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Invicta FC 43: King vs. Harrison Official Weigh-in Results

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Thursday, Nov. 19, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 43: King vs. Harrison. The event takes place Friday, Nov. 20, with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT.

The card was slated to be headlined by a strawweight title fight between Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) and Mexico’s Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (9-1). Both fighters successfully made championship weight – Ducote at 114.5 pounds and Ruiz at 113.3 pounds – but there were positive COVID-19 tests that potentially exposed the main event athletes to the virus. Safety is the utmost priority for Invicta FC events and the enhanced pandemic protocols have forced the postponement of the bout to a future date.

As a result of the change, the featherweight debut of two-time Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison (7-0) will now serve as the night’s headliner. Harrison takes on veteran Courtney “The Lion” King (4-1).

Harrison, a sixth-degree black belt in judo, has compiled a perfect record competing in the lightweight division under the Professional Fighters League banner. Five of her seven victories have come inside the distance. She most recently captured the promotion’s lightweight tournament with a decision win over UFC veteran Larissa Pacheco. Colorado’s King enters the bout riding a three-fight winning streak that includes two submission victories. The 27-year-old most recently submitted fellow Invicta alum Audrey Wolfe in December. She also holds wins over Holli Logan and Colbey Northcutt.

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

Featherweight: Courtney King (145.2) vs. Kayla Harrison (145.9)
Flyweight: Stephanie Geltmacher (124.9) vs. Caitlin Sammons (124.2)
Bantamweight: Brittney Cloudy (137.3)* vs. Hope Chase (135.9)
Strawweight: Alexa Culp (115.6) vs. Meaghan Penning (115.9)
Flyweight: Juliana Miller (125.2) vs. Kendal Holowell (125.8)

* – Cloudy missed the bantamweight limit of 136 pounds and was fined 25 percent of her fight purse

Additionally, former featherweight title challenger Kaitlin Young weighed in as a reserve fighter, hitting the scale at 145.9 pounds.


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 43: Ducote vs. Conejo Fight Card Preview

On Friday, Nov. 20, Invicta Fighting Championships returns to action with its 43rd event from Kansas City, Kan. The event will air live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 8 p.m. CT. Let’s take a deeper look at the night’s fight card.


Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote vs. Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz

The main event will have a vacant title on the line, as former Bellator MMA and Invicta title challenger Emily Ducote looks to take out Mexican star Montserrat Ruiz for the strawweight championship.

Ducote enters this title fight with experience fighting for a belt. She has challenged for the Bellator flyweight championship and Invicta strawweight championship, but fell short in both conquest. That said, the BJJ brown belt is well-rounded and tough as nails. Ducote is comfortable wherever the fight takes place. She did pick up her most recent win at Invicta FC 40, where she bested UFC veteran Juliana Lima on the scorecards. That win earned her this shot at the title.

Across from Ducote is Ruiz, a wrestler and ground fighter who has tasted defeat just once in her career. Possessing a strong submission game, Ruiz proved to the world that she was ready for this title shot in her most recent outing, a scarfhold keylock of Janaisa Morandin. This is her first shot at a major MMA championship.

Who will hold the belt come fight night? Will Ducote finally break through and win a major MMA belt, or will Ruiz add Ducote to her growing highlight reel, nabbing the title in the process?


Featherweight: Courtney King vs. Kayla Harrison

Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison is looking to make a successful debut at 145 pounds in the co-main event, as the $1 million PFL lightweight tournament winner takes on Invicta vet Courtney King.

With PFL’s 2020 campaign canceled due to COVID-19, Harrison has been afforded an opportunity to test the waters at featherweight. The top prospect will look to repeat her success in the lighter weight class. Harrison is an absolute brute, as her physical strength is uncanny. Obviously, the gold medal judoka has excellent takedowns and grappling, as she controls her opponent from the top and tires them out. She throws big ground-and-pound and has a strong submission game as well.

King is the woman tasked with taking on Harrison and will bring it come fight night. She’s riding a three-fight surge, which includes two wins by submission. It’s unlikely that she’ll want to grapple with the decorated Harrison, but she is a capable striker. This is her first Invicta appearance since February of 2019, where she choked out Holli Salazar.

Will the Olympian secure a win going into PFL’s 2021 season and keep her undefeated record? Or will King derail the hype train and hand the highly regarded Harrison her first loss?


Flyweight: Stephanie Geltmacher vs. Caitlin Sammons

A pivotal flyweight bout could push forward a future title contender in the next bout, as top prospect Caitlin Sammons steps in on late notice to take on the scrappy Stephanie Geltmacher. Sammons steps in for Trisha Cicero, who was forced off the event.

Geltmacher is a four-time All-American collegiate wrestler, so she always enters the cage with an excellent base. That said, she’s Hawaiian also, so she has no problem getting into a barn-burning brawl. She’s very physically strong and has rag dolled opponents in the past. Geltmacher is coming into this fight off her only career loss to Victoria Leonardo, which was an fan-friendly fight to say the least.

As for Sammons, the BJJ black belt has been dominant in her three career pro fights, all of which have come under the Invicta banner. She has a knockout, submission and decision on her record against Christina Adcock, Chantel Coates and Claire Guthrie, respectively. She also had quite the successful amateur career. Sammons is very aggressive in terms of trying to force a ground battle, and once the fight gets there, she dominates.

In this battle of prospects, who will come out on top? Will Sammons keep her perfect record intact, or will Geltmacher get back into the win column and put her name amongst the top contenders of Invicta’s 125-pound division?


Bantamweight: Brittney Cloudy vs. Hope Chase

A late addition to the card has been made and it will be in the bantamweight division, as Brittney Cloudy makes her return to Invicta against Hope Chase.

Cloudy is a former collegiate track athlete who successfully transitioned to a pro MMA career. She was supposed to fight at Invicta 42, but her fight was scrapped before fight night. Cloudy is a strong striker and is a Golden Gloves champion as an amateur boxer. After a great amateur career, she has shown to be a solid prospect, possessing technical, powerful boxing and an underrated submission game. Her only two losses came via split decision in bouts that could have easily gone her way. This is her first Invicta fight since her pro debut in 2018 against top Invicta flyweight Erin Blanchfield.

Across from Cloudy is Chase, a 21-year-old prospect with a bright future in the sport. She has a karate and boxing background, so look out for Chase’s skills on the feet. She enters this fight after a semifinal finish in the Invicta Phoenix Series tournament, where she bested Julia Ottolino before falling to eventual tournament winner Taneisha Tennant. Prior to the tournament, she was on a two-fight winning streak.

In a division clamoring for talent and contenders, every win matters. Will Cloudy make a triumphant return to the organization where she made her pro debut, or will Chase notch the biggest win of her career?


Strawweight: Alexa Culp vs. Meaghan Penning

After making a successful pro debut in her last fight, Alexa Culp looks to score her second win when she welcomes Meghan Penning to Invicta in the latter’s first professional fight.

Culp is part of a strong stable of female fighters at Glory MMA & Fitness in Kansas, so it comes as no shock that the 20-year-old fighter has shown such promise. She went undefeated as an amateur before turning pro in her most recent bout. In her pro debut under the Invicta banner, Culp choked out Natalya Speece, showing off high grappling skills for a BJJ blue belt.

As for Penning, she is similarly a BJJ blue belt with a knack for finishing fights. She has never gone to a judges’ scorecards in her five-fight amateur career, scoring two knockouts and two submissions — while falling via submission in her lone loss. Penning is aggressive and exciting, and hopes to make a name for herself with Invicta fans while making her pro debut.

Will the 20-year-old James Krause protégé keep with her winning ways? Or, will Penning score a massive win in her pro debut, establishing herself as an up-and-coming strawweight to watch?


Flyweight: Juliana Miller vs. Kendal Holowell

A pair of newcomers to Invicta are set to meet in the flyweight division, as Kendal Holowell makes her professional MMA debut against one-fight pro Juliana Miller.

Miller is undefeated as an amateur and a pro, so she’s never tasted defeat in a mixed martial arts contest. She’s a BJJ purple belt that regularly competes in high-level grappling tournaments, showing how solid her ground game is. Miller will look for takedowns early and often, so she can show off those grappling chops in an attempt to score the finish.

Holowell makes her pro debut after a 7-1 run as an amateur. She is a blue belt in BJJ, meaning she likely is giving up some skill on that mat with Miller. That said, she’s got solid striking as well, which she will look to employ in this bout. Holowell is making her debut after the biggest win of her amateur career, a unanimous decision victory over Cara Greenwell.

This is a battle of prospects looking to gain notoriety in this fight. Does Miller make it two wins in two fights as a pro, or does Holowell make a successful debut?


This piece is a special contribution from Riley Kontek, a veteran combat sports writer whose work has appeared on Bleacher Report MMA, Combat Press and the MMA Intel Blog. You can follow Riley on Twitter.

Invicta FC 43 Gets New Headliner, Kayla Harrison Joins Co-Main Event

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Invicta FC 43 has a new main event, as well as more starpower.

COVID-19 has forced the postponement of a planned flyweight title fight between UFC veteran Pearl “The Chi-Town Princess” Gonzalez (10-5) and 21-year-old Erin “Cold Blooded” Blanchfield (6-1). As a result, the strawweight title clash between Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) and Mexico’s Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (9-1) has been elevated to top-billing on Friday, Nov. 20. Oklahoma’s Ducote will challenge for a belt for the second time, having come up short against Kanako Murata at Invicta FC 38. Ducote bounced back with a win over UFC veteran Juliana Lima at Invicta FC 40 in July and with Japan’s Murata signing with the UFC, the title is now vacant. Ruiz was also in action in July, submitting former title challenger Janaisa Morandin in the first round of the Invicta FC 41 main event.

In addition to the main event change, two-time Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison (7-0) will serve as the opponent for veteran Courtney “The Lion” King (4-1). Harrison, a sixth-degree black belt in judo, has compiled a perfect record competing in the lightweight division under the Professional Fighters League banner. Five of her seven victories have come inside the distance. She most recently captured the promotion’s lightweight tournament with a decision win over UFC veteran Larissa Pacheco. The fight with King will mark the 30-year-old’s debut at 145 pounds. Colorado’s King enters the bout riding a three-fight winning streak that includes two submission victories. The 27-year-old most recently submitted fellow Invicta alum Audrey Wolfe in December. She also holds wins over Holli Logan and Colbey Northcutt.

The previously announced flyweight bout between Oklahoma’s Stephanie “Hold Fast” Geltmacher (4-1) and Florida’s Trisha Cicero (4-3) has changed after Cicero has been forced to withdraw from the event. Stepping in will be another Floridian, as Caitlin “Ginger” Sammons (3-0) aims to keep her perfect record intact against the decorated wrestler Geltmacher.

Also joining the card, bantamweight “Hurricane” Hope Chase (2-1) welcomes “The Quiet Storm” Brittney Cloudy (2-2) back to the promotion, while 20-year-old Alexa Culp (1-0) looks to score another “Performance of the Night” bonus against promotional newcomer Meaghan Penning (0-0) at strawweight.

Invicta FC 43 takes place in Kansas City and airs live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT. The event will be overseen by the Kansas Athletic Commission and will feature open scoring. With the ongoing pandemic, Invicta FC 43 will take place behind closed doors — sans fans and media. As with any Invicta event, the safety of its athletes, their corners, its staff and commission officials is of the utmost priority. All participants will be tested for COVID-19 prior to the event.

The updated Invicta FC 43 fight card can be found below:

Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote vs. Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz
Featherweight: Courtney King vs. Kayla Harrison
Flyweight: Stephanie Geltmacher vs. Caitlin Sammons
Bantamweight: Brittney Cloudy vs. Hope Chase
Strawweight: Alexa Culp vs. Meaghan Penning
Flyweight: Juliana Miller vs. Kendal Holowell


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.

Championship Doubleheader Set for Invicta FC 43 in November

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Two titles will be on the line this fall when Invicta Fighting Championships hosts its 43rd event on Friday, Nov. 20 in Kansas City.

In the night’s headliner, UFC veteran Pearl “The Chi-Town Princess” Gonzalez (10-5) meets 21-year-old Erin “Cold Blooded” Blanchfield (6-1) for the flyweight title, which was recently vacated by Vanessa Porto when she signed with Bellator MMA. Gonzalez will be fighting for Invicta gold for the second time, having battled the aforementioned Porto to a technical decision at Invicta FC 34. New York’s Blanchfield steps into the title affair having won three straight and four of her five Invicta appearances. She was most recently in action at Invicta FC 41, defeating Guam’s Brogan Sanchez.

Gold is also up for grabs in the night’s co-main event, as Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) clashes with Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (9-1). Like Gonzalez, Ducote will challenge for a belt for the second time. She was narrowly defeated by Kanako Murata at Invicta FC 38. Japan’s Murata has since signed with the UFC, leaving the title vacant once more. Ducote bounced back with a win over UFC veteran Juliana Lima at Invicta FC 40 in July. Mexico’s Ruiz was also in action in July, submitting former title challenger Janaisa Morandin in the first round of the Invicta FC 41 main event.

Invicta FC 43 will be overseen by the Kansas Athletic Commission and will feature open scoring. The event will air live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT. With the ongoing pandemic, Invicta FC 43 will take place behind closed doors — sans fans and media. As with any Invicta event, the safety of its athletes, their corners, its staff and commission officials is of the utmost priority. All participants will be tested for COVID-19 prior to the event.

Additional match-ups for the event will be announced in coming weeks.

The current Invicta FC 43 fight card can be found below:

Flyweight Title: Pearl Gonzalez vs. Erin Blanchfield
Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote vs. Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz


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 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.

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.

Invicta FC 38 Results: Murata Edges Ducote, Porto Tops Rodríguez

Kansas City, Kan. — On Friday, Nov. 1, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 38: Murata vs. Ducote from Memorial Hall. The entire fight card aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

There’s a new strawweight champion as Japan’s Kanako Murata edged Oklahoma’s Emily Ducote over the course of five rounds. Ducote opened the title match-up with low kicks to the calf of Murata. The Japanese fighter faked a superwoman punch and secured a body lock, but Ducote remained upright. Murata then ducked under a punch and powered the fight to the ground. Ducote quickly latched onto an arm and forced Murata to defend the armbar. Ducote worked back to her feet, but it was short lived as Murata dragged her back to the mat late in the round. The low kick of Ducote continued to land in round two, frustrating Murata. A deep single-leg attempt by Murata was shrugged off by Ducote. The Oklahoma fighter used her reach to land punches to Murata’s midsection. Murata powered into a takedown as the round neared its end, but Ducote again forced her to defend an armbar attempt. In the third round, Ducote was able to land straight punches with regularity. Murata landed a nice combination from boxing range, but struggled to get inside with any consistency. Ducote shrugged off multiple takedown attempts, but Murata got her to the canvas late in the round. Ducote pushed forward in round four, driving Murata against the fence with her punches. A lead-leg head kick from Ducote caught Murata flush. She followed it with a second head kick that appeared to stun Murata. Ducote attacked with more punches, forcing Murata to look for a takedown. She latched onto Ducote’s arm and pulled her to the ground. Ducote locked onto an arm, but Murata escaped. Murata tried to cartwheel past Ducote’s guard as the round expired. Ducote peppered the face of Murata with punches in the final round. Murata scored with a takedown midway through the round, but found herself in another armbar attempt. The fight was sent to the judges for the decision, who were split in favor of Murata.

In what was originally scheduled to be the night’s headliner, flyweight champion Vanessa Porto took on Mexico’s Karina Rodríguez in an all-out war. Unfortunately, Rodríguez missed weight for the bout and fight became a non-title affair. The reach advantage of Rodríguez came into play early, as she was able to connect with Porto from range. The Brazilian answered with a strong right hand and then changed levels for a big slam. Rodríguez showed great scrambling ability to get back to her feet, but Porto was able to secure more takedowns. The latter part of the round was controlled by Porto and her wrestling. The left eye of Rodríguez swelled badly to open round two. The Mexican fighter was unfazed, securing the clinch and kneeing Porto multiple times in the face. Blood poured from Porto’s nose, but she moved forward aggressively. A right hand from Porto damaged Rodríguez’s nose midway through the frame. Another big knee from Rodríguez landed, prompting a late takedown from Porto. Both fighters wore plenty of damage entering the final round. Rodríguez became more confident, moving forward and firing punches. Porto tried repeatedly to bring the fight to the ground, but was met with more knees. The nose of Porto leaked blood and her right eye swelled, but she was able to secure a late takedown. The fight was sent to the judges for a verdict and it was Porto who walked away with the victory.

Strawweight Mallory Martin continued her winning ways, defeating Cynthia Arceo on the scorecards. Arceo scored with a short left hand early as she bounced on her feet. Martin closed the distance and secured a takedown with an outside trip. After a series of left hands, Arceo worked back to her feet. The Texas fighter used her kicking arsenal to control the range late in the round. The second round started well for Arceo as she cracked Martin with a straight right hand. However, she threw a kick that Martin caught and was planted on the ground once again. Martin patiently passed to side control and eventually the mount. Once in mount, Martin delivered heavy ground and pound, battering the promotional newcomer with elbows and punches. Arceo showed heart to survive the round. Arceo found success early in round three by using her kicks to stay on the outside. Martin countered with her lead hook, but eventually changed levels and returned the fight to the mat. She again earned the mount and rained more elbows, but could not find the finish. Martin moved to 6-2 with the decision win.

Flyweights Shanna Young and Maiju Suotama met for a second time, with Young again coming out victorious. The opening round was a flashback to the pair’s previous bout at Phoenix Rising 2, as Finland’s Suotama was able to get Young to the canvas and take her back. Suotama tried to soften up Young with punches and looked for a rear-naked choke. Young was able to survive and the fight went to a second round. Young took control with her striking, dropping Suotama with a massive left hand. She continued to damage Suotama with punches, bloodying her nose. Suotama tried to get the fight back to the ground, but Young showcased a great sprawl. Young gained top position late in the round and delivered heavy punishment. Suotama pulled guard early in round three, attacking with an armbar. Young punched her way free and pounded on the Finn from side control. Late in the round, Young moved to mount and unleashed punch after punch. Suotama made it to the final bell, but Young walked away with the decision nod.

Bantamweight Lisa Verzosa remained unbeaten after a three-round war with New Hampshire’s Kerri Kenneson. Verzosa pressured forward from the opening bell, delivering a right hand along the cage. She looked to follow it up with more punches, but Kenneson caught her with a clean right hand that sent her crashing to the canvas. Verzosa recovered and continued to march forward. Kenneson scored with a left hook to the body and closed the round with a takedown attempt. The pair exchanged early in round two, with Verzosa attacking the body of Kenneson in the clinch. Kenneson threw a variety of kicks, trying to slow the unrelenting advance of Verzosa. In the last five minutes, both fighters had their moments. Verzosa stayed in the face of Kenneson, causing her nose to bleed with punches. A left hook to right straight combination from Verzosa forced Kenneson to shoot for a takedown, but Verzosa countered with a guillotine choke attempt. The back-and-forth battle went the distance, with Verzosa claiming victory.

Auttumn Norton picked up her first career win after battering Shaianna Rincón over three rounds in their featherweight match-up. After taking turns landing heavy shots in the fight’s first stanza, Norton stunned Rincón with a right hand. The fight swung heavily in Norton’s favor in round two as Norton caught a kick and dumped Rincón to the ground. Once on top, Norton unleashed a barrage of punches and elbows that split open Rincón. Despite the onslaught, Rincón survived the round. Round three was largely a carbon copy of the second, as Norton put Rincón on the mat and landed more ground and pound. The fight saw the final bell, but it was a clean sweep for Norton on the scorecards.

The night kicked off with a clash of bantamweight newcomers as New York’s Taneisha Tennant met Las Vegas-based Serena DeJesus. After a brief feeling-out process, Tennant dropped DeJesus with right hand. DeJesus would survive and fire back with kicks. In round two, DeJesus turned the tables, stunning Tennant with a left hand and landing numerous low kicks. With the fight in the balance in the final frame, Tennant bloodied the nose of DeJesus with a big left hook. She finished strong with a right hand that hurt DeJesus. All three judges rewarded Tennant the decision victory.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Kanako Murata def. Emily Ducote by split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) – for strawweight title
Vanessa Porto def. Karina Rodríguez by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Mallory Martin def. Cynthia Arceo by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Shanna Young def. Maiju Suotama by unanimous decision (29-27, 28-27, 28-26)
Lisa Verzosa def. Kerri Kenneson by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Auttumn Norton def. Shaianna Rincón by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
Taneisha Tennant def. Serena DeJesus by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)


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 38: Murata vs. Ducote Official Weigh-in Results

Kansas City, Mo. — On Thursday, Oct. 31, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 38: Murata vs. Ducote. The event takes place from from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., on Friday, Nov.1 , with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

In the night’s main event, Japan’s Kanako Murata (10-1) battles veteran Emily Ducote (8-5) for the vacant strawweight championship. Murata submitted Liana Pirosin in her promotional debut at Invicta FC 35. Oklahoma’s Ducote impressed in her first Invicta appearance, stopping former title challenger Janaisa Morandin in the first round.

The co-main event pits flyweight champion Vanessa Porto (21-8) against contender tournament winner Karina Rodríguez (8-3) in a non-title affair, after Rodríguez failed to make weight. The Brazilian Porto captured gold at Invicta FC 34, defeating UFC veteran Pearl Gonzalez. Mexico’s Rodriguez most recently earned a hard-fought decision victory over UFC alum DeAnna Bennett at Invicta FC 36.

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

Strawweight Title: Kanako Murata (114.9) vs. Emily Ducote (114.2)
Flyweight: Vanessa Porto (124.2) vs. Karina Rodríguez (126.1)*
Strawweight:
Mallory Martin (115.8) vs. Cynthia Arceo (116)
Flyweight:
Shanna Young (125.7) vs. Maiju Suotama (124.2)
Bantamweight: Lisa Verzosa (135.5) vs. Kerri Kenneson (135.6)
Featherweight: 
Shaianna Rincón (143.8) vs. Auttumn Norton (146)
Bantamweight: 
Serena DeJesus (135.7) vs. Taneisha Tennant (135.9)

* – Rodríguez missed the flyweight championship limit of 125 pounds and was fined 25 percent of her fight purse. Her bout against Porto is now a three-round, non-title 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 38 Features Two Title Fights on Nov. 1

Kansas City, Mo. – The fight card for Invicta FC 38 will feature a pair of title bouts.

Flyweight champion Vanessa Porto (21-8) will make the first defense of her 125-pound title against contender tournament winner Karina Rodríguez (8-3). The Brazilian Porto captured gold at Invicta FC 34, defeating UFC veteran Pearl Gonzalez by decision. Mexico’s Rodriguez earned her shot at gold with a hard-fought decision victory over UFC alum DeAnna Bennett in the Invicta FC 36 main event.

The co-main event also features gold on the line as Japan’s Kanako Murata (10-1) battles veteran Emily Ducote (8-5) for the vacant strawweight championship. Murata, a decorated wrestler, submitted Liana Pirosin in her promotional debut at Invicta FC 35. Oklahoma’s Ducote has faced some of the toughest flyweights in the world and now seeks a title at 115 pounds after stopping former title challenger Janaisa Morandin at Invicta FC 36.

Joining the two title fights will be a strawweight clash between Contender Series veteran Mallory Martin (5-2) and Texas newcomer Cynthia “Sin” Arceo (5-1-1), a flyweight rematch between recent Phoenix Series 2 quarterfinalists Shanna Young (6-2) and Maiju Suotama (8-4), a bantamweight bout featuring undefeated Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (4-0) — formerly Spangler — and “Scary” Kerri Kenneson (3-1), the return of California’s Shaianna “Yaya” Rincón (2-0) against Nevada’s Auttumn Norton (0-1) at featherweight, and the debut of Las Vegas bantamweight Serena de Jesus (1-0), who takes on fellow newcomer Taneisha “Triple Threat” Tennant (1-0) of New York.

Invicta FC 38 takes place Friday, Nov. 1, from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The event will stream live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets for the event can be purchased now through Eventbrite.

The current Invicta FC 38 fight card can be found below:

Flyweight Title: Vanessa Porto vs. Karina Rodríguez
Strawweight Title: Kanako Murata vs. Emily Ducote
Strawweight: Mallory Martin vs. Cynthia Arceo
Flyweight: Shanna Young vs. Maiju Suotama
Bantamweight: Lisa Verzosa vs. Kerri Kenneson
Featherweight: Shaianna Rincón vs. Auttumn Norton
Bantamweight: Serena DeJesus vs. Taneisha Tennant


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