Yana Kunitskaya and Tonya Evinger

InvictaFC 20 Primer

With over four years worth of fights, InvictaFC reaches its 20th offering Friday with two titles on the line.

44 athletes have passed through the promotion onto the UFC, making Invicta the place to develop and shine before getting the call to the big time. This card sees what could be the future of the sport.

Three fighters (Miranda Maverick, Pam Sorenson, & Ashley Yoder) missed weight and will forfeit 25% of their fight purse.

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

(Photo courtesy – Esther Lin, Invicta FC)

Main Event

Tonya Evinger (135; champion) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (134.1) – Bantamweight title

Yana Kunitskaya and Tonya Evinger

The Fighters:

Tonya Evinger (18-5): The dominate champion looks to continue her win streak.

Yana Kunitskaya (9-2): The Russian looks to to make her US debut a golden one.


The Storyline:

The hottest talent not signed to the UFC, Tonya Evinger can make her case for female fighter of the year with a win. The vet is on a 9 fight win streak, the most of any bantamweight fighter in any organization.

Yana Kunitskaya just came back earlier this year after taking a 4 year absence to raise a family. She was well on her way to being a star in 2012 until she left the sport, and after shaking off a comerback loss, she was able to get back t fighting form with a TKO win this past September in China.


What to expect:

Kunitskaya finished in all but one of her wins, including a win over InvictaFc star Cindy Dandois. The striker has had trouble with grapplers, and the well rounded Evinger is a tough draw.


Co-main Event

Angela Hill (114.8; champion) vs. Kaline Medeiros (114.1) – Strawweight title

Kaline Medeiros and Angela Hill

The Fighters:

Angela Hill (5-2): The champion looks to defend her title for the first time

Kaline Medeiros (8-4): A surging strawweight looks to make her mark.


The Storyline:

Since her TUF 20 stint and her move to Alliance MMA, Angela Hill has made a huge turnaround in her MMA career. So much that she has become the top of the Invicta strawweight division. She looks to cement her place in the 115 rankings with a win.

Currently on a five fight win streak, she has been always willing to take a fight on short notice. Now with a full camp, she wants to take the gold back to Boston.


What to expect:

This will be a striker’s delight with Hill’s Muay Thai background and Medeiros coming from the world famous Sityodtong gym. Hill’s ground game has grown by leaps and bounds at Allaince, but will the BJJ ace in Medeiros gain another highlight reel finish or will Hill show her tenaciousness and retain the belt?


Main Card

Herica Tiburcio (106) vs. Simona Soukupova (105.9)

Herica Tiburcio and Simona Soukupova

The Fighters:

Herica Tiburcio (9-4): The former atomweight champ looks to get back into the title picture

Simona Soukupova (5-4-1): After losing in a “Fight of the Night”, she looks to get back in the hunt


The Storyline:

The former champ Tiburcio hasn’t found much success post title. With a close decision loss to title challenger Jinh Yu Frey, a win would get her back in the title picture for a possible rematch with Ayaka Hamasaki.

The always exciting Soukupova came up short versus Simpson in her last fight, but picked up a bonus for her efforts.


What to expect:

This is our prediction for “Fight of the Night”. Soukupova will look to press the action and use her wrestling. Tiburcio has shown she can hang on her feet with some of the best in the division, but her BJJ off her back could be an x-factor.


Amber Brown (114.8) vs. Ashley Yoder (117)*

Ashley Yoder and Amber Brown

The Fighters:

Amber Brown (5-2): The former atomweight title challenger moves up to 115

Ashley Yoder (4-1): The TUF 23 vet looks to make an impact in Invicta


The Storyline:

After falling short in bid to become atomweight champion, Brown regrouped and decided a turn at the strawweight division would get her back in the title mix. She had been on a four fight win streak before the boxer lost to Hamasaki.

Yoder was on a three fight win streak before entering the TUF 23 house. Her fight with Jodie Esquibel to get in the house was one of the more exciting fights on the show. She looks to follow the success of fellow TUF vet Angela Hill in Invicta


What to expect:

Brown lives up t her nickname as she bullies her opponents pushing forward. Yoder’s fight with Esquibel has proven her toughness in a dig fight on the feet. Yoder’s wrestling and submission work could play a factor.


Jessy Rose-Clark (136) vs. Pam Sorenson (140.6)*

Pam Sorenson and Jessica Rose Clark

The Fighters:

Jessy Rose-Clark (6-2): The Aussie Fighter looks  to rebound in the bantamweight ranks

Pam Sorenson (4-1): The former KOTC champion looks to climb the ladder for InvictaFC gold


The Storyline:

Clark has found a home at Syndicate MMA after some personal problems sidetracked her. After her last loss Invicta to Pannie Kianzad, she went to the international circuit, getting a win in her last outing in her native Australia.

Sorenson (4-1) has only lost a close split decision on Shana Young, and have notable wins over Christina Barry and Brenda Gonzales.


What to expect:

A striker’s delight in this bout with John Wood’s style boxing from Clark and Muay Thai from Sorenson. Don’t blink.


J.J. Aldrich (115.9) vs. Lynn Alvarez (115.5)

JJ Aldrich and Lynn Alvarez

The Fighters:

J.J. Aldrich (3-1): The strawweight star returns ti the Invicta cage

Lynn Alvarez (6-4): The vet looks to get her first Invicta win


The Storyline:

After falling short to Jamie Moyle at InvictaFC 11, Aldrich came back at InvictaFc 14 to get a first round finish over Rosa Acevedo. Entering the TUF house, she made it to the quarterfinals, losing to the eventual winner Tatiana Suarez. She since defeated Kathina Catron this past September.

Alvarez took a last minute match with one of the toughest strawweights in the division, Mizuki, in this past July. The vet is looking to get back on track in her MMA career.


What to expect:

Training with UFC star Rose Namajunas, Aldrich is a more of a well rounded fighter. Alvarez, who came from a boxing background, has added Muay Thai over the past few years. She had some submission wins early on, so this could be an interesting fight whenever they decided to take it.


Stephanie Egger (135.7) vs. Alexa Connors (135.9)

Alexa Conners and Stephanie Egger

The Fighters:

Stephanie Egger (2-0): The Swiss judoka looks to make an impact in the states

Alexa Connors (0-1): The amateur champion looks for her first pro win.


The Storyline:

Egger started her MMA career last year with back to back wins. Her judo credentials could see her as the next star at 135.

Connors had a phenomenal amateur career, but came up short in her pro debut with a close split decision loss to Laura Howarth in May.


What to expect:

Egger will be making her US debut against a more experienced Connors, who has overall more fights. Egger’s judo background should see her handle pressure, but will her thriws and submissions translate in the Invicta cage?


Miranda Maverick (118.4)* vs. Samantha Diaz (115.9)

Miranda Maverick and Samantha Diaz

The Fighters:

Miranda Maverick (7-1 amateur): The two divisions amateur champion looks to continue her success at 115

Samantha Diaz (5-0): The Chi-town native looks to put her name on the map.


The Storyline:

Both making their pro debuts, the opening match could see a new star emerge.

Maverick has fought at 125 and 115 during her amateur career fighting out of Springfield Fight Club in Missouri, home of UFC fighter Zak Cummins.

The Chicago native Diaz looks to come into hostile territory and continue her winning ways into the pros with her prolific submission game. Diaz cut her hair to make weight for this fight (video here).


What to expect:

Both submission specialists, we won’t be surprised if they test their striking befoe taking it to the ground. Maverick’s wrestling versus Diaz’s BJJ may see an interesting fight on the ground.

* – missed weight and will forfeit 25% of their purse 

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