(Angela Hill – Photo courtesy Esther Lin/InvictaFC)
Invicta FC added four more bouts to their 21st card January 14th in Kansas City, Missouri.
Previous title challenger DeAnna Bennett returns to the cage and will face Jodie Esquibel in what could be a title eliminator match. Bennett (8-2) is coming off her first back to back losses of her career. Esquibel (5-2) is coming off a loss to Alexa Grasso.
Both coming off losses as well, Pannie Kianzad and Raquel Pa’aluhi are looking to put themselves in title contention in the bantamweight division. Kianzad (8-1) came up short in a match with bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger in her last outing. Pa’aluhi (5-5) was on a three fight win streak before losing to Colleen Schneider.
Boxing champion Heather Hardy has an opponent in amateur prospect Brieta Carpenter. Undefeated Hardy will be making her MMA debut with an extensive boxing and kickboxing career. Carpenter (8-2 amateur) is the former Tuff-n-uff bantamweight champion, defeating Serena DeJesus this past summer.
Rouding out the additions is undefeated Aspen Ladd (4-0) taking on Sijara Eubanks (2-1).
The main event features a featherweight title eliminator between Charmaine Tweet (9-5) and Megan Anderson (7-2).
It is expected Rachael Ostovich and Andrea Lee will return on the event as well in separate bouts. Opponents to be announced.
The card will stream on UFC Fight Pass.
Speaking of Andrea Lee, she will be making up for lost time as only a month after InvictaFC 21 she will be fighting at Legacy Fighting Alliance’s card February 24th against Heather Bassett. Location to be announced. It will air on AXS TV.
For the second time in the company’s history, Invicta will need to crown a new strawweight champion.
Former champ Angela Hill will return to the UFC December 30th as she takes on Jessica Andrade at UFC 207 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hill replaces an injured Maryna Moroz in the fight.
After going 1-2 in her first UFC run, Hill came to Invicta and turned her career around, winning four straight including a title win over Livia Souza. Hill successfully defended the title in November against Kaline Medeiros .
She will have her hands full in Andrade, who has been impressive since her drop to strawweight. She got back to back TKO wins over former InvictaFC champion jessica Penne and Joanne Calderwood.
The fight will air on the preliminary card on Fox Sports 1. The main event features the return of Ronda Rousey as she looks to take the bantamweight title from champion Amanda Nunes.
UFC on Fox January 28 will feature a main event to determine the number 1 contender for the bantamweight title.
TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena will take on Valentina Shevchenko on Denver, which will air on Fox. Pena (8-2) is undefeated in the UFC, coming off a win over former title challenger Cat Zingano. Shevchenko (13-2) is coming off her biggest win to date over former champion Holly Holm.
Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (6-3) will fight in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona for the first time since 2013 taking on Nina Ansaroff (6-5) at UFC Fight Night January 15. The fight will air on Fox Sports 1. Both are coming off back to back losses and look to cement their spot in the UFC.
Cyborg Justino says she will be taking a break from fighting until March.
The InvictaFC featherweight champ is siting recovering from a bad weight cut and emotional issues for her lengthy absence. She was offered fights with Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie in January, both would have been for the inaugural UFC featherweight title.
UFC President White has been critical of Justino turning down the fights, but is still looking to develop a 145 division in 2017.
UFC fighter Anna Elmose has officially announced she is hanging up the gloves. The Danish fighter went 3-0 in her first three fights before losing back to back in the UFC. Elmose states a loss of passion is the reason she is retiring in her facebook post.
“I honestly had no idea until the fight, that I have lost my “fighter heart”, and I really didn’t see it coming. I apologize to all I’ve let down, but I don’t have it in me anymore.
I live a very good life now, and I’ve realized, that I don’t have anything to fight for anymore. At the age of 32, other aspects of life now make more sense to me, but I don’t regret a thing.
I’d like to thank the UFC for giving me the chance to perform at the biggest stage in Martial Arts, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. What an adventure it has been!”