Invicta FC 45 Results: Delboni Gets Revenge, Unseats Zappitella in Dominant Performance

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Wednesday, Jan. 12, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 45: Zappitella vs. Delboni 2. The event was simulcast on Invicta FC’s YouTube channel and MMA Junkie.

In the night’s headliner, Alesha Zappitella and Jéssica Delboni met for a second time with Zappitella’s atomweight belt on the line. The Brazilian Delboni immediately fired a combination, but her aggression allowed Zappitella to drag the fight to the ground. Zappitella controlled the head and fired knees. Delboni reversed the position and looked for a single. Zappitella transitioned to a guillotine attempt, but Delboni escaped and separated. Zappitella tried for an arm-drag, then took Delboni down. Delboni briefly moved to the back of Zappitella as the two jostled for top position. The fight returned to the feet and Delboni landed punches. The second round began with a much more measured pace. Zappitella wasted little time looking for a takedown, but Delboni stayed upright. Another shot from Zappitella was answered with heavy elbows and punches from Delboni. An overhand right from Zappitella surprised Delboni for a moment. The takedown defense of Delboni was the difference as the round progressed. The confidence of Delboni grew in round three, as she unleashed combinations. The dynamics of the fight changed as the action consisted of striking exchanges. The Brazilian hurt Zappitella with a knee late in the frame. The championship rounds started with more strikes from Delboni. Zappitella looked to counter with right hands before shooting for the legs. Delboni punished Zappitella with punches as she remained latched to a leg. Another right hand from Delboni stunned the American, prompting her to grapple once more. The final round began with Delboni having a big lead on the scorecards. Zappitella went for broke with heavy punches. She changed levels and latched onto Delboni’s leg in the center of the cage. Delboni remained calm and continued to deliver hammerfists to the face of Zappitella. Late in the fight, Delboni looked to take Zappitella’s back. Zappitella escaped out the back, but Delboni transitioned to an armbar attempt. Zappitella worked free and gained top position. Delboni kept up her aggressive attack, working for a kneebar. The finish did not come, but there was no doubt on the scorecards as Delboni exacted revenge and claimed atomweight gold.

The co-main event of the evening featured Hong Kong’s Ramona Pascual opposite Shamir Peshewa in a 150-pound catchweight contest. A right hand from Pascual clipped Peshewa right off the opening bell and she followed it with a left straight. Pascual attacked the lead leg of Peshewa with low kicks. A knee from Pascual found the liver of Peshewa, who winced in pain and retreated to the cage. Pascual followed up with punches and the referee stepped in to halt the bout just 60 seconds into the first round.

Texas newcomer Hailey Cowan collided with Hawaii’s Monica Franco in a bantamweight affair. Cowan took the center of the cage and drove her way into the clinch. With double underhooks, Cowan held Franco against the fence. They traded short knees from close quarters, as Cowan looked for a trip takedown. The offense of Franco was negated by the strength of Cowan, who took the fight to the ground late in the round. A left hand from Cowan greeted Franco to open the second frame. The fight returned to the clinch and Cowan powered the fight back to the canvas along the fence. Cowan dropped heavy punches from the top as Franco struggled to escape. Cowan passed to mount, then took Franco’s back. She applied a rear-naked choke and Franco tapped.

Helen Peralta extended her success under the Invicta banner, handing fellow flyweight Elise Pone her first professional defeat. Peralta immediately started firing haymakers. She then threw a hook kick, but Pone was able to evade the flashy attack. Peralta pushed her way to the clinch, pinning Pone against the cage. Peralta delivered a steady stream of right hands from the clinch. Late in the round, Peralta dragged Pone to the ground and rained left hands. Pone was able to survive the onslaught. In round two, the fight quickly returned to the clinch and Peralta put Pone on her back. After a brief grappling exchange, Peralta allowed Pone to return to her feet. Peralta continued her relentless pressure in the clinch, scoring with a trip takedown late in the frame. Peralta opened round three with a powerful right hand that dropped Pone. Moments after Pone regained her footing, Peralta planted her on the canvas. When the fight returned to the feet, Pone connected with a heavy kick. Peralta returned to dominating in the clinch. A desperate Pone delivered an elbow that stunned Peralta, but it was too little, too late. All three judges scored the contest in favor of Peralta.

Atomweights squared off when Canada’s Katie Saull welcomed Tamika Jones to the promotion. The southpaw Saull fired her left hand like a piston. Jones struggled with the boxing prowess of Saull. The pair clinched against the fence and it was Saull who took down the wrestler Jones. Saull took the back of Jones and began to work for a rear-naked choke. Saull squeezed hard, but Jones never panicked and escaped to top position. Saull stayed aggressive, attacking with an armbar and coercing the tap from Jones late in the round.

The night kicked off in the bantamweight division as Sarah Kleczka returned to the Invicta cage to face off with Mexico’s Maria Jose Favela. The pair patiently gauged their range and looked for openings in the opening frame. Midway through the round, Favela connected with a solid right hand. Kleczka looked for a spinning backfist, but was countered by Favela. The Mexican fighter peppered the lead leg of Kleczka with kicks. Round two saw Kleczka flurry forward and pressure Favela. A right hand from Kleczka landed clean and she followed it with a combination along the fence. Favela switched stances to counter the forward advance of Kleczka. The final stanza began with the fight still up for grabs. The bantamweights traded heavy right hands late in the fight. The fight was sent to the judges, who were split in their verdict, rewarding Kleczka the victory.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Jéssica Delboni def. Alesha Zappitella by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) – for atomweight title
Ramona Pascual def. Shamir Peshewa by TKO (knee and punches). Round 1, 1:00
Hailey Cowan def. Monica Franco by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 3:17
Helen Peralta def. Elise Pone by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Katie Saull def. Tamika Jones by submission (armbar). Round 1, 4:30
Sarah Kleczka def. Maria Jose Favela by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)


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 Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a global multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; global film distribution company Gravitas VenturesFight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion; Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.

Invicta FC 45: Zappitella vs. Delboni 2 Official Weigh-in Results

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – On Tuesday, Jan. 11, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 45: Zappitella vs. Delboni 2

In the night’s headliner, current champion Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (9-2, 1 NC) will put her 105-pound belt on the line against Brazilian challenger Jéssica Delboni (11-3). The pair met on the promotion’s debut on AXS TV last May, with the American Zappitella retaining her title after a closely contested five-round battle. Delboni quickly rebounded from the split-decision loss, winning three fights in one night to capture the Phoenix Tournament: Atomweights crown and re-establishing herself as the No. 1 contender.

The event will be the first on Invicta FC’s new night of Wednesday for 2022, taking place Jan. 12 in Kansas City. All the action will be simulcast on Invicta FC’s YouTube channel and MMA Junkie beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

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

Atomweight Title: Alesha Zappitella (104.8) vs. Jéssica Delboni (103.8)
Catchweight (150 pounds): Ramona Pascual (150) vs. Shamir Peshewa (153.4)*
Bantamweight: Monica Franco (135.4) vs. Hailey Cowan (135.4)
Flyweight: Helen Peralta (125.4) vs. Elise Pone (124.8)
Atomweight: Katie Saull (105.9) vs. Tamika Jones (105.3)
Bantamweight: Maria Favela (138.4)# vs. Sarah Kleczka (135)

* – Peshewa missed weight for the 150-pound catchweight and was fined 25 percent of her fight purse

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


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 Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a global multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; global film distribution company Gravitas VenturesFight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion; Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.

Invicta FC 45 Fight Card Update

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The first fight card from Invicta Fighting Championships in 2022 has undergone some shuffling.

The planned co-main event between Colorado’s “Grizzly” Claire Guthrie (3-1) and UFC veteran Lauren “Princess Tiger” Mueller (5-4) has been scratched from the event. As a result, a 150-pound catchweight contest between newcomers Ramona Pascual (5-2) and Shamir “Hella Kitty” Peshewa (2-0) has been elevated to the penultimate billing. Pascual, a Hong Kong native, makes her Invicta debut riding a three-fight winning streak. Tennessee’s Peshewa stopped Invicta veteran Gina Elliott in her most recent bout.

Additionally, with the loss of the strawweight bout between Hilarie Rose (5-3) and Emily “Spitfire” Whitmire (4-5), two additional match-ups have been added to the fight card. Sluggers Helen “Iansã” Peralta (4-2) and “The Piece” Elise Pone (1-0) collide in a flyweight bout and Canada’s “Queen of the North” Katie Saull (3-5) takes on fellow atomweight Tamika Jones (1-0).

In the night’s headliner, current atomweight titleholder Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (9-2, 1 NC) meets Brazilian challenger Jéssica Delboni (11-3) for a second time. The pair engaged in a back-and-forth battle in their first meeting in May, with Zappitella emerging with a split-decision victory to hold onto her belt. The No. 1 contender Delboni will be out for revenge in her second crack at gold.

Invicta FC 45: Zappitella vs. Delboni 2 will be the first event on Invicta FC’s new night of Wednesday for 2022, taking place Jan. 12 in Kansas City. The event will be simulcast on Invicta FC’s YouTube channel and MMA Junkie beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The updated fight card for Invicta FC 45 can be found below:

Atomweight Title: Alesha Zappitella vs. Jéssica Delboni
Catchweight (150 pounds): Ramona Pascual vs. Shamir Peshewa
Bantamweight: Monica Franco vs. Hailey Cowan
Flyweight: Helen Peralta vs. Elise Pone
Atomweight: Katie Saull vs. Tamika Jones
Bantamweight: Maria Favela vs. Sarah Kleczka


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 Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a global multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; global film distribution company Gravitas VenturesFight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion; Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.

Invicta FC 45 Streams Live on Invicta FC’s YouTube Channel and MMA Junkie

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Invicta Fighting Championships today announced the broadcast plans for its upcoming Invicta FC 45: Zappitella vs. Delboni 2 event.

The promotion is partnering with one of the biggest media outlets in MMA, five-time World MMA Awards winner MMA Junkie, part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group. The fight card – which takes place Wednesday, Jan. 12 in Kansas City – will be simulcast on Invicta FC’s YouTube channel and MMA Junkie beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp commented on the broadcast deal, “What better way to expose our athletes to fight fans around the globe than MMA Junkie? For the last 15 years, they have been a staple of this industry and I am excited to work with them for this upcoming event.”

Invicta FC 45 is headlined by an atomweight grudge match between current titleholder Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (9-2, 1 NC) and Brazilian challenger Jéssica Delboni (11-3). The pair engaged in a back-and-forth battle in their first meeting in May, with Zappitella emerging with a split-decision victory to hold onto her belt. The No. 1 contender Delboni will be out to prove that the judges made a mistake in her previous title conquest.

In addition to the broadcast announcement, the scheduled strawweight contest between Hilarie Rose (5-3) and Emily “Spitfire” Whitmire (4-5) has been forced off the card and will be rescheduled for a future event.

The updated fight card for Invicta FC 45 can be found below:

Atomweight Title: Alesha Zappitella vs. Jéssica Delboni
Bantamweight: Claire Guthrie vs. Lauren Mueller
Featherweight: Courtney King vs. Ramona Pascual
Bantamweight: Monica Franco vs. Hailey Cowan
Bantamweight: Maria Favela vs. Sarah Kleczka


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 Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a global multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; global film distribution company Gravitas VenturesFight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion; Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.

About USA TODAY Sports Media Group
The USA TODAY Sports Media Group encompasses all sports initiatives across USA TODAY Sports and Gannett’s more than 250 well-known local media brands. It includes the popular social news hub For The Win, and vertical sports sites Golfweek, MMAJunkie.com, NFL and NBA team wire sites, and leading high school sports destination USA TODAY High School Sports, among others. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc.

Invicta FC 45: Zappitella vs. Delboni 2 Slated for Jan. 12

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Invicta Fighting Championships will start the New Year with a highly anticipated atomweight title rematch.

Current champion Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (9-2, 1 NC) will put her 105-pound belt on the line against Brazilian challenger Jéssica Delboni (11-3). The pair met on the promotion’s debut on AXS TV in May, with the American Zappitella retaining her title after a closely contested five-round battle. Delboni quickly rebounded from the split-decision loss, winning three fights in one night to capture the Phoenix Tournament: Atomweights crown and re-establishing herself as the No. 1 contender.

Invicta FC 45: Zappitella vs. Delboni 2 will be the first event on Invicta FC’s new night of Wednesday for 2022, taking place Jan. 12 in Kansas City. Broadcast information will be announced in the coming weeks.

Invicta President Shannon Knapp explained, “We are always looking for new ways to showcase our athletes and having events on Wednesdays will put the spotlight directly on them. The rematch between Zappitella and Delboni is a perfect way to kick off the action on our new night.”

In the co-main event, Colorado’s “Grizzly” Claire Guthrie (3-1) collides with Lauren “Princess Tiger” Mueller (5-4) in a bantamweight match-up. Guthrie will compete under the Invicta banner for the fifth time, with Mueller returning after her thrilling promotional debut at Invicta FC 44.

Also on the card, featherweight Courtney “The Lion” King (4-2) competes for the first time since her headlining clash with two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison at Invicta FC 43. King will take on Hong Kong native Ramona Pascual (5-2), who currently rides a three-fight winning streak.

Rounding out the fight card, Hawaiian “Fearless” Monica Franco (2-0) welcomes “All Hail” Hailey Cowan (5-2) to the Invicta cage in a 135-pound affair, strawweight veterans Hilarie Rose (5-3) and Emily “Spitfire” Whitmire (4-5) aim to infuse fresh contenders into the 115-pound division, and Mexico’s Maria Favela (2-1) moves up to bantamweight against returning veteran Sarah “Chucky” Kleczka (2-3).

The event will be overseen by the Kansas Athletic Commission and will feature open scoring. With the ongoing pandemic, the fights will take place behind closed doors — sans fans and media. As with any Invicta event, the safety of its athletes, their corners, its staff and commission officials is of the utmost priority. All participants will be tested for COVID-19 prior to the event.

The full fight card can be found below:

Atomweight Title: Alesha Zappitella vs. Jéssica Delboni
Bantamweight: Claire Guthrie vs. Lauren Mueller
Featherweight: Courtney King vs. Ramona Pascual
Bantamweight: Monica Franco vs. Hailey Cowan
Strawweight: Hilarie Rose vs. Emily Whitmire
Bantamweight: Maria Favela vs. Sarah Kleczka


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 Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a global multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; global film distribution company Gravitas VenturesFight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion; Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.

Invicta FC 44 ‘A New Era’ Results: Ducote Scores Highlight-Reel Knockout, Tennant Dominates

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Friday, Aug. 27, Invicta Fighting Championships returned to pay-per-view, hosting Invicta FC 44: A New Era. The night’s main card aired on FITE following a preliminary-card on AXS TV and Invicta FC’s YouTube channel.

In the night’s headliner, Emily Ducote captured strawweight gold by scoring one of the greatest knockouts in Invicta history. She started the bout against UFC veteran Danielle Taylor by taking the center of the cage. She flicked her lead head kick repeatedly, keeping Taylor from advancing. Ducote wasted no motion, as she used feints to set up openings. Midway through the round, she unleashed a vicious overhand right that caught Taylor clean. A stunned Taylor froze in place while Ducote followed with a left head kick that put Taylor out for good. Ducote celebrated wildly as the belt was wrapped around her waist.

The new queen of the bantamweight division is Phoenix Tournament 3 winner Taneisha Tennant. She used clean striking to get the better of Lisa Verzosa over five hard-fought rounds. The first round featured a lot of range-finding strikes from both fighters. They exchanged low kicks and jabs to get a read on one another. Tennant fired multiple spinning heel kicks to Verzosa’s midsection. Verzosa switched stances often to keep Tennant from getting rhythm. Round two started much like the first, but Tennant began to settle in as the round progressed. Her jab frequently found its mark and Verzosa’s nose began to bleed. Late in the round, a combination from Tennant hurt Verzosa badly. She crashed to canvas but the round expired before Tennant could find the finish. Tennant again used her boxing to frustrate Verzosa in round three. Verzosa did connect with counter shots, but Tennant was able to stay at the end of the strikes. A flurry from Tennant stunned Verzosa late in the round and the fighters traded punches in the pocket. Verzosa initiated the clinch to recover. Tennant looked for another spinning attack in round four and it allowed Verzosa to close the distance and clinch. They traded short knees before separating. Verzosa landed a body shot, but Tennant responded with a combination as the frame ended. Down on the scorecards, Verzosa pressed the action in round five. She waded into range throwing punches, but absorbed heavy counters from Tennant. Verzosa powered into the clinch midway through the round. Tennant calmly worked free and held her range with kicks and jabs. There was no doubt on the scorecards as Tennant claimed the belt.

Guam’s Brogan Sanchez got back in the win column, submitting Emilee King in the first round. Sanchez quickly took the fight to the ground and moved to side control. King countered with a buggy choke from the bottom. Sanchez dropped knees to the body and then an illegal knee to King’s head. The referee deducted a point from Sanchez and restarted the fight in the choke position. Sanchez worked out of the choke attempt and passed to mount. She dropped massive elbows and punches that hurt King. Sanchez slapped on a rear-naked choke and forced the tap from a battered King.

Oregon’s Liz Tracy welcomed strawweight Jodie Esquibel back to the promotion on the night’s main card. Esquibel went straight to work with her boxing, prompting Tracy to fire front kicks to keep her out of range. Esquibel caught a kick and cracked Tracy with a right hand. The speed of Esquibel allowed her to repeatedly land her lead hook and frustrate Tracy. In round two, Tracy chewed up the lead leg of Esquibel with low kicks. Esquibel’s nose trickled blood from counter shots from Tracy. Tracy was relentless coming forward. Her front kicks and counter punches found their mark over and over as Esquibel wore more damage as the round progressed. Round three was a chess match on the feet as Tracy’s pressure and front kicks kept Esquibel from getting into the pocket. Tracy put it on Esquibel late. Esquibel answered with a late takedown at the horn, but the judges rendered a split decision in favor of Tracy.

The main card opened with a memorable bantamweight match-up between Serena DeJesus and UFC veteran Lauren Mueller. DeJesus delivered a heavy kick to the liver of Mueller in the fight’s opening seconds and applied pressure. Mueller stayed on the outside and looked to counter. After trading in the pocket, DeJesus cracked Mueller with a massive left hand that dropped her. DeJesus followed her to the ground and went to work. She passed to mount and took the back as the round expired. Round two was very competitive. Mueller landed a power right hand that slowed the forward advance of DeJesus for a moment. DeJesus went back to her body kick and powered into the clinch. She controlled Mueller with underhooks. There was a sense of urgency from Mueller to start the last frame. She landed a slick combination, but it did not slow the advance of DeJesus. Mueller threw with more volume late in the fight and DeJesus responded with shots of her own. They exchanged until the final bell, with DeJesus edging out the split decision.

In the preliminary headliner, flyweights Helen Peralta and Caitlin Sammons engaged in a grueling, 15-minute bout. Peralta marched forward early, looking to land a power shot. Sammons did well to evade, but she was forced to deal with the advance of Peralta throughout. The pair exchanged heavy shots, but neither fighter went down. The fight found the clinch and they jostled for position while landing short knees. In round two, Peralta connected with a heavy right hand and then a big head kick. Sammons stayed upright, but Peralta used her strength to control the clinch. It was more of the same in the final stanza as Peralta kept Sammons from mounting offense by scoring with knees in the clinch. The judges were all in agreement, as Peralta swept their scorecards.

Atomweight Marisa Messer-Belenchia clashed with Canada’s Katie Saull in a back-and-forth battle. The boxing of Saull scored early and often in round one. She popped her jab repeatedly to turn Messer-Belenchia’s face red. She used her reach to frustrate Messer-Belenchia throughout the round. In round two, Messer-Belenchia powered into the clinch and forced Saull to work with her back to the cage. She wasn’t able to bring the fight to the ground, but the clinch work prevented Saull from mounting offense. The final round saw Messer-Belenchia work hard for a takedown, only for Saull to reverse the position and gain top position. After a triangle and armbar attempt from Messer-Belenchia, Saull opted to return to her feet. The fight’s final round was a war of attrition. Messer-Belenchia came forward with pressure, looking to close the distance. Saull did her best to score at range. The judges were split in their verdict, with Messer-Belenchia eking out the victory.

Making her pro debut, atomweight Natalie Salcedo put on an absolute show against Phoenix Tournament veteran Katie Perez. Salcedo started fast with punches, then stuffed a takedown attempt. Perez pulled guard and Salcedo went to work from the top with strikes. Perez powered to top position, but was quickly forced to defend a triangle choke from Salcedo. The newcomer was relentless with her transitions. It was more of the same in round two as Perez looked to take the fight to the ground and Salcedo was able to control her on the mat. Salcedo again attacked with a triangle from her back and peppered Perez with elbows. Round three was a showcase for the scrambling ability of Salcedo, as she was a step ahead of Perez on the mat. She worked hard for a finish, but ultimately the fight was sent to the judges. All three rewarded Salcedo for her efforts.

The action kicked off with newcomers Kayla Yontef and Carlene Chandler in the featherweight division. Yontef quickly powered Chandler to the mat and began dropping heavy strikes. Chandler worked back to her feet, but Yontef wasted little time putting back on the ground. Chandler attacked with a kimura, but ended up mounted and absorbed even more punishment. Yontef was relentless from the top, battering Chandler with heavy shots. Chandler scored with her hands to start round two, but it was short-lived as Yontef put her on the canvas once more. She moved to mount and then took Chandler’s back. From there, she rained punches and elbows until the referee intervened to save Chandler from further punishment.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Emily Ducote def. Danielle Taylor by knockout (punch, head kick). Round 1, 2:51 – for strawweight title
Taneisha Tennant def. Lisa Verzosa by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) – for bantamweight title
Brogan Sanchez def. Emilee King by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:28
Liz Tracy def. Jodie Esquibel by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Serena DeJesus def. Lauren Mueller by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Helen Peralta def. Caitlin Sammons by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Marisa Messer-Belenchia def. Katie Saull by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Natalie Salcedo def. Katie Perez by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Kayla Yontef def. Carlene Chandler by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 3:13


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 Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a globally integrated multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion;  Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.

Invicta FC 44: A New Era Official Weigh-in Results

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – On Thursday, Aug. 26, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 44: A New Era. The event takes place Friday, Aug. 27. It airs live on pay-per-view via traditional cable and satellite carriers beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Digital customers around the world can order the event from FITE.

Prior to the main card, the Invicta FC 44 Prelims will be broadcast in the U.S. on AXS TV and streamed for free worldwide on Invicta FC’s YouTube channel beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The event takes place from Memorial Hall in Kansas City and is headlined by two title fights. In the headliner, top contenders Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) and “Dynamite” Danielle Taylor (11-5) square off for strawweight gold. The second half of the title doubleheader features Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (6-1) against Phoenix Tournament winner Taneisha “Triple Threat” Tennant (3-1) with the bantamweight title up for grabs.

Tickets to the event can be purchased through Eventbrite.

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

Invicta FC 44: A New Era 

Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote (114.4) vs. Danielle Taylor (114.6)
Bantamweight Title: Lisa Verzosa (134.6) vs. Taneisha Tennant (134.7)
Flyweight: Brogan Sanchez (125.8) vs. Emilee King (124.6)
Strawweight: Jodie Esquibel (116) vs. Liz Tracy (117.2)*
Bantamweight: Serena DeJesus (136) vs. Lauren Mueller (135.8)

Invicta FC 44 Prelims

Flyweight: Caitlin Sammons (124.9) vs. Helen Peralta (125.2)
Atomweight: Katie Saull (105.7) vs. Marisa Messer-Belenchia (105.7)
Atomweight: Katie Perez (105.1) vs. Natalie Salcedo (105.9)
Featherweight: Kayla Yontef (145.5) vs. Carlene Chandler (145.8)

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


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 Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a globally integrated multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion;  Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.

Invicta FC 44 Fight Card Update

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Travel restrictions and visa issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the fight card for Invicta FC 44: A New Era, which takes place Friday, Aug. 27.

Flyweight Mara Romero Borella (11-9) of Italy and Brazilian atomweight Monique Adriane (4-2) have been forced out of their respective match-ups.

Stepping in for Borella opposite Guam’s Brogan “Killer Bee” Sanchez (6-2) will be returning Invicta veteran Emilee King (5-5). The Tennessee fighter made her pro debut at Invicta FC 26 in 2017. She has gone on to compete in Bellator MMA and has won four of her last six bouts.

Adriane’s spot will be filled by Marisa “Spider Monkey” Messer-Belenchia (3-1). The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt will be facing the very fighter she replaced at June’s Phoenix Tournament 4 event, Canada’s “Queen of the North” Katie Saull (3-4).

The event takes place from Memorial Hall in Kansas City and is headlined by two title fights. In the headliner, top contenders Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) and “Dynamite” Danielle Taylor (11-5) square off for strawweight gold. The second half of the title doubleheader features Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (6-1) against Phoenix Tournament winner Taneisha “Triple Threat” Tennant (3-1) with the bantamweight title up for grabs.

The main card will be distributed on pay-per-view via traditional cable and satellite carriers beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Digital customers around the world can pre-order the event immediately from FITE for $19.99 in the United States, $14.99 in Canada and $9.99 in the rest of the world.

Prior to the main card, the Invicta FC 44 Prelims will be broadcast in the U.S. on AXS TV and streamed for free worldwide on Invicta FC’s YouTube channel beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Tickets to the event are on sale now through Eventbrite.

Invicta FC 44: A New Era (updated)

Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote vs. Danielle Taylor
Bantamweight Title: Lisa Verzosa vs. Taneisha Tennant
Flyweight: Brogan Sanchez vs. Emilee King
Strawweight: Jodie Esquibel vs. Liz Tracy
Bantamweight: Serena DeJesus vs. Lauren Mueller

Invicta FC 44 Prelims (updated)

Flyweight: Caitlin Sammons vs. Helen Peralta
Atomweight: Katie Saull vs. Marisa Messer-Belenchia
Atomweight: Katie Perez vs. Natalie Salcedo
Featherweight: Kayla Yontef vs. Carlene Chandler


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 Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a globally integrated multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion;  Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.

Liz Tracy Joins Invicta FC 44 Card, Faces Jodie Esquibel at Strawweight

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The fight card for Invicta FC 44: A New Era has undergone a late change.

Strawweight Kelly “Wildfire” D’Angelo (4-4) has been forced from her bout against UFC veteran Jodie Esquibel (6-6). Stepping in will be Oregon’s Liz “The Titan” Tracy (5-4), who will be making her 115-pound debut. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt was last in action at Invicta FC 42, earning “Fight of the Night” honors in her fight with Victoria Leonardo.

Invicta FC 44 takes place Friday, Aug. 27 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City. The event is headlined by two title fights. In the top-billing, top contenders Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) and “Dynamite” Danielle Taylor (11-5) collide for the vacant strawweight belt. The second half of the title doubleheader features Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (6-1) against Phoenix Tournament winner Taneisha “Triple Threat” Tennant (3-1) to determine the new bantamweight champion.

The main card will be distributed on pay-per-view via traditional cable and satellite carriers beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Digital customers around the world can pre-order the event immediately from FITE for $19.99 in the United States, $14.99 in Canada and $9.99 in the rest of the world.

Prior to the main card, the Invicta FC 44 Prelims will be broadcast in the U.S. on AXS TV and streamed for free worldwide on Invicta FC’s YouTube channel beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Both platforms will also premiere a special Countdown to Invicta FC 44 documentary on Friday, Aug. 20.

Tickets to the event are on sale now through Eventbrite.

Invicta FC 44: A New Era (updated)

Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote vs. Danielle Taylor
Bantamweight Title: Lisa Verzosa vs. Taneisha Tennant
Flyweight: Brogan Sanchez vs. Mara Romero Borella
Strawweight: Jodie Esquibel vs. Liz Tracy
Bantamweight: Serena DeJesus vs. Lauren Mueller

Invicta FC 44 Prelims

Flyweight: Caitlin Sammons vs. Helen Peralta
Atomweight: Katie Saull vs. Monique Adriane
Atomweight: Katie Perez vs. Natalie Salcedo
Featherweight: Kayla Yontef vs. Carlene Chandler


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 Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a globally integrated multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion;  Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.

Invicta FC 44 Adds Miesha Tate and Yves Edwards to Commentary Team, Plus Fans Return

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – It will truly be a new era at Invicta FC 44 on Friday, Aug. 27.

When the world’s premier combat sports organization for women returns to pay-per-view for the first time in eight years, it will feature two new faces in the commentary booth, as well as the return of fans for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate and MMA pioneer Yves Edwards will provide color commentary alongside Invicta FC staples TJ De Santis — who will handle his usual play-by-play duties — and Taryn Tempel — who will provide cageside reporting.

The 34-year-old Tate recently restarted her MMA career following a four-year absence from competition. “Cupcake” defeated Marion Reneau in July to put herself back in the spotlight. A native of Washington state, Tate previously provided guest commentary at both Invicta FC 7 and Invicta FC 14.

Edwards, who retired from fighting in 2014, began his career in 1997. He fought for promotions such as Pride FC, Strikeforce, Bellator MMA and the UFC across 66 career bouts. Since retiring, the Bahamas native has provided commentary for the Professional Fighters League, as well as desk analysis for Fox Sports.

Invicta FC 44: A New Era is headlined by a strawweight title clash as top contenders Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) and “Dynamite” Danielle Taylor (11-5) square off for the vacant 115-pound strap. The second half of the double main event features Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (6-1) opposite Phoenix Tournament winner Taneisha “Triple Threat” Tennant (3-1) to determine a new bantamweight champion.

The main card will be distributed on pay-per-view via traditional cable and satellite carriers beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Digital customers around the world can pre-order the event immediately from FITE for $19.99 in the United States, $14.99 in Canada and $9.99 in the rest of the world.

Prior to the main card, the Invicta FC 44 Prelims will be broadcast in the U.S. on AXS TV and streamed for free worldwide on Invicta FC’s YouTube channel beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The preliminary portion of the card has added an atomweight bout between North Carolina’s Katie “Maquina Asesina” Perez (2-1) and Colorado newcomer Natalie Salcedo (debut), who was undefeated as an amateur.

The event will also feature the return of fans in attendance. Tickets to the event — which emanates from Memorial Hall — are on sale now through Eventbrite. Per local safety precautions, all fans in attendance will be required to wear masks. A limited number of media will also be allowed to attend.

As with any Invicta event, the safety of its athletes, their corners, its staff, commission officials and fans is of the utmost priority. All participants will be tested for COVID-19 prior to the event.

Invicta FC 44: A New Era

Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote vs. Danielle Taylor
Bantamweight Title: Lisa Verzosa vs. Taneisha Tennant
Flyweight: Brogan Sanchez vs. Mara Romero Borella
Strawweight: Jodie Esquibel vs. Kelly D’Angelo
Bantamweight: Serena DeJesus vs. Lauren Mueller

Invicta FC 44 Prelims (updated)

Flyweight: Caitlin Sammons vs. Helen Peralta
Atomweight: Katie Saull vs. Monique Adriane
Atomweight: Katie Perez vs. Natalie Salcedo
Featherweight: Kayla Yontef vs. Carlene Chandler


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 Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a globally integrated multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion;  Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.