InvictaFC 21 Primer

Invicta’s first event of 2017 kicks off with a new champion being crowned.

Charmaine Tweet and Megan Anderson will look for their first world title Saturday in Kasnas City which will stream live on UFC Fight Pass.

Also on the card  Pannie Kianzad looks to get back into the bantamweight title hunt as she faces perennial contender Raquel Pa’aluhi in the co-main event.

Several changes to the card this past week saw Heather Hardy’s match get scrapped due to an injury to Brieta Carpenter; the addition of Elizabeth Phillips versus Leah Letson; and Kali Robbins and Jodie Esquibel taken off the card due to Robbins missing weight by 6.4 pounds. Robbins took the bout last minute.

The official weigh-ins happened Friday morning with no ceremonial weigh-ins due to in-climate weather.

Here is a breakdown of the now seven fight card with the weigh-in results.

(Photos courtesy Scott Hirano, Invicta FC)

Main Event

Megan Anderson (144.5) vs Charmaine Tweet (143.5) – Interim Featherweight Title 

tweet-vs-anderson_003

The Fighters:

Megan Anderson (7-2): The young Aussie looks to continue her run and become champion.

Charmaine Tweet (9-5): The perennial contender looks to grasp the brass ring.

The Storyline:

With champion Cyborg Justino fighting in the UFC and the possibility of a suspension, Invicta decided to crown an interim champion.

Since her loss to Cindy Dadnois in 2015, Anderson went on a three fight win streak after relocating her camp to Kansas City.

Tweet has also been on a 3 fight run after her loss to title holder Cyborg Justino. The veteran looks to gain what has been alluding her for so long.

What to Expect:

Anderson and Tweet both have heavy and explosive hands coming in. Tweet’s wrestling will be an x-factor coming into the match. Tweet has also been in a five round war before and this will be her second world title match.


 Co-Main Event

Pannie Kianzad (135.8) vs Raquel Pa’aluhi (135.0)

kianzad-vs-paaluhi_004

The Fighters:

Pannie Kianzad (8-1): Coming off her first ever loss,  Kianzad looks to gain another title opportunity.

Raquel Pa’aluhi (5-5): After a year off, the Hawaiian looks to regain momentum and a possible title shot.

The Storyline:

With Tonya Evinger and Yana Kunitskaya set for a rematch for the 135 belt, a new contender needs to be waiting in the wings.

Kianzad missed weight for her title match with Evinger, and lost in a catchweight affair. This time she is on weight and looking to avenge her first ever loss.

Pa’aluhi hasn’t been around for a year as she was lobbying for a possible call from the UFC. Her close split decision lost last year to Colleen Schneider in what was a crazy situations where the combatants had to wait in the cage for 20 minutes before event coming to blows due to an ambulance not being available.


What to Expect:

If the fight hits the ground, we could see a battle between Pal’luhi’s wrestling and Kianzad’s BJJ. This will be a close fight with a good possibility of it going the distance.


Main Card

Elizabeth Phillips (145.9) vs Leah Letson (145.6)

phillips-vs-letson_003

The Fighters:

Elizabeth Phillips (5-4): The UFC vet looks to restart her career.

Leah Letson (3-1): The promotional debuter looks to make an impression


The Storyline:

Both ladies are coming in on a week’s notice to fill a much needed open spot on the card.

The teammate of UFC title contender Juliana Pena, Phillips couldn’t find much success in the UFC with her only notable win over Jessamyn Duke. She is hoping Invicta will gain her experience and victories to return to the big show.

Letson is a rising prospect in a bantamweight division needing talent. Her three straight victories, the Air Force reservist looks to be the next star in the division.

What to Expect:

Phillips is not known for her finishes and hasn’t stopped an opponent since 2014.

Letson stopped two of her pro opponents by TKO so she may push the pace.

Both usually fight at 135, and with this a weight division up we could see a lot more energy from the two.


Sijara Eubanks (135.7) vs Aspen Ladd (135.3)

ladd-vs-banks_003

The Fighters:

Sijara Eubanks (2-1): The ground specialist looks continue her TKO run in Invicta.

Aspen Ladd (4-0):  The young gun looks to put herself in the title hunt.


The Storyline:

Ladd has been one of the brightest prospects in the promotion and is on the verge of getting noticed as a bantamweight contender.

Having lost to UFC fighter Katlyn Chookagian  in 2015, Eubanks came back to Invicta to defeat another rising prospect Amber Lynn Orr.


What to Expect:

Eubanks is know for her ground game and control on the ground while Ladd is known for her striking. It will be about Ladd’s ability to stop the takedown or scramble out of tough spots that could determine this one.


Andrea Lee (125.1) vs Jenny Liou (126.0)

lee-vs-liou_004

The Fighters:

Andrea Lee (4-2): Coming off a suspension, Lee looks to regain momentum at flyweight.

Jenny Liou (6-4): After her first loss in three fights, the BJJ ace looks to get a win inside the Invicta cage.

The Storyline:

Andrea Lee is one of the top stars at Invicta, but after testing possitive for a banned substance had to sit out for a year. This did not detour her from working on her grappling game in the interim.

Liou cut her hair to make weight for the fight. The BJJ specilaist was on a three fight win streak before losing to Sarah D’Alelio in her last outing.

What to Expect:

Liou’s ground game is one of the best in the division, but the question will be has her hands caught up. Lee’s had trouble in the past with submission specialists, but will her new found knowledge help her.


Amy Cadwell Montenegro (115.7) vs Celine Haga (115.1)

haga-vs-montenegro_003

The Fighters:

Amy Cadwell Montenegro (7-2): Montegro looks to ink her name as a possible title contender.

Celine Haga (10-13): The long time vet looks to shine on the InvictaFC stage.

The Storyline:

Montenegro was hoping to get on TUF 23, but fell short losing to Helen Harper in the opening round. Montenegro was coming off a win over Glena Avila and is currently 2-1 in Invicta.

Haga’s story saw her go fromn 1-9 record to a 9-2 run in her past 11 fights. Her comeback has gain her some respect in the community and people have been campaigning to get her in Invicta for some time.

What to Expect:

In what should be a strategic grappling battle, Haga is known from her work off her back and Montengro from her work on top. With Jackson’s MMA behund her, Haga may have gained some much needed striking, so we could see her and Montegro simply stand and trade.


Rachael Ostovich (126.0) vs Christine Ferea (125.3)

ferea-vs-ostovich_003

The Fighters:

Rachael Ostovich (3-2): The wrestler looks to gain ground in the flyweight division.

Christine Ferea (3-1 amateur): The Muay Thai specialist looks to impress in her pro debut


The Storyline:

Fan favorite Ostovich always brings a Fight of the Night performance in the cage and after a razor thin decision win over Ariel Beck, she looks to get her second win in the row.

A veteran of Lion Fights, Ferea is known for her heavy handed striking and kicks and looks to take her power to Invicta in her pro debut.


What to Expect:

A striker versus grappler match on paper, it will be interested to see if Ferea’s knees will nullify Ostovich from going to takedowns. Will also be an interesting battle in the clinch.

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