InvictaFC 16 Primer

Ayaka Hamasaki and Amber BrownInvicta returns to Sin City for the second time as they take over the Tropicana’s Trinidad pavilion Friday.

There are nine bouts on the card including two title matches plus several fan favorite fighters returning to the cage.

Due to a reported error on their contracts, Irene Aldana’s and Herica Tiburcio’s fights were made at 136 and 106 respectively and were given a pound allowance over that weight. Invicta will pay their opponents 25% more of their fight pay for the mistake.

People can watch on UFC Fight Pass Friday night.

Here are the weigh-in results and a breakdown of each fight.

(Photos courtesy Esther Lin, Invicta FC)

Ayaka Hamasaki (104.9; champion) vs. Amber Brown (104.7) – Atomweight title

Ayaka Hamasaki and Amber Brown

The Fighters:

Ayaka Hamasaki (12-1): The “Atomweight Fighter of the Year” looks to defend her title for the first time.

Amber Brown (6-1): “The Bully” wants to bring back the atomweight title to the U.S.

The Storyline:

Ayaka is one of the best fighters coming out of Japan. Her transition to atomweight has be a dominate one, having snagged three straight wins. She gained the title in July against Herica Tiburcio by decision.

Brown would like to stop the freight train. Although known for boxing when she first started, Brown has won three fights by submission, including her win over Shino VanHoose in January.

What to expect:

Both have proven to be well rounded in the MMA game, but the experience lies with the champion. Brown also has yet to see a five round fight, and a durable Hamasaki is coming off what was a war for the belt. Will Brown show her muster and finish Hamasaki, or will the champion’s durability gain her a win?

Vanessa Porto (124.4) vs. Jennifer Maia (124.6) – interim flyweight title

Vanessa Porto and Jennifer Maia

The Fighters:

Vanessa Porto (18-6): Porto looks to finally grab the brass ring.

Jennifer Maia (12-4-1): The fellow Brazilian looks to redeem herself in InvictaFC and gain gold.

The Storyline:

Porto lost to Barb Honchak in the inaugural flyweight title fight. Porto has since won three straight including a title eliminator against Roxanne Modafferi.

Maia lost to DeAnna Bennett at InvictaFC 10, and has since returned to Brazil to win three straight in 2015. She lost to Porto in 2011 and looks to avenge the loss.

What to expect:

Porto made weight this time around, but you have to wonder if the cut will do anything to effect her performance.

Maia hasn’t gone 5 rounds in her career, but has seen some exciting wars including her loss to Leslie Smith. Who controls the pace should be the major factor.

Stephanie Eggink (115) vs. Angela Hill (115)

Stephanie Eggink and Angela Hill

The Fighters:

Stephanie Eggink (4-2): After a long break, Eggink looks to get back into the title picture.

Angela Hill (3-2): The TUF 20 vet looks to continue rebuilding.

The Storyline:

After losing to Katja Kankaanpaa for the initial strawweight title in 2014, Eggink took time off to have a child. It wasn’t too long after she was back in the gym, looking to get back in the title hunt.

With Alexa Grasso out with injury, Hill stepped in on short notice. Hill debuted in January at InvictaFC 15 and made a statement, getting a first round TKO win over Alida Gray.

What to expect:

This is a classic grappler versus striker battle. Eggink has weather several storms with strikers in the past. Hill has been improving her wrestling and has moved camps to Alliance MMA in San Diego. Eggink needs to take it to the ground or make it a grinding war, while Hill needs to use her striking to keep it on the feet.

Irene Aldana (136.6) vs. Jessamyn Duke (134.9)

Irene Aldana and Jessamyn Duke

The Fighters:

Irene Aldana (5-2): Coming off a title loss, Aldana looks to work her way back to a title shot.

Jessamyn Duke (3-3): The former UFC fighter wants to revitalize her career.

The Storyline:

Aldana was one of the top prospect at Invicta until she faced a more experience Tonya Evinger for the belt. She is looking to learn from her loss and gain much needed experience.

Duke came into the UFC by the Ultimate Fighter 18, and got one UFC win before dropping three straight. A lot of people felt she needed to get back to Invicta to gain much needed experience and rebuild.

What to expect:

Duke has had problems with heavy handed strikers. Aldana’s boxing is solid, but Duke needs to set the pace and try to take it to the ground where she can use her advance ground game.

Roxanne Modafferi (125.1) vs. DeAnna Bennett (125.1)

Roxanne Modafferi and Deanna Bennett

The Fighters:

Roxanne Modafferi (18-12): The fan favorite looks to stay in the title hunt.

DeAnna Bennett (8-1): Bennett returns to flyweight to look for another golden opportunity.

The Storyline:

Modafferi has been on the periphery of a flyweight title fight. Having lost to Vanessa Porto in her last fight, she is still in the hunt but looks to solidify her position.

Bennett lost for the first time in her career in a title match with strawweight champion Livia Souza. That night, she told InvictaFC matchmaker Julie Kedzie she wanted to fight as soon as possible. Having not lost at flyweight and having a win over Jennifer Maia, she could make a good argument for a title match.

What to expect:

Bennett’s conditioning maybe better at this weight, and will be stronger. Modafferi’s improved striking has made her one of the most well rounded fighters in the division. It will be interesting if it goes to the ground, and looks to be one of the closer matches on the card.

Herica Tiburcio (106.9) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (105.5)

006_Herica_Tiburcio_and_jinh_Yu_FreyThe Fighters:

Herica Tiburcio (9-3): The former champion looks to get back in the title hunt.

Jinh Yu Frey (4-1): The atomweight looks to continue her way up the ladder.

The Storyline:

Tiburcio dethroned Michelle Waterson in an upset, but fought a five round close battle with current champion Ayaka Hamasaki to lose the belt. Having been on a four fight win streak before the loss, a win could see her get a rematch.

Frey’s only loss was a close split decision to Jodie Esquibel and won back to back since then. A win over the former champ could get her a title shot.

What to expect:

Tiburcio has been the distance in a five round fight, something Frey will experience for the first time. Frey is fast as a striker and Tiburcio  needs to grind it out and possibly take it to the ground where she has more experience. Frey needs to go in and out, do not expend too much energy early, and use her reach.

Sarah D’Alelio (125.2) vs. Andrea Lee (125.3)

Sarah D'Alelio and Andrea Lee

The Fighters:

Sarah D’Alelio (8-6): After a year off, she looks to make an impact at flyweight.

Andrea Lee (4-1): The current Legacy champ looks to climb the ladder.

The Storyline:

Having fought as heavy at 145, Sarah D’Alelio has been an entertaining fighter and a long time staple of Invicta. Being away for over two years from the promotion, she able to break a three fight losing streak a little over year ago. She will be dropping to flyweight for the first time to see if a change of weight will change her career.

After a “Fight of the Year” performance against Rachael Ostovich at InvictaFC 14, Lee had dominant performance over Ariel Beck to win the vacant Legacy title in December.

What to expect:

D’Alelio’s unconventional style and experience against tough opponents maybe a problem for Lee. Lee, though, has been quick to adapt and we could see some interesting scrambles in a possible “Fight of the Night”.

Kelly McGill (135.3) vs. Aspen Ladd (135.9)

Kelly McGill and Aspen LaddThe Fighters:

Kelly McGill (2-0): McGill seeks her second promotional win

Aspen Ladd (2-0): Ladd looks to climb the Invicta bantamweight ladder.

The Storyline:

Both undefeated and looking for their third win, McGill and Ladd are as close as you can get. Ladd is coming up in weight, being proactive in wanting not to take a hard cut while her body is growing. She is also taking the match on short notice.

McGill made a successful drop to bantamweight and looked solid against Maegen Goodwin in her promotional debut.

What to expect:

McGill will have the strength advantage going in, but Ladd may have gain some endurance at a heavier weight. Ladd has finished in all of her pro wins, so we will see if the power follows her up.

Ashley Greenway and Sarah ClickAshley Greenway (115.4) vs. Sarah Click (115.8)

The Fighters:

Ashley Greenway (7-4; pro debut): The amateur standout finally makes it to the big time

Sarah Click (7-2 ammy; pro debut): Another outstanding amateur looks to impress the crowd

The Storyline:

Greenway took her time as an amateur, have a dozen fights in five years before deciding it was time to turn pro.

Click started her career in 2014, and came from a Muay Thai background.

What to expect:

Another classic striker versus grappler match up against two hot prospects. Click’s dynastic striking will be interesting to watch in the cage and in the clinch. Greenway will look to take it to the ground.

One thought on “InvictaFC 16 Primer”

  1. Atomweight Title: Ayaka Hamasaki (12-1) vs. Amber Brown (6-1) Kamikazi rides again in mentality… Amber arm fiund in kimuras and finally arm bar… triangle choke didnt gas this Ayaka. Japan coming to Us no one heading to replace Roxanne over there yet Thailand muy thai gaining in ring skills.
    Interim Flyweight Title: Vanessa Porto (18-6) vs. Jennifer Maia (12-4-1)
    Jenn great adventure saw u brought along a known mat n former cutler opponent to introduce to Invicta FC.
    Strawweight: Stephanie Eggink (4-2) vs. Angela Hill (3-2) Paper even fair match thiugh one had ufc access. Steph boxing vs muy thai not best advantage.
    Bantamweight: Irene Aldana (5-2) vs. Jessamyn Duke (3-3)
    Sorry Jess please retire too many kos and damage from that gym arse with baseball bat should have told Knapp this shouldnt happen almost million dollar baby movie.
    Flyweight: Roxanne Modafferi (18-12) vs. DeAnna Bennett (8-1)
    No facials today – experience ruled the day and bar raised for many others in the former UFC women coming in InvictaFC farm.
    Atomweight: Herica Tiburcio (9-3) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (4-1)
    Great pics show fist to throat n karate stand up match in height differential. Herica has faced anither well traveled mat / ring competitor.
    Flyweight: Andrea Lee (4-1) vs. Sarah D’Alelio (8-6) Bummed as the G got taken away on the back by a journey woman. Sarah earned her day like Tate.
    Bantamweight: Kelly McGill (2-0) vs. Aspen Ladd (2-0)
    Great work by Aspen bluegrass has shown itself as proving ground. Kelly great standup just ground work and space shifts.
    Strawweight: Ashley Greenway (0-0) vs. Sarah Click (0-0)

    Spoiler – Holm used same exit move vs Tate at Fight in the valley check mma gifs

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