Jinh Yu Frey vs. Ashley Cummins Title Clash Headlines Invicta FC 37 Fight Card

Kansas City, Mo. – The lineup for Invicta FC 37 has been finalized.

The event, which takes place Friday, Oct. 4, from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., will be headlined by an atomweight title clash between current champion Jinh Yu Frey (8-4) and challenger Ashley “Smashley” Cummins (7-4). The pair met previously at Invicta FC 24 in 2017 with the Texas-based Frey taking a decision victory in the three-round affair. Frey would go on to capture the 105-pound title against Finland’s Minna Grusander and defend the belt in a rematch at Invicta FC 33. Cummins has won two straight since her prior meeting with Frey, most recently defeating Brazil’s Jéssica Delboni at Invicta FC 32.

In the night’s co-main event, UFC veteran and former flyweight title challenger Pearl Gonzalez (9-4) takes on unbeaten Brogan “Killer Bee” Walker-Sanchez (6-0) of Guam. The Chicago native Gonzalez will look to rebound after coming up short against current champion Vanessa Porto in her last outing. Walker-Sanchez will be making her third appearance in the Invicta cage and aims to build off her decision win over recent Phoenix Series tournament winner Miranda Maverick.

The card will also feature a pair of Contender Series veterans as Kazakhstan’s Mariya Agapova (7-1) makes a quick turnaround following her first-round submission win over Alexa Conners at Phoenix Series 2 to battle Brazilian Marilia Santos (10-3). Fresh off a win in a Phoenix Series tournament reserve bout, California’s Kay Hansen (4-3) returns to welcome 22-year-old Brazilian Nicolle Caliari (4-1) to the Invicta cage. Veterans atomweights meet when Idaho’s Shino VanHoose (6-5) takes on New York’s Lindsey “Damsel” VanZandt (6-2). Newcomers Linda “F109” Mihalec (1-0) of Kentucky and Marisa “Spider Monkey” Messer-Belenchia (3-0) of Connecticut collide, also at 105 pounds. Finally, in a match-up of debuting flyweights, Minnesota’s Jordan “KamiKaaze” Kaaze (0-0) faces Colorado’s Claire Johnson (0-0).

The Invicta FC 37 fight card can be found below:

Atomweight Title: Jinh Yu Frey vs. Ashley Cummins
Flyweight: Pearl Gonzalez vs. Brogan Walker-Sanchez
Flyweight: Mariya Agapova vs. Marilia Santos
Strawweight: Kay Hansen vs. Nicolle Caliari
Atomweight: Shino VanHoose vs. Lindsey VanZandt
Atomweight: Linda Mihalec vs. Marisa Messer-Belenchia
Flyweight: Jordan Kaaze vs. Claire Johnson

Invicta FC 37 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.


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 Results: Maverick Submits Bennett to Capture Tournament Crown

Kansas City, Kan. — On Friday, Sept. 6, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted its second Phoenix Series tournament from Memorial Hall. The event aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

The tournament final featured a rematch between Miranda Maverick and DeAnna Bennett. Bennett pressed forward on the feet in the opening stanza as Maverick looked to counter. After trading leg kicks, Maverick scored with a front kick to Bennett’s midsection. The fighters opened up with their hands as the round progressed, with Maverick landing a heavy counter in the pocket. Bennett sought a takedown late in the round, but Maverick stayed on her feet. The second frame featured a number of flurries from both fighters, but each was able to evade significant damage. Bennett changed levels for a takedown, but Maverick reversed it and took her to the ground briefly. Bennett quickly worked back to her feet and finished the round in the top position. In the fight’s final round, Maverick secured a single leg along the fence and tripped Bennett to the ground. As Bennett worked to stand, Maverick transitioned to her back. Bennett was able to defend numerous choke attempts, but as the round came closer to an end, Maverick was able to get her arm under the chin. The tap from Bennett came with less than two minutes left as Maverick took home the tournament championship and exacted revenge for her previous defeat to Bennett.

The night’s co-main event pitted Kazakhstan’s Mariya Agapova against Invicta veteran Alexa Conners. After trading body kicks, Agapova started to open up with combinations. A superwoman punch prompted Conners to shoot for a takedown, but she could not get Agapova to the ground. A heavy kick to the liver stunned Conners and Agapova followed with a massive right hand. Smelling blood, Agapova pounced on Conners, taking her back. She applied a rear-naked choke and Conners submitted.

In non-tournament action, Josee Storts impressed in her Invicta debut, submitting fellow newcomer Helen Lucero in the fight’s first round. Storts went straight to work, pushing Lucero to the fence and bringing her to the ground. She gained mount and began battering Lucero. Lucero swept to top position, but Storts used an armbar attempt to regain mount. The 21-year-old set up a topside triangle choke attempt. Lucero spun to top position, but the choke was sunk in and Storts unleashed a barrage of elbows to split open Lucero’s forehead. Lucero was forced to tap, handing Storts her second career victory.

DeAnna Bennett earned the second spot in the tournament final with a submission win over Brazilian Daiana Torquato. Torquato jumped on Bennett’s back right away and then transitioned for a standing arm-triangle choke. Bennett remained calm and escaped the submission attempt. She pushed Torquato to the fence before scoring with a powerful double-leg takedown. Bennett took the back of Torquato and secured both hooks. She patiently got her arm under Torquato’s chin and coerced the tap.

In the tournament semifinals, Miranda Maverick clashed with Shanna Young. The pair stayed at range initially. Young caught Maverick with a heavy left hand, forcing the tournament’s youngest fighter to shoot. She latched onto a single and dragged Young to the ground. Young tried to use the fence to work back to her feet, but gave up her back in the process. Maverick capitalized, taking Young’s back. She flattened her out and applied a fight-finishing rear-naked choke to punch her ticket to the final.

The second tournament reserve bout featured Invicta staple Kay Hansen against unbeaten Venezuelan prospect Carolina Jimenez. Hansen was quick to look for a takedown and took the fight to the canvas. Jimenez showcased her grappling prowess, sweeping to the top position. The pair traded positions repeatedly, with Hansen slowly taking control of the contest. In the fight’s final minute, Hansen took the back of Jimenez and worked for a rear-naked choke. The finish did not come, but Hansen exited the cage with the clear-cut win.

In the night’s first tournament reserve bout, Kansas native Chantel Coates walked home with a split decision over newcomer Flore Hani. Coates cracked Hani with a right hand, prompting the French Polynesian fighter to shoot. Coates timed it perfectly, catching Hani with a flush head kick on the entry. Hani was able to survive and bring the fight to the ground. Coates worked back to her feet and the pair spent the rest of the bout in the clinch. The back-and-forth action was like a chess match and two of the judges scored the bout in favor of Coates.

The final quarterfinal fight was a clash of styles as Tennessee’s Shanna Young edged out Finland’s Maiju Suotama. Suotama wasted little time closing the distance after blocking a head kick attempt from Young. Suotama was able to change levels and get Young to the ground. She was able to smother Young with her control, but Young did not panic and was able to work to top position. Once on top, Young unleashed a barrage of punches. That onslaught was the difference as Young moved on to the semifinal round.

Missouri native Miranda Maverick picked up her second win over Victoria Leonardo to move onto the tournament semifinals. Leonardo was relentless with her pressure, forcing Maverick to her back foot. Maverick was patient at range, scoring with counters. Maverick initiated the clinch and looked to bring the fight to the mat. Leonardo was able to separate, but Maverick’s ability to control the distance was enough to convince the judges to hand her the victory.

Veteran DeAnna Bennett edged out Liz Tracy in a back-and-forth battle in the second quarterfinal bout. Tracy closed the distance early, but Bennett muscled her to the mat for a moment. After jostling for position in the clinch, Tracy earned the fight’s first takedown. It was short-lived as Bennett worked back to the feet. Bennett opened up with her striking late and cracked Tracy with multiple shots. She followed it with a late takedown to earn the unanimous decision nod and her spot in the semifinals.

The quarterfinal action kicked off with a match-up between UFC veteran Milana Dudieva and Brazilian newcomer Daiana Torquato. Torquato was aggressive early, pinning her Russian foe against the cage. From the clinch, Torquato scored with short knees and elbows. Dudieva looked to use her judo, but Torquato was wise to it and kept the fight upright. Torquato’s pressure proved to be the difference on the scorecards as two of the judges at cageside awarded her the decision and a spot in the semifinals.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Miranda Maverick def. DeAnna Bennett by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 3, 3:38 – flyweight tournament final
Mariya Agapova def. Alexa Conners by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 3:03
Josee Storts def. Helen Lucero by submission (triangle choke). Round 1, 4:21
DeAnna Bennett def. Daiana Torquato by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 3:34 – flyweight tournament semifinal
Miranda Maverick def. Shanna Young by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 2:35 – flyweight tournament semifinal
Kay Hansen def. Carolina Jimenez by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – flyweight tournament reserve bout
Chantel Coates def. Flore Hani by split decision (10-9, 9-10, 10-9) – flyweight tournament reserve bout
Shanna Young def. Maiju Suotama by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – flyweight tournament quarterfinal Miranda Maverick def.  Victoria Leonardo by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – flyweight tournament quarterfinal
DeAnna Bennett def. Liz Tracy by unanimous decision (10-9 x3) – flyweight tournament quarterfinal
Daiana Torquato def. Milana Dudieva by split decision (10-9, 9-10, 10-9) – flyweight 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 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.

Shanna Young and Victoria Leonardo Join Phoenix Series 2 Tournament; Draw Format Revealed

Kansas City, Mo. – The lineup for the second installment of the Invicta FC Phoenix Series has changed.

Flyweights Cheri Muraski (6-2) and Marilia Santos (10-3) have both been forced out of the event which takes place Sept. 6 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. Stepping in will be Invicta FC veteran and recent Contender Series combatant Shanna Young (6-2) and Invicta FC 36 “Fight of the Night” winner Victoria Leonardo (6-1). Young and Leonardo join the previously announced roster of fighters competing in the one-night tournament.

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 the event’s ceremonial weigh-ins on Thursday, Sept. 5. Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp will perform the draw, while Phoenix Series play-by-play commentator Laura Sanko will serve as master of ceremonies.

In addition to the changes in the tournament lineup, two reserve bouts will join the fight card. Twenty-year-old Californian Kay Hansen (4-3) steps into the Invicta cage for the seventh time against undefeated Venezuelan prospect Carolina Jimenez (6-0). Also, Kansas-based Chantel Coates (1-1) looks to repeat her record-setting knockout prowess against French Polynesian newcomer Flore Hani (1-1).

The updated fight card can be found below:

Flyweight Tournament Final: TBD vs. TBD
Flyweight Co-Main Event: Alexa Conners (5-3) vs. Mariya Agapova (6-1)
Flyweight Bout: Josee Storts (1-0) vs. Helen Lucero (0-0)
Flyweight Tournament Semifinal: TBD vs. TBD
Flyweight Tournament Semifinal: TBD vs. TBD
Flyweight Reserve Bout No. 2: Kay Hansen (4-3) vs. Carolina Jimenez (6-0)
Flyweight Reserve Bout No. 1: Chantel Coates (1-1) vs. Flore Hani (1-1)
Flyweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Flyweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Flyweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)
Flyweight Tournament Quarterfinal: TBD vs. TBD (Randomly Drawn)

Phoenix Series 2 Quarterfinalists
Daiana Torquato (9-3)
DeAnna Bennett (10-5-1)
Liz Tracy (5-3)
Maiju Suotama (8-4)
Milana Dudieva (12-8)
Miranda Maverick (5-2)
Shanna Young (6-2)
Victoria Leonardo (6-1)

Tickets to the event can be purchased now through Eventbrite.


About Invicta FC:

Invicta Fighting Championships is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Invicta FC Partners with Zebra Athletics

Kansas City, Mo. – Invicta FC, the world’s largest all-women’s mixed martial arts organization. announced today a new sponsorship and equipment agreement with Zebra Athletics, the world’s leading outfitter of martial arts and MMA training facilities.

The multi-year agreement between the two organizations formalizes Zebra Athletics as the official equipment partner of Invicta FC. Zebra has created a new, custom 28-foot octagonal cage for the promotion featuring Zebra’s premium flooring. Additionally, Zebra will be outfitting the locker room warm-up areas at every Invicta event with 1.5-inch Zebra Mats, striking bags and other training gear.

“Invicta FC is a perfect fit for our partner program at Zebra Athletics,” stated Zebra President, Kyle Fisher. “Zebra has always, and will always, be committed to growing women’s combat sports, so being able to partner with one of MMA’s leading organizations, with the deepest roster of women on the planet, allows us to double down on that commitment. Shannon Knapp is a pioneer in the sport, and someone for whom I have a great deal of respect and admiration, so it’s truly an honor to now consider her and her organization a part of the Zebra family.”

Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp added, “When evaluating partners, it’s important that their culture and values align with Invicta’s, and Zebra Athletics matches them to a ‘T’. We’ve worked with the Zebra team on a number of projects over the years and have always appreciated not only the quality of their products but their support for and commitment to growing women’s MMA. I’m excited to expand our partnership with Zebra further and for our athletes to begin competing on the best equipment in the industry.”

Zebra cages and equipment debuted for the organization at Invicta FC 36 on Friday, Aug. 9 in Kansas City, Kan.


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.

About Zebra Athletics:
With more than 20 years outfitting gyms and studios, Zebra Athletics is the world’s leading outfitter of training facilities. Zebra was the first flooring company to bring high-end MMA Mats, Martial Arts Mats, and other flooring options to the Martial Arts disciplines. Zebra has since expanded its products to include those suited for the Tactical Combative, Yoga and Ninja Obstacle Course training disciplines. Zebra has sold over 750,000 mats worldwide and is the official equipment partner of Invicta FC. Thousands of BJJ, Traditional Martial Arts, and MMA Championships have been won on Zebra Athletics’ equipment. For all the latest Zebra news, follow on Twitter (@ZebraMats), Facebook (Facebook.com/zebramats) and Instagram (@ZebraMats).

Phoenix Series Returns on Sept. 6, Features Flyweight Tournament

Kansas City, Mo. – The Phoenix Series is returning.

After a thrilling debut event in May that crowned a new strawweight champion, Invicta Fighting Championships will once again hold an eight-woman, one-night tournament on Sept. 6 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. 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.

As was the case during the inaugural tournament, the quarterfinal fighters will have plenty of incentive to finish their fights. 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.

Phoenix Series 2 will feature the flyweight division and includes a mix of promising prospects, UFC veterans and a former title challenger.

The field will include three fighters who recently competed in the flyweight contender tournament. UFC veteran — and former strawweight title challenger — DeAnna Bennett (10-5-1) aims to rebound from her hard-fought defeat against Karina Rodriguez in the Invicta FC 35 main event. Fellow UFC veteran Milana Dudieva (12-8) also hopes to bounce back from a loss to Rodriguez in a “Fight of the Night” performance at Invicta FC 34. Finally, 22-year-old submission stalwart Miranda Maverick (5-2) will be out to prove herself against the field of veterans.

They are joined by a pair of Invicta veterans known for their grappling acumen. Colorado’s Cheri Muraski (6-2) returns to the Invicta cage for the first time since Invicta FC 29. Her opponent from that event, Portland’s Liz Tracy (5-3), also enters the tournament field.

Rounding out the lineup will be a trio of promotional newcomers. Daiana Torquato (9-3) makes her Invicta debut riding the momentum of seven straight wins in her native Brazil. Also hailing from Brazil, Contender Series veteran Marilia Santos (10-3) hopes to capture the form that has earned her wins across the globe. Finally, Strikeforce veteran Maiju Suotama (8-4) of Finland will test her mettle under the Invicta banner for the first time.

In addition to the eight tournament fighters, the event will showcase two non-tournament bouts.

The night’s co-main event — which takes place between the tournament semifinals and final — features Alexa Conners (5-3) against Invicta newcomer Mariya Agapova (6-1). Conners will make her fifth appearance under the Invicta banner, but her first at 125 pounds. Agapova recently appeared on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, but suffered her first career defeat to Invicta veteran Tracy Cortez.

Taking place between the tournament’s quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, 21-year-old Missouri flyweight Josee Storts (1-0) takes on fellow newcomer Helen Lucero (0-0), who will be making her professional debut.

The broadcast team from the first Phoenix Series tournament remains intact as Invicta FC post-fight correspondent and former Invicta fighter Laura Sanko once again calls play-by-play. Joining Sanko on the call will be veteran cageside analyst Jimmy Smith. All of the action will air live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

A pair of tournament reserve match-ups will be added to the fight card in the coming weeks. Tickets to the event can be purchased now through Eventbrite.

Phoenix Series 2
Cheri Muraski (6-2)
Daiana Torquato (9-3)
DeAnna Bennett (10-5-1)
Liz Tracy (5-3)
Maiju Suotama (8-4)
Marilia Santos (10-3)
Milana Dudieva (12-8)
Miranda Maverick (5-2)

Non-Tournament Bouts
Alexa Conners (5-3) vs. Mariya Agapova (6-1)
Josee Storts (1-0) vs. Helen Lucero (0-0)


About Invicta FC:

Invicta Fighting Championships is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Invicta FC 36 Results: Sorenson Bests Young, Claims Featherweight Title

Kansas City, Kan. — On Friday, Aug. 9, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 36: Sorenson vs. Young from Memorial Hall. The entire fight card aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

Pam Sorenson is the new Invicta FC featherweight champion after defeating Kaitlin Young in the night’s main event. Young stayed a range early in the fight, but forced Sorenson to back up. Sorenson responded by throwing overhands and then changing levels for a takedown. She struggled to keep Young down initially, but eventually secured top position. Young gave up her back to stand and delivered a knee to a grounded Sorenson. That foul resulted in a point a deduction, but the fight continued. In round two, Young’s striking began to take over. That was short-lived though, as Sorenson ducked under a right hand and put her on the ground. She took Young’s back and threatened with a rear-naked choke. The veteran Young did not panic, calmly defending the submission attempt and spinning into the guard of Sorenson. Round three was nearly a carbon copy of the second, with Sorenson bringing the fight to the mat, but Young finding ways to defend and work to top position. Sorenson finished the round with an armbar attempt and her best striking exchange of the bout. In round four, the grappling exchanges turned in favor of Young for a moment. She spun into Sorenson’s half guard, then passed to mount and looked for an arm-triangle. Sorenson escaped and finished the frame strong. The final round was punctuated with yet another Sorenson takedown. She nearly mounted Young, but settled for taking her back along the fence. She held that position until the final bell, securing the dominant performance. The judges rendered a unanimous verdict after the five-round affair.

Strawweight newcomer Emily Ducote did not waste any time putting her stamp on the promotion, crushing former title challenger Janaisa Morandin inside the first round. Ducote use her reach to keep the Brazilian Morandin on the outside. Morandin tried to flurry to boxing range, but was met with stiff right hands. That was the tone of the fight, as with less than a minute left in the first stanza, a right hand from Ducote put Morandin on the canvas. Ducote smelled blood and rained heavy punches, forcing the referee to intervene.

Brazil’s Jéssica Delboni picked up a split-decision win over fellow atomweight Lindsey VanZandt. Delboni fired kicks to open the contest. VanZandt looked to return fire, but the Brazilian caught a kick and dumped her to the canvas. Delboni peppered VanZandt with kicks to prevent her from getting to her feet. When she did work to her feet, Delboni put her back on the mat. VanZandt threatened with a triangle choke late in the round, but could not find a finish. It was VanZandt who opted to take the fight to the ground in the middle round. She put Delboni on her back, then took her back and secured a body-triangle. Delboni defended the submission attempts and spun to top position, but VanZandt closed the frame with an armbar attempt. Round three started with a Delboni takedown, but she did little with it and the fight returned to the feet. The fighters jostled for position in the clinch for the remainder of the fight, sending the fight to the scorecards. When the scores were revealed, it was Delboni who walked away victorious.

Victoria Leonardo put the first blemish on the record of Oklahoma’s Stephanie Geltmacher after a three-round war. There was no feeling-out process between the two flyweights as Geltmacher quickly barreled forward. Leonardo answered with short shots. Geltmacher earned a brief takedown, but Leonardo bounced right back to her feet. The taller Leonardo used her height and reach advantage to batter the face of Geltmacher from distance. In round two, Geltmacher’s nose opened up from Leonardo’s punches. That didn’t slow her down, however as she took the fight to the ground and took Leonardo’s back. Leonardo remained calm and scrambled to top position, where she delivered more punishment. Both fighters wore plenty of damage entering the fight’s last frame. Leonardo was unrelenting at range, cracking Geltmacher with right hand after right hand. Geltmacher never stopped coming forward, despite her nose bleeding heavily. The back-and-forth battle went the distance and Leonardo edged out the decision win.

Atomweight Alyse Anderson scored a hard-fought decision victory over late-notice opponent Katie Saull. The first round belonged to Anderson, as she was able to push Saull to the cage and take her back on the feet. She applied a body-triangle and dragged Saull to the ground. She worked hard for a rear-naked choke, but the Canadian defended well. Saull’s boxing was on display early in round two, but Anderson was able to close the distance and take the fight to the ground. Saull was active from her back, preventing Anderson from mounting offense or passing her guard. The final stanza opened with Saull landing from range, forcing Anderson to clinch along the fence. Anderson powered the fight to the mat, but once again could not pass the guard. The judges were called upon and awarded Anderson the split-decision nod.

Flyweight Caitlin Sammons earned her second straight win, submitting knockout artist Chantel Coates in the second round via rear-naked choke. Coates largely dominated the opening round, peppering Sammons with her hands. Sammons delivered low kicks to get the fight at range, but frequently found herself absorbing punches. Coates dropped Sammons briefly near the end of the round with a left hand. It was more of the same early in round two, as Coates continued to find success in the stand-up department. The tide of the fight turned quickly as Sammons secured a trip takedown and took the back of Coates. She quickly applied a choke and coerced the tap from Coates.

Bantamweight debutants graced the cage in the night’s second bout as Erin Harpe took on Auttumn Norton. Harpe was aggressive to open the bout, flurrying forward and looking for a takedown. Norton kept the fight upright for a moment, but eventually Harpe took her down with a single and delivered ground and pound. The second stanza took place on the feet with Norton showcasing her hand speed and repeatedly finding the jaw of Harpe with punches. The fight’s final frame featured a quick takedown from Harpe, who re-established her top control. She briefly mounted Norton and busted open her nose with strikes. The judges at cageside were split, but Harpe earned the victory.

Kicking off the night’s action were bantamweight newcomers Julia Ottolino and Megan Cawley. Ottolino used constant forward pressure and leg kicks to establish her range. Cawley looked to counter, but struggled to match the output of the Chicago native. Cawley landed a counter left hook in round two that briefly stunned Ottolino, but she could not capitalize. The third round saw Ottolino unleash multiple superwoman punches that found the jaw of Cawley. The fight went the distance and the judges rendered a clean sweep for Ottolino.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Pam Sorenson def. Kaitlin Young by unanimous decision (50-44, 49-45, 48-45) – for featherweight title
Emily Ducote def. Janaisa Morandin by knockout (punches). Round 1, 4:03
Jéssica Delboni def. Lindsey VanZandt by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Victoria Leonardo def. Stephanie Geltmacher by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Alyse Anderson def. Katie Saull by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Caitlin Sammons def. Chantel Coates by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 4:10
Erin Harpe def. Auttumn Norton by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-27)
Julia Ottolino def. Megan Cawley by unanimous decision (30-27 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 36: Sorenson vs. Young Official Weigh-in Results

Kansas City, Mo. — On Thursday, Aug. 8, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 36: Sorenson vs. Young. The event takes place from from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., on Friday, Aug. 9, with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

In the night’s main event, Minnesotans Pam “Bam” Sorenson (7-3) and “The Striking Viking” Kaitlin Young (10-9-1) battle for the vacant featherweight title.

The co-main event features former strawweight title challenger Janaisa Morandin (10-2), who welcomes veteran Emily Ducote (7-5) to the promotion.

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

Featherweight Title: Pam Sorenson (144.8) vs. Kaitlin Young (145)
Strawweight: Janaisa Morandin (119.6)* vs. Emily Ducote (115.8)
Atomweight: Jéssica Delboni (105.4) vs. Lindsey VanZandt (105.7)
Flyweight: Stephanie Geltmacher (125.5) vs. Victoria Leonardo (125.7)
Atomweight: Alyse Anderson (105.8) vs. Katie Saull (105.9)
Flyweight: Chantel Coates (126.5)# vs. Caitlin Sammons (125.2)
Bantamweight: Erin Harpe (134.5) vs. Auttumn Norton (136)
Bantamweight: Megan Cawley (135.5) vs. Julia Ottolino (135.1)

* – Morandin missed the strawweight limit of 116 pounds and was fined 25 percent of her fight purse

# – Coates missed the flyweight limit of 126 pounds and was fined 25 percent of her fight purse


About Invicta FC:

Invicta Fighting Championships is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Katie Saull Steps In For Anastasia Nikolakakos, Faces Alyse Anderson at Invicta FC 36

Kansas City, Mo. — The lineup for Invicta FC 36, which takes place Friday, Aug. 9 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., has undergone a last-minute change.

Undefeated atomweight Anastasia Nikolakakos has been forced out of her match-up with Alyse Anderson. Stepping in on short notice is promotional newcomer Katie Saull (3-3). The 31-year-old Canadian fighter trains out of SBG Ireland in Dublin and has shared the cage with Invicta veterans Cassie Robb and Lindsey VanZandt.

Additionally, the return of Phoenix Rising tournament finalist Kailin Curran has been pushed back to a later date.

Invicta FC 36 streams live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT and will be headlined by a featherweight title tilt between Minnesotans Pam “Bam” Sorenson (7-3) and “The Striking Viking” Kaitlin Young (10-9-1).

The updated Invicta FC 36 fight card can be found below:

Featherweight Title: Pam Sorenson vs. Kaitlin Young
Strawweight: Janaisa Morandin vs. Emily Ducote
Atomweight: Jéssica Delboni vs. Lindsey VanZandt
Flyweight: Stephanie Geltmacher vs. Victoria Leonardo
Atomweight: Alyse Anderson vs. Katie Saull
Flyweight: Chantel Coates vs. Caitlin Sammons
Bantamweight: Erin Harpe vs. Auttumn Norton
Bantamweight: Megan Cawley vs. Julia Ottolino

Tickets for Invicta FC 36 can be purchased through Eventbrite.


About Invicta FC:

Invicta Fighting Championships is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.