InvictaFC 26 Primer

InvictaFC ends the year with a battle of the top flyweights in the main event.

Jennifer Maia will look to remain on top of the flyweight ladder as she takes on the undefeated Aga Niedźwiedź. The co-main event sees the promotional debut of BJJ sensation Mackenzie Dern taking on former strawweight title challenger Kaline Medeiros .

The eight fight card will stream on UFC Fight Pass starting at 7 p.m. central time.

Four fighters missed weight Thursday, with  Kinberly Novaes, Vanessa Porto,  Amy Montenegro, and Amber Brown fined 25% of their purse.

Weigh-in results, photos, and preview of the fights below.

Photos courtesy  Dave Mandel/Invicta FC


Main Event

Jennifer Maia (123.3) vs. Aga Niedźwiedź (124.6) – Flyweight Title

31_Jennifer_Maia_vs_Aga_Niedzwiedz1

The Fighters:

Jennifer Maia (14-4-1): The reigning champ looks to stay atop the flyweights.

Aga Niedźwiedź (10-0): The undefeated phenom looks to gain her first world title.

The Storyline:

With the UFC crowning its new 125 champ, it is hard not to argue that the winner of this fight is the true number 1 at flyweight.

Maia is coming in on a five fight win streak since her loss to DeAnna Bennett, which includes a win over TUF 26 finalist Roxanne Modafferi. With a win, she would have a huge argument to be signed to the UFC.

Niedźwiedź is coming off an unanimous decision win over former champion Vanessa Porto, which earned her the title shot. The 22 year old is quickly becoming a rising star, and is looking to join her fellow Polish fighters in the UFC.

What to expect:

This should be another hard fought battle for Maia against another accomplished striker. Two ex-factors are Maia’s ground game and Niedźwiedź’s inexperience in championship fights.


Kaline Medeiros (115.8) vs. Mackenzie Dern (115.9)

27_Kaline_Medeiros_vs_Mackenzie_Dern1

The Fighters:

Mackenzie Dern (4-0): The undefeated BJJ black belt looks to prove she is ready for the UFC

Kaline Medeiros (8-5):  The Brazilian-American fight looks to make an argument for the strawweight title

The Storyline:

The UFC is highly invested in Dern, who has finished 2 of her four opponents. The BJJ black belt had trouble making weight in the past, but was able to tip the scale under the one pound allowance. A win will most likely bring Dern to the UFC.

Looking to upset her plans is former title challenger Medeiros, who was on a five fight win streak before losing to Angela Hill. With the 115 title now vacant, a win gets her back in title contention.

What to expect:

It will be a classic striker versus grappler match-up, with Dern getting a step up in competition.  Where this match ends up will determine how the match winds up.


Janaisa Morandin (115.4) vs. Kinberly Novaes (121.8)*

23_Janaisa_Morandin_vs_Kinberly_Novaes1

The Fighters:

Janaisa Morandin (9-1): The Brazilian looks to get back into the title hunt

Kinberly Novaes (9-3): The promotional debutante looks to impress

The Storyline:

After her first loss, Morandin has an argument still for a title shot. With Livia Souza finally getting her shot in the UFC, a win could get her in the title picture.

Coming off a loss to Japanese superstar Syuri Kondo, Novaes is a last minute replacement for another Japanese fighter in Mizuki. She has won four straight before the loss and like Morandin, is looking to get back to winning.

What to expect:

One of the closer matches on the card, look for this one to do the distance.


Vanessa Porto (127.6)* vs. Milana Dudieva (125.6)

19_Vanessa_Porto_vs_Milana_Dudieva1

The Fighters:

Vanessa Porto (18-8): The former title challenger looks to get a rematch

Milana Dudieva (11-6): The Russian star is on the hunt for her first world title

The Storyline:

Porto has lost to both of the main event participants, she needs a win or face a three fight skid. Still a promanent fighter in the division, Porto has a win over Roxanne Modafferi.

The UFC vet Dudieva lost a close split decision to Mara Romero Borella, but the new division has proved fruitful none the less. A win over Porto gives her a path to a possible title shot.

What to expect:

Dudieva will be fighting a stronger fighter in Porto, and one of the top fighters in the division. Will Dudieva step up or will Porto come back to her old form.


Amy Montenegro (117.6)* vs. Virna Jandiroba (114.3)

15_Amy_Montenegro_vs_Virna_Jandiroba1

The Fighters:

Amy Montenegro (8-2): The strawweight contender looks for a third starlight win

Virna Jandiroba (11-0): The undefeated Brazilian looks for her first Invicta win

The Storyline:

After what was a wild last fight, Montenegro wants to have a solid win to make an argument for a strawweight title shot. Her only losses were by close split decisions.

Jandiroba will be making her US debut, but has a notable win over Lisa Ellis. She has only gone the distance twice and has won all the rest by submission.

What to expect:

Both are talented on the ground, so the intereating part is if they will keep it on the feet. If it does go the ground, expect a great chess match.


Amber Brown (106.3)* vs. Tessa Simpson (105.4)

11_Amber_Brown_vs_Tessa_Simpson1

The Fighters:

Amber Brown (6-4): The former title challenger looks for a needed win

Tessa Simpson (5-2): The rising star looks to work her way to a title

The Storyline:

Brown has been on a three fight skid and is in need of a win. Looking better since she came back to atomweight, she lost a decision to Ashley Cummins in her last outing. She has since left her camp to join a new one.

Simpson lost a close split decision to former champion Herica Tibercio in her last outing, but a win could give her an argument for a title shot.

What to expect:

Brown is best in a striking war, and Simpson will look to take it to the ground. Both are predicting finishes.


Christine Ferea (125.7) vs. Karina Rodríguez (124.7)

07_Christina_Ferea_vs_Karina_Rodriguez1

The Fighters:

Christine Ferea (1-1): The striker is looking to continue momentum at 125

Karina Rodríguez (5-2): This fighter looks to be the next star out of Mexico

The Storyline:

After a decision loss to Tiffany Van Soest, Ferea is looking for her second win in MMA. The talented striker is wanting to move up the flyweight ranks and a win could do that.

Also a great striker, Rodríguez is teammates with UFC and Invicta star Irene Aldana and Alexa Greasso.

What to expect:

Expect a stand up battle with the two, and possibly a fight of the night contender.


Kay Hansen (114.4) vs. Emilee Prince (115.5)

04_Kay_Hansen_vs_Emilee_Prince2

The Fighters:

Kay Hansen (pro debut): The young gun looks to impress in her debut

Emilee Prince (pro debut): The Tennessee native looks for her first pro win

The Storyline:

Hansen will be the youngest fighter to compete at Invicta at age 18. Prince is a tae kwon do and Judo black belt.

What to expect:

Both relatively unknown commodities, it will be interesting how these two will start the card off.

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