Invicta FC 40 Results: Ducote Outworks Lima, Zappitella Edges VanZandt

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.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
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.

Invicta FC 40: Ducote vs. Lima Official Weigh-in Results

Kansas City, Kan. — On Wednesday, July 1, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 40: Ducote vs. Lima. The event takes place in Kansas City, Kan., on Thursday, July 2 , with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

In the night’s main event, recent strawweight title challenger Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (8-6) takes on Brazilian Juliana “Ju Thai” Lima (10-6). Oklahoma’s Ducote scored a violent, first-round knockout of Janaisa Morandin in her promotional debut before challenging Kanako Murata for the 115-pound title. Ducote fell via split decision in a closely contested bout and will look to get back in the win column. Lima rejoined the Invicta roster in 2019 following a seven-fight stint with the UFC. The veteran was last in action during the inaugural Phoenix Series tournament, where she defeated fellow UFC veteran Danielle Taylor, but fell to eventual tournament champion Brianna Van Buren in the semifinals.

The co-main event will take place in the atomweight division as Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (6-2) clashes with New York’s Lindsey “Damsel” VanZandt (7-3).

As with any Invicta event, safety is of the utmost priority. All athletes and corners participating in the event were tested for COVID-19 and all results were negative.

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

Strawweight: Emily Ducote (115.2) vs. Juliana Lima (115.5)
Atomweight: Alesha Zappitella (105.7) vs. Lindsey VanZandt (105.2)
Flyweight: DeAnna Bennett (N/A)* vs. Victoria Leonardo (125.9)
Featherweight: Chelsea Chandler (145) vs. Liv Parker (145.7)
Flyweight: Trisha Cicero (126) vs. Laura Gallardo (125.1)
Strawweight: Genia Goodin (115.9) vs. Shelby Koren (115.9)

* – The flyweight bout between DeAnna Bennett and Victoria Leonardo was removed from the card after Bennett had a medical issue during her weight cut and could not weigh-in. Leonardo was paid her show purse after making weight and the fight card will proceed with five fights.


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.

Janaisa Morandin vs. Montserrat Ruiz Headlines Invicta FC 41 on July 30

Kansas City, Kan. – It’s full steam ahead for Invicta Fighting Championships.

The world’s premier combat sports organization for women will hold its second event of the summer on Thursday, July 30. Invicta FC 41 will take place in Kansas City and just like the promotion’s 40th installment on July 2, it will be overseen by the Kansas Athletic Commission and utilize open scoring. The event will air live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT.

In the night’s main event, former strawweight title challenger Janaisa “Evil Princess” Morandin (10-3) of Brazil will battle Mexico’s Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (8-1). The 25-year-old Morandin will be making her fifth appearance in the Invicta cage and hopes that her experience of facing former titleholders Virna Jandiroba and Livia Renata Souza will carry her to victory. Ruiz returns to action after suffering her first career defeat to UFC veteran Danielle Taylor at Invicta FC 33. Prior to the setback, she had won eight straight with four finishes.

The co-main event will feature flyweight contenders as 21-year-old phenom Erin “Cold Blooded” Blanchfield (5-1) tangles with wrestling stalwart Stephanie “Hold Fast” Geltmacher (4-1). New York’s Blanchfield enters the match-up riding the momentum of a second-round, head-kick knockout of Victoria Leonardo at Invicta FC 39. Like her opponent, Oklahoma’s Geltmacher was also last in action against Leonardo, but came up short on the scorecards after a “Fight of the Year” contender at Invicta FC 36.

Joining the headlining bouts will be a featherweight bout between former title challenger “The Striking Viking” Kaitlin Young (10-10-1) and the returning Latoya “Black Mamba” Walker (5-1), who last fought at Invicta FC 17 in 2016. Also on the card, Texas strawweights collide as Cynthia “Sin” Arceo (5-2-1) meets Itzel Esquivel (4-2), undefeated flyweights square off when Florida’s Caitlin “Ginger” Sammons (2-0) faces Colorado’s “Grizzly” Claire Guthrie (1-0), and flyweight newcomers Natalya “The Beast” Speece (0-0) and Alexa Culp (0-0) both make their professional debuts.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Invicta FC 41 will take place behind closed doors — sans fans and media. As with any Invicta event, the safety of its fighters, their corners, its staff and commission officials is of the utmost priority. All participants will be tested prior to the event.

The full fight card can be found below:

Strawweight: Janaisa Morandin vs. Montserrat Ruiz
Flyweight: Erin Blanchfield vs. Stephanie Geltmacher
Featherweight: Kaitlin Young vs. Latoya Walker
Strawweight: Cynthia Arceo vs. Itzel Esquivel
Flyweight: Caitlin Sammons vs. Claire Guthrie
Flyweight: Natalya Speece vs. Alexa Culp


About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) 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.

Trisha Cicero Replaces Claire Guthrie at Invicta FC 40

Kansas City, Kan. – The fight card for Invicta FC 40 has undergone a late change.

Colorado flyweight “Grizzly” Claire Guthrie (1-0) has been forced out of her match-up with newcomer Laura “La Jefa” Gallardo (2-0) of California.

Stepping in on two weeks’ notice will be Florida’s Trisha Cicero (3-3). The American Top Team product is a black belt in Kenpo karate and currently rides a two-fight winning streak. She most recently submitted Brandi Narvaez in June.

Invicta FC 40 takes place Thursday, July 2 in Kansas City, Kan. The event will stream live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT. The event is headlined by a strawweight bout between former title challenger Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (8-6) and UFC veteran Juliana “Ju Thai” Lima (10-6).

The updated Invicta FC 40 fight card can be found below:

Strawweight: Emily Ducote vs. Juliana Lima
Atomweight: Alesha Zappitella vs. Lindsey VanZandt
Flyweight: DeAnna Bennett vs. Victoria Leonardo
Featherweight: Chelsea Chandler vs. Liv Parker
Flyweight: Trisha Cicero vs. Laura Gallardo
Strawweight: Genia Goodin vs. Shelby Koren


About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) 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.

Invicta FC 40 Slated for July 2 in Kansas City

Kansas City, Kan. – Invicta Fighting Championships is returning to action.

The world’s premier combat sports organization for women will hold its first event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, July 2. Invicta FC 40 will take place in Kansas City and will be overseen by the Kansas Athletic Commission. The event will air live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT.

In the night’s main event, recent strawweight title challenger Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (8-6) takes on Brazilian Juliana “Ju Thai” Lima (10-6). Oklahoma’s Ducote scored a violent, first-round knockout of Janaisa Morandin in her promotional debut before challenging Kanako Murata for the 115-pound title. Ducote fell via split decision in a closely contested bout and will look to get back in the win column. Lima rejoined the Invicta roster in 2019 following a seven-fight stint with the UFC. The veteran was last in action during the inaugural Phoenix Series tournament, where she defeated fellow UFC veteran Danielle Taylor, but fell to eventual tournament champion Brianna Van Buren in the semifinals.

The co-main event will take place in the atomweight division as wrestling dynamo Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (6-2) clashes with New York’s Lindsey “Damsel” VanZandt (7-3). The Michigan-based Zappitella earned her third win inside the Invicta cage in February, defeating Kelly D’Angelo on the scorecards. VanZandt was victorious in her last appearance with promotion, defeating Shino VanHoose at Invicta FC 37 in October.

Joining the headlining bouts will be a flyweight match-up between former strawweight title challenger DeAnna “Vitamin D” Bennett (10-6-1) and Louisiana’s Victoria “Fury” Leonardo (6-2). The pair both competed in the second installment of the Phoenix Series last September. The UFC veteran Bennett earned two wins to reach the tournament final, but succumbed to Miranda Maverick in the final round. Leonardo also came up short to Maverick in the tournament and was most recently in action against Erin Blanchfield in February.

Also on the card, California’s Chelsea Chandler (2-1) moves up in weight to welcome featherweight Liv “Phoenix” Parker (4-0) to the promotion, Colorado’s “Grizzly” Claire Guthrie (1-0) returns to flyweight against newcomer Laura Gallardo (2-0) of California, and strawweight Genia Goodin (1-0) makes her second Invicta outing against the debuting Shelby Koren (0-0), who is unbeaten through seven amateur bouts.

With the ongoing pandemic, Invicta FC 40 will take place behind closed doors — sans fans and media. As with any Invicta event, the safety of its fighters, their corners, its staff and commission officials is of the utmost priority. All participants will be tested for COVID-19 prior to the event. More details of the safety measures being put in place will be revealed prior to the event.

The full fight card can be found below:

Strawweight: Emily Ducote vs. Juliana Lima
Atomweight: Alesha Zappitella vs. Lindsey VanZandt
Flyweight: DeAnna Bennett vs. Victoria Leonardo
Featherweight: Chelsea Chandler vs. Liv Parker
Flyweight: Claire Guthrie vs. Laura Gallardo
Strawweight: Genia Goodin vs. Shelby Koren


About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) 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.

Phoenix Series 3 Results: Stoliarenko Claims Gold in Thriller, Tennant Captures Tournament

Kansas City, Kan. — On Friday, March 6, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted its third Phoenix Series tournament plus a bantamweight title headliner in a historic night at Memorial Hall. The event aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

The Phoenix Series 3 main event was an instant classic as Lithuania’s Julija Stoliarenko battled Lisa Verzosa in one of the bloodiest fights in Invicta history. Stoliarenko scored with a head kick early, stunning Verzosa. The American responded with a stiff right hand that put Stoliarenko on the ground. Verzosa followed her down, but was forced to defend an armbar. Blood began to pour from Stoliarenko’s nose, setting the tone of the fight. A second armbar attempt was unsuccessful, but Stoliarenko took the round. Verzosa fought back hard in round two, repeatedly scoring with her right hand. The nose of Stoliarenko bled badly in round three, but she was unfazed, slicing Verzosa open with an elbow. Both fighters sported a crimson mask for the remainder of the fight, pushing the pace and looking to put the other away. The mouthpiece of Stoliarenko frequently hit the canvas from the right hands of Verzosa. A finish never came and the fight was sent to the judges to determine a new champion. They were split in their scores, but Stoliarenko took the fight on two cards to capture the belt.

Taneisha Tennant picked up her third win of the night, defeating Taylor Guardado in the Phoenix Series 3 bantamweight tournament final. Tennant’s pinpoint striking was on display from the onset, peppering Guardado from range with counter strikes. Guardado came forward with pressure, but Tennant’s footwork kept her just out of range. Tennant caught Guardado with a strong right hand that sent her mouthpiece flying to the mat. Guardado never backed down, marching forward. A takedown attempt by Guardado was met with a great sprawl by Tennant. Blood poured from Guardado’s nose in round three and her corner told her she was down on the judges’ scorecards. She pushed the action, but Tennant’s nightlong showcase of technique continued throughout the final frame. Guardado came up short on her punches, but did score with heavy leg kicks. It wasn’t enough, as Tennant took home the decision and tournament trophy to remain undefeated.

The strawweight contest between Kay Hansen and Liana Pirosin became the first fight in modern MMA history to utilize open scoring. Hansen showcased her strong grappling game throughout the fight, taking down the Brazilian at will. Pirosin did her best to stay active off her back, but Hansen repeatedly got the better of the scrambling exchanges. The second round was the most dominant round of the fight for Hansen, who took Pirosin’s back and briefly secured a body triangle. She scored with short punches from top position and earned a 10-8 round from one of the judges in real time. The third round was again a display for Hansen’s grappling, but Pirosin went for broke knowing she was down on the scorecards. She threatened Hansen with an armbar just as time expired, but could not find the finish. Hansen took the clean sweep from the judges. “It was nice knowing the scores, so I didn’t have to guess,” said the victorious Hansen of the open format.

In the second tournament semifinal, Taneisha Tennant used a measured striking attack and great takedown defense to edge Hope Chase. The forward pressure of Chase had no impact on Tennant early in the fight as she stayed on the outside and looked to counter. Chase powered into a double-leg attempt, but Tennant shrugged her off. The pair traded flashy techniques as a question-mark kick from Tennant was followed by a wheel kick attempt by Chase. Late in the fight, Chase’s takedown attempts worked against her, as Tennant battered her with elbows along the fence. That proved to be the difference on the scorecards as Tennant moved to the tournament final.

The first semifinal match-up featured Taylor Guardado against Serena DeJesus. Guardado powered the fight to the fence early and tried to secure a takedown. DeJesus landed short knees and elbows to stay upright. When the pair separated, DeJesus was able to score with kicks from range. The pair returned to the clinch and DeJesus scored with more elbows. Guardado continued to apply pressure, flurrying with punches in the fight’s waning moments. The judges were split in their verdict, handing Guardado a spot in the final.

The second tournament reserve bout was largely a one-sided affair as veteran Mitzi Merry topped newcomer Morgan Hickam. Merry controlled range early before catching Hickam with a series of right hands. Hickam kept her chin high as she absorbed multiple shots. The Tennessee fighter put Merry against the cage and worked hard to secure a takedown. Merry used an active guard from bottom, attacking with an armbar, then an omoplata. The ensuing scramble saw Merry take Hickam’s back and threaten with a choke attempt. She couldn’t score the finish, but Merry took home the decision victory.

In tournament reserve action, Kelly Clayton battered fellow newcomer Florina Moeller en route to a submission win. Moeller barreled forward recklessly, eating right hand after right hand. She was undeterred, getting inside and pushing Clayton to the cage. Clayton showcased great balance, preventing Moeller from getting the fight the ground. Clayton continued to score with power punches on the feet before earning a late takedown. She took Moeller’s back and applied a rear-naked choke to coerce a tap before the final bell.

The final tournament quarterfinal fight pitted Taneisha Tennant against Brittney Victoria. Tennant showcased her crisp striking from the opening bell. Victoria tried to use her boxing, but Tennant kept her at range with kicks. Tennant put together a series of punches that backed Victoria to the cage. The diverse arsenal of Tennant kept Victoria guessing, as she battered the body with a kick and punches. Victoria sought a takedown late in the fight, but Tennant punished her with a combination of punches. The fight saw the scorecards, with Tennant becoming the fourth and final semifinalist.

Hope Chase and Julia Ottolino engaged in a highly competitive fight in the third tournament quarterfinal bout. Chase came out and applied pressure right away. Ottolino scored with a series of kicks, but Chase flurried forward and brought the fight to the ground. Chase applied ground and pound before Ottolino threatened with an armbar. Chase defended, but ate an upkick in the process. She allowed Ottolino to stand and again flurried with a series of punches along the fence. Ottolino tried to counter, but she could not match the volume of Chase, who punched her ticket to the semifinals by decision.

In the night’s second match-up Taylor Guardado outworked Claire Guthrie to capture the second spot in the tournament semifinals. Guardado was aggressive to start, powering Guthrie to the fence. She brought the fight to the mat, but Guthrie attacked with a triangle choke attempt. Guardado navigated the submission and the referee stood up the fight after a brief stalemate. A right hand from Guthrie found the mark, but the strike left her open to a level change from Guardado, who dragged the fight back to the ground. The fight’s final minute was spent in the clinch, with all three judges rewarding Guardado for efforts.

The tournament semifinals kicked off with a battle between Serena DeJesus and Kerri Kenneson. The more experienced Kenneson immediately went for a takedown and put DeJesus on her back. DeJesus did not panic and worked back to her feet. Kenneson landed short uppercuts in the clinch, but DeJesus responded with knees and big elbows. When the pair separated, Kenneson threw a body kick which allowed DeJesus to time a takedown of her own. She dropped an onslaught of short punches to Kenneson’s face. The fight returned to the feet briefly, but Kenneson earned a late trip takedown and took the back of DeJesus. DeJesus spun into the full guard to finish the fight on top. The judges were in agreement, sending DeJesus to the semifinals.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Julija Stoliarenko def. Lisa Verzosa by split decision (48-46, 46-49, 49-46) – for bantamweight title
Taneisha Tennant def. Taylor Guardado by unanimous decision (30-27 x3) – bantamweight tournament final
Kay Hansen def. Liana Pirosin by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Taneisha Tennant def. Hope Chase by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – bantamweight tournament semifinal
Taylor Guardado def. Serena DeJesus by split decision (10-9, 9-10, 10-9) – bantamweight tournament semifinal
Mitzi Merry def. Morgan Hickam by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – tournament reserve bout
Kelly Clayton def. Florina Moeller by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:51 – tournament reserve bout
Taneisha Tennant def. Brittney Victoria by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – bantamweight tournament quarterfinal
Hope Chase def. Julia Ottolino by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – bantamweight tournament quarterfinal
Taylor Guardado def. Claire Guthrie by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – bantamweight tournament quarterfinal
Serena DeJesus def. Kerri Kenneson by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – bantamweight 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 Series 3 Official Weigh-in and Tournament Draw Results

Kansas City, Kan. — On Thursday, March 5, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for PHOENIX SERIES© 3. The event takes place from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., on Friday, March 6, with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

The event is headlined by a bantamweight title fight between undefeated 24-year-old Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (5-0) and The Ultimate Fighter alumna Julija Stoliarenko (8-3-1) of Lithuania. Verzosa — née Spangler — has earned four of her five career victories inside the Invicta cage. The Washington-based fighter most recently defeated Kerri Kenneson at Invicta FC 38. Stoliarenko will make her promotional debut riding the momentum of a four-fight winning streak since leaving the TUF house. All eight of her career wins have come via first-round armbar submission.

Joining the title match-up is a one-night, eight-woman tournament, also in the bantamweight division. 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 during the event’s weigh-ins.

In the first quarterfinal bout, Las Vegas-based Serena “The Southpaw Outlaw” DeJesus (1-1) meets the most experienced fighter in the tournament, “Scary” Kerri Kenneson (3-2). The second match-up pits the debuting Taylor “No Mercy” Guardado (0-0) against Colorado’s “Grizzly” Claire Guthrie (1-0). In the third pairing, “Hurricane” Hope Chase (2-1) squares off against Julia “Chicago” Ottolino (1-0). Finally, California’s Brittney “Bombshell” Victoria (3-1) takes on Taneisha “Triple Threat” Tennant (2-0).

As was previously announced, the event will utilize open scoring.

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

Bantamweight Title: Lisa Verzosa (134.2) vs. Julija Stoliarenko (134.2)
Strawweight: Kay Hansen (115.9) vs. Liana Pirosin (116)
Bantamweight Reserve Bout No. 2: Mitzi Merry (135.5) vs. Morgan Hickam (135.6)
Bantamweight Reserve Bout No. 1: Kelly Clayton (135.5) vs. Florina Moeller (135)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal No. 4: Taneisha Tennant (135.7) vs. Brittney Victoria (135.1)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal No. 3: Julia Ottolino (134.7) vs. Hope Chase (135.8)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal No. 2: Claire Guthrie (135.7) vs. Taylor Guardado (135.8)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal No. 1: Kerri Kenneson (135.5) vs. Serena DeJesus (135.3)


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.

Serena DeJesus Elevated to Phoenix Series 3 Tournament After Gillian Noll Withdraws

Kansas City, Kan. – The lineup for the PHOENIX SERIES© 3 bantamweight tournament on March 6 has undergone a last-minute change.

Gillian Noll has been forced to withdraw from the eight-woman, single-elimination tournament. Stepping into the tournament field will be Las Vegas fighter Serena “The Southpaw Outlaw” DeJesus (1-1), who was previously slated to compete in one of the night’s reserve bouts.

Taking the place of DeJesus opposite Florina Moeller (1-1) in the tournament reserve match-up will be Washington’s Kelly “Skittles” Clayton (1-2). Clayton picked up a win over the aforementioned Noll in her last bout.

In addition to the bantamweight tournament, the event is headlined by a bantamweight title clash between undefeated 24-year-old phenom Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (5-0) and The Ultimate Fighter alumna Julija Stoliarenko (8-3-1) of Lithuania.

As was previously announced, all fights for the event will utilize open scoring.

PHOENIX SERIES© 3 takes place from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The event streams live on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets to the event can be purchased through Eventbrite.

The updated fight card can be found below:

Bantamweight Title: Lisa Verzosa vs. Julija Stoliarenko
Bantamweight Tournament Final: TBD vs. TBD
Strawweight: Kay Hansen vs. Liana Pirosin
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal: TBD vs. TBD
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal: TBD vs. TBD
Bantamweight Reserve Bout No. 2: Mitzi Merry vs. Morgan Hickam
Bantamweight Reserve Bout No. 1: Kelly Clayton vs. Florina Moeller
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)

PHOENIX SERIES© 3 Quarterfinalists
Brittney Victoria
Claire Guthrie
Hope Chase
Julia Ottolino
Kerri Kenneson
Serena DeJesus
Taneisha Tennant
Taylor Guardado


About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) 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.

Phoenix Series 3 Loses Amber Brown vs. Sharon Jacobson

Kansas City, Kan. – An injury has hit the fight card for PHOENIX SERIES© 3 on March 6.

Former atomweight title challenger Amber “The Bully” Brown (7-6) has been forced out of her strawweight match-up with Sharon “The Dream Catcher” Jacobson (6-5). With the event just one week away, the fight has been pulled from the card. The bout may be rescheduled for an INVICTA FC® event later in the year.

PHOENIX SERIES© 3 features the fastest-paced format in mixed martial arts, an eight-woman, single-elimination tournament. The third installment takes place in the bantamweight division.

In addition to the bantamweight tournament, the event also includes a bantamweight title clash between undefeated 24-year-old phenom Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (5-0) and The Ultimate Fighter alum Julija Stoliarenko (8-3-1) of Lithuania.

As was previously announced, all fights for the event will utilize open scoring.

PHOENIX SERIES© 3 takes place from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The event streams live on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets to the event can be purchased through Eventbrite.

The updated fight card can be found below:

Bantamweight Title: Lisa Verzosa vs. Julija Stoliarenko
Bantamweight Tournament Final: TBD vs. TBD
Strawweight: Kay Hansen vs. Liana Pirosin
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal: TBD vs. TBD
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal: TBD vs. TBD
Bantamweight Reserve Bout No. 2: Mitzi Merry vs. Morgan Hickam
Bantamweight Reserve Bout No. 1: Serena DeJesus vs. Florina Moeller
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)

PHOENIX SERIES© 3 Quarterfinalists
Brittney Victoria
Claire Guthrie
Gillian Noll
Hope Chase
Julia Ottolino
Kerri Kenneson
Taneisha Tennant
Taylor Guardado


About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) 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.

Two Fighters Join Phoenix Series 3 Tournament Lineup

Kansas City, Kan. – The lineup for PHOENIX SERIES© 3 on March 6 has undergone some changes.

The event, which features the fastest-paced format in mixed martial arts, includes an eight-woman, single-elimination tournament in the INVICTA FC® bantamweight division. Two of the tournament athletes, Auttumn Norton and Erin Harpe, have been forced off the fight card. Stepping into the tournament field will be Julia “Chicago” Ottolino (1-0) and newcomer Gillian “Valkyrie” Noll (1-1).

The San Antonio-based Ottolino made her professional debut at Invicta FC 36, defeating Megan Cawley by decision. Noll, who hails from Idaho, will make her first promotional appearance having split her first two pro outings after a lengthy amateur career.

As a result of the change, Ottolino’s original opponent in one of the night’s reserve bouts, Serena “The Southpaw Outlaw” DeJesus (1-1), will square off Romanian newcomer Florina “Count Cuddles” Moeller (1-1), who now trains out of Kansas.

In addition to the bantamweight tournament, PHOENIX SERIES© 3 also features a bantamweight title clash between undefeated 24-year-old phenom Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (5-0) and The Ultimate Fighter alum Julija Stoliarenko (8-3-1) of Lithuania.

As was previously announced, all fights for the event will utilize open scoring.

PHOENIX SERIES© 3 takes place from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The event streams live on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets to the event can be purchased through Eventbrite.

The updated fight card can be found below:

Bantamweight Title: Lisa Verzosa vs. Julija Stoliarenko
Bantamweight Tournament Final: TBD vs. TBD
Strawweight: Amber Brown vs. Sharon Jacobson
Strawweight: Kay Hansen vs. Liana Pirosin
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal: TBD vs. TBD
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal: TBD vs. TBD
Bantamweight Reserve Bout No. 2: Mitzi Merry vs. Morgan Hickam
Bantamweight Reserve Bout No. 1: Serena DeJesus vs. Florina Moeller
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)

PHOENIX SERIES© 3 Quarterfinalists
Brittney Victoria
Claire Guthrie
Gillian Noll
Hope Chase
Julia Ottolino
Kerri Kenneson
Taneisha Tennant
Taylor Guardado


About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) 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.