Invicta FC 25 Primer

The 25th card in InvictaFC history will make an unusual Thursday night appearance at the Tachi Palace in Leemore, California. The event will stream on UFC Fight Pass starting at 6 p.m. pst/9 p.m. est.

The main event will fill the vacant 135 title as Raquel Pa’aluhi will take on former title challenger Yana Kunitskaya. The co-main event will see the Invicta debut of undefeated Janaisa Morandin taking on former 115 champion and fellow Brazilian Livia Renata Souza.

Two athletes missed weight as Kali Robbins (3.4 lbs over) and Katharina Lehner (5.5 lbs over) both hit the scales heavy. They will be fined 25% of their purses.

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

Raquel Pa’aluhi (133.8) vs Yana Kunitskaya (134.5) – 135 title 

Raquel Paaluhi vs Yana Kunitskaya

The Fighters:

Raquel Pa’aluhi (6-5): The long time vet gets her shot at the brass ring

Yana Kunitskaya (9-3): The Russian looks for redemption in her third straight title match

The Storyline:

With most of the champions vacating their belts and heading to the UFC, Invicta is looking to fill the void. They were going to have two title matches, but more on that later.

Raquel Pa’aluhi has been on the cusp of a title shot for a while now, but a split decision loss to Colleen Schneider delayed those plans. She defeated former title challenger  Pannie Kianzad to get her long awaited shot at the belt.

It has been a roller coaster ride for Yana Kunitskaya this past year. After winning the title, she then got it taken away due to her match with Tonya Evinger turning into a no-contest. She lost in the rematch, and is prepped to get the title back in her grasp.

What to Expect:

Both very proficient on the ground, it will be the striking game that will be the most intriguing. Pa’aluhi is training with kickboxing champion and Martial Arts Hall of Famer Dewey Cooper.

Kunitskaya has moved her camp to Jackson/Wink MMA.

Livia Renata Souza (115) vs Janaisa Morandin (115.3)

Livia Souza vs Janaisa Morandin

The Fighters:

Livia Renata Souza (10-1): The former champ looks to solidify her position for the vacant 115 title

Janaisa Morandin (9-0): The Brazilian looks to upset her fellow countrywomen in her debut.

The Storyline:

Livia Renata Souza was expecting to get a shot to regain the 115 title, but Jodie Esquibel had to pull out due to injury. Coming off a strong knockout over former 105 champ Ayaka Hamsaki, she will look to keep her spot in front of the line for the vacant 115 title.

Janaisa Morandin was expected to make her Invicta debut earlier this year, but missed weight at atomweight. Finally competing in the US for the first time, she looks to keep her record perfect.

What to Expect:

Souza has proven to be tough and strong at 115, and will see an advantage on the atomweight moving up. Morandin has finished in 2/3 of her fights, and has yet to be stopped. Both are heavy handed, but look for Souza to have the advantage on the ground.

Katharina Lehner (140.5) vs Alexa Conners (136)

Alexa Connors vs Katharina Lehner

The Fighters:

Katharina Lehner (5-0): The German star makes her US debut

Alexa Conners (4-1): Looking to continue her win streak

The Storyline:

The 135 division is in need of stars and this match could find a contender for the main event.

Since her last win at Invicta last year, Alexa Connors continued her run, winning four straight.

Having been a prominent in the German women’s divisions, Katharina Lehner is the current Respect FC bantamweight champion.

What to Expect:

Lehner has yet to finish a fight, but remains undefeated due to her toughness. Conners is fighting for the fourth time this year and has looked better each time.

Sharon Jacobson (115.1) vs Kali Robbins (115.1)

Sharon Jacobson vs Kali Robbins

The Fighters:

Sharon Jacobson (4-1): The strawweight star returns to the Invicta cage

Kali Robbins (4-0): The undefeated striker looks to cement herself at 115

The Storyline:

Duty called for Shannon Jacobson as the Army Sargent went through a two year training tour, which kept her from competing. Her last fight was a win over current UFC star Jamie Moyle.

Kali Robbins tried to fill in as a last minute replacement against Jodie Esquibel in January, but couldn’t cut the weight. Now with a full camp, she hopes to continue her rise at 115.

What to Expect:

Robbins trains out of Red Schafer MMA, and is a talented striker.

Jacobson is known for her wrestling, but proved to be able to hang with the striking of Robbins. Will the cage rust be shaken off?

This is our pick for “Fight of the Night”.

Alyse Anderson (104.9) vs Shino VanHoose (105.7)

Alyse Anderson vs Shino VanHoose

The Fighters:

Alyse Anderson (3-0): The Michigan fight looks to start her climb in the atomweight division

Shino VanHoose (5-5): The six year vet looks to gain another win

The Storyline:

Both only 22, they both have gained a lot of experience early in their careers.

Anderson graduated last year and was a part of the collegiate soccer team during her amateur career. She has racked up three pro wins with two stoppages.

VanHoose started her career in Japan at the age of 15. After moving to the US she has made her home at SBG Boise. She is coming off a win over Sarah Lagerstrom.

What to Expect:

VanHoose has a slick ground game, but she is still working on her striking.

Anderson  has been splitting her camps between Michigan Top Team and Xtreme Couture with Miesha Tate. We may see her wrestling and striking overwhelm VanHoose, but must be careful in the ground with VanHoose.

Amberlynn Orr (135.7) vs Sarah Kleczka (135.1) 

The Fighters:

Amberlynn Orr (0-1): The amateur standout looks for her first pro win

Sarah Kleczka (7-0 amateur): The Florida native looks to impress in her pro debut

The Storyline:

It was a rough start for Amberlynn Orr, who lost her pro debut by TKO to Sijara Eubanks. Looking to gain momentum, she moved to South Carolina and to Pitch Black MMA, home gym of Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.

An amateur champion in Florida, Sarah Kleczka is out of  American Top Team Tampa. She is purple belt in BJJ and black belt in Tae Kwon-Do.

What to Expect:

Striking will be interesting as Kleczka will have a Tae Kwon-Do background and Thompson is known for his karate style, which we could see from Orr.

Yaya Rincón (144.4) vs Courtney King (146) 

Yaya Rincon vs Courtney King

The Fighters:

Yaya Rincón (1-0): The last minute replacement looks to get her second Invicta win.

Courtney King (1-0): The up and coming featherweight looks to climb the ranks

The Storyline:

The featherweight division is in desperate need of fighters, and Courtney King can help fill some of the void. Coming off a win over Colbey Northcutt, she has started her rise in the division.

Rincón is stepping up from bantamweight to fill in for the injured Stephanie Eggers. A win will give her a leg up in two divisions.

What to Expect:

MMA Gold fighters have been a staple of Invicta, and Rincón could prove a tough match for King. If King proved anything, it is she tough, having yet to be finished.

Cheri Muraski (125.5) vs Tracy Cortez (125.3)

Cheri Muraski vs Tracy Cortez

The Fighters:

Cheri Muraski (3-0): The flyweight looks to stay perfect

Tracy Cortez (6-0 amateur): The amateur prospect looks to start her pro career with a win

The Storyline:

With the UFC 125 division opening up, Invicta has been proactive to beef up their division. This match could see the future of it.

The submission specialist Cheri Muraski has a win over Invicta vet Shannon Sinn this past April. Cortez is the former Tuff-n-uff champ.

What to Expect:

It will be a strategic match with Cortez looking to keep it on the feet against the BJJ of  Muraski.

Ashley Medina (105.9) vs Jillian DeCoursey (104.9)

Medina DeCooursey

The Fighters:

Ashley Medina (4-1 amateur): The MMA Gold representative looks to open the show with a win

Jillian DeCoursey (8-1 amateur): The top atomweight prospect finally makes her pro debut

The Storyline:

The marque division of Invicta has turned to the atomweights.

Out of MMA Gold, Ashley Medina has been one of the best amateur atomweights on the west coast.

On the other end of the country, Jillian DeCoursey has been dominating the northeastern scene.

What to Expect:

Medina is known for her submission work, but look for DeCoursey to be a problem against the cage with her grinding style.


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