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InvictaFC 22 Aftermath – What’s Next for the Fighters & the Promotion

InvictaFC delivered once again, even with a seven fight card. New stars were made and staples of the promotion solidified their spots as they climb the ladder.

Two titles were finally vacated, with the interim titleholder becoming the undisputed champion.

The promotion itself has several projects in different stages of implementation.

Here is a rundown of all that happened and what we could to expect going forward to going forward.

(All photo courtesy Esther Lin; InvictaFC unless otherwise noted)


InvictaFC Continues Busy Year

Phoenix Ladies

It won’t be a long wait as InvictaFC 23 will be May 20th in Kansas City. InvictaFC President Shannon Knapp told us that flyweight champion Jennifer Maia will be defending her title. A challenger is yet to be announced, but expect plenty of 125ers to be fighting on the card.

This weekend saw the launch of InvictaFC’s Patron site (Click here), which will serve as a monthly subscription service with exclusive content and giveaways. This includes breaking news before anyone gets it, and fan Q & A sessions with InvictaFC athletes. Subscriptions start at $3.

We are still awaiting the launch of InvictaFC Boxing, but with the current atmosphere in the women’s divisions heating up, we could see it effect the sport like it did with MMA.


Megan Anderson – Undisputed InvictaFC Featherweight Champion

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Anderson from InvictaFC 21 – Courtesy Scott Hirano

Cris “Cyborg” Justino is full committed to the UFC, and decided that the InvictaFC 145 title would no longer be her focus. Relinquishing her title means the interim champion, Megan Anderson, gets promoted to undisputed champion.

Anderson, however, finds herself in a similar spot as her predecessor. In the March Unified Rankings top 15, there is one contender, Helena Kolesnyk ,who is yet to sign to the promotion. Let us explain.

  • Bellator currently has most ranked fighters (five fighters in total)
  • UFC has two (Cyborg and champion Germaine de Randamie)
  • Three are coming off losses to Anderson (Charmaine Tweet, Amber Leibrock, & Amanda Bell)
  • Daria Ibragimova lost to Cyborg her last time out, and had talked about dropping to 135.
  • Jessy Miele has dropped to 135

Should be noted Martyna Czech is not ranked, but we can expect that to change soon. It’s quite a spot for Invicta, who needs a contender fight quickly. a fight between any available talent will have to be on the next card.


Tonya Evinger – No Doubt Left

Tonya Evinger vs Yana Kunitskaya
Evinger

The top 135er not signed to the UFC proved it once again Saturday.

On an 11 fight unbeaten streak, Tonya Evinger solidified her spot as InvictaFC bantamweight champion by submitting Yana Kunitskaya in a rematch of their December outing.

The UFC can’t deny her talents anymore, and many fans are still scratching their head wondering why UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard have yet to give her a call.

In the mean time she does have a few possible challengers. In promotion, Raquel P’a’aluhi, Aspen Ladd, and Pam Sorenson all have proven worthy challengers. Two unsigned contenders include Sarah Kaufman, who is coming off a win over Jessy Rose Clark, and the undefeated Amanda Lemos.


 Strawweight without its Queen

Ayaka Hamasaki vs Livia Souza
Souza

Angela Hill was relieved of her InvictaFC 115 title this past week, leaving a vacant spot.

The co-main event could have easily been for the belt, but former champion Livia Souza will have to wait for her shot at being the first ever InvictaFC two-time champ (that is if the UFC doesn’t grab her first).

The other slot is seemingly Jodie Esquibel’s, who is coming off a decision win over Deanna Bennett. This barring Mizuki being back to full health by then.


Hamazaki Back to 105 as 4 Vye for Gold

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Cummins

It seems more and more Brazilians are Ayaka Hamsaki’s kryptonite.

After her devastating loss to Souza at strawweight, it maybe a little bit before we see her got back down to defend her 105 title. Five have great arguments.

  • Jinh Yu Frey, who didn’t get to fight this past weekend, has unfinished business with Hamasaki, having lost to her due to a doctor’s stoppage. Many fans are behind the rematch, as Frey was turning the tables when the match was stopped.
  • The second is Ashley Cummins, who returned to Invicta in exciting fashion defeating former title challenger Amber Brown.
  • Undefeated Julia Jones made her statement in her last match defeating Stephanie Skinner.
  • Rising star Tessa Simpson got a win over veteran  Simona Soukupova and is on a three fight win streak.

Brown and Bennett

Amber Brown went through a war with Cummins, but looked better at 105 than she did at 115. “The Bully” has something to look forward to as InvictaFC boxing is just around the corner.

Deanna Bennett has had back to back split decision losses, but we don’t expect she will quit anytime soon. She can easily play the gatekeeper role in Invicta for now, and maybe get a chance to grab the brass ring once again she gets a string of wins going.


Rising Stars, Next Steps

  • Sunna Rannveig Davidsdottir has proven to be the future of the 115 division and will need a few fights to get to a level for a title shot.
  • Mallory Martin might have lost, but she won some fans. Her “Fight of the Night” bonus with Davidsdottir may take some sting out of the loss, and solidifies her place in the promotion.
  • Miranda Maverick is just 19 and has missed weight twice at strawweight; this time by 4.5 pounds. She will hopefully take a clue from Aspen Ladd and move up a weight class as cutting down will just get more difficult as her body grows.
  • Felicia Spencer has made her mark at featherweight and we won’t be surprised if she gets a mention in the April rankings. Still needs a few fights before considering a title shot with Anderson.
  • Madison McElhaney still has a few opponents she can face, even in a loss. Spencer and her started the card great and set the pace for the rest of the card. In a division craving talent, she will be busy in the coming year.

InvictaFC 22 Primer

It is a rematch that will end the controversy.

Tonya Evinger will once again defend her title against Yana Kunitskaya at InvictaFC 22 in Kansas City Saturday. Their first bout ended when Evinger tapped out to an armbar, but the referee’s insistence that Evinger’s defense of the armbar (placing a foot on Kunitsyaya’s head) was illegal lead to a successful appeal and turning the first bout into a no-contest. Kunitskaya looks to hold the gold once again at the end of the night. Continue reading InvictaFC 22 Primer

Watercooler – King of the Cage, Invicta Expands Women’s Divisions; Gonzalez vs. Calvillo Announced

Gina Carano will be honored April 20th at the Artemis Film Festival.

The former MMA fighter and current big screen star will receive the  “Action Warrior Award”.

The festival is in its 3rd year and honors women’s action stars, stunt women, and documentary film makers that focus on real women’s stories. Continue reading Watercooler – King of the Cage, Invicta Expands Women’s Divisions; Gonzalez vs. Calvillo Announced

UFC & V-MODA Take WMMA Press 2016 Promotion & Sponsor Awards Respectively

The UFC has repeated as WMMA Press Promotion of the Year, as V-Moda picks up its first award for Sponsor.

The awards are voted on by the WMMA Press committee, a set of journalists that have covered the female divisions of martial arts for years on may different levels. Continue reading UFC & V-MODA Take WMMA Press 2016 Promotion & Sponsor Awards Respectively

Watercooler: Kagan Retires; Invicta & Rizin Add Matches

Two additional matches will round out the InvictaFC 22 card March 25th in Kansas City.

Ashley Cummins will be making her way back to the InvictaFC cage taking on friomer title challenger Amber Brown in an atomweight bout.

Cummins (4-3) is coming off a submission of the year candidate of Nikki Smith, which broke a three fight losing streak. This will be her first cut to 105 of the St. Louis police after going to a 110 catchweight in her last fight. Continue reading Watercooler: Kagan Retires; Invicta & Rizin Add Matches

InvictaFC 22 card Shapes Up with Hamasaki vs. Souza; Bennett vs. Esquibel

The strawweights will be featured prominently on the InvictaFC 22 card in Kansas City March 25, which will stream on UFC Fight Pass. Joining the main event of the second meeting between bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger and Yana Kunitskaya will be four fights at 115 and an atomweight tilt. Continue reading InvictaFC 22 card Shapes Up with Hamasaki vs. Souza; Bennett vs. Esquibel

Wombat Watercooler: Dern Gets Next Opponent; RoadFC Announces All Female Promotion

BJJ superstar Mackenzie Dern has her next challenge in MMA.

The black belt will face Katherine Roy at Legacy Fighting Alliance in San Antonio, Texas March 10th. It will air on AXS TV.

Dern is coming off a highlight reel submission over Montana Stewart in October and is currently 2-0 as a pro. Continue reading Wombat Watercooler: Dern Gets Next Opponent; RoadFC Announces All Female Promotion

2016 WMMA Press Nominees for Promotion of the Year

The demand for female fights have grown.

More than 700 fights happened in the pro women’s divisions alone in 2016. Five Promotions were ahead of the curve and are nominated for this year’s award.

The WMMA Press committee is a set of journalists that have covered the female divisions of martial arts for years on may different levels.

Six journalists will vote on the award:

This is the 7th year for the awards which sees the best in female fighting recognized.

Here at the nominees for the WMMA Press Award for Promotion of the Year.

  • UFC (52 fights in 2016)
  • Invicta (48 Fights in 2016)
  • IMMAF (42 ammy fights in 2016)
  • King of the Cage (38 fights in 2016 pro & ammy)
  • DEEP JEWELS (24 Fights in 2016)

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) Continue reading InvictaFC 21 Primer

Light as a Feather: The 145 Women’s Conundrum

We are on the verge of crowning three featherweight champions this year, and a lot of people have seen this as a problem.

The UFC’s announcement in December started it all as they announced they will crown their first 145 champion with Holly Holm versus Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208 February 11th in Brooklyn, New York. With Cyborg Justino possibly being under suspension by USADA and not having defended her title in the past year due to her UFC stint, Invicta will be crowning an interim champion this coming Saturday in Kansas City with Charmaine Tweet versus Megan Anderson. Continue reading Light as a Feather: The 145 Women’s Conundrum