InvictaFC 11 Primer

InvictaFC is looking to make waves Friday as sixteen talented athletes are entering the cage for the promotion’s biggest event to date. With the media in town for the UFC, many major MMA websites will be in attendance in what will be the biggest weekend in the women’s divisions history.

Invicta announced Tuesday their first four fights will stream for free on youtube, with the whole card streaming on UFC Fight Pass. Invicta also inked a deal to air the card in Brazil on Combate.

The eight fights will be headlined by the return of Cris Cyborg Justino taking on Charmaine Tweet for the featherweight title. All hit the scales Thursday with two not making weight (explained below).

You can watch the weigh-in video here.

All photos courtesy Ester Lin/InivctaFC.


Vidal and Ladd
Vidal and Ladd

Aspen Ladd (125.5) vs Ana Carolina Vidal (125.75)

The Fighters:

Aspen Ladd (8-1 amateur): With six finishes, Ladd was one of the hottest amateur prospects before signing to Invicta.

Ana Carolina Vidal (1-0 amateur): The BJJ black belt had problems finding opponents and decided to turn pro.

—–

The Storyline:

Ladd’s reputations precedes her as California’s brightest amateur talent. With Ladd’s original opponent out due to injury, she faces a BJJ phenom in Vidal who is looking to prove herself as a crossover sensation.

—–

What to expect:

Vidal’s striking has yet to be tested and this being only her second fight, it will be a tough match with the battle tested Ladd. They say black belts become blue belts once they get hit. Will be interesting to see if Vidal can weather the storm and take it to the ground.


Stanley and Salazar
Stanley and Salazar

Christine Stanley (125.5) vs Laura Salazar (128.9) *

The Fighters:

Christine Stanley (3-1): The knockout specialist is coming off a KO of the Year Award win.

Laura Salazar (3-0): Also a KO specialist, she has yet to see a second round.

* California State Athletic Commission wouldn’t allow Salazar to cut any more weight. Fined 25% of her purse.

—–

The Storyline:

Stanley, who is a teammate of Liz Carmouche, has finished all of her wins in less than a minute. This includes a five second spinning head kick KO that got her signed to the promotion. Her solo loss was to Justin Kish by submission.

Salazar also hails from the Golden State and has fought on the Xplode Fight Series. All her wins came withing three minutes.

Strangely enough, the two have never crossed paths until now.

—–

What to expect:

Salazar is taking the match on only a few days notice and up a weight class. The question is will this help or hurt her. With her not cutting that much more weight it could help in terms of endurance. However, Stanley may have a strength advantage coming in.

Both like to bang and have explosive power to knock people down so it will be interesting to see what happens if this goes to round 2.


Brianna Van Buren and Amy Montenegro
Van Buren and Montenegro

Amy Montenegro (115.6) vs. Brianna VanBuren (115.5)  

The Fighters:

Amy Montenegro (5-1): A staple of the northwest scene, she has finished in four of her wins.

Brianna Van Buren (3-1): Impressive in her loss to Stephanie Eggink at XFC, she has won back to back fights.

—–

The Storyline:

Montenegro has been a solid talent in the Seattle area and has submitted in three of her wins. She got the call to Invicta after back to back finishes and has been under the radar until now.

VanBuren made some waves in the MMA community with her performance against InvictaFC fighter Stephanie Eggink in a bout in the XFC.  She has a notable win over Patricia Vidonic.

—–

What to expect:

Montenegro’s BJJ is solid and is dangerous from the top and on her back. VanBuren has solid wrestling and strong for a fighter in the division. Noting this, it won’t surprise us if this winds up being a stand up battle between two great grapplers.


Moyle and Aldrich
Moyle and Aldrich

Jamie Moyle (115.5) vs J.J. Aldrich (115.6)

The Fighters:

Jamie Moyle (1-0): The Tuff-n-uff contract winner showed why she deserved to be signed to Invicta in her last win.

J.J. Aldrich (1-0): The experienced amateur made an impression in her Invicta debut.

—–

The Storyline:

These are two of the young guns in the strawweight division and both looking to climb up the ladder. With Moyle out of Syndicate MMA and Aldrich out of 303, both have two solid gyms behind them in what should be a close fight.

—–

What to expect:

Both looked great in their feet and on the ground in dominate performances. It’s a tough call where this is going to go but word is Moyle is working on her wrestling. Should be a contender for “Fight of the Night”


Aldana and Schneider
Aldana and Schneider

Irene Aldana (135) vs Colleen Schneider (135.33)

The Fighters:

Irene Aldana (4-1): The Mexican standout has first round finishes in all of her wins.

Colleen Schneider (6-5):The Strikeforce vet has found momentum winning five of her last six.

—–

The Storyline:

Aldana is considered by many to be the future of Invicta’s bantamweight division; that is if the UFC doesn’t sign her. Schneider has found a resurgence with her new gym in L.A. and training with UFC fighters Josh Barnett and Shayna Baszler.

—–

What to expect:

Schneider has faced tough opponents before and has weathered storms. She is stronger than she has ever been. Schneider’s wrestling could prove troublesome for Aldana, who needs to keep it on the feet.


Bennett and Center
Bennett and Center

DeAnna Bennett (116)* vs Norma Rueda Center (116.8)**

The Fighters:

DeAnna Bennett (6-0): The flyweight contender looks to continue her success at strawweight.

Norma Rueda Center (3-1): The InvictaFC vet returns to work her way into the strawweight rankings.

* Bennett was 0.2 pounds off on the first attempt but made weight on the second Will be fined 10% of her purse.

** Center decided not to drop the 0.8 pounds and will forefeit 25% of her purse

—–

The Storyline:

Bennett was on the verge of a flyweight title shot with Barb Honchak but surprised most of the fans by dropping down to 115. After Lynn Alvarez dropped out due to injury, Center got the call back to Invica coming off a win over BJJ black belt Michelle Nicolini.

—–

What to expect:

The big question is how Bennett will look after her cut down to strawweight. Center comes from a wrestling background and has some solid endurance behind her. Look for Center to take it to the ground while Bennett to keep it standing.


Grasso and Inoue
Grasso and Inoue

Alexa Grasso (115) vs Mizuki Inoue (115.25)

The Fighters:

Alexa Grasso (6-0): The strawweight phenom could secure her name as a title contender with a win.

Mizuki Inoue (8-3): The Japanese champion is still looking to hold two belts for two different all female promotions.

—–

The Storyline:

Much like her teammate Aldana, Grasso is seen as the future of Invicta if the UFC doesn’t grab her first. With four of her wins coming by first round TKO or KO, she is steadily becoming a star and a title contender. DEEP-JEWELS champ Inoue is looking to gain back some momentum after losing to KSW champ Karolina Kowalkiewicz at Invicta 9 by split decision.

—–

What to expect:

The match has “Fight of the Night” written all over it. Grasso’s power and Inoue’s precision striking will make for a unique battle. If either fighter gets the KO it would be surprising, as would if it going to the ground.


Justino and TRweet
Justino and TRweet

Cris Justino (144.5) vs Charmaine Tweet (144.8)

The Fighters:

Cris Justino (12-1; 1 NC): The champ is back and is looking to return to #1 in the featherweight division.

Charmaine Tweet (6-4): The Canadian is looking to shock the world.

—–

The Storyline:

Justino took a year off from MMA to improve her striking and attempt to make 135. Cyborg comes back ready to defend her title. Tweet has gained momentum with back to back wins and looking upset one of the best pound for pound fighters in the business.

—–

What to expect:

Justino is no stranger to cage rust, and overcomes it well. Cyborg is coming off a Muay Thai loss to current Lion Fight champ Jorina Baar, who proved Justino is human. Tweet’s length should play a factor if she can keep Justino at distance and not get swarmed. Leg kicks could also come into play with Tweet.

Cyborg needs to stay above drama between her and a certain UFC champ and focus on the task at hand.

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