InvictaFC 27 Primer

InvictaFC kicks off 2018 with its 27th event January 13th in Kansas City.

The main event sees the return of Sarah Kaufman to the Invicta cage as she takes on perennial bantamweight contender Pannie Kianzad.

The co-main event sees a flyweight title eliminator when Brazilians Vanessa Porto and Mariana Morais.

Both Kianzad (136.7) and Tiffany Masters (117.4 lb) missed weight for their respective bouts and are fined 25 percent of their purses.

Here are the breakdown of the fights and the weigh-in results.

Photos courtesy Dave Mandel, Invicta FC


Main Event: Pannie Kianzad (136.7 lb) vs. Sarah Kaufman (135.4 lb)

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The Fighters:

Sarah Kaufman (18-4): The former Strikeforce champ looks to get back on the UFC’s radar

Pannie Kianzad (8-2): The former title challenger looks to get back in the hunt.

The Storyline:

Sarah Kaufman has been stuck in limbo for a while. After a split decision loss to Valentina Shevchenko, the UFC dropped Kaufman and she has since only fought once; a win against current UFC fighter Jessy Rose Clark.

She has moved her camp this time to Milwaukee at Rufusports, home of former UFC champion Anthony Pettis and current Invicta star Kali Robbins.

Pannie Kianzad is coming off back to back losses. The first in a title match to former champ Tonya Evinger, and a title eliminator to Raquel Pa’aluhi. With crop of new talent coming, Kianzad will look for one more title run, if not getting picked up by the UFC.

What to expect:

While a technical striker, Kaufman is looking to work on her wrestling. The ability to stuff takedowns will be helpful with the ground specialist in Kianzad. The big question is will Kianzad get it to the ground.


Vanessa Porto (125.3 lb) vs. Mariana Morais (124.6 lb)

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The Fighters:

Vanessa Porto (19-8): One of the top flyweights looks to get back into a title match.

Mariana Morais (12-5): The Brazilian looks to get back in the rankings

The Storyline:

With champion Jennifer Maia probably on her way to the UFC, Vanessa Porto is seemly the number 2 contender for the title behind former title challenger Agnieszka Niedźwiedź. A rematch for a possibly vacant title could happen in the next few months, if she wins.

Morias lost her last InvictaFC outing to UFC star Roxanne Modafferi. Since then, she went on a 3-2 run. but is coming off a loss to KSW champion Ariane Lipski. Looking to reset her career, a win would get her back in the hunt for a title.

What to expect:

Porto is known for her stand up, but look for her ground game to play a factor. Morais will look to end it quickly.


Sharon Jacobson (115.7 lb) vs. Ashley Nichols (115.3 lb)

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The Fighters:

Sharon Jacobson (4-2): The wrestler looks to recover from a heartbreaking loss

Ashley Nichols (3-1): The Canadian star looks to shine on the Invicta stage

The Storyline:

In what was one of the craziest rounds in 2017, Sharon Jacobson got caught in an armbar and suffered her first loss in Invicta. Ready to come back to her winning ways, she looks to throw her hat in the cage for the vacant strawweright title.

Ashley Nichols won a one night tournament this past June to be crowned the TKO strawweight title. The talented striker’s only loss was to InvictaFC vet Deanna Bennett.

What to expect:

A classic striker versus grappler battle, Nichols has the advantage of the feet, but needs to watch her kicks as Jacobson could see openings for takedown. Watch for Jacobson’s improved striking, as she has been training with UFC stars Raquel Pennington and Tecia Torres.


 Ashley Cummins (105.6 lb) vs. Stephanie Alba (106 lb)

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The Fighters:

Ashley Cummins (5-4): The top atomweight looks to get in contention

Stephanie Alba (3-1): The Invicta newcomer looks to make her mark

The Storyline:

Ashley Cummins has looked unstoppable at 105 before losing a decision to number 1 contender Jihn Yu Frey. With the title currently vacant, she looks to get in the hunt.

A former training partner of former champ Tonya Evinger, Stephanie Alba only loss was a split decision to Paulina Granados. She looks to make an impact in the atomweight division.

What to expect:

Cummins has shown to be one of the best all around MMA athletes in the division. We could see some great scrambles when it comes to the ground with Alba’s great ground game. Could be fight of the night.


Felicia Spencer (146 lb) vs. Akeela Al-Hameed (144.7 lb)

Hameed spencer

The Fighters:

Felicia Spencer (3-0): The Tuff-n-uff tournament winner looks to keep her perfect record intact

Akeela Al-Hameed (4-0 amateur): The undefeated amateur looks to make her first pro win a memorable one

The Storyline:

Since making her Invicta debut, Florida’s Felicia Spencer has looked unstoppable. Originally fighting at lightweight, she has entered a wide open featherweight division, which has yet to see a champion since a year ago. With a win she has an argument for the vacant title.

Akeela Al-Hameed is one of the top prospects at featherweight. The LFA vet is an Iowa local and could be the future of the division.

What to expect:

Expect Al-Hameed to be heavy handed, mixing in some kicks in her striking game. Spencer has an advantage on the ground, but can hang on the feet.


Mallory Martin (115.3 lb) vs. Tiffany Masters (117.4 lb)

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The Fighters:

Mallory Martin (1-2): After two straight losses, Martin looks to even her record

Tiffany Masters (2-1): After a loss on the Contenders Series, Masters looks to regroup

The Storyline:

Mallory Martin has had some wars as of late, but the judges have left her with two losses. An exciting striker who trains in Thailand, she looks to snap her losing streak and hopefully take it out of the judges hands.

King of the Cage vet Tiffany Masters started her pro career with only one amateur loss and got two first round finishes. After her loss to Jamie Colleen at Dana White’s Contenders Series, she is looking for a win and gain more experience to get another shot at the UFC.

What to expect:

Martin’s dynamic striking has proven to be key in her fight of the night performances. Although Tiger Muay Thai and MMA also does ground training and BJJ, it has yet to catch up to her striking. Masters seems to fade in the later rounds, but is a quick starter.


Mellissa Wang (104.3 lb) vs. Loma Lookboonmee (105.9 lb)

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The Fighters:

Looma Lookboonmee (MMA debut): The Muay Thai star looks to transition her skills to MMA

Melissa Wang (1-0): The Bay Area star looks to prove her worth on the world stage

The Storyline:

It is a true diamond in the rough story as Looma Lookboonmee went from the slums of Thailand to becoming a multiple time world Muay Thai champion. Landing at Tiger Muay Thai, she has started to make the transition to MMA and will be the first Thai to fight in Invicta.

AKA’s newest offering to the pro women’s divisions is Melissa Wang. With training partners like UFC star Bruiana Van Buren and teammates like Daniel Comier and Cane Velaquez, she looks to represent her gym and make an impact at atomweight.

What to expect:

Wang will have an advantage on the ground, but will be tough to takedown a tough Muay Thai specialist like Lookboonmee, who could be trouble in the clinch.


Jade Ripley (115.9 lb) vs. Helen Peralta (115.6 lb)

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The Fighters:

Jade Ripley (6-0 amateur): The undefeated amateur looks for her first pro win

Helen Peralta (9-1 amateur): The busy amateur looks to impress

The Storyline:

Both seeing great amateur careers, these two could be the future of the strawweight division.

Jade Ripley started her career in 2014, she was a mainstay of the local KC Fight Alliance and will be the hometown favorite coming in.

Helen Peralta only started her career in 2016, but had fought ten times in two years, which is impressive for any fighter.

What to expect:

Both unknown commodities in the pro ranks, we could see a war kick off the card between what is two of the most talented amateurs to debut in Invicta.

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