Tuff-N-Uff announces four-woman strawweight tournament

Tuff-N-Uff announces four-woman strawweight tournament, winner to earn pro contract with Invicta FC

LAS VEGAS – The nation’s premier amateur mixed martial arts promotion is happy to announce an exciting new venture with the sport’s top all-female organization.

“Tuff-N-Uff: The Future Stars of Mixed Martial Arts” will host a four-woman strawweight tournament, and the winner will be rewarded with a professional fight contract with Invicta Fighting Championships.

“Tuff-N-Uff has long supported women’s martial arts, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have some of the best ladies in the game compete in our cage,” Tuff-N-Uff Vice President Jeff Meyer said. “The chance to partner with the best all-women’s MMA organization in the sport for this unique opportunity was a natural fit for us, and I’m looking forward to seeing this tournament play out.”

The four women involved in the tournament include Texas’ Jianna Denizard (5-2), Las Vegas’ own Jamie Moyle (3-2), Arkansas’ Laura Uyeda (5-0) and California’s Molly Wren-Holmes (4-0).

The opening round of the bracket takes place at Tuff-N-Uff’s April 11 fight card at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Tickets for the event, which start at just $25, are available at Tuff-N-Uff’s official website, tuffnuff.com.

Denizard comes to the tournament on the strength of her quality striking. However, she also boasts two submission wins on her record, proving she’s a threat wherever the fight takes place. At 5-foot-7, Denizard will be the tallest of the four competitors; and she knows how to use every inch of her reach to her advantage, utilizing her range to force opponents to over-extend themselves and fall prey to counters.

Moyle has already faced the likes of undefeated four-time Invicta FC veteran Tecia Torres during her time in the amateur ranks, and she comes from one of the best camps in the world in Syndicate MMA. Moyle possesses some of the sharpest techniques in amateur MMA today, and her ability to put pressure on opponents is her strongest asset. Despite being the smallest competitor out of the four, no opponent will be able to take her lightly.

Uyeda is probably the best all-around athlete in the tournament. She earned a bronze medal in the No-Gi Worlds 2012, and in college earned a full athletic scholarship to New Orleans University at Monroe. Her ground game is clearly her strength. However, she also possesses a knockout win on her record and has taken two victories by decision.

Wren-Holmes is the craftiest MMA practitioner in the tournament, earning comparisons to a former Tuff-N-Uff competitor, Mike Pyle. No matter what position or situation Wren-Holmes is in, she’ll find a way to use it to inflict some pain on her opponent. The Californian is adept at landing the first and last punch of any exchange, as well. This helps her gain advantages over opponents not only physically, but mentally. She’s finished three of her four bouts by knockout.

The winners of the two April 11 semifinal bouts will meet in the tournament final on June 7 at Thomas and Mack Center.

About Tuff-N-Uff:

Tuff-N-Uff Productions, Inc. (www.tuffnuff.com) is the nation’s premier amateur mixed martial arts promotion. Founded in 1994, Tuff-N-Uff has helped many amateur fighters gain the experience needed to pursue professional fight careers. Tuff-N-Uff is proud to have helped groom the following professional fighters: Ronda Rousey, Ryan Couture, Marina Shafir, Chris Holdsworth and Jessamyn Duke.

About Invicta Fighting Championships:

Invicta Fighting Championships (www.invictafc.com) is a world championship 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 matchups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.

INVICTA FC ANNOUNCES SIGNING OF FIFTEEN NEW ATHLETES

INVICTA FC ANNOUNCES SIGNING OF FIFTEEN NEW ATHLETES IN VARIOUS WEIGHT CLASSES

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (February 14th, 2104) – Invicta Fighting Championships has announced the signing of fifteen women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes to the Kansas City based promotion. The fifteen new athletes are spread across all five of the current weight classes in the women’s world championship MMA promotion and represent the next chapter in the history of Women’s MMA.

Since the inaugural Invicta FC live event in April 2012, Invicta has maintained its goal of showcasing current stars of Women’s MMA, but also building the stars of the future. To date over a dozen athletes have made their professional debuts fighting for Invicta FC, a trend that continues with the signings announced today.

“Invicta has always endeavored to balance delivering the athletes fans know and love, with an eye towards building the next generation of female MMA stars,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp. “It has always been important to give the fans new athletes to cheer for, and to give the athletes themselves a platform to showcase their talent for the entire world to see.”

Continuing another Invicta FC trend, recently signed athletes hail from all corners of the globe, including as far away as New Zealand. “Women’s MMA is truly a global sport, and at Invicta we have scoured the globe in order to bring the best talent to our fans,” said Knapp. “There is talent all around the globe, and our goal at Invicta has been to provide athletes with a worldwide platform to display their talent.”

Newly minted Invicta FC Matchmaker Julie Kedze is excited with the options the new signings represent for Invicta. “This new class provides me with added depth to put together match ups that we believe the fans want to see.” remarked Kedzie.

Invicta currently plans to hold six world class MMA events in 2014, with the first tentatively planned for early April.

The following is a complete list of the most recent signings by Invicta FC, led by Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) veterans Peggy Morgan and Roxanne Modafferi.

Atomweight (105lbs)

Amber Brown- 3-1, United States

Strawweight (115lbs)

Livia Renata Souza- 5-0, Brazil

Karolina Kowalkiewicz – 4-0, Poland

Mellony Geugjes -0-1 MMA, 18-5-2 Kickboxing, 10-0 PRO Boxing, Netherlands

Herica Tiburcio- 7-2, Brazil

Ashley Greenway- Pro Debut, United States

Flyweight (125lbs)

Rachel Ostovich- 0-1, United States

Joanna Jedrzejczyk –  4-0, Poland

Valerie Letourneau – 4-3, Canada

Delaney Owen – Pro Debut, United States

Bantamweight (135lbs)

Peggy Morgan- 2-1, United States

Roxanne Modafferi – 15-11, United States

Cindy Dandois- 5-1, Belgium

Irene Aldana-  3-1, Mexico

Featherweight (145lbs)

Faith Van Duin- 4-0, New Zealand

Invicta FC’s most recent event on December 7th saw Barb “Lil’ Warrior” Honchak (9-2) make the first defense of her Flyweight World Title (125 Pounds) against Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (6-4-1). Invicta FC also crowned it’s very first Bantamweight World Champion (135 pounds), when Lauren Murphy (8-0) defeated Miriam “The Queen of Mean” Nakamoto (2-1) by way of TKO (knee injury).

About Invicta Fighting Championships:

Invicta Fighting Championships (www.InvictaFC.com) is a world championship 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 and sports aficionado Janet Martin, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible matchups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.

INVICTA FC NAMES WOMEN’S MMA PIONEER JULIE KEDZIE NEW MATCHMAKER

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Dec. 16, 2013) – Invicta Fighting Championships has appointed recently retired women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) superstar Julie Kedzie as the new matchmaker for the women’s world championship MMA promotion, it was announced today on an all-new edition of “The MMA Hour” web TV program by award-winning host Ariel Helwani.

Kedzie will simultaneously continue to serve as color commentator for Invicta FC television broadcasts, a role that she has played for the promotion since the inaugural Invicta FC live event in April 2012.

“I am excited about this incredible new opportunity that will allow me to remain as active and hands on as ever in contributing to the growth of women’s competition in our great sport,” said Kedzie, a protégé of MMA guru Greg Jackson who retired from competition earlier this month following her 29th professional career bout at UFC Fight Night 33.

“(Invicta FC President) Shannon Knapp has done an unbelievable job at pushing the envelope and helping transform women’s MMA into an aggressively expanding enterprise,” continued Kedzie, “a development that will undoubtedly lead to increased participation in the sport by young women athletes who want to challenge themselves in the world’s fastest growing sport.”

“We are thrilled to expand Julie’s role in the Invicta FC organization and have one of the pioneers of our sport assume the pivotal role of matchmaker under her wing,” said Knapp.  “There is no one more qualified than someone like Julie, who has lived and breathed MMA for the last 10 years, to take on the responsibility of nurturing our athletes, building our roster and creating the most exciting matchups possible for our live event series.”

Invicta FC rolled out its final live event of the year on Dec. 7, an explosive, live Pay-Per-View televised world championship doubleheader that saw Barb “Lil’ Warrior” Honchak (9-2) successfully defend her strawweight (125 pounds) title against Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (6-4-1) in the main event that was also named “Fight of the Night.”

In the eight-bout card’s co-main event, Lauren Murphy (8-0) extended her perfect record and retained her bantamweight (135 pounds), defeating Miriam “The Queen of Mean” Nakamoto (2-1) by way of TKO (knee injury) in the fourth round (:23).

About Invicta Fighting Championships:

Invicta Fighting Championships (www.invictafc.com) is a world championship 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 and sports aficionado Janet Martin, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible matchups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.

 

UFC LAUNCHES WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT DIVISION

UFC LAUNCHES WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT DIVISION WITH THE ADDITION OF 11 NEW ATHLETES FROM INVICTA FC

The Ultimate Fighting Championship® announced today that the Invicta FC women’s mixed martial arts organization has assigned the contracts of 11 women’s strawweight (115 pounds) competitors to the UFC. Terms of the assignment were not disclosed.

The 11 fighters are: Carla Esparza, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Joanne Calderwood, Tecia Torres,Rose Namajunas, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Alex Chambers, Julianna Lima, and Paige Van Zant.

In May, these 11 competitors will report to Las Vegas and participate on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter® in the first-ever all-women’s edition of the show. And for the first time ever, The Ultimate Fighter® will crown a UFC champion, as the winner of season 20 will become the inaugural UFC women’s strawweight champion.

Coaches for the show have not yet been determined. An additional five fighters will be selected for The Ultimate Fighter via a tryout set to be held in 2014.

“The women’s 135-pound division in the UFC has been amazing and we know there are a ton of talented women’s mixed martial artists out there,” UFC president Dana White said. “Now, you’ll see even more great women’s bouts in the UFC with the addition of the 115-pound division. We’re excited to crown the first-ever UFC women’s strawweight champion in 2014 after a historic season of The Ultimate Fighter.”

BARB HONCHAK RETAINS FLYWEIGHT TITLE AT INVICTA FIGHTING 7

BARB HONCHAK RETAINS FLYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WITH UNANIMOUS DECISION OVER LESLIE SMITH  AT INVICTA FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS 7 

Lauren Murphy Wins Inaugural Invicta Fighting Championships

Bantamweight Title With TKO Of Miriam Nakamoto 

Honchak-Smith Wins “Fight Of The Night” & Nina Arsanoff Wins “KO Of The Night

KANSAS CITY, MO. (Dec. 7, 2013) – Barb Honchak won a hard-fought, unanimous decision victory to retain the Invicta FC Flyweight World Championship over challenger Leslie Smith in Saturday’s Invicta Fighting Championships 7 at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

Honchak (9-2) and Smith (6-4-1) traded blows in the all-action bout, but it was Honchak’s technical striking and ability to take Smith to the ground and inflict damage that was the difference.  All three judges scored the bout 49-46.

“I knew Leslie would be tough,” said Honchak, who has won seven fights in a row.  “I wanted to take her down because that’s what I’ve been working on.

I thought we had a great striking battle.  I think we had one close round, but at least four of the rounds were mine:”

Smith didn’t disagree with the decision when asked about the judges’ scorecards at the post-fight press conference.

“Barb was the better fighter tonight,” Smith said.  “I feel like I never turned it on 100 percent.  It wasn’t a surprise to me at the end because I feel like I could have fought a much better fight.”

Lauren Murphy (8-0) won inaugural Invicta FC Bantamweight Championship via fourth round TKO when the previously unbeaten Miriam Nakamoto (2-1, 1 NC) had to stop fighting due to a knee injury.

Murphy and Nakamoto traded shots in the first two rounds before the undefeated Murphy turned the tide with a takedown toward the end of the third.  Nakamoto appeared to injure her knee during the takedown and struggled to get back up with Murphy repeatedly landing blows to close out the round.

Just :23 seconds into the fourth, Nakamoto slipped and instantly grabbed her right knee as she fell to the canvas in pain.  Referee Mike England immediately ended the bout.

“When I came back in the third I just wanted to keep it going the next couple of rounds,” Murphy said.  “I think she’s an amazing fighter and if she wants a rematch I’d be happy to do it.

“I saw her nose was bloodied and I could taste the blood in my mouth from when she hit me.  Nothing gets you more excited than two people beating the shit out of each other.”

Tecia Torres (3-0) put on a dominant performance to keep her undefeated record intact against Felice Herrig (9-5) with a unanimous decision (30-27 three times).  Herrig, who was making her highly-anticipated Invicta debut, was completely dominated by the shorter Torres, who showcased an impressive arsenal of strikes and kicks.

“What shocked me was total domination,” Torres said.  “I’ve always looked up to her so it was an honor to be in the same cage.  Everything just came together.  People think I’m one dimensional, but not tonight.

“I think I’m pretty close to the title, but I’m in no rush.”

In a battle of unbeatens, Joanne Calderwood (8-0) handed fellow strawweight contender Katja “Killer Bunny” Kankaanpaa (8-1-1) her first loss with a unanimous decision scored 29-28 by all three judges.

“I’ll just fight whoever is in front of me,” said Calderwood when asked if she deserves a shot at the Invicta Strawweight belt.  “That’s my job.  I’ll leave the rest up to them.”

Julia Budd (6-2) defeated fellow Canadian Charmaine Tweet (4-4) to remain undefeated in four bouts under the Invicta banner with convincing unanimous decision victory (30-27).

After the fight, Budd didn’t back down when asked by Invicta analyst Miesha Tate if she’d like to fight Invicta Featherweight World Champion Cris Cyborg Justino.

“I’m looking to be the best and looking to fight the best,” Budd said.  “Whoever they put in front of me I’m happy to fight.”

Vanessa Porto (16-6) kicked off the PPV telecast with a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 twice) over Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-4) in a three-round flyweight.

Tonya Evinger (12-6) closed out the free one-hour live viewing portion with a unanimous decision (29-28 three times) over Sarah D’ Alelio (7-5).  In the opening bout of the evening, flyweight Nina Ansaroff (6-4) scored a TKO (strikes) at 3:54 of the second round over Munah Holland (5-3).

About Invicta Fighting Championships:

Invicta is a world championship Mixed Martial Arts 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 and sports aficionado Janet Martin, 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.  For more information about Invicta or its events and fighters visit www.invictafc.com or follow on Twitter @InvictaFights.

About Integrated Sports Media:

North America’s leading distributor of International Pay-Per-View and Closed Circuit sports events has presented World Championship and world-class mixed martial arts shows featuring Fedor Emelianenko, Tim Sylvia, Bobby Lashley, Mirko Filipovic, Bob Sapp, Jeff Monson and Roy Nelson, in addition to World Championship and world-class boxing matches featuring Gennady Golovkin, Erik Morales, Vitali Klitschko, Ricky Hatton, Cristian Mijares, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones, Jr., Tomasz Adamek, Paulie Malignaggi, Ivan Calderon, Rocky Martinez, Nicolai Valuev, Amir Khan, Marco Antonio Barrera, Arthur Abraham, David Haye, John Ruiz, Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr., Brian Viloria, Giovani Segura and Ruslan Chagaev.  In addition, Integrated Sports Media has distributed numerous International soccer matches featuring teams like Real Madrid, Club America of Mexico and the National Teams of Argentina, Honduras, El Salvador and the USA. For more information on upcoming Integrated Sports events visit www.integratedsportsnet.com or follow on Twitter @IntegratedPPV.

CONTACTS:

Doug Jacobs, Integrated Sports Media, 201.610.1500, doug@integratedsportsnet.com

Bob Trieger, Full Court Press, 978.664.4482, bobtfcp@hotmail.com

Mike Afromowitz, 917.566.8754, mikea@yourwitzend.com

Matt Donovan, Brener Zwikel & Associates, 352-262-3073, mattd@bzapr.com

Miesha Tate Joins Invicta FC 7 as a commentator for this Saturday’s event

KANSAS CITY, MO. (Dec. 2, 2013) – Women’s MMA superstar Miesha Tate will join the announcing team as guest analyst for this Saturday’s Invicta Fighting Championships 7, airing live on pay-per-view from Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

Tate will call the nine-bout event featuring three world championship fights alongside play-by-play announcer Michael Schiavello and color analyst and Invicta veteran “King” Mo Lawal.  Schiavello, a long-time broadcaster, will call his first Invicta PPV telecast.

Tate, a former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, will face UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champ Ronda Rousey in a long-awaited rematch at UFC 168 later this month.

Invicta Fight Championships 7 is being distributed in North America by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via IN Demand, DISH, Avail-TVN in the United States, as well as Bell TV, Shaw PPV, SaskTel, TELUS, and MTS in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $14.95.  In addition, viewers worldwide may purchase the show at www.invictafc.com and the Invicta Fighting Championship’s Facebook page.

Invicta is also offering a FREE one-hour live viewing in North America, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, available via all aforementioned PPV carriers and The Fight Network in Canada.  Viewers worldwide may also watch the free bouts, featuring Sarah D’ Alelio (7-4) vs. Tonya Evinger (11-6) at bantamweight and Munah Holland (5-2) vs. Nina Arsanoff (5-4) at flyweight, via www.invictafc.com and Invicta Fighting Championship’s Facebook.

In Saturday’s  main event, Invicta FC flyweight (125 pounds) champion Barb Honchak (8-2) will defend her title against three-time “Fight of the Night” winnerLeslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (6-3-1).  In the  co-feature, Invicta FC strawweight (115 pounds) champion Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza (9-2) will defend her belt against undefeated Brazilian superstar Claudia Gadelha (11-0).  In a third world title fight, the inaugural Invicta FC bantamweight (135 pounds) world championship title will be on the line, featuring knockout artist Lauren Murphy (7-0) against unbeaten rising star Miriam Nakamoto (2-0, 1 NC).

For additional information please visit www.IntegratedSportsnet.com or www.invictafc.com.

About Invicta Fighting Championships: Invicta is a world championship Mixed Martial Arts 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 and sports aficionado Janet Martin, 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.  For more information about Invicta or its events and fighters visit www.invictafc.com or follow on Twitter @InvictaFights.

About Integrated Sports Media: North America’s leading distributor of International Pay-Per-View and Closed Circuit sports events has presented World Championship and world-class mixed martial arts shows featuring Fedor Emelianenko, Tim Sylvia, Bobby Lashley, Mirko Filipovic, Bob Sapp, Jeff Monson and Roy Nelson, in addition to World Championship and world-class boxing matches featuring Gennady Golovkin, Erik Morales, Vitali Klitschko, Ricky Hatton, Cristian Mijares, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones, Jr., Tomasz Adamek, Paulie Malignaggi, Ivan Calderon, Rocky Martinez, Nicolai Valuev, Amir Khan, Marco Antonio Barrera, Arthur Abraham, David Haye, John Ruiz, Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr., Brian Viloria, Giovani Segura and Ruslan Chagaev.  In addition, Integrated Sports Media has distributed numerous International soccer matches featuring teams like Real Madrid, Club America of Mexico and the National Teams of Argentina, Honduras, El Salvador and the USA. For more information on upcoming Integrated Sports events visit www.integratedsportsnet.com or follow on Twitter @IntegratedPPV.

Esparza vs Gadelha potential women’s MMA war

Esparza vs Gadelha potential women’s MMA war In Invicta Fighting Championships 7 co-feature World Championship Tripleheader Dec. 7 on Pay-Per-View

HOBOKEN, NJ (November 25, 2013) – Invicta FC strawweight (115 lbs.) champion Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza (9-2) defends her belt against undefeated Brazilian superstar Claudia Gadelha (11-0) in one of three world title fights on Invicta Fighting Championships 7, airing live Saturday night, December 7 on pay-per-view from Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.

The stacked, nine-bout event is headlined by a potential instant classic, showcasing Inficta FC flyweight champion Barb Honchak (8-2) and her challenger, three-time “Fight of the Night” winner Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (6-3-1).

Invicta Fight Championships 7 is being distributed in North American by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 9:00 p.m. ET – 6:00 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, DISH, Avail-TVN in the United States, as well as Bell TV, Shaw PPV, SaskTel, TELUS, and MTS in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $14.95. In addition, viewers worldwide may purchase the show at www.invictafc.com and the Invicta Fighting Championship’s Facebook page.

Esparza (9-2), fighting of Redondo Beach (CA), meets undefeated Brazilian superstar Gadelha (11-0) in the co-feature. She returns to the cage for the first time since sustaining a knee injury earlier this year during training. She is riding a four-right win streak into her showdown with Gadelha.

“Fighting on pay per view is very significant,” the 26-year-old Esparza said. “Invicta FC brings in fighters from all over the world, so it is great that their fans will be able to watch. I think that, once fans get a taste of Invicta, they will want to continue watching whether or not someone from their country is fighting.

“I think Claudia will come out hard right away. She has seven first-round finishes, which means she does not like to waste any time. I am expecting a very difficult first round. We both have an excellent ground game, so hopefully we can put on an entertaining, strategic ground-war if the fight happens to go there. She wants to get in there and get to work right away. I will go out there and leave it all in the cage. I am training very hard for this fight and I know she is too.”

Unbeaten since turning pro in 2008, Gadelha will make her second start under the Invicta FC banner having scored an impressive win by third round (3:58) TKO over JEWELS champion Ayaka Hamasaki last July.

“It is going to be a war,” the 24-year-old Gadelha agreed with her opponent. “We are both coming in top shape, ready to put on a great fight. This will be one to remember! Being on pay per view is huge for women’s MMA. I am really excited because we women train just as hard as male athletes in MMA. I feel we deserve this opportunity. It’ll be great for the world to be exposed to not just women’s MMA, but the Invicta Fighting Championships, as well.

“Carla was a wrestler, first, so I know that she likes to take the fight to the ground. I will be ready for anything she throws at me. It’s going to be an exciting fight.”
In the third world title fight, the inaugural Invicta FC bantamweight (135 pounds) world championship title will be on the line, featuring knockout artist Lauren Murphy (7-0) against unbeaten rising star Miriam Nakamoto (2-0, 1 NC).

Felice “Lil’ Bulldog” Herrig (9-4) makes her highly-anticipated Invicta FC debut versus unbeaten strawweight Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres (3-0).

Also fighting on the undercard in a battle of unbeaten strawweights are Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood (7-0) vs. Finnish strawweight Katja “Killer Bunny” Kankaanpaa (8-0-1), as well as Canadian featherweight (145 lbs.) Julia “The Jewel” Budd (5-2) vs. fellow Canadian Charmaine “Not So Sweet” Tweet (4-3), flyweight Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-3) vs. Vanessa Porto (15-6), bantamweight Kelly Kobold (18-3) vs. Tonya “Triple Threat” Evinger (11-6), plus flyweight Munah “The Perfect Storm” Holland (5-2) vs. Nina “The Strina” Ansaroff (5-4).

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

For additional information please visit www.IntegratedSportsnet.com or www.invictafc.com.

About Invicta Fighting Championships: Invicta is a world championship Mixed Martial Arts 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 and sports aficionado Janet Martin, 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. For more information about Invicta or its events and fighters visit www.invictafc.com or follow on Twitter @InvictaFights.

About Integrated Sports Media: North America’s leading distributor of International Pay-Per-View and Closed Circuit sports events has presented World Championship and world-class mixed martial arts shows featuring Fedor Emelianenko, Tim Sylvia, Bobby Lashley, Mirko Filipovic, Bob Sapp, Jeff Monson and Roy Nelson, in addition to World Championship and world-class boxing matches featuring Gennady Golovkin, Erik Morales, Vitali Klitschko, Ricky Hatton, Cristian Mijares, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones, Jr., Tomasz Adamek, Paulie Malignaggi, Ivan Calderon, Rocky Martinez, Nicolai Valuev, Amir Khan, Marco Antonio Barrera, Arthur Abraham, David Haye, John Ruiz, Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr., Brian Viloria, Giovani Segura and Ruslan Chagaev. In addition, Integrated Sports Media has distributed numerous International soccer matches featuring teams like Real Madrid, Club America of Mexico and the National Teams of Argentina, Honduras, El Salvador and the USA. For more information on upcoming Integrated Sports events visit www.integratedsportsnet.com or follow on Twitter @IntegratedPPV.

Matt Donovan
Brener Zwikel & Associates
(352) 262-3073
MattD@bzapr.com

INVICTA FC unveils state of the art website featuring entire roster of athletes

Invicta Fighting Championships unveiled their new website on Wednesday, November 6, as the company continues to look ahead to its upcoming card.

“We’re extremely excited about the website,” Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp said. “It’s a lot more state of the art. It’s got a lot more information about our athletes, and it’s more organized. It’s a website that educates fans, and it lets them get to know more about the athletes who compete under our banner. It has a more professional presentation. I see the competitors as athletes not fighters, and the site shows that.”

Shannon Knapp worked with APOCALYPSE MMA president Roger O’Brian to develop the site. The front page of the site sticks to Knapp’s vision of putting her athletes first by featuring every single one of them on a scrolling banner at the top. Visitors to the site can click on any of the pictured athletes, and they will be taken to the competitor’s bio complete with social media links so fans can follow the athletes.

“We wanted to capture Shannon Knapp’s vision,” Roger O’Brian said. “The new Invicta FC website is not only about Invicta FC, it’s about the athletes and represents those athletes in a manner which they deserve. The website is not only cleaner, easier to navigate and packed with new features, it’s of high-end quality. But it goes beyond that, by featuring the athletes front and center, the website honors the hard work, dedication and struggle these athletes go through in order to advance their careers and the sport of women’s MMA.” 

There’s also five stars on the right hand side of every page on the website. Each star represents the champion of one of Invicta’s weight classes. Readers will be able to view a picture of the current champion upon clicking on their specific star which also links to that champion’s bio page. For example, the top star is for atomweight world champion Michelle Waterson. Clicking on that star opens up Waterson’s featured image where readers can visit her profile page, learn about her career and even follow Waterson on her social media accounts.

Another key feature on the site for all the Invicta FC athletes, including the Phoenix Girls, is “Happy Birthday announcements.” When a certain athlete has a birthday, Invicta FC’s website will auto post a featured picture on the main page, wishing the athlete a happy birthday. This featured image will also be auto posted to Invicta FC’s official facebook fan page and Twitter where it then redirects fans to the athlete’s social media accounts.

The site features a blog where Invicta athletes can write about everything ranging from their training to their favorite hobbies. There is also a section where fans can learn about the Phoenix Girls through their individual bio pages, view their pictures, and follow them on social media. Additionally, there is an all-new media section with promotional videos and pictures, and soon the site will also launch the upgraded online store.

Finally, there is also a rather unique section on the site known as the athlete registration form. Any female athlete wishing to get Invicta’s attention can fill out the form, and it will go directly to Shannon Knapp. There are no hoops for them to jump through to get in touch with Knapp. All the athlete has to do is fill out the form. It provides prospective Invicta athletes with a direct link to the president of Invicta FC.

Overall, the website gives fans a much more personal view of Invicta and its athletes. It focuses on who these women are and what they are trying to accomplish in mixed martial arts. The site also signals that Invicta is moving forward with its mission to build up women’s mixed martial arts around the world. Be sure to check out InvictaFC.com to see what’s going on in the country’s premier women’s MMA organization.

 

Article written by Derek Ciapala

Derek Ciapala has been following MMA since the days when Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie fought in the octagon. You can Follow Derek Ciapala on Twitter and Facebook for the latest in Sports News!

 

INVICTA FC 7 COMING TO KANSAS CITY ON DECEMBER 7TH

INVICTA FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS RETURNS DEC. 7! 

TICKETS ON SALE

FRIDAY, OCT. 18 FOR

WOMEN’S MMA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TRIPLEHEADER

IN KANSAS CITY

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Oct. 12, 2013) – Women’s world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion Invicta Fighting Championships will return to Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City with a stacked, nine-bout event featuring three world title fights, including a main event showdown between reigning flyweight champion Barb Honchak (8-2) of Bettendorf, Iowa and three-time “Fight of the Night” winner Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith(6-3-1) of Pleasanton, Calif.

Tickets priced from $35, for the highly-anticipated return of Invicta FC women’s MMA action go on sale at 10 a.m. CT on Friday, Oct. 18, at TicketFly.com.

“We are excited about returning to the big stage in full force with another loaded card featuring a fantastic mix of world championship bouts and other world-class MMA action that will see a collection of the best women fighters on the planet face off against each other,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp.

In the co-main event, Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza (9-2) of Redondo Beach, Calif. will put her strawweight (115 pounds) championship on the line against surging, undefeated superstar Claudia Gadelha (11-0) of Mossoro, Rio Grande Do Norte Brazil.

In the first-ever Invicta FC bantamweight (135 pounds) world championship bout, hard-hitting KO artist Lauren Murphy (7-0) of Anchorage, Alaska will battle fellow unbeaten star Miriam Nakamoto (2-0, 1 NC) of Dublin, Calif.

The 34-year-old Honchak, a protégé of former world champion Pat Miletich, dominated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Vanessa Porto to become the first Invicta FC 125 pound champion in history on July 13.  The victory was Honchak’s seventh straight.

Smith, a 31-year-old striking aficionado, has become a memorable face by engaging in all-out slugfests with her opponents on the five Invicta FC cards that she has appeared on.  On July 13, Smith, in her firsts start at flyweight after a healthy run at bantamweight, outgunned Jennifer Maia to earn a unanimous decision after three rounds of action.

The 26-year-old Esparza, a student of famed trainer Colin Oyama, will step in the cage for the first time since sustaining a knee injury in training earlier this year.  In her last effort at Invicta FC 4 on January 5, she notched her fourth consecutive win, a unanimous decision over “Rowdy” Bec Hyatt.

Gadelha has been unstoppable with her submission game and, lately, her striking, since turning pro in 2008.  The 24-year-old will make her second start under the Invicta FC banner after scoring a third round (3:58) TKO on JEWELS champion Ayaka Hamasaki with a barrage of punches on July 13.

Murphy has been perfect, thus far, in the Invicta FC cage, earning back-to-back unanimous decision victories over Kaitlin Young and Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio on April 5 and July 13, respectively.  Prior to her Invicta FC debut, the 30-year-old had scored TKO finishes on all five her career opponents.

The 37-year-old Nakamoto, a seasoned Muay Thai champion extended her unblemished record at Invicta FC 6, scoring a thunderous first round (2:08) TKO on Duda Yankovich with a knee strike and series of punches.  The finish earned Nakamoto “KO of the Night” honors.

In other main card action, Felice “Lil’ Bulldog” Herrig (9-4) of Buffalo Grove, Illin. will make her highly-anticipated Invicta FC debut and put a four-fight win streak on the line in a strawweight matchup opposite unbeaten, fast-rising star Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres (3-0) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Another matchup of unbeaten rising stars will pit Joanne Calderwood (7-0) of Glasgow, Scotland against Katja “Killer Bunny” Kankaanpaa (8-0-1) of Seinajoki, Southern Ostrobothnia Finland at strawweight.

Heavy-handed powerhouse Julia “The Jewel” Budd (5-2) of Port Moody, British Columbia Canada will put a three-fight win streak on the line against submission ace Charmaine “Not So Sweet” Tweet (4-3) Regina, Saskatchewan Canada in a featherweight (145 pounds) scrap.

Porto (15-6) of Sao Paulo, Brazil will look to rebound from a defeat the hands of Honchak at the last Invicta FC event in July when she collides with fellow superstar Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-3) of Cincinnati, Ohio at flyweight.  Porto has claimed 10 of her 15 professional career victories by way of submission while Gurgel has defeated a host of top rivals, including Jessica Aguilar and Megumi Fujii during her outstanding four plus year professional career.

Kelly Kobold (18-3) of Minneapolis, Minn. will make her long-awaited Invicta FC debut in a bantamweight tilt with fellow ferocious finisher Tonya “Triple Threat” Evinger (11-6) of Odessa, Mo.

In another meeting between two Invicta FC newcomers, hard-punching Munah “The Perfect Storm” Holland (5-2) of Elmwood Park, N.J. will face streaking Nina “The Strina” Ansaroff (5-4) of Fort Lauderdale at flyweight.

COREY SMITH INTERVIEWS JULIANA CARNEIRO LIMA FOR INVICTA FC

Juliana de Lima Carneiro, or as she is more popularly known, Ju Thai, looks to make the transition from feisty prospect to contender when she faces off against Finland’s Katja Kakaanpaa on April 5that Invicta FC 5.

Known primarily as a striker, Ju Thai is looking to show off a complete MMA repertoire while stamping her name in the minds of every Invicta FC fan. A perfect 5-0 record will be on the line as she debuts in the United States on April 5th.

Corey Smith: How did you enter into the world of MMA? What discipline did you first start training?

Ju Thai: I started to train Muay Thai 10 years ago, and then I started fighting professional Muay Thai 5 years ago. I have 10 fights and 9 wins. I transitioned to MMA and stated training all disciplines

CS: What is your favorite aspect of MMA to train? And what aspect takes more motivation?

JT: I love all aspects of MMA, there is not one aspect of training that takes more motivation for me. Everything I do in training is a piece of my pursuit of a dream come true, which is already becoming a reality!

CS: Until recently, Brazil did not have much of an amateur MMA circuit. Do you think amateur events help to build a high level MMA athlete?

JT: Yes, we have many amateur events in Brazil now. I think it is very important that the athlete has this experience before getting into the professional ranks.

CS: What stands out in the MMA community in Brazil? Are there other countries in South America where MMA is popular?

JT:  MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world, MMA is getting big in Chile, Peru and Argentina.

JT: Today MMA is popular everywhere in the world and we can not forget that it all started in Brazil. I am honored to have been born in the country which was the cradle of all that is happening with the sport today.

CS: Where do you train in Brazil? Is it difficult to find training partners in your weight class?

JT: I train in one of the largest schools in the world that is Gracie Barra. Our leader is the legendary Vinicius Draculino. I do my training in Muay Thai with the school’s world champion, Thai master Olímpio Cunha. I do my wrestling with the Brazilian national team coach and I train with the boys, and I have several sparring partners around 135 pounds.

CS: Most consider you to be primarily a striker. Do you consider yourself a striker? Or have you not had much need to showcase your ground game?

JT: My source is Muay Thai, but today I consider myself an MMA fighter. I feel comfortable in wrestling and Jiu Jitsu, so today I consider myself a complete fighter.

CS: How did the nickname “Ju Thai” come about?

JT: It was when I had a Muay Thai fight with a girl who had the same last name as mine. I was fighting in her city, so I needed to change my name and owner of the event decided to dub me Ju Thai. Since then people started calling me Ju Thai!

CS: This will be your first fight in the United States. What are you most looking forward to fighting in the US for the first time?

JT: I’m so excited, I will leave my name engraved in the head of everyone who is present that evening. It will be unforgettable for me to fight in front of America.

CS: This will also be your first fight under the Invicta banner, what has your experience been like with the company so far?

JT: I’m very happy to be in the biggest women’s promotion in the world! It is the dream of every girl who fights to be here. I feel like I deserve to be at this show because I have fought tough girls and always put on a good show. I want to thank my manager Chris Vender and leader Vinicius Draculino for getting me here!

CS: Your opponent on April 5th, Katja Kakaanpaa is also fighting in the US for the first time. Are there any concerns fighting in a foreign country?

JT: This is my job like any other, and I’m very focused and centered. I already went to Lebanon to fight, and I went through all the stress of a long journey. Unfortunately the fight did not occur because the girl was 7 pounds overweight, but I consider it a very important experience. I do not think this fight in America is going to influence my psychological state at all. It is very strong! As for my opponent I do not think of her, I just think of myself, I’m focused on me.

CS: What can the fans expect from you and your opponent at Invicta FC 5?

JT: It will be a very interesting fight, On my part you can expect a lot of aggressiveness and technique. You can be sure it will be a show! I’m training like never before, and I’ve never been as strong. Adding that to my will, my faith and my claws, you can expect a war.

CS: What is your mood like leading up to fight night?

JT: A happy girl, ready to do everything we have trained for 10 years!

CS: Do you have any superstitions or routines that you perform on fight day?

JT: On the day of the fight I’m 100% concentrated, and praying.

CS: When you aren’t in the gym or cage, what types of activities do you enjoy for fun?

JT: I like watching movies, cooking and being with my family. I also like to go hiking and finding waterfalls.

CS: Lastly, MMA is as much a team sport as it is an individual one. Who would you like to thank?

JT: I would like to thank my manager Chris Vender for believing in me. Vinicius Draculino, my coach at Gracie Barra. Uirapuru Marcelo. My coaches Joel Lage, Luiz Otavio. My Sports Psychologist Dante, and Breno Faria my doctor. My dietitian Karine Paratela, and my Physical Trainer, Bruno Formiga.

My teammates at GBBH, mainly to Bad Boy, Baiano Toninho, Josi, Hamster and Richard.

To my sponsors Banco BMG, Stratus, Choke Kimonos, Vida Natural  and Dr. Joseph Taverni. Thanks to all! Without you none of this would be happening in my life!