KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Wednesday, May 11, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 47: Ducote vs. Zappitella from Memorial Hall.
Strawweight Emily Ducote is still the Invicta champion after stopping former atomweight titleholder Alesha Zappitella after two rounds. Ducote showed great patience and composure to start the fight. She stayed long with her punches and countered whenever Zappitella came forward. Zappitella tried to use her wrestling, but was stuffed by the champion. The challenger stuck with it along the fence, but could not bring the fight to her world. Ducote went after Zappitella’s left eye in round two, battering it with punches and causing a cut. She stunned Zappitella with a right hand and kept attacking the same spot with precision. Zappitella blinked repeatedly as blood poured out of her eyelid. The doctor was called in to inspect the damage between rounds and halted the contest to protect Zappitella from further harm.
The co-main event featured featherweight Chelsea Chandler edging out Courtney King after three hard-fought rounds. Chandler marched forward immediately and pushed King to the fence. She brought the fight to the ground and moved to mount. She looked to take the back, but King was patient and recovered her guard. She kicked Chandler off and returned to the feet, but Chandler quickly brought the fight back to the clinch and the ground. Ground strikes opened a cut on King’s left eye, but she showed her resiliency to once again get back to her feet. King started round two with a bang, sitting down Chandler with a heavy punch. She flurried hard with more punches, but Chandler was able to recover and clinch. King’s left eye bled profusely, however she did not back down. A knee to the midsection from King prompted Chandler to close the distance, putting King on her back as the round expired. King probed with kicks in the final stanza, frustrating Chandler. She responded with a takedown, landing in the full guard. King showed an active guard, but Chandler was able to pass to half. King tried to scramble and Chandler punished her with punches. Chandler moved to side control in the center of the cage late in the fight to seal the decision win.
It didn’t take long for atomweight Jillian DeCoursey to re-establish herself as a threat in the division, as she absolutely demolished fellow New York native Lindsey VanZandt in just 61 seconds. The pair traded combinations early in the fight as they looked to find an opening. That opening came in the form of a right hook from DeCoursey, which caught VanZandt flush on the jaw and turned out her lights. The referee rushed in to pull DeCoursey off and she celebrated emphatically.
Former training partners collided when Brazilians Liana Pirosin and Janaisa Morandin met in a flyweight contest. Pirosin used her length to keep Morandin on the outside from the fight’s opening bell. Morandin wasn’t shy about firing heavy leg kicks, but struggled to get into the pocket. Pirosin’s confidence grew as the round progressed, as she peppered Morandin from range. Morandin powered into a takedown, but couldn’t keep the fight on the ground. Morandin again looked to close the distance and clinch in the second frame, but Pirosin shrugged her off. Pirosin continuously fired a lead-leg head kick to keep Morandin honest at range. Morandin pressed forward and found success when she was able to get inside. Her powerful leg kicks turned the legs of Pirosin red. The length and volume of Pirosin still proved to be the difference for most of the round. After exchanging heavy right hands in the opening portion of the final round, Morandin drove Pirosin to the mat. She moved to mount with a guillotine attempt and looked to take Pirosin’s back. Morandin kept the top position and looked for a finish, but it did not come. The judges were split in their verdict, but it was Pirosin who took the decision win.
In the night’s lone bantamweight clash, Serena DeJesus continued her winning streak after a back-and-forth battle with Brittney Cloudy. Both fighters looked to establish their range early with Cloudy popping her jab and DeJesus firing kicks. The hands of Cloudy scored with volume, but DeJesus scored with thundering body kicks. In round two, a big left from DeJesus backed up Cloudy and she let out a loud yell. Cloudy briefly scored a takedown, but DeJesus powered back to her feet. The pair traded heavy shots in the clinch as Cloudy fired knees and DeJesus answered with elbows. DeJesus was the aggressor in the fight’s last five minutes, pressing forward and landing combinations. A liver kick stunned Cloudy for a moment and DeJesus looked for a finish. It would not come, but DeJesus captured victory on the scorecards.
Strawweight Fatima Kline remained undefeated after stopping a very tough Sidney Trillo. After a brief feeling-out process, Kline ducked under a punch and put Trillo on her back. She fired heavy punches along the fence and looked to take Trillo’s back. Eventually Kline secured the position and applied a body triangle. She worked for a choke, but Trillo showcased great defense. Kline countered well to open the second stanza. She secured a body lock and put Trillo on the mat again. From side control, Kline looked for multiple chokes before rolling for an armbar. Trillo stayed calm and escaped to survive the round. Kline used a big combination to drive into a massive takedown in round three. She mounted Trillo and unleashed a heavy barrage of strikes that forced the referee to intervene.
The night kicked off with a strawweight match-up between newcomer Alyssa Linduska and former boxing Olympian Jennifer Chieng. Linduska opened the bout with an onslaught of kicks to keep Chieng at range. Chieng found her timing with her jab and peppered the face of Linduska. A big right hand from Chieng landed clean, prompting Linduska to flurry forward and secure the fight’s first takedown. In round two, Linduska again took the fight to the mat, but Chieng countered and gained top position. Chieng eventually took Linduska’s back, but could not find a finish. The final frame opened with Chieng looking for a throw, but Linduska reversed it and landed in Chieng’s guard. Chieng threw up a triangle attempt from her back. Linduska delivered heavy knees to defend the submission attempt and finished the fight on top. When the scorecards were revealed, it was Linduska who earned the decision win in her pro debut.
Emily Ducote def. Alesha Zappitella by TKO (doctor’s stoppage). Round 2, 5:00 – for strawweight title
Chelsea Chandler def. Courtney King by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Jillian DeCoursey def. Lindsey VanZandt by knockout (right hook). Round 1, 1:01
Liana Pirosin def. Janaisa Morandin by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Serena DeJesus def. Brittney Cloudy by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Fatima Kline def. Sidney Trillo by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 4:45
Alyssa Linduska def. Jennifer Chieng by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (InvictaFights) and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.
About Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a global multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City, Cleveland and Toronto. Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; global film distribution company Gravitas Ventures; 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.