INVICTA FC 8 behind the scenes from an athlete’s perspective

Maureen Riordon takes the camera and goes behind the scenes at Invicta FC 8 to give an inside look from an athlete’s perspective.

Waterson defends and Kankaanpaa secures gold at Invicta FC 8

On Saturday, Sept. 6, Invicta Fighting Championships made its long-awaited return as it hosted its eighth event from the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.

In the night’s main event, atomweight champion Michelle Waterson made the first defense of her belt as she took on Japan’s Yasuko Tamada. Waterson, or “The Karate Hottie,” rode a five-fight winning streak that dated back to 2010. The 28-year-old captured Invicta gold last April with a fourth-round armbar of Jessica Penne at Invicta FC 5. Tamada, meanwhile, made her promotional debut. The Megumi Fujii-trained fighter had picked up three straight wins under the Deep/Jewels banner heading into the title affair, which marked her first bout outside of her native Japan.

The co-main event also featured Invicta gold on the line. The promotion’s vacant strawweight title was up for grabs when Invicta vet Katja Kankaanpaa squared off with newcomer Stephanie Eggink. Finland’s Kankaanpaa was one of the few 115-pound fighters on the Invicta roster that wasn’t brought over to the UFC. “The Killer Bunny” suffered the first and only loss of her career to Joanne Calderwood at Invicta FC 7, but rebounded with a second-round armbar finish of Alyona Rassohyna in May. Eggink stepped into the Invicta cage riding a three-fight winning streak. The 26-year-old captured XFC gold in her last fight by submitting veteran Angela Magana with a triangle choke.

The 10-fight event kicked off Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. The entire fight card streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.

Invicta atomweight champion Michelle Waterson retained her 105-pound title by becoming the first to stop Japan’s Yasuko Tamada. Waterson opened with a flurry of kicks to set the tone for the opening round. When Tamada got close, Waterson clinched and fired knee after knee. The champion mixed in flurries of punches with an occasional head kick, but Tamada never went down. It was more of the same in round two as Waterson poured it on with more knees and kicks to the body. Tamada never stopped coming forward, despite the assault. In the third round, Waterson was more patient with her shots. She continued to land knees and Tamada’s face began to swell badly. Late in the round, Waterson delivered a kick to the face of Tamada that wobbled her for the first time along the fence. Waterson followed with punches and referee Greg Franklin stepped in to halt the bout.

Invicta crowned a new strawweight champion as Finland’s Katja Kankaanpaa scored a come-from-behind, fifth-round d’arce choke finish of Stephanie Eggink. In the opening round, Eggink used her jab to keep Kankaanpaa at bay, but the Finnish fighter was able to score a takedown. Eggink quickly attacked with a triangle attempt and swept to the mount. Kankaanpaa showed great submission defense and survived the round. Kankaanpaa’s takedown came much sooner in round two and she was more conservative with her movement to nullify Eggink’s attack off her back. Eggink was able to stand and scored with combinations late in the frame. The third stanza saw Eggink scoring early on the feet and along the cage with knees. Kankaanpaa was able to muscle the fight to the ground, but Eggink again attacked with a triangle choke. Eggink transitioned to an armbar, but Kankaanpaa escaped. Eggink used a leg lock attempt to sweep to the top position, but Kankaanpaa returned the leg lock attempt as the round closed. Kankaanpaa worked hard for a takedown in the fourth round and got it briefly. She then dove for another and Eggink was able to sit down into the mount. She rained heavy shots and Kankaanpaa gave up her back. Eggink pounded away for the remainder of the round, but could not get the finish. Kankaanpaa went for broke in the final round and set up a deep d’arce choke that forced Eggink to tap.

Veteran Tonya Evinger spoiled the bantamweight debut of Brazil’s Ediane Gomes, earning a first-round armbar finish. Evinger came out firing with her jab, but Gomes secured a body lock along the fence. Gomes looked to bring the fight to the ground, but Evinger reversed the position and ended up on top. Gomes attacked with a heel hook, prompting Evinger to look for a toe hold. The pair worked back to their feet, but Evinger again brought the fight to the ground. Gomes looked for an armbar and then a guillotine choke, but Evinger moved to mount. From the dominant position, Evinger locked up the fight-ending armbar.

Two of the sport’s pioneers closed out their trilogy as Roxanne Modafferi used a vastly improved striking attack to best Tara LaRosa via unanimous decision. Modafferi put her footwork and head movement to work from the opening bell, keeping LaRosa guessing on the feet. LaRosa swung with wild power shots, but failed to connect. Modafferi increased her output in round two as LaRosa’s pace slowed down. Modafferi landed numerous kicks to the body and clean, one-two combinations. In the final round, Modafferi dropped LaRosa with a beautiful shot down the middle, but coaxed her back to the feet for more punishment. When it was all said and done, Modafferi walked away with clear-cut victory.

Flyweight DeAnna Bennett made opponent Michelle Ould pay for missing weight, scoring a violent, second-round TKO via liver shot. Bennett pushed the action early, forcing Ould against the cage. The pair jostled for position with Bennett scoring with knees. Midway through the round, Bennett caught an Ould kick and brought the fight to the ground briefly. Late in the round, Bennett again scored with knees. In round two, Bennett continued her advance, landing a liver kick and punches that saw Ould buckle along the cage.

In the first lightweight bout in Invicta history, Canada’s Charmaine Tweet used her experience and superior technique to get the better of her younger foe, Veronica Rothenhausler. The power-punching Rothenhausler was swinging for the fences early, but Tweet countered well with her jab. Tweet was able to back Rotherhausler against the cage and briefly looked for a standing rear-naked choke, but abandoned it. Tweet caught a kick from Rothenhausler and brought the fight to the mat. She quickly moved to the mount and then took Rothenhausler’s back. She flattened out Rothenhausler and rained punches. When Rothenhausler rolled to her back, Tweet finished her with punches from the top.

Bantamweight Irene Aldana made quick work of UFC veteran Peggy Morgan, scoring a first-round, rear-naked choke finish. Mexico’s Aldana dropped Morgan early with a big shot and flurried for a finish along the fence. Morgan was able to recover and get back to her feet, but it wasn’t long before Aldana delivered another heavy right hand that crumpled Morgan. Aldana moved to mount and rained punches, forcing Morgan to give up her back. The Mexican fighter quickly attacked Morgan’s neck to coerce the tap.

Mexico’s Alexa Grasso kept her unbeaten record intact with a unanimous decision over fellow strawweight Ashley Cummins. Cummins started the fight strong, peppering Grasso with punches and scoring with a big takedown. But once the fight hit the mat, Grasso latched onto a deep armbar attempt and delivered punches from her back. Cummins survived the round, but her pace slowed in round two. Both fighters scored with combinations in round two, but Cummins was unable to bring the fight to the mat. Grasso opened up with her hands in the last round, helping her claim the decision win.

Atomweight Jodie Esquibel started slow, but finished strong, edging out newcomer Jinh Yu Frey by split decision. Frey rocked Esquibel badly in the opening frame with a left kick. She quickly took Esquibel’s back and looked for a rear-naked choke, but Esquibel escaped and finished the round on top. The second stanza was very close as both fighters struggled to find their range. Esquibel went for broke in the final frame, battering Frey with combinations and bloodying her face. The late effort was enough to convince two of the judges to hand Esquibel the win.

Colorado strawweight J.J. Aldrich impressed in her professional debut, dominating Florida’s Delaney Owen on her way to a unanimous decision. Aldrich was the aggressor early, prompting Owen to look for a takedown. Aldrich showcased excellent takedown defense to keep the fight standing and peppered Owen with knees. Owen did score with a nice hip toss in round two, but Aldrich transitioned to her back and threatened with a rear-naked choke. Owen survived the round, but her pace slowed in the final frame, allowing Aldrich to score a takedown. Aldrich rained punches and elbows from the top as Owen desperately looked for a heel hook late, and the judges rewarded Aldrich for her efforts.


Michelle Waterson def. Yasuko Tamada by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 4:58 – for atomweight title
Katja Kankaanpaa def. Stephanie Eggink by submission (d’arce choke). Round 5, 2:03 – for vacant strawweight title
Tonya Evinger def. Ediane Gomes by submission (armbar). Round 1, 3:31
Roxanne Modafferi def. Tara LaRosa by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
DeAnna Bennett def. Michelle Ould by TKO (liver kick and punches). Round 2, 1:34
Charmaine Tweet def. Veronica Rothenhausler by TKO (punches). Round 1, 4:05
Irene Aldana def. Peggy Morgan by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 2:50
Alexa Grasso def. Ashley Cummins by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Jodie Esquibel def, Jinh Yu Frey by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-27)
J.J. Aldrich def. Delaney Owen by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Rob Tatum has been covering the sport of MMA since 2009. He currently serves as the Assistant Editor of COMBATPRESS and staff writer.

On September 6th, INVICTA FC will make history for a couple of different reasons

On September 6th, history will be made for a couple of different reasons. One, Invicta FC 8 debuts on UFC Fight Pass. The other reason would be two World Titles are on the line!

In the main event, recently crowned Invicta FC Atomweight Champion, Michelle Waterson looks to defend her title for the first time against the #6 ranked Atomweight in the world, Yasuko Tamada. Waterson is riding a five fight winning streak, with wins over Jessica Penne (former Invicta Champion), Lacey Schuckman, and Diana Rael. Waterson hasn’t lost since 2010! Looking to snap Waterson’s winning streak is the Deep and Jewels FC veteran Yasuko Tamada. Tamada is on a three fight winning streak and is looking to win her first fight in the United States. In her 26 professional fights, she has never been submitted or knocked out.

The vacant Invicta FC Strawweight title is on the line in the co-main event, as the former XFC World Champion Stephanie Eggink takes on the “Killer Bunny” Katja Kankaanpaa. Eggink is currently on a three fight winning streak. Her last win was over Angela Magana. Eggink’s opponent Katja Kankaanpaa is one of the brightest prospects. At 9-1, she has defeated Bellator veteran Aisling Daly and UFC veteran Juliana De Lima.

Following the co-main event, Elite XC and Tuff-N-Uff veteran Tonya Evinger takes on the 10-2 Ediane Gomes. Evinger is riding a 4 fight winning streak and is ranked the #10 135 pound female fighter. She has defeated Carina Damm, Sarah D’Alelio, and Julie Kedzie. She takes on a very tough opponent in Ediane Gomes. Gomes is also riding a four fight winning streak, and in this streak, she has defeated STRIKEFORCE veteran Hiroko Yamanaka, UFC veteran Leslie Smith, and Katalina Malungahu.

These are just three of the fights on the card! Bellator veteran Michelle Ould takes on undefeated prospect DeAnna Bennett; former STRIKEFORCE contender Roxanne Modafferi takes on the always tough Tara LaRosa; Ultimate Fighter veteran Peggy Morgan takes on Irene Aldana; tough striker Veronica Rothenhausler takes on Charmaine Tweet; three time Invicta FC veteran Ashley Cummins takes on the 4-0 Alexa Grasso; Jodie Esquibel takes on prospect Jinh Yu Frey; and J.J. Aldrich takes on Delaney Owen.

This is another great fight card put together from Shannon Knapp.

Make sure you watch this stacked card on September 6th live in person at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, MO, or on UFC Fight Pass.


Matthew Pearlman

Teen Author & Sports Writer




KANSAS CITY, MO. (August 12, 2014) – Broadcaster extraordinaire Michael Schiavello will join longtime Invicta FC analyst Julie Kedzie as the announcing team for Invicta FC 8, airing live on September 6th from the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, MO.

Schiavello, a prolific play-by-play announcer with close to two decades of experience calling combat sports, will work alongside Invicta FC matchmaker Julie Kedzie for the first time. Schiavello previously called Invicta FC 7 in December 2013. Invicta FC 8 will feature 10 total bouts of world class all female professional mixed martial arts.

Kedzie has previously provided analysis for all but one Invicta FC event. Kedzie, a UFC veteran, retired from active competition in December of 2013 before accepting the role of Invicta FC matchmaker.

Kedzie said: “I am thrilled to be commentating for Invicta FC once more, and I look forward to not only seeing the fights themselves, but also having UFC FightPass viewers around the world get a chance to see some of the best female fighters in the world perform.”

Invicta Fighting Championships 8 will be available exclusively on subscribers beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. UFC FIGHT PASS offers a variety of subscription options, with one option being a month by month subscription price of $9.99.

“Our athletes and I are excited to bring their talent to,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp. “Our athletes consistently put on exhilarating and action packed bouts for the fans, and we are excited that even more fans will be able to view the action.”

In the first of two world title fights on a stacked card, UFC FIGHT PASS subscribers will be treated to the return of Invicta FC Atomweight (105lbs) champion Michelle Waterson, 11-3 in MMA, who defends her title for the first time against grizzled Japanese veteran Yasuko Tamada, 15-8-3, in the main event. In the co-main event of Invcita FC’s eighth event, the vacant Invicta FC Strawweight (115lbs) will be on the line when Invicta veteran Katja “The Killer Bunny” Kankaanpää, 9-1, will take on Invicta newcomer Stephanie Eggink, 4-1.

Eight further bouts will air live from the Muncipal Auditorium on September 6th, 2014, and tickets may be purchased through all TicketMaster outlets, including TicketMaster.Com.

For additional information please visit, and get your free seven-day free trail at

For tickets to Invicta FC 8, please visit

About Invicta Fighting Championships: Invicta Fighting Championships ( 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. Currently Invicta FC has promoted eight all female fight cards.


(PRESS RELEASE) — KANSAS CITY, Mo. (August 1st, 2014) – Tickets for Invicta Fighting Championships’ return to action September 6th, will be available for sale beginning August 1st at 10am via TicketMaster, all local Kansas City TicketMaster locations, and the box office at the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City.


“We could not be more excited to be back! Invicta FC is ready to continue our tradition of providing a platform for female mixed martial artists to showcase their skills,” said Invicta FC President, Shannon Knapp. “Top to bottom, this is one of our most exciting cards to date. Every athlete on this card is ready to show the world that Invicta FC will continue to put on cards full of world class talent and thrilling action.”

Tickets for the world championship doubleheader on Saturday September 6th at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City range from $35 to $100. Ten total bouts mark Invicta FC’s eighth event since it began promoting world class women’s mixed martial arts in 2012.

The main event of the evening will see Invicta FC Atomweight World Champion Michelle Waterson (11-3) of Albuquerque, New Mexico, make her first title defense against Japanese veteran Yasuko Tamada (15-8-3) of Tokyo, Japan.

The bout will mark the first title defense for Waterson after a stunning submission of champion Jessica Penne in April 2013. The Jackson’s MMA trained Waterson owns 7 of her career 11 victories via submission.

Trained by the legendary Megumi Fuji, Tamada currently owns a three fight win streak in Japan, where she regularly competes for DEEP and JEWELS.

The co-main event will bring a second world championship bout to Kansas City, when Finland’s Katja Kankaanpää, (9-1-1), and South Dakota’s Sephanie Eggink, (4-1), will compete for the vacant Invicta FC Strawweight World Championship.

Invicta veteran Kankaanpää will bring a strong and varied attack across the Atlantic with her. She is coming off a second round armbar win over Alyona Rassohyna in May, and fights for the title in her third appearance in Invicta.

With a strong background in amateur boxing Eggink will look to add a second championship belt to her resume when she returns to the cage exactly one year since her last bout.

Other bouts on the card include Brazil’s Ediane Gomes, (10-2), making her 135lb debut against the ever aggressive Tonya Evinger, (13-5), of Missouri. The bout will mark the third and second appearance for Invicta FC for each athlete.

In the rubber match of one of Women’s MMA’s oldest, albeit friendliest rivalries, UFC veteran Roxanne Modafferi, (15-11), of Nevada will take on well respected veteran Tara Larosa, (21-4), of New Mexico. Larosa won the first bout via decision in March of 2006, before Modafferi evened the score via split decision in May of 2010.

In a 125lbs (Flyweight) bout Michelle Ould, (7-3), of California is set to oppose the undefeated DeAnna Bennett, (4-0), of Utah. Both women will be making their Invicta FC debuts.

UFC veteran Peggy Morgan, (2-1), of New Hampshire will step into the cage with hard hitting Irene Aldana, (3-1), who hails from Mexico. All three of Aldana’s wins have come via knockout.

Set to square off in the first bout of the newly minted Invicta FC 155lb division, Charmaine Tweet, (5-4), of Canada will compete against California’s Veronica Rothenhausler, (1-0). The bout will mark the debut of both athletes at 155lbs.

Missouri’s own Ashley Cummins, (3-2), will challenge Mexico’s Alexa Grasso, (4-0), in a 115lb bout. Grasso owns three of her four victories via knockout or technical knockout.

Jackson’s MMA trained Jodie Esquibel, (3-1), of New Mexico will make her third appearance for Invicta FC across from Texas knockout sensation Jinh Yu Frey, (2-0), in a 105lb bout. Frey’s knockout of Darla Harris in July of 2013 received over 2.3 million views on YouTube.

Kicking off the eighth Invicta FC card will be JJ Aldrich (0-0) of Colorado versus Florida’s Delaney Owen, (2-0). Aldrich will be making her professional debut after winning a four woman amateur tournament for an Invicta FC roster spot.


About Invicta Fighting Championships: Invicta Fighting Championships ( 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. Currently Invicta FC has promoted eight all female fight cards.

About Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Missouri: Located at 301 West 13th Street, in Downtown Kansas City, Missouri, Municipal Auditorium was built in 1934, and opened in 1935. Fully renovated in 2007, the Municipal as it is commonly known, has hosted all manner of events, including concerts, NBA basketball, and college athletics. The Municipal has a maximum seating capacity of nearly 11,000 seats.


This is a historic multi-year, multi-event deal. When we launched UFC FIGHT PASS last Christmas, we said that we would never rest in bringing the best value to our subscribers. The addition of live and archived Invicta programming is going to be of enormous interest to our existing subscribers and bring in new subscribers, too.” – UFC Fight Pass chief content officer Marshall Zelaznik


The Ultimate Fighting Championship and Invicta Fighting Championships are excited to announce that, the UFC’s digital streaming service, is now the exclusive digital broadcaster of the world’s leading all-female MMA organization.

UFC FIGHT PASS chief content officer Marshall Zelaznik said: “This is a historic multi-year, multi-event deal. When we launched UFC FIGHT PASS last Christmas, we said that we would never rest in bringing the best value to our subscribers. The addition of live and archived Invicta programming is going to be of enormous interest to our existing subscribers and bring in new subscribers, too.”

He added: “UFC FIGHT PASS already has subscribers in over 155 countries, which is a huge platform the Invicta athletes. Invicta fighters are now sharing the same stage as elite UFC fighters like Alexander Gustafson, Conor McGregor, Cung Le and Michael Bisping. For any UFC fans that haven’t seen these women compete before – I guarantee they will be blown away when they see what Invicta is all about.”

Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp said: “This is a great day for my company. Since the start of Invicta, I’ve been committed to providing the biggest and best possible platform for women athletes and, with this distribution deal with UFC FIGHT PASS, Invicta will reach the most passionate MMA fans, wherever they are in the world.”

In addition to every upcoming Invicta event screening live, the entire Invicta archive will be made available anytime, anywhere, on UFC FIGHT PASS.

That means subscribers will be able to check out fights featuring talents like atomweight world champion Michelle Waterson and flyweight title-holder Barb Honchak, as well as Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, former Strikeforce champ Marloes Coenen and early-career fights of UFC stars like Alexis Davis, Cat Zingano and Liz Carmouche.

The Invicta FC library joins the libraries of PRIDE FC, Strikeforce, WEC, WFA, EliteXC, Affliction Entertainment and the UFC on

Invicta will be announcing the first event to be screened on shortly.

Knapp said: “We are targeting a late-summer event, headlined by a world title fight. This is an historic event for myself, the company and my athletes, and every one of them is going to want to be on this first card.”


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,

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. ( 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 ( 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.



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 ( 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.


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 ( 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.




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.”