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Phoenix Series 2 Official Weigh-in and Tournament Draw Results

Kansas City, Kan. — On Thursday, Sept. 5, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for its Phoenix Series 2 tournament. The event takes place from from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., on Friday, Sept. 6, with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

The one-night, eight-woman tournament will take place in the flyweight 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, UFC veteran Milana Dudieva meets Brazilian newcomer Daiana Torquato. The second match-up pits UFC veteran and former strawweight title challenger DeAnna Bennett against veteran Liz Tracy. In the third pairing, the red-hot Victoria Leonardo looks to avenge her only career defeat against submission ace Miranda Maverick. Finally, Contender Series veteran Shanna Young meets Strikeforce veteran Maiju Suotama.

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.

Flyweight Co-Main Event: Alexa Conners (125.8) vs. Mariya Agapova (125.7)
Flyweight Bout: Josee Storts (125.9) vs. Helen Lucero (125.1)
Flyweight Reserve Bout No. 2: Kay Hansen (125.5) vs. Carolina Jimenez (124.5)
Flyweight Reserve Bout No. 1: Chantel Coates (129)* vs. Flore Hani (124.7)
Flyweight Tournament Quarterfinal: Maiju Suotama (123.6) vs. Shanna Young (126)
Flyweight Tournament Quarterfinal: Miranda Maverick (125.9) vs. Victoria Leonardo (126)
Flyweight Tournament Quarterfinal: DeAnna Bennett (125.8) vs. Liz Tracy (125.7)
Flyweight Tournament Quarterfinal: Daiana Torquato (125.4) vs. Milana Dudieva (125.9)

* – Coates was fined 25 percent of her fight purse for missing weight and is no longer eligible to step in as an injury replacement in the tournament.


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 2: Get to Know the Fighters Competing for Tournament Glory

After an incredible first tournament in May that saw Brianna Van Buren crowned the Invicta strawweight champion, the Phoenix Series is back for its second tournament. With it comes eight flyweights all set to compete on Sept. 6 in a one-night, single-elimination tournament at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.

The competition will follow the same rules as the first installment of the series and similar to that event back in May, it features a mix of top competitors including Invicta veterans, exciting prospects and newcomers to the Invicta FC cage.

Without further ado, it’s time to meet the eight women involved in the return of the Phoenix Series:

DeAnna Bennett (10-5-1):

The first of three fighters who step into this tournament after competing in a four-woman title contender tournament earlier in the year, Bennett is no stranger to being at the top of her division in Invicta. Bennett challenged Livia Renata Souza back in 2016 for the Invicta FC strawweight championship, coming up short on that occasion.

After beginning her career 8-0, Bennett has been a top contender in the sport for many years. She will be going into the tournament in search of a title shot after just missing out on one when she lost a very close decision to Karina Rodriguez in her last fight.

Milana Dudieva (12-8):

Dudieva is the second fighter in the tournament who comes in after competing in the four-woman tournament earlier this year, losing her initial fight — a “Fight of the Night” performance — to Karina Rodriguez who went on to beat Bennett in the final and win the tournament.

She comes into Sept. 6 as the woman with the most fights in the competition and an impressive record of 12 wins with 10 coming via stoppage. Dudieva has experience fighting in the UFC and against some of the biggest names in the sport such as former UFC champion Jessica Andrade. Her experience and strong Judo background make her a tough match-up for any of the other seven women.

Miranda Maverick (5-2):

The third and final woman who competed in the flyweight tournament earlier in the year is Maverick. She comes in as the youngest of the eight women at 22 years old but is showing promising signs as a prospect in the sport.

Maverick lost her fight in the four-woman tournament to DeAnna Bennett but held her own against her the whole fight showing that despite only being seven fights into her professional career, she is ready to take on the very best in Invicta. Whilst studying and aiming for a PhD in psychology, she has picked up a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and earned four of her five wins via submission.

Shanna Young (6-2):

Stepping into the competition to replace the injured Cheri Muraski doesn’t mean that Young isn’t prepared for this tournament. Fighting on Dana White’s Contender Series in August, Young will be hoping to capitalize on this quick turn around and make the most out of the opportunity.

This will be Young’s second time in the Invicta cage following a split decision loss to Lisa Spangler at Invicta FC 31, a fight which was in contention for “Fight of the Year.” A black belt in Karate, Young has finished four of her six wins and is a skillful distance striker.

Liz Tracy (5-3):

“The Titan” Tracy comes into the second tournament of the Phoenix Series with confidence in her own abilities. Bringing strong wrestling fundamentals and high-level training at 10th Planet Portland, Tracy has showed that she has the ability to neutralize her opponents with her technique.

Stepping into the cage for the first time in 2019, Tracy’s last fight at Invicta FC 32 was voted the best “Fight of the Year” in 2018 by the fans. Her performance against Stephanie Geltmacher showed that Tracy is not just a grappler and that she can and will stand and trade punches with anyone standing across the cage from her.

Victoria Leonardo (6-1):

Making a short turnaround after a “Fight of the Night” performance at Invicta FC 36 that extended her winning streak to four straight, Louisiana’s Leonardo will be out to prove she’s a contender at 125 pounds.

The 29-year-old will make her fourth Invicta appearance and looks to add to her resume that includes four submission finishes. She has tangled with fellow tournament competitor Miranda Maverick and holds wins over Stephanie Geltmacher and Jamie Milanowski under the Invicta banner.

Daiana Torquato (9-3):

The first of two fighters in the tournament who will be stepping into the Invicta cage for the first time, Torquato is bringing lots of momentum with her into the tournament.

Following seven straight wins in her native Brazil, Torquato is a black belt in Muay Thai and has a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She trains out of Thai Brasil Floripa alongside the UFC’s Marina Rodriguez and will be ready to test her striking skills against whoever she is matched up against.

Maiju Suotama (8-4):

The final entrant in the eight-woman flyweight tournament is Finnish grappling specialist Maiju Suotama. An ADCC European champion and a NAGA expert champion, Suotama’s grappling accomplishments speak for themselves.

With all but one of her professional wins coming via finish — with five TKOs and two submissions — Suotama rounds out the eight competitors as an exciting finisher and a former Strikeforce fighter.


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

Amanda Nunes Joins Invicta FC Athlete Development Team

Kansas City, Mo. – Invicta Fighting Championships today announced the addition of current UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes to its athlete development team.

Nunes will join a team tasked with further solidifying the deepest roster in women’s MMA. The agreement’s core responsibilities will include assisting with the matchmaking process to create compelling fight cards and identifying the champions of tomorrow, specifically scouting talent in Brazil and the southeastern United States.

“I’ve known and worked with Amanda for a long time, going all the way back to our Strikeforce days,” said Invicta FC President Knapp. “She was already part of the Invicta family, but now it’s official; now it’s on paper.

“I can’t think of a better ambassador for the sport and our organization.”

After nearly a decade in the sport – including stints with Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and the UFC – Nunes captured gold in 2016, defeating Miesha Tate at UFC 200 to become UFC women’s bantamweight champion. Her career resume features wins over many of MMA’s best including Tate, Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Sara McMann, Germaine de Randamie, Vanessa Porto, Shayna Baszler, and Julia Budd.

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“I’ve been very fortunate throughout my career to fight for the best organizations in the world,” said Nunes. “In my new position, I hope to be able to use my experience as a fighter and a champion to help groom the next generation. I’m honored to be a part of their journey at Invicta.”

The appointment is effective immediately. In her first official duty, “The Lioness” will be front and center tomorrow, overseeing the athletes of Invicta FC 27 as they weigh in and square off.

She’ll also be in the house this SaturdaySaturday, Jan. 13, when Invicta returns to Scottish Rite Temple for Invicta FC 27, headlined by returning veteran Sarah Kaufman (18-4, 1 NC) taking on former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion Pannie “Banzai” Kianzad (8-2).

Invicta FC 27 streams live and exclusively via UFC Fight Pass at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Saturday, Jan. 13.

Tickets for Invicta FC 27, priced at $50, $35, or $25, are on sale now via Ticketfly.com.


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 Adds 15 Fighters, Including Sarah Kaufman and Pearl Gonzalez

Kansas City, Mo. — The Invicta Fighting Championships roster has grown with the signings of 15 athletes.

The bantamweight division will see the biggest influx of combatants with six signings: Sarah Kaufman (18-4, 1 NC), Marciea Allen (6-2), Julia Avila Shumate (4-0), Kerri Kenneson (2-0), Allison Schmidt (1-0) and Chelsea Chandler (0-0).

  • Canada’s Kaufman is a former Strikeforce champion and UFC veteran who previously competed in the Invicta cage in 2013. She holds victories over fellow Invicta veterans Shayna Baszler, Takayo Hashi, Roxanne Modafferi, Liz Carmouche and Leslie Smith.
  • Allen, dubbed the “Black Widow,” returns to the promotion for the first time since Invicta FC 3. She currently rides a three-fight winning streak that includes victories over veterans Carina Damm and Jan Finney.
  • Entering the promotion with an unbeaten record, the Californian Avila Shumate, also known as “The Raging Panda,” hold victories over current UFC fighter Marion Reneau and current UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montaño.
  • Also undefeated through two professional outings, Kenneson competes out of New Hampshire.
  • A product of the American Kickboxing Academy, Schmidt won her MMA debut via rear-naked choke.
  • Hailing from Stockton, Calif., and training under the tutelage of Cesar Gracie, Chandler will make her professional debut in the Invicta cage.

Joining the flyweight ranks will be Bianca “Bibi” Daimoni (7-2), Brogan Sanchez (4-0), Monica “PhenomAmom” Medina (3-1) and Helen Peralta (0-0). Fighting out of Imbituba, Santa Catarina, Brazil, the 31-year-old Daimoni has stopped five of her seven victories with strikes. Sanchez (formerly Walker), is a Guam native and has opened her career with four straight victories. Medina, who trains out of Alan Belcher MMA in Mississippi, has scored two triangle-choke finishes in her three professional wins to go with seven finishes by strikes as an amateur. Iowa’s Peralta compiled a 7-1 record as an amateur.

The strawweight division gets a pair of new faces in UFC veteran Pearl Gonzalez (6-3) and Canada’s Ashley Nichols (3-1). Chicago’s Gonzalez joins the promotion following a two-fight Octagon stint. The 31-year-old is a former XFC titleholder. A decorated striker who earned the World Professional MuayThai Federation super bantamweight title, Nichols has been in the cage and ring with many top names, including Randa Markos, Tiffany van Soest and Anissa Meksen. She currently rides a three-fight winning streak in MMA competition.

Finally, three new athletes have been added to the atomweight division: Loma Lookboonmee (0-0), Fernanda Priscila (3-1) and Rebekah LeVine (1-0). A veteran of more than a hundred Muay Thai bouts, Thailand’s Lookboonmee will make her professional MMA debut for the promotion. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt, Priscila trains out of the Academia Kimura Nova União. After going unbeaten as an amateur, California’s LeVine opened her professional career with a first-round armbar submission.

Look for many of the new athletes to compete inside the Invicta FC cage in 2018.


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.