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Invicta Fighting Championships Signs Exclusive U.S. Television Rights Deal with CBS Sports

LOS ANGELES — Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion, announced today an exclusive U.S. television rights deal with CBS Sports, marking another significant milestone in women’s sports.

Starting with the highly-anticipated Invicta FC 55: Bernardo vs. Rubin on June 28, Invicta FC will air live on CBS Sports Network. This agreement underscores Invicta FC’s continued growth and essential position in the MMA landscape, bringing top-tier women’s MMA action to a broader audience both on television and online.

CBS Sports Network will air five upcoming Invicta events throughout 2024 — kicking off with the highly-anticipated Invicta FC 55 on Friday, June 28, at 9 p.m. ET. Broadcast live from the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, the evening is headlined by a bantamweight championship showdown as UFC veteran Talita Bernardo defends her title for the first time against submission specialist “Big Bad” Olga Rubin, whose history-making performance at Invicta FC 53 earned her “Submission of the Year” accolades. The night also includes a co-main event strawweight showdown, pitting the undefeated Sayury Cañon against California native Kay Hansen.

Invicta FC was founded in 2012 by trailblazing combat sports executive Shannon Knapp, who continues to make history as the only female head of a major combat sports promotion. Over the last 12 years, Invicta has changed the face of MMA — providing a vital platform for top female athletes from around the globe. Invicta FC has long been a pivotal platform for showcasing female MMA talent, providing a stage where some of the sport’s most remarkable athletes first made their mark. The promotion’s impressive alumni roster features legends such as Amanda Nunes, Rose Namajunas, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino and Paige VanZant, among many others. Through Invicta, these athletes have announced their presence to the world, demonstrating their exceptional skills and cementing their place in MMA history.

“CBS Sports is the perfect partner for Invicta FC,” said Knapp. “By joining forces with their global platform, we’re set to bring our world-class events to an even larger audience. 2024 will be a landmark year for us, packed with unparalleled matchups and title fights exclusive to Invicta. We are excited to showcase our world-class events and demonstrate why Invicta FC is the leading brand in women’s MMA, giving fans around the world a front-row seat to the action.”

CBS Sports Network is available on DIRECTV (channel 221) and Dish Network (channel 158). CBS Sports Network’s programming can also be viewed live online at CBSSports.com.

CBS Sports’ Complete 2024 Invicta FC Schedule (9-11 p.m. ET):

Friday, June 28 – Invicta FC 55: Bernardo vs. Rubin – Memorial Hall in Kansas City
Friday, August 9 – Invicta FC 56
Friday, September TBD – Invicta FC 57
Wednesday, November 6 – Invicta FC 58
Friday, December 13 – Invicta FC 59


About Invicta FC:
A subsidiary of Anthem Sports and Entertainment, Inc., Invicta Fighting Championships is breaking barriers in women’s sports as the premier all-female promotion delivering unparalleled world championships and all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) events. The history-making Invicta FC continues to pave the way for all to follow, providing female athletes from around the globe with a major platform where they are able to compete against other top talent. Founded in 2012 by veteran MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA, putting the spotlight on the absolute best match-ups while identifying and developing the sport’s future stars. Follow Invicta on Instagram (@InvictaFC), TikTok (@InvictaFC), X (@InvictaFights) and Facebook (InvictaFights) for all the latest information. Watch Invicta FC live events on CBS Sports Network.

About CBS Sports Network
CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour cable home of CBS Sports, is widely available through all major cable, satellite and telco distributors as well as via OTT streaming service providers YouTube TV, Fubo, DIRECTV Stream, Hulu + Live TV. Additionally, a live CBS Sports Network stream is available through CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App by authenticating with select providers. For more information, including a full programming schedule, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.

Invicta FC 55 Features Talita Bernardo vs. Olga Rubin Title Clash on June 28 in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier combat sports organization for women, is returning to Kansas City on June 28 with an action-packed fight card.

Invicta FC 55 will feature the first title defense for Brazilian bantamweight Talita Bernardo (10-4). The UFC veteran captured the 135-pound title at Invicta FC 51, dethroning then-champion Taneisha Tennant via unanimous decision. Challenging for gold will be “Big Bad” Olga Rubin (9-3). The England-based fighter is fresh off a “Submission of the Year” performance at Invicta FC 53, where she scored the first buggy choke finish in promotion history.

The card also features the promotional return of strawweight Kay Hansen (7-6). The 24-year-old made her professional debut in the Invicta cage in 2017 and scored five wins with the organization. She will re-enter the 115-pound ranks fresh off a four-fight UFC stint. Hansen’s opponent will be undefeated Colombian sensation Sayury Cañon (3-0). Cañon most recently competed at Invicta FC 52, defeating Amanda Macioce.

Also on the card, 29-year-old RIZIN and DEEP Jewels veteran Saori “Little Giant” Oshima (13-4) makes her Invicta debut against Brazil’s Andressa “Gauchinha” Romero (6-4-1), Nevada’s Taylor Guardado (4-2) rejoins the promotion and the bantamweight division opposite Japanese veteran Yoko Higashi (8-4), Brazilian atomweight Elisandra “Lili” Ferreira (6-2) collides with Canada’s “Queen of the North” Katie Saull (6-6), undefeated Michigan flyweight Zoe Nowicki (0-0) makes her professional debut against two-time IMMAF gold medalist Josiane Oliveira (0-0) of Brazil, and another Michigan flyweight, Fallon Johnson (0-0), meets Mexico’s Violeta “Violencia” Mendoza (1-0).

Invicta FC 55: Bernardo vs. Rubin will take place Friday, June 28 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City. Broadcast information for the event will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets to the event are on sale now through Eventbrite.

The full fight card can be found below:

Bantamweight Title: Talita Bernardo vs. Olga Rubin
Strawweight: Kay Hansen vs. Sayury Cañon
Atomweight: Saori Oshima vs. Andressa Romero
Bantamweight: Taylor Guardado vs. Yoko Higashi
Atomweight: Elisandra “Lili” Ferreira vs. Katie Saull
Flyweight: Zoe Nowicki vs. Josiane Oliveira
Flyweight: Fallon Johnson vs. Violeta Mendoza


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 Instagram (@InvictaFC), TikTok (@InvictaFC), X (@InvictaFights) and Facebook (InvictaFights) 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.

Invicta FC 51 Results: Bernardo Dethrones Tennant, Souza Outworks Williams

DENVER — On Wednesday, Jan. 18, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted Invicta FC 51: Tennant vs. Bernardo from ReelWorks Denver.

Brazil’s Talita Bernardo earned her third straight win in the Invicta cage, dethroning titleholder Taneisha Tennant in the process. Tennant opened with a low kick and Bernardo answered with a calf kick of her own. The Brazilian again went to the calf to try and slow Tennant’s movement. Tennant pumped her jab before attempting a front kick. Bernardo caught the kick and chased her to the ground. She immediately moved to Tennant’s back and began working for a rear-naked choke. Tennant fought the hands as Bernardo tried to soften her up with punches. Bernardo transitioned to a body triangle and continued to search for a choke. Tennant sat up to break the body triangle, but she could not escape the grasp of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Bernardo fired short right hands to the body of Tennant and applied a face crank, but could not get the opening-round finish. Tennant flicked her jab in round two and pressured Bernardo to the cage. A stiff right from Tennant popped the head of Bernardo, prompting her to latch onto a leg and drag Tennant to the ground. It was brief as Tennant bounced back to her feet. Bernardo stuck with it, dragging Tennant to the mat with a body lock. She took the back and flattened out Tennant, but the American was able to escape. Despite the opportunity to stand, Tennant followed Bernardo back to the ground. She was able to control the position briefly and return to the feet. Bernardo scored with a late throw as the round expired. The bantamweight delivered calf kicks to one another’s lead legs in the third frame. Bernardo changed levels and dragged Tennant on top of her. She attacked with a leg lock, but absorbed an onslaught of punches from Tennant. The pair scrambled and Bernardo slammed Tennant to the ground. Bernardo passed from side control to mount and began to look for an arm-triangle choke. She abandoned the choke attempt to drop punches from the dominant position. Bernardo briefly attacked with a straight armbar, which Tennant quickly defended. Tennant again was saved by the round expiring. Bernardo’s assault on Tennant’s calf continued, but she largely sat back and waited for Tennant to come forward. Tennant fired kicks to the knee. Bernardo changed levels and secured a body lock. Tennant used the fence to stay upright. She leaned on Bernardo from the clinch and offered a series of knees to the Brazilian’s thigh. Tennant grabbed a single and Bernardo actually helped her bring the fight to the ground. Bernardo went for a kneebar, which Tennant defended with a fence grab. The fight was dead even heading to the final round. Bernardo put her mark on the round quickly, lifting Tennant above her head and slamming her violently to the ground. Tennant attempted to stop the takedown by grabbing the fence again and was deducted a point. The Brazilian passed to north-south and maintained top position. Bernardo tried to stay busy from the top as Tennant aimed to tie her up from the bottom. Tennant briefly caught Bernardo in a triangle, but the Brazilian was wise to it and delivered short body shots. The judges were called upon for the final time of the evening and Bernardo was announced as the new bantamweight champion. She is the first Brazilian to hold the 135-pound strap under the Invicta banner.

There’s a new flyweight champion as Brazilian Ketlen Souza proved to be too much for veteran Kristina Williams over five rounds. The two combatants traded kicks as they looked to find their range. A massive overhand right from Souza cracked Williams on the jaw, but the American took it well. Williams countered a kick from Souza and flurried forward into the clinch. Souza shrugged her off for a moment before Williams tied her up and tripped her to the ground. Williams stayed heavy on top, keeping the Brazilian with her back to the mat. She looked to pass to mount, but it allowed Souza to recover her guard. Souza scrambled hard and latched onto one of the legs of Williams to get back to her feet. They returned to the clinch late in the round and exchanged knees. A looping right from Souza again clipped Williams early in round two. Williams was unfazed and returned fire with kicks. A wheel kick from Souza was blocked by the American despite the oohs from the crowd. Souza’s aggression cost her as she was off balance and allowed Williams to gain top position against the cage. Williams postured up, but the Brazilian controlled her wrists from the bottom. Williams settled for the full guard and Souza tried to tie her up. After the referee stood the fight up, Williams caught a kick and dumped Souza to the ground again. Souza went for an armbar as the round expired. A calf kick from Williams sent Souza backpedaling to open the third stanza. A heavy right hand from Williams found the jaw of Souza and the Brazilian responded with a takedown. It was short-lived as Williams sprung to her feet. Another right from Souza landed clean, but Williams again acted as if nothing happened. Souza pinned Williams to the cage and fired short right hands. The pair jostled for position and Souza landed on top. She peppered right hands to the body of Williams. A big elbow from Souza found the mark and Williams leaked from a big cut above her right eye. The doctor’s inspected Williams between rounds and the fight was allowed to continue into the championship rounds. A front kick from Souza caught Williams in the mouth, but she still marched forward into the clinch. Souza missed with a spinning attack and was content to stay at range. Williams brought the fight to the clinch with a minute left in the round, but could not generate any offense. Williams changed levels with her punches in the fifth frame. She followed with low kicks and tried to cut off the cage as Souza bounced around the outside. Williams fired combinations against the fence and Souza showed off her speed and head movement to evade the punches. There was little doubt after 25 minutes as Souza claimed the decision victory and the 125-pound belt.

Former title challenger Olga Rubin got back in the win column after three rounds with Serena DeJesus. Rubin threw a variety of kicks to find her range. DeJesus walked through the strikes and fired heavy punches. A big flurry from DeJesus backed Rubin to the fence, but she responded with a combination of her own. Rubin shot for a takedown and then summersaulted when she missed the target. DeJesus’s aggression was used against her as Rubin countered through the hands of the Las Vegas fighter. A stiff jab from Rubin popped the head of DeJesus like a pez dispenser and drew a smile from DeJesus. Rubin secured a body lock, but DeJesus powered free late in the round. DeJesus just marched Rubin down with punches in round two. Rubin answered with another power jab that stunned DeJesus for a moment. DeJesus landed a clean uppercut, which allowed her to push Rubin against the fence. She exited with an elbow on the break and was quickly countered by a left hand from Rubin. DeJesus pinned Rubin to the fence before absorbing an elbow from Rubin. A spinning backfist from Rubin drew a reaction from the crowd. A left straight put DeJesus on rubber legs and Rubin flurried for a finish, but DeJesus was saved by the bell. DeJesus appeared to have recovered in the third frame, firing power punches and marching toward Rubin. The bantamweights exchanged uppercuts from the single-collar tie before separating. A counter left from Rubin stunned DeJesus yet again. The toughness of DeJesus was on full display as she absorbed the punishment from Rubin and never went down. The judges awarded Rubin the decision nod to snap the winning streak of DeJesus.

Denver bantamweight Claire Guthrie stayed in the win column, defeating a very tough Auttumn Norton after three, hard-fought rounds. Norton fired multiple kicks to start and Guthrie capitalized by catching one and driving her the canvas. After a brief scramble, Guthrie settled into half guard and stayed heavy on top. Norton was able to recover her guard, shrimp to the fence and return to the feet. The pair hung on one another against the cage before briefly separating and allowing Guthrie to slam Norton to the ground once more. Norton sprung back to her feet and the fight stayed upright for the remainder of the frame. A head kick from Guthrie greeted Norton to open round two. Guthrie used a right hand to set up a level change, but Norton shrugged her off. A cut opened under the right eye of Guthrie halfway through the round. Norton stalked Guthrie around the cage before being driven to the mat with a power double. Guthrie stuck to Norton like glue along the fence. The pair traded body kicks to close the stanza. In round three, Guthrie walked through a right hand to attempt a takedown, but Norton stuffed the shot. A big body kick from Guthrie found its mark to back up Norton and slow her advance. Guthrie landed a combination before slipping and falling to the mat. Norton could not take advantage as Guthrie got back to her feet and cracked Norton with a right hand. A slapping head kick from Guthrie landed late in the fight as the pace slowed. It was a clean sweep on the scorecards for Guthrie, who earned her fourth straight win.

More atomweights were in action as veteran Marisa Messer-Belenchia welcomed Elisandra “Lili” Ferreira to the Invicta cage. Ferreira cracked Messer-Belenchia with a series of right hands immediately to open the bout. Messer-Belenchia clinched and the two jockeyed for position along the cage. The American scored with short right hands and knees, but Ferreira was able to toss her to the ground. Even after Messer-Belenchia secured her full guard, Ferreira dropped heavy punches to the head and body. Messer-Belenchia looked for a butterfly sweep and then an armbar. Ferreira slammed free of the submission attempt and continued to batter the face of Messer-Belenchia until the round came to a conclusion. A crisp right from Ferreira stunned Messer-Belenchia and she followed with a head kick. Messer-Belenchia took the shots and returned the fight to the clinch. An onslaught of short punches from Messer-Belenchia connected against the fence. Ferreira tried to spin Messer-Belenchia to the cage and fired a big elbow. Messer-Belenchia stayed glued to the Brazilian, giving her no space to work. Ferreira broke free in the round’s final minute and she threw heavy strikes, again forcing Messer-Belenchia to clinch. A late takedown saw Ferreira take Messer-Belenchia’s back, but she did not have time to secure a rear-naked choke. Ferreira remained the aggressor in the third round, firing big punches from distance. Messer-Belenchia returned to the same strategy of clinching along the fence. She laced a leg and attempted to trip Ferreira, but the Brazilian defended to stay upright. Ferreira threw Messer-Belenchia to the ground and attempted an arm-in guillotine which Messer-Belenchia easily escaped. The grueling clinch work of Messer-Belenchia continued until moments before the final bell when both fighters threw with reckless abandon. Messer-Belenchia’s efforts were in vain as the judges scored the contest for Ferreira.

The second fight of the night featured Brazilian newcomer Rayanne dos Santos opposite Canadian Katie Saull in an atomweight contest. Dos Santos fired a variety of kicks against the southpaw Saull. A head kick from Saull was blocked late by the Brazilian. A counter right from dos Santos found the mark, but Saull was able to roll with it. The pair traded kicks from range and looked to draw the other into boxing range. Both fighters wore welts from the strikes that connected. Dos Santos looked for a late trip, but the round expired. In the middle frame, Saull changed levels with her kicks and attacked the midsection of dos Santos. Dos Santos was undeterred, assaulting the lead leg of Saull with low kicks. The Brazilian tried to flurry, but Saull used her footwork to evade the attack. Saull slipped on a head kick midway through the round and dos Santos pounced with hammerfists. Saull was able to secure her guard and then return to her feet. Saull shot for a late takedown and dos Santos sprawled. A right hand from dos Santos stunned Saull with seconds left in the round and she went for the finish, but the horn saved the Canadian. Round three opened with a body kick from Saull, which dos Santos turned into a takedown. Saull countered with an armbar attempt from the bottom and forced dos Santos to defend. Dos Santos calmly escaped and secured top position. She attempted to pass Saull’s guard, but it was largely a stalemate. An errant strike from dos Santos landed to the back of Saull’s head and the referee took the position away. Ultimately, the scorecards were needed and it was dos Santos who was rewarded the decision victory.

In the night’s opening match-up grappling ace Fatima Kline remained undefeated after outworking wrestling stalwart Laura Gallardo. A looping right hand from Kline caught Gallardo clean and sent her to the mat early in the contest. Gallardo recovered and the pair exchanged low kicks. Kline used her reach well to keep Gallardo at range. Gallardo entered the pocket and looked to clinch, but Kline was able to separate. The southpaw Gallardo capitalized on Kline switching stances and landed a slapping low kick. Kline countered with a heavy body kick. Gallardo fired a head kick, but Kline evaded the strike. Late in the round, Kline changed levels and secured a double. She lifted Gallardo above her head and slammed her to the ground. Kline tried to posture up as the round came to a close. Round two began with another stiff right hand from Kline and she immediately clinched. Gallardo broke free and shot for a takedown. She latched onto a single and dragged Kline to the mat, but could not keep her there. Kline delivered an overhand left as she continued to switch her stance. A heavy right from Kline wobbled Gallardo and Kline chased her to the canvas. Kline passed to mount and rained strikes. Gallardo scrambled hard and escaped to her feet. Kline transitioned to her back and peppered Gallardo with short knees. Gallardo desperately tried to get the fight to the ground, but Kline showcased great takedown defense to control the action until the round’s end. The final stanza saw Gallardo look for a takedown and Kline countered with a kimura attempt and sweep. Kline landed with regularity from distance, frustrating Gallardo with every strike. Gallardo countered a body kick by holding onto Kline’s leg, but it was Kline who threw The Ultimate Fighter veteran to the ground with a thunderous slam. A head kick from Kline connected late in the fight as she imposed her will on Gallardo. The fight went the distance and all three judges scored the fight for Kline.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Talita Bernardo def. Taneisha Tennant by unanimous decision (48-46 x3) – for bantamweight title
Ketlen Souza def. Kristina Williams by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47) – for flyweight title
Olga Rubin def. Serena DeJesus by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Claire Guthrie def. Auttumn Norton by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Elisandra “Lili” Ferreira def. Marisa Messer-Belenchia by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Rayanne dos Santos def. Katie Saull by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Fatima Kline def. Laura Gallardo by unanimous decision (30-27 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.

Invicta FC 51: Tennant vs. Bernardo Official Weigh-in Results

DENVER — On Tuesday, Jan. 17, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted the weigh-ins for Invicta FC 51: Tennant vs. Bernardo, which takes place Wednesday, Jan. 18 from ReelWorks Denver.

In the night’s main event, bantamweight champion Taneisha “Triple Threat” Tennant (5-1) puts her 135-pound belt on the line opposite UFC veteran Talita Bernardo (9-4). New York’s Tennant has yet to taste defeat under the Invicta banner, including winning three fights in one night to capture the third Phoenix Tournament. Brazil’s Bernardo has quickly established herself as the No. 1 contender with back-to-back submission wins over Katharina Lehner and Yana Gadelha.

The co-feature also features gold up for grabs as Oklahoma’s Kristina “Warhorse” Williams (6-3) collides with Brazilian knockout artist Ketlen “Esquentadinha” Souza (12-3) for the vacant flyweight title. Williams rides the momentum of three straight victories, while Souza was successful in her promotional debut in September.

The event will be overseen by the Colorado Combative Sports Commission and will feature open scoring. The action will kick off at 9 p.m. ET/7 p.m. MT, airing on AXS TV in the U.S., Fight Network in Canada, and Invicta’s official YouTube Channel and Facebook Page.

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

Bantamweight Title: Taneisha Tennant (134.4) vs. Talita Bernardo (135)
Flyweight Title: Kristina Williams (124.3) vs. Ketlen Souza (123.6)
Bantamweight: Serena DeJesus (137.3)* vs. Olga Rubin (136)
Bantamweight: Claire Guthrie (135.9) vs. Auttumn Norton (135.7)
Atomweight: Marisa Messer-Belenchia (105.6) vs. Elisandra Ferreira (105)
Atomweight: Katie Saull (105.6) vs. Rayanne dos Santos (105.8)
Strawweight: Fatima Kline (115.7) vs. Laura Gallardo (115.3)
Strawweight: Tanya Nijjar (118.1)# vs. Sayury Cañon (113.1)

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

# – Nijjar missed the strawweight limit of 116 pounds and the fight with Cañon was removed from the event


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.

Invicta FC 51: Tennant vs. Bernardo Betting Preview

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, Invicta Fighting Championships returns to the Mile High City with a championship doubleheader. The action takes place from Reelworks Denver and tickets are available now through Eventbrite. The event will kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. MT, with the main card airing on AXS TV in the U.S., Fight Network in Canada, and Invicta’s official YouTube Channel and Facebook Page at 9 p.m. ET/7 p.m. MT.

Let’s take a look at the match-ups for the upcoming card through the lens of a sports bettor:

Taneisha Tennant (-120) vs. Talita Bernardo (-105) – for bantamweight title

The bantamweight title fight between champion Taneisha Tennant and Talita Bernardo is a tight betting line and for good reason. This is a highly competitive fight between two high-quality individuals with good quality of competition and a high-success rate. The stylistic match-up is what will come into focus here.

In Tennant, you have a primary striker with good athleticism and quickness. She isn’t easy to take down, which is what Bernardo will be looking for as a grappler. Tennant is riding a two-fight winning streak right now, besting Olga Rubin and Lisa Verzosa in that time under the Invicta banner. Tennant’s only career loss came against former pro boxer Danyelle Wolf on the Contender Series.

As for Benardo, she faced quality opposition during a four-fight stint in the UFC. Although she went just 1-3 in that UFC tenure, she stepped in the cage with top-15 fighters Viviane Araujo, Irene Aldana and Marion Reneau, a testament to her competition level. She’s currently on a three-fight surge, with two coming by way of submission (both under the Invicta banner).

Given the tight moneyline, a more focused bet may be in order for this title clash. Bernardo at +585 to win by submission looks to be an intriguing bet given Bernardo’s strong submission skills as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Tennant by decision is another bet worth a look at +170, since her last two title victories have gone the distance.

Kristina Williams (-120) vs. Ketlen Souza (-115) – for vacant flyweight title

The other title fight on this card is a flyweight affair for the vacant belt between Kristina Williams and Ketlen Souza. This is an especially intriguing bout given both fighters styles and experience, and may be one of the bigger question marks on this card.

Williams may just be a nine-fight pro, but she is the slight favorite here given her experience under bright lights. She fought for Bellator six times and did not take any easy fights. Despite going 3-3 in that organization, she does own victories over former Invicta champ Emily Ducote and former boxing world champion Heather Hardy. She comes into this bout on a three-fight surge, including two victories under the Invicta banner.

For Souza, she has more fights in terms of numbers, but she doesn’t have the same level of competition as Williams. That’s not a knock on Souza as much as it’s a compliment to Williams. That said, Souza likes to strike, but her two most recent losses come by TKO from leg kicks and a body kick. Williams is a striker herself and will look to test Souza, who will have no problem putting on a show with her own striking.

That’s where the betting lines comes in. Again, this is super close, which may make it tough to score big money either way. Williams by knockout at +200 seems like a tough line, but one that could be a safe bet given Souza’s most recent losses compared to the style of Williams. A solid bet could be picking either fighter by decision, as both lines are plus money and could ultimately pay off, if you pick the right winner.

Serena DeJesus (-115) vs. Olga Rubin (-115)

The bantamweight bout between Serena DeJesus and Olga Rubin is looking at two fighters in very different positions in their career. In DeJesus, you have a fighter really hitting her stride as of lately, scoring four-straight wins and looking good in the process. For Rubin, you have a former Bellator title challenger that’s dropped three of her last four. However, her last bout was a narrow, split-decision defeat to current champion Taneisha Tennant. Momentum could be a key here when it comes to betting. Given that the moneyline is even, it may not be the best option if you’re willing to test your meddle with prop bets. Picking the winner by decision could be your best opportunity to cash big on this match-up. A dark horse pick given Rubin’s two TKO losses could be DeJesus via knockout at +650.

Claire Guthrie (-145) vs. Auttumn Norton (+115)

It’s a spotlight night for the bantamweight division as Ultimate Fighter veteran and Denver native Claire Guthrie collides with Auttumn Norton. This is going to be a battle of attrition, pitting the wrestling of Guthrie up against the power striking of Norton. Guthrie by decision at +120 looks to be the “safest bet” given the style she brings to this fight. If you are looking for a Hail Mary option with high risk and high reward, consider picking Norton to score a knockout. It’s currently at a whopping +1035 and she has demonstrated some pop in her punches in her previous fights.

Marisa Messer-Belenchia (-130) vs. Elisandra Ferreira (+100)

The atomweight scrap between Marisa Messer-Belenchia and Elisandra “Lili” Ferreira is also close through the eyes of the books. Messer-Belenchia has plenty of experience, including exhibition bouts that aren’t on her official record in the Invicta Phoenix Tournament. She also has pro boxing experience, which is something she will want to employ against Ferreira. Ferreira prefers to grapple and given her penchant for going the distance, the over 1.5 rounds line at -120 could still represent good value. Or, if you’re confident in picking the winner, choosing either fighter to win by decision could be smart money.

Katie Saull (-115) vs. Rayanne dos Santos (-115)

Another Contender Series veteran shows up on this card in the form of Rayanne dos Santos, who is dropping to atomweight in her Invicta debut against veteran Katie Saull. Dos Santos looked very good in her Contender Series loss to Denise Gomes, but it will be intriguing to see how she performs in her new weight class. That could be a factor that leans toward taking the over 1.5 rounds, even at -155. Other bets worth consideration are Saull by decision at +335 and dos Santos by submission at +460.

Fatima Kline (-130) vs. Laura Gallardo (+100)

The strawweight fight between Fatima Kline and Laura Gallardo is probably the most interesting fight from the standpoint of the two combatants and their respective styles and experience. Kline is an outstanding Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner with excellent submission skills. She is 2-0 in her career and has finishes in both of those bouts which took place under the Invicta banner. This is a big step up in MMA competition for her in Gallardo, a TUF veteran and strong wrestler. Her wrestling could counteract Kline’s BJJ, or if Kline is unable to secure a ground fight from top position, this could end up a kickboxing match. This may yet again represent a fight where the best value is picking the winner by decision. If it’s Kline, you’re looking at +385. For Gallardo, it’s at +420. Either way, if you pick the right fighter, it will be a nice return on investment.

Tanya Nijjar (-135) vs. Sayury Cañon (+105)

The opening bout on the card is two youngsters in the pro MMA game in Tanya Nijjar and Saury Cañon. Nijjar is the favorite here because she was an undefeated amateur and won her pro debut by submission over a more experienced opponent. Cañon has more pro wins, but they both came against relatively unknown competition in South America. The best value bet here is Nijjar by submission at +260. Though if you’re looking for a big-return bet, you could take Cañon and her wrestling pedigree by decision at +400.


Note: all betting lines referenced are subject to change and are not controlled by Invicta FC. Any suggested bets mentioned are purely suggestions of the author and do not reflect the opinions of the promotion. 

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.


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.

Invicta FC 51 Features Championship Doubleheader on January 18 in Denver

DENVER — Get ready for another thrilling night of action in the Mile High City as Invicta Fighting Championships returns to Reelworks Denver with a championship doubleheader on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

In the night’s main event, bantamweight champion Taneisha “Triple Threat” Tennant (5-1) puts her 135-pound belt on the line opposite UFC veteran Talita Bernardo (9-4). New York’s Tennant has yet to taste defeat under the Invicta banner, including winning three fights in one night to capture the third Phoenix Tournament. She was most recently in action at Invicta FC 48, edging Olga Rubin after five, hard-fought rounds to retain her title. Brazil’s Bernardo has quickly established herself as the No. 1 contender with back-to-back submission wins over Katharina Lehner and Yana Gadelha.

The co-feature also features gold up for grabs as Oklahoma’s Kristina “Warhorse” Williams (6-3) collides with Brazilian knockout artist Ketlen “Esquentadinha” Souza (12-3) for the vacant flyweight title. Williams rides the momentum of three straight victories, including a first-round submission of Liana Pirosin at Invicta FC 48 in July. Souza was successful in her promotional debut in September, cruising past Strikeforce and Phoenix Tournament veteran Maiju Suotama.

Also on the card, bantamweight Serena “The Southpaw Outlaw” DeJesus (5-2) looks to make a statement with a victory over recent title challenger “Big Bad” Olga Rubin (7-3), Denver’s “Grizzly” Claire Guthrie (4-1) aims for a fourth straight win against hard-hitting bantamweight Auttumn “The Natural” Norton (2-1), atomweight Marisa “Spider Monkey” Messer-Belenchia (5-1) welcomes Brazilian Elisandra “Lili” Ferreira (4-2) to the Invicta cage, “The Queen of the North” Katie Saull (5-5) takes on Contender Series veteran Rayanne dos Santos (12-6) of Brazil at 105 pounds, strawweight submission ace Fatima “The Archangel” Kline (2-0) squares off with The Ultimate Fighter 30 alum Laura “La Jefa” Gallardo (4-1), and Canada’s Tanya Nijjar (1-0) meets fellow debutant Sayury Cañon (2-0) of Colombia.

Invicta FC 51: Tennant vs. Bernardo will be overseen by the Colorado Combative Sports Commission and will feature open scoring. The event will kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. MT, with the main card airing on AXS TV in the U.S., Fight Network in Canada, and Invicta’s official YouTube Channel and Facebook Page at 9 p.m. ET/7 p.m. MT. Tickets to the event go on sale Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 12 p.m. ET/10 a.m. MT through Eventbrite.

The current fight card can be found below:

Bantamweight Title: Taneisha Tennant vs. Talita Bernardo
Flyweight Title: Kristina Williams vs. Ketlen Souza
Bantamweight: Serena DeJesus vs. Olga Rubin
Bantamweight: Claire Guthrie vs. Auttumn Norton
Atomweight: Marisa Messer-Belenchia vs. Elisandra Ferreira
Atomweight: Katie Saull vs. Rayanne dos Santos
Strawweight: Fatima Kline vs. Laura Gallardo
Strawweight: Tanya Nijjar vs. Sayury Cañon


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.