Kansas City, Mo. – Invicta Fighting Championships is starting a new chapter.
Today, the world’s most decorated fighting promotion for women revealed the Phoenix Rising Series; a one-night, eight-woman tournament format that brings the sport of MMA back to its roots.
The single-elimination tournament will feature one-round fights in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, with the tournament final being a three-round affair to determine the tournament champion.
The eight tournament participants will be matched up during a random draw prior to the event.
The quarterfinal fighters will have incentive to finish their fights for multiple reasons. First, each finish will earn the winning fighter a monetary bonus, but more importantly, the fastest finisher in the quarterfinal round will have the luxury of picking their opponent for the semifinals based on the remaining three combatants. If there are no finishes in the quarterfinals, the semifinal match-ups will again be determined by random draw.
The first event of the Phoenix Rising Series will take place from Kansas City’s Memorial Hall on Friday, May 3 and stream exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. The inaugural tournament will take place in the strawweight division and the field of eight fighters features numerous title challengers and UFC veterans.
Japan’s MIZUKI (13-5) and Brazil’s Janaisa Morandin (10-2) have previously challenged for Invicta gold and will be out prove they are ready for another shot at the title. MIZUKI was last in the cage at Invicta FC 32, topping UFC veteran Viviane Pereira. Morandin is coming off a title challenge against Virna Jandiroba in September.
They are joined by UFC veterans Danielle Taylor (10-4), Juliana Lima (9-5) and Kailin Curran (4-6). Taylor’s first fight under the Invicta banner came in December, where she defeated Montserrat Ruiz. Lima returns to the promotion for the first time since Invicta FC 5 in 2013. Hawaii’s Curran will be making her Invicta debut.
Rounding out the participants will be Invicta veterans Brianna van Buren (5-2), Sharon Jacobson (5-4) and Sunna Davidsdottir (3-0). Van Buren dispatched of UFC veteran Jamie Moyle in her most recent appearance. Jacobson has been a staple of the Invicta cage, winning multiple post-fight bonuses for her aggressive wrestling style. Finally, Iceland’s Davidsdottir enters the tournament with an undefeated record.
The Phoenix Rising Series will also feature a new look for the broadcast team. Invicta FC post-fight correspondent and former Invicta fighter Laura Sanko will become the first woman to call play-by-play for a major promotion. Joining Sanko on the call will be veteran cageside analyst Jimmy Smith, who has called fights for many of the sport’s biggest promotions.
A tournament reserve match-up, as well as one, non-tournament bout—also in the 115-pound division—will be added to the fight card in the coming weeks.
Phoenix Rising Series
Janaisa Morandin (10-2)
Danielle Taylor (10-4)
Juliana Lima (9-5)
Kailin Curran (4-6)
Brianna van Buren (5-2)
Sharon Jacobson (5-4)
Sunna Davidsdottir (3-0)
About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.