Phoenix Tournament to Crown New Atomweight Contender on June 11

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A shot at reigning Invicta FC atomweight champion Alesha Zappitella is on the line as the fastest-paced format in combat sports – The Phoenix Tournament – returns next Friday, June 11. The fourth installment of Invicta FC’s Phoenix Tournament will emanate from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, as eight atomweight contenders will try to win three fights in one explosive night.

Invicta FC Phoenix Tournament©: Atomweights will air live on AXS TV in the United States and will be available worldwide on Invicta FC’s YouTube Channel. To find how to watch the action in your area, click here.

“The Phoenix Tournament is a unique set of challenges to our athletes,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp. “The rapid-fire pace of the one-round quarter- and semifinal matches is totally different to anything else in mixed martial arts. Having to peak not once, not twice but potentially three times against three different opponents is the kind of mental stress only a handful of fighters in MMA history have overcome.

“Whichever fighter comes out victorious on June 11 will have truly earned her shot at the Invicta FC world title.”

Perhaps the favorite to do that is Jéssica Delboni (10-3), who – incredibly – will be back in action just three weeks after pushing the champion Zappitella to split decision. The Brazilian feels she defeated Zappitella and is prepared to fight her way through three other contenders in order to get another crack at the 105-pound queen.

Joining Delboni in the Phoenix Tournament is a pair of New Yorkers in Lindsey “Damsel” VanZandt (7-4) and Jillian “Lionheart” DeCoursey (4-3). The 27-year-old VanZandt – who now trains in Arizona – will be making her fifth Invicta appearance, having battled both Zappitella and Delboni previously. DeCoursey steps into the Invicta cage for the sixth time.

Rounding out the group of promotional veterans, Linda “F109” Mihalec (2-1) and Canada’s “Queen of the North” Katie Saull (3-4) each look to slingshot their way to the top of the 105-pound ladder.

A trio of newcomers complete the tournament athletes as Paulina “Firefox” Granados (4-4), Tabatha “Batgirl” Watkins (3-3) and Katie “Maquina Asesina” Perez (2-1) look to make a name for themselves in their promotional debuts.

As with the previous Phoenix Tournament events, the single-elimination format will feature one-round fights in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, with the tournament final being a three-round affair to determine the champion. The eight participants will be matched up during a random draw prior to the event.

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.

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 — but will be open to a limited number of 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.

Tournament reserve match-ups will be announced prior to the event.

Phoenix Tournament: Atomweight Participants
Jéssica Delboni
Jillian DeCoursey
Katie Perez
Katie Saull
Lindsey VanZandt
Linda Mihalec
Paulina Granados
Tabatha Watkins

Vote


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 on AXS Results: Rodriguez Becomes First Mexican Champion, Zappitella Retains Atomweight Belt

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Friday, May 21, Invicta Fighting Championships kicked off a new era, hosting Invicta FC: Rodriguez vs. Torquato. The event marked the promotion’s debut on AXS TV in the United States and Fight Network in Canada. It also aired live and free on YouTube and is available for replay on demand.

In the night’s headliner, a new flyweight champion was crowned as Karina Rodriguez outworked Daiana Torquato over the course of five rounds. The Brazilian Torquato kicked the legs of Rodriguez to open the bout. Rodriguez countered with crisp boxing. A combination from Torquato backed Rodriguez to the fence and she landed a big uppercut. A heavy right hand from Torquato landed flush and she continued to pepper Rodriguez. Round two featured more low kicks from Torquato. Rodriguez continued to use her hands and dropped Torquato with a massive right hand as the bell sounded. The third frame was a back-and-forth affair as the low kicks from Torquato did not faze Rodriguez. The Mexican fighter increased her output and marched forward. As the fight entered the final rounds, the forward pressure and volume of Rodriguez was the difference. She opened a large cut under the right eye of Torquato with the constant barrage of punches. Torquato looked to grapple late in the fight, searching for the fight’s first takedown. Rodriguez stayed upright and pushed the action until the final bell. Rodriguez became the first Mexican champion in Invicta history with the unanimous decision nod from the judges.

The co-main event saw atomweight titleholder Alesha Zappitella defend her belt against Brazilian challenger Jéssica Delboni. The fight began with a feeling-out process on the feet as Delboni kept the fight at range. Zappitella shot for takedowns twice in the opening frame, but was stuffed on each attempt. A late head-and-arm throw scored for Zappitella. In round two, Zappitella again shot, then landed a heavy left hook after being stuffed yet again. The champion missed with a superwoman punch and the right hand of Delboni landed at will late in the frame. The third stanza was grueling. A big exchange late saw Zappitella land a knee, but Delboni countered with a left hand and she flurried to close the round. In the championship rounds, Delboni attacked the lead leg of Zappitella with kicks. She continued to push the action as Zappitella aimed to counter. The champion’s overhand right found its mark, but Delboni repeatedly fired back. With the open scoring system used by the Kansas commission, the scores were even across the board heading into the final round. Zappitella started the last round strong, pushing the challenger to the cage and scoring with short strikes. Delboni separated and landed from distance. She continued to batter the lead leg of Zappitella late in the frame. The fight would go the distance and the judges were called upon for a verdict. They were split in the result, but it was Zappitella who retained her belt.

Colorado’s Claire Guthrie spoiled the perfect record of Juliana Miller with a unanimous decision victory in their flyweight affair. Miller was aggressive from the onset, looking to take the fight to the ground. Guthrie showed great balance and scored with knees and elbows along the fence. Miller was relentless with her pressure, but she struggled to get the fight to the ground. It was more of the same in the second stanza, but Miller was able to latch onto a kimura and drag Guthrie to the mat. She scrambled well and took Guthrie’s back. It was short lived, as Guthrie was able to escape and land clean strikes. The final frame was a back-and-forth affair as both fighters had their moments. A heavy right hand from Guthrie appeared to wobble Miller, who was able to get the fight to the ground. Miller looked for numerous submissions, but was unable to find a finish. Guthrie celebrated as the judges rewarded her efforts.

Invicta veteran Josee Storts handed Mexico’s Maria Favela her first defeat after a back-and-forth battle to open the night’s main card. Storts used feints in round one to close the distance and initiate the clinch position. Favela countered with heavy knees as Storts worked for a takedown. A nice scramble from Favela allowed her to move to the back of Storts, but she was too aggressive and ended up on her back. The second round saw Storts march forward looking for takedowns. Favela showcased good takedown defense and landed heavy strikes to keep the Missouri native at bay. The final round began with a massive right hand from Storts that sent Favela reeling. The pair then jostled for position along the cage before Storts eventually drove the fight to the ground. Once there, she passed to mount and looked for an arm-triangle choke. Favela was able to escape, but the heavy top game of Storts was the difference on the judges’ scorecards.

Grappling ace Fatima Kline put on a clinic in her strawweight match-up with Ariana Melendez. The 20-year-old Kline quickly took the fight to the mat and immediately passed to half guard. She attacked the left arm of Melendez, which forced a scramble. Kline used it to secure the back of Melendez and locked on a body triangle. Once in the dominant position, Kline flattened out Melendez and slapped on a fight-finishing rear-naked choke.

The night’s action kicked off in the flyweight division as striking stalwarts Elise Pone and Chrissy Yandolli made their professional and promotional debuts. The pair were patient in the opening round, gauging their range. They exchanged a variety of kicks, but it was Pone who edged out the round with a steady stream of low kicks. In round two, the pace picked up and both fighters fired combinations. The pressure of Pone overwhelmed Yandolli and she hurt her along the fence. Once there, Pone unleashed a barrage of strikes that forced the referee to step in and halt the contest.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Karina Rodriguez def. Daiana Torquato by unanimous decision (50-45, 48-47, 49-46) – for flyweight title
Alesha Zappitella def. Jéssica Delboni by split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) – for atomweight title
Claire Guthrie def. Juliana Miller by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Josee Storts def. Maria Favela by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Fatima Kline def. Ariana Melendez by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 3:00
Elise Pone def. Chrissy Yandolli by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 2:07


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: Rodriguez vs. Torquato Official Weigh-in Results

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Thursday, May 20, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC: Rodriguez vs. Torquato. The event takes place Friday, May 21, with the entire card streaming live on YouTube beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The main card will also be broadcast live on AXS TV in the United States and Fight Network in Canada beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

In the headliner, Mexico’s Karina Rodriguez (8-4) faces off with Brazilian Daiana Torquato (10-3) for the vacant 125-pound title. Rodriguez is no stranger to the spotlight, having gone the distance with former champion Vanessa Porto and defeating UFC veterans DeAnna Bennett and Milana Dudieva inside the Invicta cage. Torquato rides a six-fight winning streak in the title affair, having also faced Bennett and Dudieva in the Phoenix Series 2 tournament.

“I know it’s going to be a great fight,” said Rodriguez of the title clash. “[Torquato’s] aggressive. She’s a striker. We’re going to try to kill each other over five rounds.”

Torquato responded, “This is the best I’ve ever been. It’s going to be a war. Whoever has the biggest heart is going to win.”

The co-main event will see newly crowned atomweight queen Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (8-2, 1 NC) defend her 105-pound belt against Brazilian challenger Jéssica Delboni (10-2). Michigan’s Zappitella captured gold at Invicta FC 42 last year, scoring the promotion’s first Von Flue choke finish against Ashley Cummins. Delboni was in action on the same card, defeating former champion Herica Tiburico on the scorecards.

“She’s been preparing for the old Alesha and she’s not going to be ready for what I bring to the table,” declared the champion Zappitella. “I’m ever-evolving and becoming the best mixed martial artist I can be. I’m better than the last ‘Half Pint’ you saw in the cage.”

The challenger Delboni retorted, “It’s going to be a very tough fight, the toughest of my life. I asked for the belt and I have to be ready when opportunity knocks. If I win, I’m the best in the world.”

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

Flyweight Title: Karina Rodriguez (124.7) vs. Daiana Torquato (124.9)
Atomweight Title: Alesha Zappitella (104.9) vs. Jéssica Delboni (104.8)
Flyweight: Juliana Miller (125.3) vs. Claire Guthrie (126)
Flyweight: Josee Storts (128.7)* vs. Maria Favela (125.5)
Strawweight: Fatima Kline (115.6) vs. Ariana Melendez (114.8)
Flyweight: Elise Pone (124.7) vs. Chrissy Yandolli (125.9)

* – Storts missed the flyweight limit of 126 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 Streams Friday’s Entire Event Live and Free on YouTube

Los Angeles – Invicta Fighting Championships returns to action this Friday night with a stacked six-fight card that will stream worldwide – LIVE and FREE – on YouTube.

Invicta FC: Rodriguez vs Torquato is headlined by two world title fights. First, takedown machine Alesha Zappitella defends her atomweight crown against surging challenger Jessica Delboni, then top-ranked Karina Rodriguez and Daiana Torquato collide for the vacant flyweight championship in the night’s headliner.

The action begins at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT, midnight in the U.K.) with the main card starting one hour later. Friday’s event is Invicta’s first since the world’s premier all-women MMA promotion was acquired by Anthem Sports & Entertainment.

The main card will also be broadcast live on Anthem properties AXS TV in the United States and Fight Network in Canada.

“Invicta has an incredibly loyal and passionate audience,” Invicta President Shannon Knapp said. “It is great those fans, no matter where they are in the world, will be able to see this entire card live and free on YouTube.

“We said when we announced the Anthem deal that Invicta’s platform world be bigger than ever – and we’re making good in that. I’m very excited for Invicta to not only make its U.S. cable television debut but – at the same time – also be available to every fight fan in the world on social media.”

Knapp added: “There are more women competing at the elite level of MMA than ever before, and more young girls are watching them compete and realizing there absolutely is a path for them in this sport. It was very different just a few short years ago – the reason I founded Invicta was to give women athletes a platform of their own. That platform is going continuing to grow.”

The event streams live and will also be available on demand following its completion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqQhRbteFUw

The full fight card can be found below:

Flyweight Title: Karina Rodriguez vs. Daiana Torquato
Atomweight Title: Alesha Zappitella vs. Jéssica Delboni
Flyweight: Juliana Miller vs. Claire Guthrie
Flyweight: Josee Storts vs. Maria Favela
Strawweight: Fatima Kline vs. Ariana Melendez
Flyweight: Elise Pone vs. Chrissy Yandolli


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 on AXS TV Fight Card Update

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The fight card for Invicta on AXS TV has undergone multiple changes.

The planned strawweight match-up between former title challenger Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) and Liz “The Titan” Tracy (5-4) as well as the bantamweight rematch between Phoenix Series 3 bantamweight winner Taneisha “Triple Threat” Tennant (3-1) and “Hurricane” Hope Chase (3-1) have been removed from the event.

A flyweight contest between newcomers “The Piece” Elise Pone (debut) and Chrissy “The Doll” Yandolli (debut) has been added to the card. Pone, who hails from Pennsylvania, is a decorated Muay Thai practitioner who has held multiple amateur titles. New York’s Yandolli also comes from a kickboxing background and will be making her professional debut.

Invicta on AXS TV takes place Friday, May 21 in Kansas City and features a pair of title fights in the flyweight and atomweight divisions. In the headliner, Mexico’s Karina Rodriguez (8-4) faces off with Brazilian Daiana Torquato (10-3) for the vacant 125-pound title. The co-main event will see newly crowned atomweight queen Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (8-2, 1 NC) defend her 105-pound belt against Brazilian challenger Jéssica Delboni (10-2).

The fight card will stream live and free on all Invicta FC social platforms beginning with a preliminary card at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m CT. Main-card action follows on Invicta’s new broadcast home, AXS TV, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. To find how to watch the action in your area, click here.

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 updated Invicta on AXS TV fight card can be found below:

Flyweight Title: Karina Rodriguez vs. Daiana Torquato
Atomweight Title: Alesha Zappitella vs. Jéssica Delboni
Flyweight: Juliana Miller vs. Claire Guthrie
Flyweight: Josee Storts vs. Maria Favela
Strawweight: Fatima Kline vs. Ariana Melendez
Flyweight: Elise Pone vs. Chrissy Yandolli


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 on AXS TV Features Flyweight and Atomweight Title Bouts

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The fight card for Invicta on AXS TV has been finalized.

The event — which takes place Friday, May 21 in Kansas City — will feature a pair of title fights in the flyweight and atomweight divisions. In the headliner, Mexico’s Karina Rodriguez (8-4) faces off with Brazilian Daiana Torquato (10-3) for the vacant 125-pound title. Rodriguez is no stranger to the spotlight, having gone the distance with former champion Vanessa Porto and defeating UFC veterans DeAnna Bennett and Milana Dudieva inside the Invicta cage. Torquato rides a six-fight winning streak in the title affair, having also faced Bennett and Dudieva in the Phoenix Series 2 tournament.

The co-main event will see newly crowned atomweight queen Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (8-2, 1 NC) defend her 105-pound belt against Brazilian challenger Jéssica Delboni (10-2). Michigan’s Zappitella captured gold at Invicta FC 42 last year, scoring the promotion’s first Von Flue choke finish against Ashley Cummins. Delboni was in action on the same card, defeating former champion Herica Tiburico on the scorecards.

Also on the card, former title challenger Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) welcomes Liz “The Titan” Tracy (5-4) to the strawweight division, Phoenix Series 3 bantamweight winner Taneisha “Triple Threat” Tennant (3-1) rematches “Hurricane” Hope Chase (3-1), undefeated flyweight Juliana “Killer” Miller (2-0) takes on Colorado’s “Grizzly” Claire Guthrie (2-1), Missouri’s Josee “Skull Crusher” Storts (2-0) battles fellow unbeaten flyweight Maria Favela (2-0) of Mexico, and newcomers Fatima “The Archangel” Kline (debut) and Ariana Melendez (1-0) square off at strawweight.

Invicta on AXS TV marks the promotion’s debut on its new broadcast home of AXS TV in the U.S. and Fight Network in Canada. The fight card will also stream live and free on all Invicta FC social platforms beginning with a three-fight preliminary card at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m CT. Main-card action will follow on AXS TV at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

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 Invicta on AXS TV fight card can be found below:

Flyweight Title: Karina Rodriguez vs. Daiana Torquato
Atomweight Title: Alesha Zappitella vs. Jéssica Delboni
Strawweight:
 Emily Ducote vs. Liz Tracy
Bantamweight: Taneisha Tennant vs. Hope Chase
Flyweight: Juliana Miller vs. Claire Guthrie
Flyweight: Josee Storts vs. Maria Favela
Strawweight: Fatima Kline vs. Ariana Melendez


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 Acquired by Anthem Sports & Entertainment

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Invicta Fighting Championships – the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion – announced today it has been acquired by Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc, a globally integrated media company creating content for passionate communities, whose properties include AXS TV, Fight Network, IMPACT Wrestling, and Game+ among others. Fans can look forward to a wide variety of Invicta events, including world championship fight nights, the popular Phoenix Series© tournaments, tentpole pay-per-view events plus behind the scenes shoulder programming.

Invicta FC was founded in 2012 by experienced combat sports executive Shannon Knapp. Over the last nine years, the promotion has changed the face of MMA. Knapp has promoted over 400 fights across Invicta’s 46 all-women events featuring – and often discovering – a who’s who of the greatest fighters of all time including Rose Namajunas, Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino and Amanda Nunes.

Knapp will join Anthem’s executive team as a senior member of the Sports Media Group, and will continue to spearhead Invicta FC as it moves into an exciting new era as part of the Anthem family.

She said: “This is a huge moment for Invicta and for women in the sport. Invicta FC was founded to give female mixed martial artists a platform where they could compete and prove the doubters wrong. Now, as part of the Anthem portfolio and with shows on national television for the first time, Invicta’s platform will be bigger than ever, and more people will have the opportunity to see the world’s elite female athletes compete. With Anthem’s backing, it’s going to be easier than ever for our fans to catch all the Invicta action and for new fans to find out exactly why Invicta is one of the world’s most exciting fight promotions.”

Ed Nordholm, the Chief Corporate Officer of Anthem Sports & Entertainment and the President of its Sports Media Group said: “We are very excited to acquire this uniquely positioned MMA promotion, adding a new content pillar to our combat sports portfolio as part of our overall strategy to transform Anthem into a leading global content company. What Shannon has accomplished with Invicta is one of the sport’s great success stories. She will play a vital role as a senior member on the Anthem executive team and as a shareholder in Anthem, and we look forward to helping her take Invicta to new heights.”

Invicta FC events will be broadcast live on the Anthem-owned AXS TV and Fight Network. Invicta FC 44 will take place Friday, May 21. It will feature a world championship fight and be broadcast live on AXS TV in the United States and on Fight Network in Canada. The event will be available digitally to Invicta’s many fans outside of North America including AXS’s digital property AXS TV NOW.

Frank Tanki, the General Manager of AXS TV, said: “AXS TV has a great legacy of supporting MMA under its AXS Fights brand and Invicta will be a centerpiece of our AXS Fights programming.”

As the world emerges from the pandemic, Anthem plans to steadily increase the number of Invicta FC shows across AXS TV, digital streaming platforms and standalone pay-per-view supercards. In addition to broadcasting live events featuring current Invicta headliners including Alesha Zappitella, Pam Sorenson and Pearl Gonzalez, Anthem will also celebrate Invicta’s rich legacy with regular programming showcasing Invicta’s historic fights and exclusive shoulder programming on fighters’ background and lifestyles.

The acquisition includes Invicta FC’s popular Phoenix Series© brand.

“The Phoenix Series is the fastest-paced format in MMA,” Knapp said. “For those who’ll be witnessing it for the first time, it is an intense rapid-fire event where eight athletes compete across one grueling night. The quarter and semifinal bouts consist of a single round – giving fighters no more than five minutes to either win and advance in the tournament or crash out in defeat. The two victorious semifinalists then go toe-to-toe that same night in a three, five-minute round finale match, with the winner being crowned tournament champion.”

Tanki added: “Invicta’s Phoenix Series is the perfect format for live television. It combines hard-hitting combat sport with the sort of compelling, fly-on-the-wall storytelling reminiscent of the best of live reality TV. I’m very excited a wider fanbase will get the chance to enjoy this innovative fight night for the first time on AXS.”


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 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; 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 43 Results: Harrison Pounds Out King, Geltmacher Scores Devastating Knockout

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Friday, Nov. 20, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 43: King vs. Harrison. The entire fight card aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

Making her featherweight debut, top lightweight fighter Kayla Harrison kept her perfect record intact with a dominant performance over Colorado’s Courtney King. The fight started with both athletes trading kicks. Harrison landed a left hand and then looked to snatch a leg. King shrugged her off and the pair clinched up against the cage. When they moved off the fence, Harrison tossed King to the ground and unleashed vicious ground and pound. An elbow opened a massive gash between the eyes of King and she poured blood. Harrison rained heavy shots before passing to mount and then taking the back of King. As the round came to a close, Harrison attacked with an armbar, but King was able to survive. Harrison took the fight right back to the mat in round two, but King did a great job to neutralize her from the bottom. The referee stood the fight up, only for Harrison to score another big takedown and start pursuing the finish. She passed to mount, then secured the crucifix position. An onslaught of short shots forced the referee to intervene and hand Harrison the TKO win.

The co-main event featured one of the best knockouts in Invicta FC history as flyweight Stephanie Geltmacher turned out the lights on Caitlin Sammons. The wrestling stalwart Geltmacher rushed forward and slammed Sammons to the canvas. Sammons quickly bounced to her feet and the pair began a grueling battle in the clinch. They swapped short knees and positions along the fence for a large portion of the round. The referee separated them late in the frame, giving the pair some space. The opened the door for Geltmacher to unleash a devastating right hand that caught Sammons flush on the jaw, putting her out and handing her the first defeat of her career.

Bantamweight Hope Chase gave returning Invicta veteran Brittney Cloudy a rude welcome back to the promotion, scoring a second-round submission win. The karate-stylist Chase bounced around early in the fight, but Cloudy used her boxing to pepper the face of Chase. A right hand from Cloudy open a large cut over the left eye of Chase. Chase worked hard for a takedown, eventually forcing Cloudy to her back. The aggressiveness of Chase continued on the mat as she tried to pass the guard with a cartwheel. Round two saw Cloudy capitalized on Chase’s forward pressure, getting a takedown and taking her back. Chase was patient and was able to escape the position. She worked from the top position and transitioned to Cloudy’s back along the cage. She secured a body triangle and applied the fighting-finishing rear-naked choke.

Strawweight debutant Meaghan Penning survived a tough opening round to get the better of 20-year-old Kansas native Alexa Culp. Culp came out firing, cracking Penning with a series of right hands. The nose of Penning bled and she began to work for a takedown. She was relentless along the fence, attempting trips, body locks and every other variation of takedown, but Culp stayed upright and landed knees. In the second round, Culp slipped in the round and it allowed Penning to get on top. She dropped short hammerfists and eventually took Culp’s back. Culp was patient, eventually spinning into Penning’s guard late in the round. The final stanza saw Culp earn an early takedown. However, once there, she struggled to mount offense. Penning was active on her back, throwing elbows and attacking with an armbar. The fight was sent to the judges and it was Penning who earned her first professional win.

The night kicked off with a battle of flyweight newcomers. California’s Juliana Miller spoiled the professional debut of Arkansas fighter Kendal Holowell with a slick armbar finish. The fight began with Miller marching forward, but Holowell ducked under the strikes and initiated the clinch. She worked hard for the takedown along the fence, putting Miller on her back. Miller was active from the bottom, looking for an armbar and then a leg lock. Holowell escaped and went back to her takedown attack. Miller responded with short elbows, but again ended up on the mat. This time, Miller baited Holowell into a bad spot, transitioning to an armbar and coercing the tap before the three-minute mark.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Kayla Harrison def. Courtney King by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 4:48
Stephanie Geltmacher def. Caitlin Sammons by knockout (punch). Round 1, 4:28
Hope Chase def. Brittney Cloudy by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 4:37
Meaghan Penning def. Alexa Culp by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Juliana Miller def. Kendal Holowell by submission (armbar). Round 1, 2:49


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 43: King vs. Harrison Official Weigh-in Results

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Thursday, Nov. 19, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 43: King vs. Harrison. The event takes place Friday, Nov. 20, with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT.

The card was slated to be headlined by a strawweight title fight between Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) and Mexico’s Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (9-1). Both fighters successfully made championship weight – Ducote at 114.5 pounds and Ruiz at 113.3 pounds – but there were positive COVID-19 tests that potentially exposed the main event athletes to the virus. Safety is the utmost priority for Invicta FC events and the enhanced pandemic protocols have forced the postponement of the bout to a future date.

As a result of the change, the featherweight debut of two-time Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison (7-0) will now serve as the night’s headliner. Harrison takes on veteran Courtney “The Lion” King (4-1).

Harrison, a sixth-degree black belt in judo, has compiled a perfect record competing in the lightweight division under the Professional Fighters League banner. Five of her seven victories have come inside the distance. She most recently captured the promotion’s lightweight tournament with a decision win over UFC veteran Larissa Pacheco. Colorado’s King enters the bout riding a three-fight winning streak that includes two submission victories. The 27-year-old most recently submitted fellow Invicta alum Audrey Wolfe in December. She also holds wins over Holli Logan and Colbey Northcutt.

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

Featherweight: Courtney King (145.2) vs. Kayla Harrison (145.9)
Flyweight: Stephanie Geltmacher (124.9) vs. Caitlin Sammons (124.2)
Bantamweight: Brittney Cloudy (137.3)* vs. Hope Chase (135.9)
Strawweight: Alexa Culp (115.6) vs. Meaghan Penning (115.9)
Flyweight: Juliana Miller (125.2) vs. Kendal Holowell (125.8)

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

Additionally, former featherweight title challenger Kaitlin Young weighed in as a reserve fighter, hitting the scale at 145.9 pounds.


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 43 Gets New Headliner, Kayla Harrison Joins Co-Main Event

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Invicta FC 43 has a new main event, as well as more starpower.

COVID-19 has forced the postponement of a planned flyweight title fight between UFC veteran Pearl “The Chi-Town Princess” Gonzalez (10-5) and 21-year-old Erin “Cold Blooded” Blanchfield (6-1). As a result, the strawweight title clash between Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) and Mexico’s Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (9-1) has been elevated to top-billing on Friday, Nov. 20. Oklahoma’s Ducote will challenge for a belt for the second time, having come up short against Kanako Murata at Invicta FC 38. Ducote bounced back with a win over UFC veteran Juliana Lima at Invicta FC 40 in July and with Japan’s Murata signing with the UFC, the title is now vacant. Ruiz was also in action in July, submitting former title challenger Janaisa Morandin in the first round of the Invicta FC 41 main event.

In addition to the main event change, two-time Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison (7-0) will serve as the opponent for veteran Courtney “The Lion” King (4-1). Harrison, a sixth-degree black belt in judo, has compiled a perfect record competing in the lightweight division under the Professional Fighters League banner. Five of her seven victories have come inside the distance. She most recently captured the promotion’s lightweight tournament with a decision win over UFC veteran Larissa Pacheco. The fight with King will mark the 30-year-old’s debut at 145 pounds. Colorado’s King enters the bout riding a three-fight winning streak that includes two submission victories. The 27-year-old most recently submitted fellow Invicta alum Audrey Wolfe in December. She also holds wins over Holli Logan and Colbey Northcutt.

The previously announced flyweight bout between Oklahoma’s Stephanie “Hold Fast” Geltmacher (4-1) and Florida’s Trisha Cicero (4-3) has changed after Cicero has been forced to withdraw from the event. Stepping in will be another Floridian, as Caitlin “Ginger” Sammons (3-0) aims to keep her perfect record intact against the decorated wrestler Geltmacher.

Also joining the card, bantamweight “Hurricane” Hope Chase (2-1) welcomes “The Quiet Storm” Brittney Cloudy (2-2) back to the promotion, while 20-year-old Alexa Culp (1-0) looks to score another “Performance of the Night” bonus against promotional newcomer Meaghan Penning (0-0) at strawweight.

Invicta FC 43 takes place in Kansas City and airs live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT. The event will be overseen by the Kansas Athletic Commission and will feature open scoring. 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.

The updated Invicta FC 43 fight card can be found below:

Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote vs. Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz
Featherweight: Courtney King vs. Kayla Harrison
Flyweight: Stephanie Geltmacher vs. Caitlin Sammons
Bantamweight: Brittney Cloudy vs. Hope Chase
Strawweight: Alexa Culp vs. Meaghan Penning
Flyweight: Juliana Miller vs. Kendal Holowell


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.