Invicta FC 42 Results: Zappitella Finishes Cummins with Von Flue Choke, Captures Atomweight Title

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Thursday, Sept. 17, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 42: Cummins vs. Zappitella. The entire fight card aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

Alesha Zappitella is the new atomweight champion after a fourth-round submission victory over Ashley Cummins in the night’s headliner. After a feeling-out process on the feet, Cummins connected with a massive right hand that wobbled Zappitella. Cummins followed it with two more right hands, prompting Zappitella to shoot for a takedown. After initially stuffing the shot, Cummins ended up on her back. She attacked the neck of Zappitella with a guillotine choke, but Zappitella was able to finish the round on top. Cummins scored with a counter right hand early in round two and Zappitella took the fight to the fence. She worked hard for a takedown, but Cummins used double underhooks to keep the fight standing. Zappitella came forward more frequently, but the counter punches from Cummins kept her at bay. The third round opened with a low single-leg takedown from Zappitella. She passed to half guard and then to side control. Using her wrestling prowess, Zappitella controlled Cummins for the majority of the round. Early in the fourth round, Zappitella took the fight to the ground and Cummins again looked for a guillotine choke. Zappitella was able to pass and turn the tides on Cummins. She applied a Von Flue choke in the center of the cage. Cummins tried to defend, but was ultimately forced to submit and give Zappitella the title.

Former bantamweight title challengers Lisa Verzosa and Raquel Canuto squared off in the night’s co-main event. The veteran Canuto was patient with her attack, keeping Verzosa at range. Canuto mixed up her strikes, landing body kicks and frequent right hands. Verzosa did not panic, landing counters from the outside. The opening round was razor-close and the judges were split after the first five minutes. In the second round, Verzosa exhibited clean technique, landing jab-cross combinations with regularity. Canuto found a home for her right hand, but was matched repeatedly by her younger opponent. The decorated grappler Canuto looked to bring the fight to the ground in the final frame. Verzosa was able to keep the fight on the feet, but Canuto recaptured her vintage form, battering Verzosa with punches. She really pushed the action, firing head kicks and looking for a finish. It would not come and the fight was sent to the judges. They were split in their verdict, but it was Verzosa who walked away victorious.

Brazilians Jéssica Delboni and Herica Tiburcio squared off in a strawweight bout. The former atomweights showcased their speed right away, trading combination after combination. Delboni was the aggressor, frequently flurrying forward with punches. Tiburcio looked to counter and caught her countrywoman with some heavy shots. The volume of Delboni was the story of the opening frame. Delboni continued to press forward in round two, firing punches. Tiburcio initiated the clinch and scored with knees. A takedown attempt from Tiburcio was stuffed, but she started to pick up the pace as the round progressed. The pair answered one another’s strikes until the round came to a close. Tiburcio came out firing in the final round. She marched forward and took the fight to Delboni. Tiburcio worked hard to bring the fight to the ground, but she couldn’t put Delboni on the mat. Despite her late efforts, it wasn’t enough, as all three judges tallied the bout for Delboni.

Flyweights Victoria Leonardo and Liz Tracy clashed in the night’s second bout. Leonardo landed a front kick to the face of Tracy to open the action. The pair exchanged combinations for the majority of the round, with Tracy starting to find a home for her right hand as the round progressed. She changed levels and put Leonardo on her back late in the round, but Leonardo was able to sweep and return to her feet. In round two, Tracy sought another takedown, but Leonardo was able to spring back up and move to Tracy’s back while standing. She used the position to score a takedown of her own. Tracy used a heel hook attempt to work back to her feet. Leonardo finished the round strong with a late flurry. The final round was a back-and-forth affair. Both fighters sought takedowns, but could not complete them. Leonardo was a little busier on the feet and that would prove to be the difference as all three judges scored it in her favor.

The night kicked off with a 120-pound catchweight bout featuring Invicta vet Helen Peralta and the promotional debut of boxing Olympian Jennifer Chieng. Peralta came out kicking, attacking the lead leg of the boxer Chieng. The fight found the clinch and Peralta showcased her strength, landing a big elbow on the break. Chieng made a mistake and found herself with Peralta on top to close out the first frame. The second stanza was largely spent in the clinch, as Peralta bullied Chieng around the cage. She scored with short elbows and knees. Chieng struggled to break free and was hurt by heavy shots late in the round, causing a hematoma on her forehead. The final round was again all Peralta, who muscled her less experienced opponent around the cage. She worked the body with punches and convinced all three judges to reward her the victory.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Alesha Zappitella def. Ashley Cummins by submission (Von Flue choke). Round 4, 1:20 – for atomweight title
Lisa Verzosa def. Raquel Canuto by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Jéssica Delboni def. Herica Tiburcio by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Victoria Leonardo def. Liz Tracy by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Helen Peralta def. Jennifer Chieng by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)


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 42: Cummins vs. Zappitella Official Weigh-in Results

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Wednesday, Sept. 16, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 42: Cummins vs. Zappitella. The event takes place in Kansas City, Kan., on Thursday, Sept. 17, with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass at a special start time of 8 p.m. CT.

In the night’s main event, a new atomweight champion will be crowned when longtime Invicta combatant Ashley “Smashley” Cummins (7-5) takes on world-class wrestler Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (7-2) for the vacant 105-pound belt. The Missouri-born, California-based Cummins is no stranger to the Invicta cage, debuting at the promotion’s inaugural event in April of 2012. She’s made a total of nine appearances under the Invicta banner, battling the likes of current UFC fighters Joanne Calderwood, Alexa Grasso and most recently, former atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey. Michigan’s Zappitella is just 25 years old, but has already compiled a championship-worthy resume. She’s been victorious in four of her five Invicta bouts, including back-to-back wins over Lindsey VanZandt and Kelly D’Angelo to cement her status as a title contender.

The co-main event will take place in the bantamweight division as Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (5-1) meets Raquel Canuto (6-6) — née Pa’aluhi — in a match-up of former title challengers.

Two of the event’s scheduled bouts — the bantamweight match-up between Auttumn Norton (1-1) and Brittney Cloudy (2-2) and the strawweight clash featuring Jennifer Chieng (1-0) and Flore Hani (2-1) — have been pulled from the card due to positive COVID-19 test results.

Chieng successfully weighed in at 114.9 pounds and will now face Invicta veteran Helen “Iansã” Peralta (2-1) in a 120-pound catchweight bout.

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

Atomweight Title: Ashley Cummins (104.9) vs. Alesha Zappitella (104.4)
Bantamweight: Lisa Verzosa (134.5) vs. Raquel Canuto (135.6)
Strawweight: Jéssica Delboni (115.6) vs. Herica Tiburcio (115.1)
Flyweight: Victoria Leonardo (125.7) vs. Liz Tracy (125.3)
Catchweight (120 pounds): Jennifer Chieng (114.9) vs. Helen Peralta (119.3)


About Invicta FC:

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

Invicta FC Partners with Global Laboratory Testing Provider, Eurofins, to Bolster Athlete Safety During COVID-19 Pandemic

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Invicta Fighting Championships is further enhancing the safety protocols for its athletes, partnering with Eurofins, an international leader in laboratory testing services.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, all Invicta FC events have featured testing for athletes, corners, Invicta FC staff and commission officials. Now, leveraging Eurofins’ SAFER@WORKTM protocols, the world’s leading combat sports organization for women has ensured that future events will continue to be a safe environment for all participants.

“The health and safety of our athletes has always been of the utmost priority,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp. “This pandemic has presented new challenges to our way of life and has certainly forced all sporting events to adapt to new safety measures. By working with Eurofins, we can do everything in our power to keep holding events safely and professionally.”

The Eurofins U.S. Clinical Diagnostics network began RT-PCR (real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) testing for (COVID-19) SARS-CoV-2 on March 13. Since then, Eurofins’ laboratories have rolled out their highly accurate molecular assays to thousands of clients nationwide, including hospitals, physicians’ offices, nursing homes and employers. Eurofins subsidiary, Viracor, will be conducting COVID-19 PCR testing for upcoming Invicta fight cards and ensuring accurate results are provided within 24-48 hours. While Eurofins works with clients all over the globe, the company is always looking for opportunities to partner with organizations in its flagship cities, including Kansas City. The partnership with Invicta provides a more consistent and reliable means of protecting everyone involved in upcoming events.

Eurofins is slated to conduct COVID-19 testing for all Invicta FC events in 2020, starting with Invicta FC 42, which takes place Thursday, Sept. 17 in Kansas City.


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.


About Eurofins – the global leader in bio-analysis:

Eurofins Scientific, through its subsidiaries (hereinafter “Eurofins” or “the Group”), believes it is the global leader in food, environmental, pharmaceutical and cosmetics products testing and in agroscience CRO services. It is also one of the global independent market leaders in certain testing and laboratory services for genomics, discovery pharmacology, forensics, CDMO, advanced material sciences and in the support of clinical studies. In addition, Eurofins is one of the leading global emerging players in esoteric and molecular clinical diagnostic testing. With over 48,000 staff across a network of more than 900 independent companies in over 50 countries generally specialised by end client markets and operating more than 800 laboratories, Eurofins offers a portfolio of over 200,000 analytical methods to evaluate the safety, identity, composition, authenticity, origin, traceability and purity of a wide range of products, as well as providing innovative clinical diagnostic testing services. The Group’s objective is to provide customers with high-quality and innovative services, accurate results on time and, when requested, expert advice by its highly-qualified staff.

Eurofins is committed to pursuing its dynamic growth strategy by expanding both its technology portfolio and its geographic reach. Through R&D and acquisitions, the Group draws on the latest developments in the field of biotechnology and analytical chemistry to offer its clients unique analytical solutions and a very large range of testing methods.

As one of the most innovative and quality-oriented international groups in its industry, Eurofins is ideally positioned to support its clients’ increasingly stringent quality and safety standards and the increasing demands of regulatory authorities and healthcare practitioners around the world.

Invicta FC 42: Cummins vs. Zappitella Fight Card Preview

On Thursday, Sept. 17, Invicta Fighting Championships returns to action with its 42nd 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.


Atomweight Title: Ashley Cummins vs. Alesha Zappitella

The main event will see the vacant atomweight title up for grabs, as top 105-pounders Ashley Cummins and Alesha Zappitella square off in what should be a competitive championship bout.

Cummins has been atop the Invicta rankings since re-entering the organization in 2017. The well-rounded 33-year-old came up short in her most recent bout, also an atomweight title bout, against now-UFC roster member Jinh Yu Frey. In that bout, she showcased strong striking against the reigning champion. That loss snapped a two-fight surge where she bested Jessica Delboni and Stephanie Alba.

Meeting her across the cage will be Zappitella, a two-time world qualifier in wrestling. Zappitella uses her wrestling in many of her fights, imposing her will once she’s able to muscle her opponents to the ground. Despite being just 4-foot-11, she is able to grapple with opponents because of her athleticism and improving striking. She rides a two-fight winning streak coming into this bout, besting Lindsey VanZandt and Kelly D’Angelo under the Invicta banner to earn this opportunity.

With the gold up for grabs, who will prevail? Will it be ferocious wrestler with relentless pressure? Or will Cummins finally achieve her goal of becoming the Invicta champion?


Bantamweight: Lisa Verzosa vs. Raquel Canuto

After three years away from the cage, Invicta staple Raquel Canuto — nee Pa’aluhi — makes her return to the company. In her way will be Lisa Verzosa, a top bantamweight prospect looking to fight her way into another potential title fight.

Canuto is a typical tough-as-nails Hawaiian with an excellent chin and exciting striking style. She stepped away from the cage starting in 2018 to really focus on her submission grappling, and has been partaking in high-level grappling tournaments ever since. She’s also earned her BJJ black belt in that time, which is proof that her ground game is a strength. Her cage time is quality as well, as she’s fought fighters such as two-division UFC champ Amanda Nunes, as well former UFC title challengers Sara McMann and Raquel Pennington.

Verzosa is just 24 years old and has already risen the ranks to fight for an Invicta title in her last bout. In what was an absolute war, Verzosa suffered a decision loss, but gained massive amounts of respect for the effort she put in and her absolute toughness. Verzosa likes to brawl on the feet, but also has good submission wrestling, making this matchup even more intriguing.

Will Canuto re-assert herself as a top bantamweight in the Invicta 135-pound division in her first fight since 2017? Or, will Verzosa continue to show that she’s the future of the division with the biggest win of her career?


Strawweight: Jéssica Delboni vs. Herica Tiburcio

It’s been a while since the time former Invicta atomweight champion Herica Tiburcio last competed. But she makes her anticipated return in the strawweight division against fellow Brazilian Jessica Delboni.

Tiburcio has not fought since 2017, as she became a mother during that time. The BJJ black belt returns in a new division, looking to move up the ladder quickly to get into a title fight. Tiburcio is just 4-foot-11, but she fights big. She has great takedowns and submissions, which she seemingly gets with ease. She even owns a submission victory over UFC star Michelle Waterson, which is what earned her the atomweight belt.

She takes on Delboni, a member of Parana Vale Tudo where former UFC champ Jessica Andrade trains. Delboni, also a former atomweight, is a BJJ brown belt and taekwondo black belt. She’s well-rounded and will challenge Tiburcio anywhere, whether it’s on the mat or on the feet. That was seen in her most recent Invicta fight, where she outlasted Lindsey VanZandt in a strong performance.

Which Brazilian will come out on top come Invicta 42? Will it be the former atomweight champion? Or, will Delboni ruin her return while throwing her name in the 115-pound contender circle?


Flyweight: Victoria Leonardo vs. Liz Tracy

A pair of Invicta staples in a crowded, talent-laden division are jockeying for position in the title picture, as Victoria Leonardo meets Liz Tracy in a flyweight feature fight.

Leonardo was set to fight at Invicta 40, but her fight was cancelled at the last minute. The BJJ purple belt is know for her excellent grappling and submission game, as well as her physical strength. While she is coming off a setback against No. 1 contender Erin Blanchfield, Leonardo has been strong under the Invicta banner, with wins over Stephanie Geltmacher and Jamie Milanowski. She looks to get back in the win column here against Tracy.

On the other side of the cage you have Tracy, a brown belt in BJJ known for being tough as nails and for being a pressure fighter. Her best win to date came under the Invicta banner when she took a unanimous decision over Cheri Muraski. Like Leonardo, she’s coming off a tough loss, and looks to erase that near memory with a crucial victory.

Leonardo and Tracy are very similar fighters, which should make for an interesting fight. Styles make fights, which this is why you should keep a strict eye on this fight.


Bantamweight: Auttumn Norton vs. Brittney Cloudy

A “Fight of the Night” contender takes place in the bantamweight division, as the always exciting Auttumn Norton looks to build on her most recent Invicta win when she takes on promotional returnee Brittney Cloudy.

Norton enters the cage on the heels of her first pro win, a victory over Yaya Rincon in the featherweight division. Norton is just 1-1 but had an extensive amateur career where she showed her well-rounded skill set. She’s a BJJ blue belt, but has shown to be an aggressive, exciting grappler when the fight hits the mat.

Across the cage from her will be Cloudy, a former collegiate track athlete who successfully transitioned to a pro MMA career. 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.

This fight is certainly going to set the winner up with a good position in Invicta’s bantamweight division. Will Norton build on her first pro win in her last outing, or will Cloudy make a successful return to the promotion where she made her pro debut?


Strawweight: Jennifer Chieng vs. Flore Hani

A pair of prospects with Pacific roots are set to clash in the flyweight division, as Micronesian-American Jennifer Chieng makes her sophomore pro effort against French Polynesian scrapper Flore Hani.

Chieng brings an extensive boxing background to the cage, as she represented her native land in the 2016 Olympics and is a New York Golden Gloves champion. After several fights in the amateur circuit, she made her pro MMA debut in 2018, where she scored a first-round knockout over Jessica Ruiz. She has yet to fight since then, but the scrappy striker is looking for revenge on Hani stemming from a 2013 amateur boxing encounter the two had.

Hani, like Chieng, has pro boxing experience as well. She’s also the more experienced of the two when it comes to MMA. Hani has two more pro bouts to date, as well as an appearance in the Invicta Phoenix Series, where he dropped a split decision to Chantel Coates. Hani is a physically strong athlete who loves to strike and will have no problem meeting Chieng in the middle of the cage for a fight.

In the battle of two boxers-turned-MMA fighters, who will come out on top? Will Hani outmaneuver Chieng again, or will Chieng score her revenge in her Invicta FC 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.

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 41 Results: Ruiz Runs Through Morandin, Blanchfield Bests Sanchez

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Thursday, July 30, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 41: Morandin vs. Ruiz. The entire fight card aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

Mexico’s Montserrat Ruiz put on the most dominant performance of the night in the main event, submitting former title challenger Janaisa Morandin in the first round. Ruiz barreled forward at the opening bell, looking to clinch. The Brazilian Morandin kept her range and scored with heavy leg kicks. Ruiz was able to clinch, but Morandin spun her to the fence and separated. After a brief exchange, Ruiz again flurried forward and backed Morandin to the fence. She secured a head-and-arm throw to put Morandin on the mat. From the scarf hold position, Ruiz attacked the right arm of Morandin with a keylock and coerced the tap.

Flyweight phenom Erin Blanchfield extended her winning streak to three, topping veteran Brogan Sanchez after a three-round battle. Sanchez utilized quick footwork and feints early, popping the head of Blanchfield with a right jab. Blanchfield turned the tide with a heavy right hand of her own. She swarmed Sanchez with punches and a big kick, but the Guam native was able to recover. The 21-year-old Blanchfield spammed her right kick against the opposite stance Sanchez. A late takedown sealed the frame for Blanchfield. It was another aggressive start from Sanchez in round two, but Blanchfield continued to throw her right kick. She powered Sanchez to the fence and snapped her to the ground. Sanchez was able to escape and evade, but it was short lived. Blanchfield scored with a punching combination and ducked under for a takedown. She passed to mount and rained elbows. Blanchfield jumped to the crucifix position and landed another heavy elbow. She looked for a keylock, but Sanchez defended as the round expired. Blanchfield avoided the fast start from Sanchez in the final frame by securing a body lock and eventually earning a single-leg takedown. From side control, Blanchfield sought a kimura. After controlling the entire round, Blancfield passed to mount late and dropped an onslaught of punches. She nearly got the stoppage, but the result was never in doubt as she earned 30-26 scores from all three judges.

Former featherweight title challenger Kaitlin Young welcomed Texas native Latoya Walker back to the Invicta cage after a lengthy layoff. Walker showed no ring rust, unleashing her hands right away. As she found a home for her jab, Young began to counter with body kicks. That slowed the advance of Walker, allowing Young to then target the lead leg of Walker. The right hand of Walker lost its effectiveness as the round progressed and Young was able to mix up her kicking attack. The second round began with a flurry from Walker, but Young circled away and went back to her kicks. After a series of low kicks, Walker switched to southpaw and Young began attacking her other leg. Young earned a brief takedown, but allowed Walker to return to her feet. It was all Young in the closing moments of the frame. Walker was down, but not out in the final round. She came out with another flurry and caught Young with punches in boxing range. That prompted Young to secure the clinch. She scored with a left elbow and right hand that stunned Walker. Young followed with knees and punches. Despite being controlled in the clinch, Walker never wilted. The fight saw the scorecards, but it was a clean sweep for Young.

In a match-up of unbeaten flyweights, Florida’s Caitlin Sammons outworked Colorado’s Claire Guthrie to capture a split-decision victory. Guthrie was active early with her jab and low kicks. Sammons closed the distance and pushed the fight to the fence. She worked hard for position, but Guthrie was able to separate. The pair maintained a measured pace as they traded combinations. In round two, Sammons went back to the clinch and looked for a takedown. Guthrie used a whizzer to remain upright and delivered knees to the body. When the pair separated, Guthrie connected on a solid right hand and continued to score from range. The final stanza saw Sammons work hard for a takedown and brought the fight to the mat for the first time. She quickly transitioned to Guthrie’s back. Once in the dominant position, Sammons would not give it up, taking the round and the fight on the scorecards.

The opening bout of the evening featured the pro debuts of Alexa Culp and Natalya Speece. Speece threw a kick early, but Culp caught it and took the fight to the ground. A brief triangle choke attempt from Speece allowed Culp to transition to her back. Once there, Culp was glued to her back for the remainder of the frame, but she could not find a finish. Round two began with some solid clinch work from Speece, who landed knees and elbows. Culp was able to muscle the fight back to the canvas and methodically passed to half guard. Speece tried to work back to her feet, but Culp again took her back and this time, she was able to secure the fight-finishing choke.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Montserrat Ruiz def. Janaisa Morandin by submission (scarf hold keylock). Round 1, 3:28
Erin Blanchfield def. Brogan Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
Kaitlin Young def. Latoya Walker by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Caitlin Sammons def. Claire Guthrie by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Alexa Culp def. Natalya Speece by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 3:59


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 41 Loses Kelly D’Angelo vs. Itzel Esquivel

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The fight card for Invicta FC 41 has lost a bout.

The strawweight bout between Texan Itzel Esquivel (4-2) and former atomweight contender Kelly “Wildfire” D’Angelo (4-3) has been removed from the event. A pre-fight COVID-19 test came back positive after the initial test result was determined to be a false-negative. The individual testing positive is asymptomatic, but as a precaution to all of the fighters, their corners, Invicta FC staff and commission officials, Esquivel and D’Angelo will not compete tonight. The fight card will proceed with five fights.

Invicta FC 41 takes place tonight, Thursday, July 30 in Kansas City. The event will stream live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT and is headlined by a strawweight bout between former title challenger Janaisa “Evil Princess” Morandin (10-3) of Brazil and Mexico’s Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (8-1).

The updated Invicta FC 41 fight card can be found below:

Strawweight: Janaisa Morandin vs. Montserrat Ruiz
Flyweight: Erin Blanchfield vs. Brogan Sanchez
Featherweight: Kaitlin Young vs. Latoya Walker
Flyweight: Caitlin Sammons vs. Claire Guthrie
Flyweight: Natalya Speece vs. Alexa Culp


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

Invicta FC 41: Morandin vs. Ruiz Official Weigh-in Results

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Wednesday, July 29, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 41: Morandin vs. Ruiz. The event takes place in Kansas City, Kan., on Thursday, July 30, with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

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

The co-main event will feature flyweight contenders as 21-year-old phenom Erin “Cold Blooded” Blanchfield (5-1) tangles with Guam’s Brogan “Killer Bee” Sanchez (6-1).

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: Janaisa Morandin (116.9)* vs. Montserrat Ruiz (114)
Flyweight: Erin Blanchfield (125.5) vs. Brogan Sanchez (125.5)
Featherweight: Kaitlin Young (145.9) vs. Latoya Walker (144)
Strawweight: Kelly D’Angelo (115.7) vs. Itzel Esquivel (114.9)
Flyweight: Caitlin Sammons (124.6) vs. Claire Guthrie (125.9)
Flyweight: Natalya Speece (125.1) vs. Alexa Culp (124.8)

* – Morandin missed the strawweight limit of 116 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 (InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

Atomweight Title Clash Headlines Invicta FC 42 on Sept. 17

Kansas City, Kan. – The world’s premier combat sports organization for women will continue its action-packed summer schedule on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Invicta Fighting Championships 42 will crown a new atomweight champion as longtime Invicta combatant Ashley “Smashley” Cummins (7-5) takes on world-class wrestler Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (7-2) for the vacant 105-pound belt. The Missouri-born, California-based Cummins is no stranger to the Invicta cage, debuting at the promotion’s inaugural event in April of 2012. Since then, she’s made a total of nine appearances under the Invicta banner, battling the likes of current UFC fighters Joanne Calderwood, Alexa Grasso and most recently, former atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey. Cummins came up short in a hotly contested affair with Frey, but will get a second opportunity to claim gold. Michigan’s Zappitella is just 25 years old, but has already compiled a championship-worthy resume. She’s been victorious in four of her five Invicta bouts, including back-to-back wins over Lindsey VanZandt and Kelly D’Angelo to cement her status as a title contender.

The co-main event will take place in the bantamweight division as former title challengers Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (5-1) and Raquel Canuto (6-6) — née Pa’aluhi — collide. Verzosa was last in action at Phoenix Rising 3 in March, engaging in a “Fight of the Year” battle with Julija Stoliarenko. The split verdict was the first defeat of the 24-year-old’s career. Canuto returns to MMA action for the first time since Invicta FC 25 in 2017. The Hawaii native has since achieved her black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and is ready to step back into the cage where she’s faced the likes of current two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes, Sara McMann, Pannie Kianzad and Yana Kunitskaya.

Also on the card, Brazilian veteran Jéssica Delboni (9-2) faces former atomweight champion Herica Tiburcio (11-4) in a strawweight match-up, flyweight Victoria “Fury” Leonardo (6-2) takes on Liz “The Titan” Tracy (5-3), bantamweight Auttumn Norton (1-1) welcomes Brittney Cloudy (2-2) back to the promotion, and New York newcomer Jennifer “Dugwen” Chieng (1-0) meets Tahiti native Flore “Aito Hine” Hani (2-1) at strawweight.

Invicta FC 42 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 8 p.m. CT. With the ongoing pandemic, Invicta FC 42 will take place in Kansas City 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.

The full fight card can be found below:

Atomweight Title: Ashley Cummins vs. Alesha Zappitella
Bantamweight: Lisa Verzosa vs. Raquel Canuto
Strawweight: Jéssica Delboni vs. Herica Tiburcio
Flyweight: Victoria Leonardo vs. Liz Tracy
Bantamweight: Auttumn Norton vs. Brittney Cloudy
Strawweight: Jennifer Chieng vs. Flore Hani


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.

Kelly D’Angelo Returns to Strawweight, Meets Itzel Esquivel at Invicta FC 41

Kansas City, Kan. – The lineup for Invicta FC 41 has undergone a late change.

Strawweight Cynthia Arceo is out of her scheduled match-up with fellow Texan Itzel Esquivel (4-2). Replacing Arceo on less than two weeks’ notice will be atomweight contender Kelly “Wildfire” D’Angelo (4-3). The Missouri product has made four appearances in the Invicta cage, with the three most recent outings coming at 105 pounds. However, the 33-year-old’s promotional debut in 2017 came in the strawweight division against Sunna Davíðsdóttir.

Invicta FC 41 takes place Thursday, July 30 in Kansas City, Kan. The event will stream live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT. The event is headlined by a strawweight bout between former title challenger Janaisa “Evil Princess” Morandin (10-3) of Brazil and Mexico’s Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (8-1).

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

The updated Invicta FC 41 fight card can be found below:

Strawweight: Janaisa Morandin vs. Montserrat Ruiz
Flyweight: Erin Blanchfield vs. Brogan Sanchez
Featherweight: Kaitlin Young vs. Latoya Walker
Strawweight: Kelly D’Angelo vs. Itzel Esquivel
Flyweight: Caitlin Sammons vs. Claire Guthrie
Flyweight: Natalya Speece vs. Alexa Culp


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