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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (InvictaFights) and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets to the event can be purchased through Eventbrite.

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

Invicta FC 44: A New Era 

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

Invicta FC 44 Prelims

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

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


About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (InvictaFights) and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

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

Invicta FC 44: A New Era Hits Pay-Per-View on Aug. 27 with Two Title Fights

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Invicta Fighting Championships will host a historic night of women’s mixed martial arts action for Friday, Aug. 27. The world’s premier combat sports organization for women returns to pay-per-view for the first time in eight years for Invicta FC 44: A New Era. The event will take place from Memorial Hall in Kansas City and is headlined by two championship match-ups.

A new Invicta FC strawweight champion will be crowned as top contenders Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) and “Dynamite” Danielle Taylor (11-5) square off for the 115-pound belt. The second half of Invicta FC 44’s double main event will see Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (6-1) take on Phoenix Tournament winner Taneisha “Triple Threat” Tennant (3-1) to decide the new queen of Invicta’s bantamweight division.

Beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Friday, Aug. 27, Invicta FC 44: A New Era will be distributed on pay-per-view via traditional cable and satellite carriers. Digital customers around the world can pre-order the event immediately from FITE for $19.99 in the United States, $14.99 in Canada and $9.99 in the rest of the world.

The live Invicta FC 44 Prelims will be broadcast in the U.S. on AXS TV and streamed for free worldwide on Invicta FC’s YouTube channel beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Both platforms will also premiere a special Countdown to Invicta FC 44 documentary the week before the live event.

Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp said, “I’m excited for our athletes to showcase their skills on pay-per-view again. These title fights feature some of the most talented women in mixed martial arts and I can’t wait to watch these amazing match-ups.”

Haunted by two near misses in challenges for the Bellator MMA and Invicta crowns in the past, Oklahoma strawweight Ducote is determined to become a world champion in her third opportunity.

She said, “It’s my time to show off everything I’ve been working on. Danielle’s tough. We’ve both fought the best and this is a good match-up – but I will walk through whatever I need to walk through to get this championship.”

Meanwhile Taylor, who has beaten contenders including Jessica Aguilar, Jessica Penne and Seo Hee Ham, responded, “At the end of day she has never faced my speed and power. I believe I can stop everything she throws at me then put her out. They will announce me as the new Invicta strawweight champion.”

Portland, Oregon-based bantamweight Verzosa has spent the majority of her professional career under the Invicta banner, earning her fifth promotional win over Raquel Canuto in her last outing. The lone loss of her career came in a heartbreaking split decision in her previous Invicta title challenge in 2020, and “Battle Angel” is determined to go one better on Aug. 27.

“I’m super excited to have another title shot and prove to myself I can be champion,” expressed the 25-year-old. “Nobody has the heart that I do — that’s why I win.”

Having earned her title shot by beating three opponents one night, New York’s Tennant is equally confident. “My style of fighting will have her looking like an amateur. She’s never been hit like I hit before.”

Also featured on the five-fight main card will be a flyweight bout between Guam’s Brogan “Killer Bee” Sanchez (6-2) and UFC veteran Mara Romero Borella (11-9) of Italy, strawweight Jodie Esquibel (6-6) returns to the promotion following a four-fight run in the UFC to face off with fellow firefighter Kelly “Wildfire” D’Angelo (4-4), and Phoenix Tournament veteran Serena “The Southpaw Outlaw” DeJesus (3-2) meets another Octagon alum in Californian Lauren “Princess Tiger” Mueller (5-3).

Prior to the pay-per-view card, the Invicta FC 44 Prelims will be headlined by a flyweight clash featuring Florida’s Caitlin “Ginger” Sammons (3-1) and knockout artist Helen “Iansã” Peralta (3-2). Also on the preliminary card, Canada’s “Queen of the North” Katie Saull (3-4) meets Brazil’s Monique Adriane (4-2) in an atomweight affair and New Mexico featherweight Kayla “Danger” Yontef (debut) makes her professional debut opposite fellow newcomer Carlene Chandler (debut) of Stockton, Calif.

The fight card for Invicta FC 44: A New Era can be found below:

Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote vs. Danielle Taylor
Bantamweight Title: Lisa Verzosa vs. Taneisha Tennant
Flyweight: Brogan Sanchez vs. Mara Romero Borella
Strawweight: Jodie Esquibel vs. Kelly D’Angelo
Bantamweight: Serena DeJesus vs. Lauren Mueller
Flyweight: Caitlin Sammons vs. Helen Peralta
Atomweight: Katie Saull vs. Monique Adriane
Featherweight: Kayla Yontef vs. Carlene Chandler


About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (InvictaFights) and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

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

Invicta FC 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: Ducote vs. Conejo Fight Card Preview

On Friday, Nov. 20, Invicta Fighting Championships returns to action with its 43rd event from Kansas City, Kan. The event will air live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 8 p.m. CT. Let’s take a deeper look at the night’s fight card.


Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote vs. Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz

The main event will have a vacant title on the line, as former Bellator MMA and Invicta title challenger Emily Ducote looks to take out Mexican star Montserrat Ruiz for the strawweight championship.

Ducote enters this title fight with experience fighting for a belt. She has challenged for the Bellator flyweight championship and Invicta strawweight championship, but fell short in both conquest. That said, the BJJ brown belt is well-rounded and tough as nails. Ducote is comfortable wherever the fight takes place. She did pick up her most recent win at Invicta FC 40, where she bested UFC veteran Juliana Lima on the scorecards. That win earned her this shot at the title.

Across from Ducote is Ruiz, a wrestler and ground fighter who has tasted defeat just once in her career. Possessing a strong submission game, Ruiz proved to the world that she was ready for this title shot in her most recent outing, a scarfhold keylock of Janaisa Morandin. This is her first shot at a major MMA championship.

Who will hold the belt come fight night? Will Ducote finally break through and win a major MMA belt, or will Ruiz add Ducote to her growing highlight reel, nabbing the title in the process?


Featherweight: Courtney King vs. Kayla Harrison

Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison is looking to make a successful debut at 145 pounds in the co-main event, as the $1 million PFL lightweight tournament winner takes on Invicta vet Courtney King.

With PFL’s 2020 campaign canceled due to COVID-19, Harrison has been afforded an opportunity to test the waters at featherweight. The top prospect will look to repeat her success in the lighter weight class. Harrison is an absolute brute, as her physical strength is uncanny. Obviously, the gold medal judoka has excellent takedowns and grappling, as she controls her opponent from the top and tires them out. She throws big ground-and-pound and has a strong submission game as well.

King is the woman tasked with taking on Harrison and will bring it come fight night. She’s riding a three-fight surge, which includes two wins by submission. It’s unlikely that she’ll want to grapple with the decorated Harrison, but she is a capable striker. This is her first Invicta appearance since February of 2019, where she choked out Holli Salazar.

Will the Olympian secure a win going into PFL’s 2021 season and keep her undefeated record? Or will King derail the hype train and hand the highly regarded Harrison her first loss?


Flyweight: Stephanie Geltmacher vs. Caitlin Sammons

A pivotal flyweight bout could push forward a future title contender in the next bout, as top prospect Caitlin Sammons steps in on late notice to take on the scrappy Stephanie Geltmacher. Sammons steps in for Trisha Cicero, who was forced off the event.

Geltmacher is a four-time All-American collegiate wrestler, so she always enters the cage with an excellent base. That said, she’s Hawaiian also, so she has no problem getting into a barn-burning brawl. She’s very physically strong and has rag dolled opponents in the past. Geltmacher is coming into this fight off her only career loss to Victoria Leonardo, which was an fan-friendly fight to say the least.

As for Sammons, the BJJ black belt has been dominant in her three career pro fights, all of which have come under the Invicta banner. She has a knockout, submission and decision on her record against Christina Adcock, Chantel Coates and Claire Guthrie, respectively. She also had quite the successful amateur career. Sammons is very aggressive in terms of trying to force a ground battle, and once the fight gets there, she dominates.

In this battle of prospects, who will come out on top? Will Sammons keep her perfect record intact, or will Geltmacher get back into the win column and put her name amongst the top contenders of Invicta’s 125-pound division?


Bantamweight: Brittney Cloudy vs. Hope Chase

A late addition to the card has been made and it will be in the bantamweight division, as Brittney Cloudy makes her return to Invicta against Hope Chase.

Cloudy is a former collegiate track athlete who successfully transitioned to a pro MMA career. She was supposed to fight at Invicta 42, but her fight was scrapped before fight night. Cloudy is a strong striker and is a Golden Gloves champion as an amateur boxer. After a great amateur career, she has shown to be a solid prospect, possessing technical, powerful boxing and an underrated submission game. Her only two losses came via split decision in bouts that could have easily gone her way. This is her first Invicta fight since her pro debut in 2018 against top Invicta flyweight Erin Blanchfield.

Across from Cloudy is Chase, a 21-year-old prospect with a bright future in the sport. She has a karate and boxing background, so look out for Chase’s skills on the feet. She enters this fight after a semifinal finish in the Invicta Phoenix Series tournament, where she bested Julia Ottolino before falling to eventual tournament winner Taneisha Tennant. Prior to the tournament, she was on a two-fight winning streak.

In a division clamoring for talent and contenders, every win matters. Will Cloudy make a triumphant return to the organization where she made her pro debut, or will Chase notch the biggest win of her career?


Strawweight: Alexa Culp vs. Meaghan Penning

After making a successful pro debut in her last fight, Alexa Culp looks to score her second win when she welcomes Meghan Penning to Invicta in the latter’s first professional fight.

Culp is part of a strong stable of female fighters at Glory MMA & Fitness in Kansas, so it comes as no shock that the 20-year-old fighter has shown such promise. She went undefeated as an amateur before turning pro in her most recent bout. In her pro debut under the Invicta banner, Culp choked out Natalya Speece, showing off high grappling skills for a BJJ blue belt.

As for Penning, she is similarly a BJJ blue belt with a knack for finishing fights. She has never gone to a judges’ scorecards in her five-fight amateur career, scoring two knockouts and two submissions — while falling via submission in her lone loss. Penning is aggressive and exciting, and hopes to make a name for herself with Invicta fans while making her pro debut.

Will the 20-year-old James Krause protégé keep with her winning ways? Or, will Penning score a massive win in her pro debut, establishing herself as an up-and-coming strawweight to watch?


Flyweight: Juliana Miller vs. Kendal Holowell

A pair of newcomers to Invicta are set to meet in the flyweight division, as Kendal Holowell makes her professional MMA debut against one-fight pro Juliana Miller.

Miller is undefeated as an amateur and a pro, so she’s never tasted defeat in a mixed martial arts contest. She’s a BJJ purple belt that regularly competes in high-level grappling tournaments, showing how solid her ground game is. Miller will look for takedowns early and often, so she can show off those grappling chops in an attempt to score the finish.

Holowell makes her pro debut after a 7-1 run as an amateur. She is a blue belt in BJJ, meaning she likely is giving up some skill on that mat with Miller. That said, she’s got solid striking as well, which she will look to employ in this bout. Holowell is making her debut after the biggest win of her amateur career, a unanimous decision victory over Cara Greenwell.

This is a battle of prospects looking to gain notoriety in this fight. Does Miller make it two wins in two fights as a pro, or does Holowell make a successful debut?


This piece is a special contribution from Riley Kontek, a veteran combat sports writer whose work has appeared on Bleacher Report MMA, Combat Press and the MMA Intel Blog. You can follow Riley on Twitter.

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.

Championship Doubleheader Set for Invicta FC 43 in November

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Two titles will be on the line this fall when Invicta Fighting Championships hosts its 43rd event on Friday, Nov. 20 in Kansas City.

In the night’s headliner, UFC veteran Pearl “The Chi-Town Princess” Gonzalez (10-5) meets 21-year-old Erin “Cold Blooded” Blanchfield (6-1) for the flyweight title, which was recently vacated by Vanessa Porto when she signed with Bellator MMA. Gonzalez will be fighting for Invicta gold for the second time, having battled the aforementioned Porto to a technical decision at Invicta FC 34. New York’s Blanchfield steps into the title affair having won three straight and four of her five Invicta appearances. She was most recently in action at Invicta FC 41, defeating Guam’s Brogan Sanchez.

Gold is also up for grabs in the night’s co-main event, as Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) clashes with Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (9-1). Like Gonzalez, Ducote will challenge for a belt for the second time. She was narrowly defeated by Kanako Murata at Invicta FC 38. Japan’s Murata has since signed with the UFC, leaving the title vacant once more. Ducote bounced back with a win over UFC veteran Juliana Lima at Invicta FC 40 in July. Mexico’s Ruiz was also in action in July, submitting former title challenger Janaisa Morandin in the first round of the Invicta FC 41 main event.

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

Additional match-ups for the event will be announced in coming weeks.

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

Flyweight Title: Pearl Gonzalez vs. Erin Blanchfield
Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote vs. Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz


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 40 Results: Ducote Outworks Lima, Zappitella Edges VanZandt

Kansas City, Kan. — On Thursday, July 2, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 40: Ducote vs. Lima. The entire fight card aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

Former title challenger Emily Ducote got back in the win column after a three-round bout against UFC alum Juliana Lima. The two veterans traded combinations early, as they gauged range. Lima looked to clinch, but Ducote was able to evade and stay on the outside. After an exchange of kicks, Lima delivered a right hand, followed by a left and finally a right uppercut to stun Ducote. That prompted the Oklahoma fighter to clinch the Brazilian along the fence. She recovered and the pair separated, but not before Lima landed a big knee. The second round saw Ducote score a series of power shots that slowed the advance of Lima. Lima answered with an onslaught of kicks to maintain her distance. Ducote came forward with reckless abandon, landing a heavy combination. Late in the frame, Ducote shot and put Lima on her back. She passed to side control and delivered massive elbows that cut Lima on her right eye. Round three began with a front kick from Lima to the midsection of Ducote. The fight returned to the clinch as Ducote pushed Lima to the fence. The Brazilian used an uppercut to create space and they returned to the center of the cage. Ducote fired with power and volume, further opening the cut on Lima’s cheek. A great level change by Ducote brought the fight to the ground, but only briefly. Ducote’s hard work in the final two frames was the difference in the eyes of the judges, who handed in a unanimous decision for the American.

In the night’s co-main event, atomweights Alesha Zappitella and Lindsey VanZandt battled back and forth for three rounds. Zappitella showed quick feet and head movement early. VanZandt fired a front kick and was taken down. She pushed Zappitella off and scored with an upkick. VanZandt tried to trip Zappitella, but lost position and ended up on her back. From side control, Zappitella showed heavy hips and dropped short elbows. VanZandt worked back to her feet late in the round. Round two began with another takedown from Zappitella. She powered her way past the guard of VanZandt, moving to side control once more. VanZandt was able to work back to her feet and started to implement her will. She landed a heavy low kick and followed it with a powerful right hand that stunned Zappitella. The third round began with VanZandt stuffing a shot from the wrestler. Zappitella stuck with it and eventually dragged VanZandt to the canvas. Zappitella was a bit reckless and VanZandt took her back momentarily. VanZandt’s success was short lived, however as Zappitella spun back to top position. VanZandt scored with a big knee late, but Zappitella put her on back one final time and the judges were called upon to decide the result. The scorecards were diverse, but two judges gave the fight to Zappitella.

Chelsea Chandler moved up in weight to welcome undefeated featherweight Liv Parker to the Invicta cage. Chandler wasted little time, attacking Parker with a big combination early. She ripped the midsection with a left hand and Parker was clearly hurt. A follow-up punch dropped Parker and Chandler followed her to the ground. She took Parker’s back, slapped on a rear-naked choke and coerced a tap in just 65 seconds.

Flyweight newcomers Trisha Cicero and Laura Gallardo went to battle in a clash of styles. The wrestler Gallardo wasted little time coming forward and looking for a takedown. The karate stylist Cicero was able to stuff the first shot, but ultimately ended up on her back. She worked back to her feet and used her kicks to frustrate Gallardo at range. Gallardo was relentless with her takedown attempts. In round two, Cicero scored with an uppercut as she was able to dictate the action while standing. Gallardo changed levels and timed a shot to bring the fight to the ground midway through the round. Cicero was patient and worked back to her feet. The kicks of Cicero landed with regularity, but Gallardo finished the stanza with a late takedown. The final round featured Cicero keeping the fight on the feet and forcing Gallardo to kickbox. The height and reach advantage was a big factor, as Cicero peppered shots. Gallardo looked for a takedown in the final minute, but she couldn’t secure it. The judges were split in their verdict, but it was Cicero who claimed the win.

The night’s action began in the strawweight division as Invicta vet Genia Goodin took on newcomer Shelby Koren. Kentucky’s Goodin was the aggressor early, pushing the action and initiating the clinch. Koren tried to take the back standing, then ultimately pulled guard and looked for an armbar. Goodin responded with a big slam and attacked with an armbar of her own. Koren escaped and returned to the feet to attack with a guillotine. The fight returned to the mat and Koren went for another armbar, but Goodin survived. Round two featured a big hip toss from Koren, but she wasn’t able to keep Goodin on the mat. The pair traded kicks on the feet, with Koren landing a solid right hand off an inside leg kick. With the fight in the balance in the final frame, Goodin was able to secure the mount position and attack with an armbar of her own. That was enough in the eyes of the judges, who rewarded Goodin with the victory.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Emily Ducote def. Juliana Lima by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Alesha Zappitella def. Lindsey VanZandt by split decision (28-29, 29-27, 30-27)
Chelsea Chandler def. Liv Parker by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 1:05
Trisha Cicero def. Laura Gallardo by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Genia Goodin def. Shelby Koren by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)


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 40: Ducote vs. Lima Official Weigh-in Results

Kansas City, Kan. — On Wednesday, July 1, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 40: Ducote vs. Lima. The event takes place in Kansas City, Kan., on Thursday, July 2 , with the entire card streaming live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

In the night’s main event, recent strawweight title challenger Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (8-6) takes on Brazilian Juliana “Ju Thai” Lima (10-6). Oklahoma’s Ducote scored a violent, first-round knockout of Janaisa Morandin in her promotional debut before challenging Kanako Murata for the 115-pound title. Ducote fell via split decision in a closely contested bout and will look to get back in the win column. Lima rejoined the Invicta roster in 2019 following a seven-fight stint with the UFC. The veteran was last in action during the inaugural Phoenix Series tournament, where she defeated fellow UFC veteran Danielle Taylor, but fell to eventual tournament champion Brianna Van Buren in the semifinals.

The co-main event will take place in the atomweight division as Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (6-2) clashes with New York’s Lindsey “Damsel” VanZandt (7-3).

As with any Invicta event, safety is of the utmost priority. All athletes and corners participating in the event were tested for COVID-19 and all results were negative.

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

Strawweight: Emily Ducote (115.2) vs. Juliana Lima (115.5)
Atomweight: Alesha Zappitella (105.7) vs. Lindsey VanZandt (105.2)
Flyweight: DeAnna Bennett (N/A)* vs. Victoria Leonardo (125.9)
Featherweight: Chelsea Chandler (145) vs. Liv Parker (145.7)
Flyweight: Trisha Cicero (126) vs. Laura Gallardo (125.1)
Strawweight: Genia Goodin (115.9) vs. Shelby Koren (115.9)

* – The flyweight bout between DeAnna Bennett and Victoria Leonardo was removed from the card after Bennett had a medical issue during her weight cut and could not weigh-in. Leonardo was paid her show purse after making weight and the fight card will proceed with five fights.


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 40 Slated for July 2 in Kansas City

Kansas City, Kan. – Invicta Fighting Championships is returning to action.

The world’s premier combat sports organization for women will hold its first event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, July 2. Invicta FC 40 will take place in Kansas City and will be overseen by the Kansas Athletic Commission. The event will air live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT.

In the night’s main event, recent strawweight title challenger Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (8-6) takes on Brazilian Juliana “Ju Thai” Lima (10-6). Oklahoma’s Ducote scored a violent, first-round knockout of Janaisa Morandin in her promotional debut before challenging Kanako Murata for the 115-pound title. Ducote fell via split decision in a closely contested bout and will look to get back in the win column. Lima rejoined the Invicta roster in 2019 following a seven-fight stint with the UFC. The veteran was last in action during the inaugural Phoenix Series tournament, where she defeated fellow UFC veteran Danielle Taylor, but fell to eventual tournament champion Brianna Van Buren in the semifinals.

The co-main event will take place in the atomweight division as wrestling dynamo Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (6-2) clashes with New York’s Lindsey “Damsel” VanZandt (7-3). The Michigan-based Zappitella earned her third win inside the Invicta cage in February, defeating Kelly D’Angelo on the scorecards. VanZandt was victorious in her last appearance with promotion, defeating Shino VanHoose at Invicta FC 37 in October.

Joining the headlining bouts will be a flyweight match-up between former strawweight title challenger DeAnna “Vitamin D” Bennett (10-6-1) and Louisiana’s Victoria “Fury” Leonardo (6-2). The pair both competed in the second installment of the Phoenix Series last September. The UFC veteran Bennett earned two wins to reach the tournament final, but succumbed to Miranda Maverick in the final round. Leonardo also came up short to Maverick in the tournament and was most recently in action against Erin Blanchfield in February.

Also on the card, California’s Chelsea Chandler (2-1) moves up in weight to welcome featherweight Liv “Phoenix” Parker (4-0) to the promotion, Colorado’s “Grizzly” Claire Guthrie (1-0) returns to flyweight against newcomer Laura Gallardo (2-0) of California, and strawweight Genia Goodin (1-0) makes her second Invicta outing against the debuting Shelby Koren (0-0), who is unbeaten through seven amateur bouts.

With the ongoing pandemic, Invicta FC 40 will take place behind closed doors — sans fans and media. As with any Invicta event, the safety of its fighters, their corners, its staff and commission officials is of the utmost priority. All participants will be tested for COVID-19 prior to the event. More details of the safety measures being put in place will be revealed prior to the event.

The full fight card can be found below:

Strawweight: Emily Ducote vs. Juliana Lima
Atomweight: Alesha Zappitella vs. Lindsey VanZandt
Flyweight: DeAnna Bennett vs. Victoria Leonardo
Featherweight: Chelsea Chandler vs. Liv Parker
Flyweight: Claire Guthrie vs. Laura Gallardo
Strawweight: Genia Goodin vs. Shelby Koren


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.