InvictaFC 28 Primer

The InvictaFC cage is making its debut in the Beehive State.

The 28th card will commence Saturday night from Salt Lake City at the Union Event Center . This will stream on UFC Fight Pass.

The main event will crown a new strawweight champion as Japan’s Mizuki takes on Virna Jandiroba.

The co-main event sees hometown fighter DeAnna Bennett face Mexican striker Karina Rodriguez.

In a first, Invicta will be also putting on an amateur fight. InvictaFC President Shannon Knapp stated to us this was a last minute pick up and could lead to more possible amateur bouts in the future for local talent. The non-streaming bout will feature Utah locals Tracie Morris and Soula Koukouvetakis.

The only pro to miss weight is DeAnna Bennett, who will forfeit 25% of her purse.

For the first time in two years Wombat Sports will be onsite to cover Invicta live. We will have live updates on our twitters @wombatsports & @wmmanews.

Here are the weigh-in results and a preview of the action.

(Photos courtesy Dave Mandel/Invicta FC)


Main Event

Mizuki Inoue (113.9) vs.  Virna Jandiroba (115)

41_Mizuki_Jandiroba

The Fighters:

Mizuki Inoue (12-4): The Japanese star makes her return to the Invicta cage

Virna Jandiroba (12-0): The undefeated Brazilian looks to stay perfect

The Storyline:

It has been a year and a half since we have seen Mizuki in action after recovering from injury. After back to back losses, she is on a four fight win streak, with her last three being by armbar.

Jandiroba made an impressive Invicta debut in December with her first round armbar over Amy Montenegro. Having fought mainly in Brazil, she has only went the distance twice, with all her wins by submission.

What to expect:

Although an ace in her own right, Mizuki will have a disadvantage on the ground, but it if goes there, it should be an exciting chess match. Mizuki will have the striking advantage. The big question lies with any cage rust on the Japanese star.


Co-main Event

DeAnna Bennett (127.9)* vs.  Karina Rodriguez (125.2)

35_Bennett_Rodriguez

The Fighters:

DeAnna Bennett (8-3-1): The hometown athlete looks for a needed win.

Karina Rodriguez (6-2): The Mexican looks to cement her spot for a title shot

The Storyline:

Coming off a brief cup of coffee in the UFC, Bennett is returning to the InvictaFC cage. After her experience on the Ultimate Fighter, she changed camps to Nick Catone MMA. She trains with the likes of UFC stars Edson Barbosa, Corey Anderson, and TUF housemate Sijara Eubanks. The change seemed to work with her getting a draw in her last fight.

Coming from the Lobo gym, Rodriguez is finding the same success of teammates Alexa Grasso and Irene Aldana. Currently on three fight win streak, another win could get her in line for the vacant flyweight title.

What to expect:

After all the chaos in her life, Bennett seems to be back in the right mindset to get back on track in her career. She has been concentrating on her grappling as of late, with the heavy striker in Rodriguez looking to finish the veteran.

(* – Bennett fines 25% of her purse for missing weight)


Main Card

Milana Dudieva (125.9)  vs.  Christina Marks (124.8)

31_Dudieva_Marks

The Fighters:

Milana Dudieva (11-7): The Russian looks to snap her losing streak.

Christina Marks (8-9): The vet looks for her first InvictaFC win

The Storyline:

Dudieva was expected to drop to 115 against Mizuki, but with the new opponent, she decided to stay at 125. She lost to title contender Vanessa Porto and UFC star Mara Romero Borella in her previous Invicta appearances.

Marks lost her only official UFC match, and only fight in the TUF house. She had been on a three fight win streak before then.

What to expect:

Dudieva and Marks are well motivated to get a needed win. Dudieva has had more high caliber opponents as of late, with Marks looking for the upset.


Pearl Gonzalez  (115.9) vs.  Kali Robbins (115.4)

28_Robbins_Gonzalez

The Fighters:

Pearl Gonzalez (6-3): The UFC vet looks to re-spark her career in Invicta

Kali Robbins (5-0): The undefeated standout looks to stay perfect

The Storyline:

After a five fight run, Gonzalez got the call to the UFC. After back to back losses, the UFC decided to let her go.  Many felt she should have stayed and was still competitive. She is looking to have an Angela Hill to run and join her teammate Ilima-Lei McFarlane as world champion.

After what was a crazy and exciting first round win in her last outing, the undefeated Robbins looks to continue her run. The Rufus Sports product looks to climb to get a much wanted title shot.

What to expect:

Probably one of the most exciting matches on the card, both have proven to be well rounded. Expect Robbins to have a slight edge on the ground and Gonzalez an edge in the striking.


Minna Grusander (105.8)  vs.  Fernanda Priscila (105.9)

23_Grusander_Barros

The Fighters:

Minna Grusander (5-1): The Finnish product looks to impress in her Invicta debut

Fernanda Priscila (2-1): The Brazilian makes her US debut.

The Storyline:

The IMMAF champion in 2015, Grusander is one of several Finnish products that have been making a splash over the last few years. Her only loss has been to the UFC’s Syuri Kondo by decision.

Prisceila is making her US debut and is coming out of Nova Uniao, home to greats such as Jose Aldo, Junior Dos Santos, and Renan Barão. This is return to action in over 3 years.

What to expect:

Prisceila will have a slight strength advantage, but cage rust could be a huge factor. Watch for Grusander to show her scrappyness during the bout and use her length.


Kal Schwartz (115.6)  vs.  Kay Hansen (115.3)

19_Schwartz_Hansen

The Fighters:

Kal Schwartz (1-1): The wrestler looks to recover from her first loss.

Kay Hansen (1-0): The California girl looks for her second pro win

The Storyline:

Schwartz made an impression with her pro debut win over Tiffany Van Soest. She found herself on the wrong end of a submission in her last bout to an overweight Miranda Maverick, and looks to redeem herself.

A product of Tito Ortiz’s Team Punishment, Hansen was impressive in her Emilee Prince this past December.

What to expect:

Schwartz wrestling is impressive, but has been looking to improve her submission defense. Hansen could be a danger on the ground, so expect Schwartz to keep it standing.


Chelsea Chandler  (135.7) vs.  Kerri Kenneson (135.7)

15_Kennison_Chandler

The Fighters:

Chelsea Chandler (pro debut): The California transplant looks for her first pro win

Kerri Kenneson (2-0): The New Hampshire fighter looks for her third straight win

The Storyline:

Not  much is know about Chelsea Chandler, but if the team she trains with is any indication, we should expect fireworks. Out of Team Cesar Gracie, she trains with the Diaz brothers and UFC fighter Leslie Smith. She has also been training with Olympic boxer Mikaela Mayer in preps for this fight.

Kenneson trains out of New Hampshire out of the same gym as InvictaFC vet Peggy Morgan. Her most recent win saw her get an armbar over Valerie Aspaas  this past fall.

What to expect:

This could be one of those fights that are under the radar. Chandler, like her teammates, dabbles in endurance training (she runs marathons) and her hands could be effective. Kenneson had a pretty good ground game, and have yet to see how good her stand up really is. This is the hardest pick on the card.


Jillian DeCoursey (106) vs.  Rebekah LeVine (104.9)

11_DeCoursey_Levine

The Fighters:

Jillian DeCoursey (1-0): The amateur champ looks for her second straight pro win

Rebekah LeVine (1-0): The undefeated fighter looks to continue her run

The Storyline:

The ever expanding 105 division is still without a champ, and young contenders are always needed.

DeCoursey proved her muster in her InvictaFC debut, with a split decision over Ashley Medina, gaining her a bonus. Under the tutelage of UFC stars Dennis Bermudez and Ryan LaFlare, she looks to continue climbing up the atomweight ladder.

LeVine joins her Hurricane Awesome teammate Pearl Gonzalez on the card. She did her pro debut last June with a first round armbar win.

What to expect:

Expect the speed to be fast and quick as both proven to have a good ground game. This could mean we see a stand up war between the two.


Tracy Cortez (124.7)  vs.  Kaytlin Neil (125.5)

08_Cortez_Neil

The Fighters:

Tracy Cortez (1-1): The former Tuff-n-uff champ looks for her second pro win

Kaytlin Neil (1-2): The Utah native looks to even her record

The Storyline:

It is rare that Invicta signs fighters with even or losing records, but both are looking to prove they belong.

Cortez is the former flyweight champion at Tuff-n-uff. After her loss at InvictaFC 25 in summer 2017, she came back to defeat Roxanne Ceasear by decision in the fall.

After back to back losses in 2016, Neil took 9 months off and returned to get a win over Brooke Mayo at Bellator. She is hoping for a hometown win.

What to expect:

Both are young in their careers, and Neil has proven to be able to upset her competition. Will Cortez’s experience be the difference?


Amateur Undercard (not streamed)

Tracie Morris (106.6) vs. Soula Koukouvetakis (105.7)

 

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