A pair of UFC veterans squared off as Brazil’s Juliana Lima took on Danielle Taylor. Taylor quickly closed the distance and put Lima against the fence. The taller Lima reversed the position and attacked with knees from the clinch. The pair jostled for position as the round progressed. Taylor briefly scored a takedown, but she couldn’t hold Lima on the mat. Lima powered back to the clinch and the fight went the distance. The judges were again split, but Lima moved on to the semifinals.

The tournament action kicked off with a battle between UFC veteran Kailin Curran and Iceland’s Sunna Davíðsdóttir. Curran dropped Davíðsdóttir with a massive right hand early in the fight and looked to secure a choke. Davíðsdóttir fought out of the submission attempt and mounted Curran. She rained punches and elbows, but Curran was able to work back to her feet. Once back to the feet, Curran scored another knockdown. Davíðsdóttir worked back to the top position late in the fight, but the judges were called upon to decide the outcome. They were split in their verdict, but it was Curran who advanced to the semifinals.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Brianna Van Buren def. Kailin Curran by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 3:49 – strawweight tournament final
Magdaléna Šormová def. Kay Hansen by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Kailin Curran def. Sharon Jacobson by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – strawweight tournament semifinal
Brianna Van Buren def. Juliana Lima by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – strawweight tournament semifinal
Alyssa Krahn def. Itzel Esquivel by split decision (9-10, 10-9, 10-9) – strawweight tournament reserve bout
Sharon Jacobson def. Amber Brown by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – strawweight tournament quarterfinal
Brianna Van Buren def. Manjit Kolekar by submission (armbar). Round 1, 3:20 – strawweight tournament quarterfinal
Juliana Lima def. Danielle Taylor by split decision (9-10, 10-9, 10-9) – strawweight tournament quarterfinal
Kailin Curran def. Sunna Davíðsdóttir by split decision (10-9, 9-10, 10-9) – strawweight tournament quarterfinal


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 (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Phoenix Rising 1 Official Weigh-in Results

Kansas City, Mo. — On Thursday, May 2, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for its inaugural Phoenix Rising tournament. The event takes place from from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., on Friday, May 3, with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

The one-night, eight-woman tournament will crown a new 115-pound champion. The single-elimination tournament will feature one-round fights in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, with the tournament final being a three-round affair to determine the tournament champion.

The tournament participants were matched up during a random draw prior to the event. UFC veterans square off as Danielle Taylor (10-4) clashes with Juliana Lima (9-5) and Hawaii’s Kailin Curran (4-6) faces Iceland’s Sunna Davíðsdóttir (3-0).

Former title challenger MIZUKI (13-5) was scheduled to face wrestling stalwart Sharon Jacobson (5-4), but due to complications with her weight cut, MIZUKI was forced to withdraw for safety reasons. Reserve bout combatant Amber Brown (7-5) has been elevated to face Jacobson.

Brazilian Janaisa Morandin (10-2) missed weight for her bout with California’s Brianna Van Buren (5-2) and was pulled from the tournament. India’s Manjit Kolekar (11-2) will replace Morandin in the tournament quarterfinals.

The quarterfinal fighters will have incentive to finish their fights for multiple reasons. First, each finish will earn the winning fighter a monetary bonus, but more importantly, the fastest finisher in the quarterfinal round will have the luxury of picking their opponent for the semifinals based on the remaining three combatants. If there are no finishes in the quarterfinals, the semifinal match-ups will again be determined by random draw.

Below are the results of the event’s weigh-ins.

Strawweight Co-Main Event: Kay Hansen (115.4) vs. Magdaléna Šormová (115.4)
Strawweight Tournament Reserve Bout: Alyssa Krahn (115.8) vs. Itzel Esquivel (115.7)
Strawweight Tournament Quarterfinal: Amber Brown (115.7) vs. Sharon Jacobson (115.7)
Strawweight Tournament Quarterfinal: Manjit Kolekar (115.7) vs. Brianna Van Buren (115.8)
Strawweight Tournament Quarterfinal: Danielle Taylor (115.7) vs. Juliana Lima (115.5)
Strawweight Tournament Quarterfinal: Kailin Curran (116) vs. Sunna Davíðsdóttir (115.9)


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 (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Phoenix Rising: Get to Know the Fighters Competing for Strawweight Gold

With the first installment of the Invicta FC Phoenix Rising Series on the horizon, eight of the strawweight divisions finest are preparing for battle on May 3.

With the eight competitors being randomly matched up ahead of the event, in one night we will find out who is the winner of the tournament and new strawweight champion. The action will take place from Kansas City’s Memorial Hall.

The very first tournament of the series features a mix of former title challengers, UFC veterans and staples of the strawweight division in Invicta FC.

Let’s take take a deeper look at the eight women involved in the dawn of a new chapter for the promotion.

MIZUKI (13-5):

Japan’s MIZUKI has been a well-known face in women’s MMA for some time and a true veteran of the Invicta cage. She has fought seven times under the Invicta banner fighting the likes of UFC veterans Bec Rawlings and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

In her last fight, MIZUKI defeated Viviane Pereira at Invicta FC 32. Pereira is also an ex-UFC fighter, competing four times in the promotion. MIZUKI also challenged for the strawweight title last year, coming up short to then-champion Virna Jandiroba and losing via split decision. MIZUKI’s experience and quality anywhere the fight goes makes her a favorite going into the tournament.

Janaisa Morandin (10-2):

Brazil’s Janaisa Morandin has made a big impact in her short time as a professional fighter. Still only 24 years old, Morandin is the most recent person to challenge former titleholder Virna Jandiroba for the strawweight belt.

She lost the fight due to an arm-triangle submission in the second round but this was only her third fight in Invicta. With six of her ten wins coming via finish, Morandin will be looking to beat her opponent quickly, giving her a bonus and the advantage of getting to pick her opponent in the semifinals.

Danielle Taylor (10-4):

Making her second appearance in Invicta, Danielle Taylor showed her class in her debut beating the undefeated Montserrat Ruiz at Invicta FC 33.

Competing against the likes of Weili Zhang and defeating former Invicta champion Jessica Penne during her UFC run, Taylor has shown she can compete at the highest level. Her dominant debut put the division on notice and now Taylor is ready to separate herself from the rest.

Juliana Lima (9-5):

With seven fights in the UFC, Brazil’s Juliana Lima is ready for everything you can throw at her. She has stood across the cage from the likes of Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Tecia Torres and Carla Esparza. During her time in the UFC she picked up wins over Nina Ansaroff, Ericka Almeida and JJ Aldrich.

She is returning to Invicta for the first time since 2013. At the age of 37, Lima may be the most experienced woman in the tournament which could help her progress into the later stages.

Kailin Curran (4-6):

The last of the UFC veterans in the tournament, Kailin Curran entered the UFC at 3-0 in her pro career. Curran has not fought since the end of 2017 and will be looking to make a big impact on her return which will also be her debut in Invicta.

Curran has a history of being in entertaining fights and won a “Fight of the Night” bonus for her UFC debut against Paige VanZant in 2014.

Brianna Van Buren (5-2):

After a great performance in her second Invicta appearance, Brianna Van Buren comes into the tournament with plenty of momentum behind her.

“Tha Bull” defeated ex-UFC fighter Jamie Moyle in her previous fight and asked for the winner of the co-main event of the evening which was won by Danielle Taylor. Van Buren is a fast and creative striker that will be able to go toe-to-toe with any of the women in the tournament when in striking range.

Sharon Jacobson (5-4):

Sharon Jacobson is a staple of the strawweight division in Invicta. She has five previous fights in the division with three wins, all via unanimous decision.

A veteran of the U.S. Army, Jacobson uses her determination and athletic ability to take opponents down and nullify their offense. Her grappling abilities make her a dangerous match up for anyone in the tournament.

Sunna Davíðsdóttir (3-0):

Despite having the least experience on the surface, Sunna Davíðsdóttir’s three wins have all come in Invicta FC. Debuting at Invicta FC 19 in 2016, she has picked up unanimous decision wins over Ashley Greenway, Mallory Martin and Kelly D’Angelo.

Davíðsdóttir is solid wherever the fight takes place. Her last fight was at Invicta 24 in 2017. With this break in action, she’ll be eager to show off what she has been working on whilst training at Mjolinir in her home country of Iceland.


This piece is a special contribution from Kyle Dimond, a journalism major in Gloucester, England. You can follow Kyle on Twitter.

Phoenix Rising 1 Will Crown New Strawweight Champion

Kansas City, Mo. – The stakes have been raised for the first installment of the Invicta Fighting Championships Phoenix Rising Series.

The promotion’s first one-night, eight-woman tournament will crown a new 115-pound champion as Brazilian Virna Jandiroba has vacated the strawweight title to sign with the UFC.

In addition to the new prize awaiting the night’s winner, the quarterfinal match-ups — determined by random draw — have been revealed.

Former title challenger MIZUKI (13-5) will take on with wrestling stalwart Sharon Jacobson (5-4), Brazilian contender Janaisa Morandin (10-2) meets California’s Brianna Van Buren (5-2), UFC veterans square off as Danielle Taylor (10-4) clashes with Juliana Lima (9-5), and Hawaii’s Kailin Curran (4-6) faces Iceland’s Sunna Davíðsdóttir (3-0).

Joining the tournament bouts will be one non-tournament bout and two tournament reserve match-ups.

In the non-tournament fight, 19-year-old Kay Hansen (4-2) collides with promotional newcomer Magdaléna Šormová (7-1) of the Czech Republic. The bout will serve as the night’s co-main event between the tournament semifinals and championship headliner.

The two tournament reserve bouts will be one-round affairs and be considered exhibition fights. However, should any of the fighters be tabbed as injury replacements in the tournament, any subsequent fights will count on the fighter’s professional record. In the first reserve match-up, former atomweight title challenger Amber Brown (7-5) returns to 115 pounds to face off with India’s Manjit Kolekar (11-2). The other pairing features Invicta newcomers as Canada’s Alyssa “Pumpkin Spice” Krahn (5-2) meets Texas fighter Itzel Esquivel (4-2).

Finally, joining play-by-play announcer Laura Sanko and color analyst Jimmy Smith, the third member of the Phoenix Rising broadcast team will be Taryn Tempel, who will handle in-cage interviews for the event.

Phoenix Rising 1 takes place from Kansas City’s Memorial Hall on Friday, May 3. The event streams exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets to the event are on sale now through Eventbrite.

TBD vs. TBD – strawweight tournament final
Kay Hansen (4-2) vs. Magdaléna Šormová (7-1)
TBD vs. TBD – strawweight tournament semifinal
TBD vs. TBD – strawweight tournament semifinal
Amber Brown (7-5) vs. Manjit Kolekar (11-2) – strawweight tournament reserve bout
MIZUKI (13-5) vs. Sharon Jacobson (5-4) – strawweight tournament quarterfinal
Janaisa Morandin (10-2) vs. Brianna Van Buren (5-2) – strawweight tournament quarterfinal
Danielle Taylor (10-4) vs. Juliana Lima (9-5) – strawweight tournament quarterfinal
Kailin Curran (4-6) vs. Sunna Davidsdottir (3-0) – strawweight tournament quarterfinal
Alyssa Krahn (5-2) vs. Itzel Esquivel (4-2) – strawweight tournament reserve bout


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 (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Invicta FC Reveals the Phoenix Rising Series

Kansas City, Mo. – Invicta Fighting Championships is starting a new chapter.

Today, the world’s most decorated fighting promotion for women revealed the Phoenix Rising Series; a one-night, eight-woman tournament format that brings the sport of MMA back to its roots.

The single-elimination tournament will feature one-round fights in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, with the tournament final being a three-round affair to determine the tournament champion.

The eight tournament participants will be matched up during a random draw prior to the event.

The quarterfinal fighters will have incentive to finish their fights for multiple reasons. First, each finish will earn the winning fighter a monetary bonus, but more importantly, the fastest finisher in the quarterfinal round will have the luxury of picking their opponent for the semifinals based on the remaining three combatants. If there are no finishes in the quarterfinals, the semifinal match-ups will again be determined by random draw.

The first event of the Phoenix Rising Series will take place from Kansas City’s Memorial Hall on Friday, May 3 and stream exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. The inaugural tournament will take place in the strawweight division and the field of eight fighters features numerous title challengers and UFC veterans.

Japan’s MIZUKI (13-5) and Brazil’s Janaisa Morandin (10-2) have previously challenged for Invicta gold and will be out prove they are ready for another shot at the title. MIZUKI was last in the cage at Invicta FC 32, topping UFC veteran Viviane Pereira. Morandin is coming off a title challenge against Virna Jandiroba in September.

They are joined by UFC veterans Danielle Taylor (10-4), Juliana Lima (9-5) and Kailin Curran (4-6). Taylor’s first fight under the Invicta banner came in December, where she defeated Montserrat Ruiz. Lima returns to the promotion for the first time since Invicta FC 5 in 2013. Hawaii’s Curran will be making her Invicta debut.

Rounding out the participants will be Invicta veterans Brianna van Buren (5-2), Sharon Jacobson (5-4) and Sunna Davidsdottir (3-0). Van Buren dispatched of UFC veteran Jamie Moyle in her most recent appearance. Jacobson has been a staple of the Invicta cage, winning multiple post-fight bonuses for her aggressive wrestling style. Finally, Iceland’s Davidsdottir enters the tournament with an undefeated record.

The Phoenix Rising Series will also feature a new look for the broadcast team. Invicta FC post-fight correspondent and former Invicta fighter Laura Sanko will become the first woman to call play-by-play for a major promotion. Joining Sanko on the call will be veteran cageside analyst Jimmy Smith, who has called fights for many of the sport’s biggest promotions.

A tournament reserve match-up, as well as one, non-tournament bout—also in the 115-pound division—will be added to the fight card in the coming weeks.

Phoenix Rising Series 
MIZUKI (13-5)
Janaisa Morandin (10-2)
Danielle Taylor (10-4)
Juliana Lima (9-5)
Kailin Curran (4-6)
Brianna van Buren (5-2)
Sharon Jacobson (5-4)
Sunna Davidsdottir (3-0)


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 (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Invicta FC 34 Results: Porto Tops Gonzalez, Captures Vacant Flyweight Title

Kansas City, Kan. — On Friday, Feb. 15, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 34: Porto vs. Gonzalez from the Memorial Hall. The night’s first three bouts streamed live on Facebook and UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT, with the remainder of the event airing exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

Vanessa Porto is now the Invicta FC flyweight champion after defeating Pearl Gonzalez by technical decision. The first round saw Gonzalez use her length to kick. Porto countered with punches, leading to a takedown. Gonzalez worked back to her feet, but ate three right hands in the process. Porto again took the fight to the ground. Round two featured a variety of kicks from both fighters until Porto again showcased her strength, picking up Gonzalez and slamming her to the mat. She passed to the mount and slapped on an arm-triangle choke. Gonzalez waited it out and eventually returned to her feet before the round came to an end. It was more kicks from both fighters early in round three, but Porto initiated the clinch and pinned Gonzalez to the cage. She scooped up a single and put Gonzalez on her back. Porto passed to side control where she remained until the round concluded. Porto controlled the range early in round four, but Gonzalez inadvertently poked her in the left eye to pause the action. The doctors came in to check on the Brazilian, but there was a cut to her eyelid that forced the fight to be waved off. That sent the fight to the scorecards, where Porto was ahead from all three judges at cageside.

Mexico’s Karina Rodriguez engaged in a three-round war with UFC veteran Milana Dudieva, punching her ticket to the flyweight tournament final with a split-decision victory. Rodriguez was crisp with her striking early, peppering Dudieva with kicks. Dudieva changed the tides with a well-timed takedown and a barrage of punches from top position. Late in the round, Dudieva rocked Rodriguez with a right hand as the bell sounded. The second round began similarly, with Dudieva scoring a takedown. Rodriguez was able to work back to her feet and she pushed the pace. She came forward hard, nearly overwhelming Dudieva late in the round with punches. The last stanza was razor-close as both fighters looked for openings. The judges were called upon to decide the result and two of the three rewarded Rodriguez for her efforts.

The first half of the flyweight contender tournament pitted UFC veteran and former strawweight title challenger DeAnna Bennett against rising prospect Miranda Maverick. Maverick scored early with leg kicks. Bennett marched forward, changing levels and putting Maverick on her back with a double-leg takedown. Maverick locked up her guard, but Bennett scored with right hands. In round two, the pair traded positions in the clinch, but again, it was Bennett’s double-leg takedown that helped her gain an advantageous position. She was able to move to Maverick’s back and threaten with a rear-naked choke, but the Missouri fighter defended and escaped. The final frame saw Maverick push the action. She gained the clinch, only to have Bennett reverse and position and work for a single. Maverick threw knees and short elbows, but it wasn’t enough, as Bennett claimed the decision and the first spot in the flyweight tournament final.

In the flyweight tournament reserve bout, Tracy Cortez used her solid wrestling and submission defense to edge grappler Erin Blanchfield by split decision. Cortez threw with reckless abandon early, before changing levels and taking Blanchfield to the ground. Blanchfield latched onto Cortez’s right arm, looking for an armbar. Cortez was able to defend, but Blanchfield held the position until the end of the round, absorbing short punches and knees from Cortez. The second frame was a back-and-forth affair, with Cortez getting the better of the clinch work. Blanchfield had a strong third round, securing a takedown and attacking with submissions. Cortez survived a deep arm-triangle choke attempt, returning to the feet in the fight’s final minute. When the judges were called upon, it was Cortez who walked away victorious.

Flyweights Victoria Leonardo and Jamie Milanowski put on a show for the brief time they were in the cage. Milanowski quickly dragged Leonardo to the ground, but Leonardo looked for an armbar and got back to her feet. She then put Milanowki on her back and dropped heavy ground and pound. The fight returned to the feet briefly and Milanowski again looked to gain top position. Leonardo stuffed a head-and-arm throw and took the back of the newcomer. She locked onto a rear-naked choke, forcing Milanowski to tap midway through the first round.

Featherweight Courtney King picked up her first win in the Invicta cage, stopping fellow Coloradan Holli Logan by second-round submission. Logan scored with repeated counter right hands in the opening stanza, as King pressed forward. King eventually earned the clinch and brought the fight to the ground with a trip takedown. In the second frame, King flurried hard to get the clinch. This time, however, it was Logan who looked for a trip. King reversed the position and landed on top, locking in a D’arce choke. Logan was able to defend, but gave up the mount. King rained punches and forced Logan to give up her back. Once there, King attacked the neck and coerced a tap by rear-naked choke.

The night’s action kicked off with a flyweight match-up between newcomers Caitlin Sammons and Christina Ricker. Sammons used her teep kick to gauge range, before scoring with a counter uppercut. She then took Ricker to the mat and control her from the back, but trapping Ricker’s left arm. Late in the first round, Sammons looked for an armbar, but Ricker was able to survive the round. In round two, Sammons hurt Ricker with a kick to the body and followed her to the ground. Sammons unleashed a series of punches and elbows that forced the referee to halt the bout and save Ricker from further damage.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Vanessa Porto def. Pearl Gonzalez by unanimous technical decision (40-36, 39-37, 39-37). Round 4, 2:34 – for flyweight title
Karina Rodriguez def. Milana Dudieva by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – flyweight tournament semifinal
DeAnna Bennett def. Miranda Maverick by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) – flyweight tournament semifinal
Tracy Cortez def. Erin Blanchfield by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Victoria Leonardo def. Jamie Milanowski by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 2:45
Courtney King def. Holli Logan by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 4:46
Caitlin Sammons def. Christina Ricker by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 3:02


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 (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Invicta FC 34: Porto vs. Gonzalez Official Weigh-in Results

Kansas City, Kan. — On Thursday, Feb. 14, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 34: Porto vs. Gonzalez. The event takes place from from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., on Friday, Feb. 15, with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT. The night’s first three bouts will also stream live and free on Facebook.

In the night’s main event, the vacant flyweight title will be on the line between Brazilian veteran Vanessa Porto (20-8) and surging contender Pearl Gonzalez (9-3).

Also on the card, a four-woman flyweight tournament will kick off to determine the next No. 1 contender. On one side of the bracket, UFC veteran Milana Dudieva (12-7) takes on Mexico’s Karina Rodriguez (6-3). In the other half of the ladder, UFC veteran and former Invicta FC strawweight title challenger DeAnna Bennett (9-4-1) meets Missouri’s Miranda Maverick (4-1).

Below are the results of the event’s weigh-ins.

Flyweight Title: Vanessa Porto (124.7) vs. Pearl Gonzalez (124)
Flyweight Tournament Semifinal: Milana Dudieva (126) vs. Karina Rodriguez (125.4)
Flyweight Tournament Semifinal: DeAnna Bennett (126) vs. Miranda Maverick (125.4)
Flyweight:  Tracy Cortez (126) vs. Erin Blanchfield (125.5)
Featherweight: Helena Kolesnyk (156.3)* vs. Faith McMah (145.7)
Flyweight: Victoria Leonardo (125.7) vs. Jamie Milanowski (125.4)
Featherweight: Courtney King (145.4) vs. Holli Logan (149.9)#
Flyweight: Caitlin Sammons (124) vs. Christina Ricker (125.5)

* – The fight between Kolesnyk and McMah has been removed from the card, after Kolesnyk missed weight

# – Logan was fined 25 percent of her fight purse for missing weight


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 (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.