InvictaFC 15 Primer

INVICTA FC 15InvictaFC kicks off 2016 with seven solid bouts with two title matches.

In the main event, Cris Cyborg Justino will defend her featherweight title for the third time taking on the Russian Daria Ibragimova. Strawweight champ Livia Souza defends her belt for the first time against DeAnna Bennett in the co-main event.

One match, Ediane Gomes and Amanda Bell, was scrapped last minute as Gomes dropped out due to illness.

Colleen Schneider came in 0.4 pounds over the 136 limit. She attempted to cut but could only reach 136.2. She will be fined 25% of her fight purse.

The fights will take place at The Hanger in Costa Mesa, California Saturday. The fights will stream on UFC Fight Pass starting at 7 p.m. est/4 p.m. pst.

Here is a lot at the complete card and weigh-in results.

(Photos Courtesy  Scott Hirano/Invicta FC)

Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (144.6) vs. Daria Ibragimova (143.7) – Featherweight Title

Justino vs Ibragimova_004

The Fighters:

Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (14-1, 1 NC): The best featherweight in the division looks to defend her title for the third time.

Daria Ibragimova (9-1) : The six year vet looks to upset the “Baddest Woman on the Planet”

The Storyline:

With few athletes capable of facing the dominate Cyborg, Ibragimova comes in as another finisher with seven straight and eight overall. Can see pull a Holly Holm and shock the world?

What to expect:

This fight won’t go past the first round, but it would be interesting to see if Ibragimova can weather the storm, fight off her back, and get a submission similar to Fabricio Werdum did over Fedor. Cyborg will be coming in without IV rehydration so will she be stronger or weaker coming in and remain the most dominate athlete on the planet?

Livia Renata Souza (113.9) vs. DeAnna Bennett (114.6) – Strawweight Title

Souza vs Bennett_004The Fighters:

Livia Renata Souza (8-0): “The Brazilian Gangster” is looking to defend her title for the first time.

DeAnna Bennett (8-0): The Argentine Assassin looks to gain her first world title.

The Storyline:

Souza won the title in her first match in Invicta and has made an instant impact in the ever growing strawweight division. Coming from humble beginnings, her story could be a movie.

Bennett was in the middle of changing camps before her last match with former champ Katja Kankaanpää, in which she came in overweight and won a razor thin split decision. With time to get a quality training camp in, she will look for some redemption and her first world title belt.

What to Expect:

This is a classic striker versus grappler match-up, with Souza’s slick submission game against Bennett’s kickboxing. It will be hard for Souza get close to Bennett, so Bennett may have the upperhand going to the judges. It will be up to Souza to wear down Bennett, who has yet to see a five round fight, and take it to the ground to lock in a sub.

Raquel Pa’aluhi (135.5) vs. Colleen Schneider (136.2)*

Schneider vs Pa'aluhi_003The Fighters:

Raquel Pa’aluhi (5-4): The proverbial title contender looks to ink her name for a title shot.

Colleen Schneider (9-6): Schneider looks to make a name in the bantamweight.

The Storyline:

Pa’aluhi has been passed up several times for a title shot, and Tonya Evinger is looking for a fight. Three straight wins with two in Invicta, she is has hung with the toughest competition in the bantamweight division.

Schneider had an active 2015, winning three of 4. After losing to Irene Aldana in Invicta in a short notice fight, she went on a three fight win streak.

What to Expect:

Schneider has been concentrating on her shoot wrestling with the team at CSW but has yet to see a finish since 2013. Pa’aluhi could prove to be a stronger wrestler, but has picked up some striking from the famous Mayweather gym in Vegas. Don’t be surprised if Pa’aluhi shows off some power strikes coming in.

*Schneider weighted in at 136.4 on first attempt 136.2 on second attempt

Amber Brown (105.7) vs. Shino VanHoose (105.3)

VanHoose vs Brown_004The Fighters:

Amber Brown (5-1): The top contender for the atomweight belt looks to cement her spot.

Shino VanHoose (4-3): The young gun looks to upset the boxing specialist.

The Storyline:

VanHoose is coming in on late notice to take on Brown, but was in camp already for a fight in February. Having her first fight at age 15 in Japan, the submission specialist is best known for her ezekiel choke win at Pancrase.

Brown has transcended from being a pure striker to getting two submission wins. Her last win was against Catherine Costigan at InvictaFC 13.

What to Expect:

VanHoose was able to hang with some of the best atomweights at an early age, making her tougher than she looks. Her striking is still developing, which could see Brown taking the advantage. Many people are saying Brown with a quick finish, but expect a tough VanHoose to take it to the cards.

Hill vs Gray_003Alida Gray (115.9) vs. Angela Hill (115.1)

The Fighters:

Alida Gray (4-2): The KO specialist is looking to break a two fight losing streak.

Angela Hill (2-2): The TUF 20 vet is looking to make an impression in her promotional debut.

The Storyline:

Angela Hill didn’t have a great run in the UFC but she is looking to rebuild her career at Invicta. The kickboxer had gained a solid wrestling game via UFC fighter Sara McMann.

Gray is coming off two losses to two of the top strawweights on the planet, Jessica Aguilar and Alexa Grasso, and looks to get back on the winning track.

What to Expect:

Both are talented strikers so expect this to possibly go to the ground at some point with the judoka Gray looking to take down and submit the kickboxer . Hill has gained some muscle since her UFC stint so she may have gained some more power, and could be hard to judo throw due to her wrestling training. Both have one strike KO power so don’t blink.

Schuckman vs Inoue_004Lacey Schuckman (114.9) vs. Mizuki Inoue (114.3)

The Fighters:

Lacey Schuckman (11-8): The seven year vet looks to start year eight with a victory.

Mizuki Inoue (9-4): The DEEP-JEWELS champ looks to get in the InvictaFC title hunt.

The Storyline:

Schuckman asked for Inoue for her next match and it was a perfect one to test her skills. Schuckman tested her skills in the boxing ring in 2014 and 2015 before her return to Invicta last April. She got a TKO win.

Inoue had two Fight of the Year contenders in her fights with Alexa Grasso and Karolina Kowalkiewicz before winning the D-J title in August. She is looking to solidify herself as a contender.

What to Expect:

Both have had Fight of the Night bonuses in the past. This one is earmarked to be a war. Both have heavy striking, but would be interesting if Schuckman uses her veteran experience to take it to the ground. It should go the distance and will look to kick off the Fight of the Year 2016 voting.

Megan Anderson (145.3) vs. Amber Leibrock (145.7)

Anderson vs Leibrock_003The Fighters:

Megan Anderson (4-2): The Aussie looks for her first InvictaFC win.

Amber Leibrock (1-0): The Tuff-n-uff tournament winner looks to continue her quick rise.

The Storyline:

After Anderson’s loss in her InvictaFC debut, she never left Kansas City. She dedicated herself to being a better fighter from the improved training in America.

Leibrock turned heads and shocked the world with her KO victory over Maria Shafir. The heavy handed striker is looking to show people this was no fluke.

What to Expect:

Both are finishers, and looks to end it early. Anderson has won by submission in most of her fights, while Leibrock has been heavy handed. Question will be is Leibrock can hang on the ground, if it gets there.



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