Category Archives: Invicta wmma

Shannon Knapp Talks UFC Fight Pass Deal: “Invicta is Still it’s Own Company”


With the announcement of Invicta heading to UFC Fight Pass, there wound up being a lot of questions among the MMA community.

Many of us were confused about the actually relationship Invicta and the UFC is in, and what this deal actually means for the future of Invicta. InvictaFC president Shannon Knapp talked to us Saturday to explain the nature of what the UFC Fight Pass deal means.

Knapp could not obviously tell us certain parts of the deal (how much Invicta is getting and how long the contract is), but she made it a point this is a simple distribution deal and the UFC will not have any input in terms of product.

“We are still our own company,” Knapp told us. “We decide the fight cards. Fighter pay, sponsorship, and production are still in our control. I own the company 100%.”

This means we won’t see any major changes in terms of staff. The broadcast and  production team will stay the same. In terms of fighters, they are still “Invicta fighters” and not under the UFC.

The UFC Fight Night deals comes with a lot of perks, however. The UFC will be marketing Invicta, seeing the success of Invicta ties in directly to the success of the streaming platform. It also gives a chance for Invicta to expand their brand into other markets and improve and add onto their product in the future.

“We are exclusive to Fight Pass. However with the distribution deal, anything can happen in the future,” Knapp stated. “I am always going to strive to give more content, and with the strong stable platform on Fight Pass, I can focus on giving the fans more to watch and be better at what we do.”

The next card’s date and location will be announced “soon” according to Knapp, with the previously announced title match between featherweight champ Cris “Cyborg” Justino taking on Ediane Gomes expecting to main event.

“We want to have as many fight cards as we can in the next year, with the first few cards with roughly 10 fights per card with room to grow. We are doing back to back cards to get fans and fighters going again.”

Knapp expressed to us the deal is what the promotion needed to be able to benefit the sport as a whole, and gives the tools she needs to make the fighters and WMMA succeed and grow.

“This is validation for the female fighters. They are on the largest platform for MMA and no other promotion besides the UFC has that. We will gain fans from the UFC that hasn’t seen our product, and Invicta fans will have access to the UFC content and enjoy MMA as a whole. It’s mutually beneficial for everyone.”

InvictaFC Announces Deal with UFC Fight Pass

invicta fight passInvictaFC will stay as an online broadcast as it struck a deal with UFC FightPass. The promotion announced the deal Thursday night.

The multi-year deal includes not only the live events but also the InvictaFC library of their past seven cards.

There was heavy rumors the past few months that Invicta would land on the UFC platform, and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t mean Zuffa is “buying the company”. Invicta, however, was in a unique position that they aren’t directly competing with the UFC. We may see other promotions that have great relationships with Zuffa follow suit.

The release stated a late summer event is in the works with no date mentioned. The event will most likely be headlined by featherweight champion Cyborg Justino taking on #1 contender Ediane Gomes.


Wombat Sports Answers Yours Twitter Questions About the Upcoming Invicta Announcement

invictafc tvIt has been an interesting few days to say the least in terms of our @wmmanews twitter feed.

With the reaction the open letter we posted Tuesday, it’s hard to react in 120 characters. So MarQ has decided to answer them here. We actually want to do these sessions more often as certain topics come up.

Before we dive into the Invicta questions, a point of clarification. The open letter wasn’t about “an announcement of an announcement”. What it was meant to do is curb some skepticism about Invicta and to calm those who were losing faith the announcement would ever be made. Things are going through as planned, but things happen during these contract negotiations that can’t be helped. The deal was always for the best benefit of the fighters first and foremost.

Obviously I am not privy to certain some of information e.g. the network where they are signing.

Since a lot of people were asking the same questions, I am going to summarize them and answer.

With that being said….

Rumors are Invicta is Signing with UFC Fight Pass….

This has been the heavy rumor since April on the major MMA websites. I see some big problems with this happening.

A major thing is the identity of Invicta and the UFC being blurred. Fight Pass is run by Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC. As such, they want control of what comes out of the service, and Dana White’s vision on WMMA is way different than Shannon Knapp’s, as much as they have a working relationship. Knapp emphasized she wants to have control of the product as a whole and it was important to her. I don’t think Zuffa would let anyone do that.

If they do Fight Pass, the UFC would have to pay Invicta and in turn the fighters. Knapp wants to pay the fighters a reasonable purse for their fights and seeing how the UFC pays fighters on their undercard and on their “Fight Night” cards, I don’t suspect that will fit that criteria.

From my talks with Knapp, it sounded more like it would be a tv network versus a digital service. If I were to speculate (and this is only speculation) it maybe Fox Sports 1. One reason I feel that this is the case is Fox Sports 1 suddenly started using Invicta footage starting in April.

For those who are saying what is the difference – Fox Sports 1 is much more open to let sports promotions control their show’s content than the UFC.

Invicta is dying since the UFC has pillaged their talent… 

Let me take you back to InvictaFC 1. The only worldwide know name on the card was Marloes Coenen. Since then they developed talent that have became recognized names in the MMA main stream. People like Carla Esparza, Bec Hyatt, Jessamyn Duke, Leslie Smith – the list goes on. Invicta is here to build female fighting stars and it has succeeded. If there is any proof of this, it is that the UFC is scooping up their talent.

Current status of Invicta? There are four of the five champions still there. The strawweights have rebounded by the promotion doubling the roster since the UFC took eight fighters, and Invicta has signed major international talent to expand their brands worldwide.

As for Lauren Murphy wanting to jump to the UFC, I don’t think Knapp has a problem with it. I don’t either. Remember, there is always new fighters to groom and there is a list of them (yes even batntamweights). By the way. Muprhy was one of those fighters the MMA main stream probably would have never heard of before Invicta.

If you don’t know about the talent already signed, you need to check them out. They are all future stars in the sport and you will find a fighter you will connect with.

What will happen when the announcement is made?

The exact “when” is not known, but Knapp had told me she always has dates open to give the fighters at least a 6 week fight camp. When the details are released, we can expect at least one date announced with the main event (most likely Cyborg vs. Gomes) and several other fights on the card. If Knapp holds true to form, the card will have 9-10 bouts.

As I stated in the open letter, a second date will most likely be a month after the first card to make up for lost time. If that date will be announced with the first card, I am not sure. Knapp stated she had a mock card for both events.

On one of the two cards, Michelle Waterson will defend her title.

As for where, not sure. Knapp wants to “take the show on the road” so it won’t surprise me if she does a card outside of Kansas City.

Hope this answers some questions and gets you inside my thought process. Remember if you have any more questions tweet me @wmmanews.


An Open Letter to Invicta Fighters and Fans: Your Patience is About to Be Rewarded

InvictaFC 3 to Feature Title MatchOver the past month people have been complaining about waiting for the next Invicta card and have been wary if Invicta will ever come back. Let me assure you, Invicta will be bigger and better after the announcement is made.

I have been talking to InvictaFC president Shannon Knapp over the past month and she is excited about what is about to be announced for the company moving forward. Knapp wants to let fighters know that she is looking out for the best interest of them and a deal like this is all about the details. Any promotion worth their muster can sign a tv deal, but fools rush in when angels fear to tread.

The purpose of Invicta has always been to have a platform for WMMA and Knapp wants a solid one. Any short term deal isn’t going to cut it. That’s why the deal took so long. There may have been some hurdles in the short term, but Knapp is looking to the long term of the promotion.

Right now it’s about the network working out some details before an announcement can be made; which should happen sooner rather than later.

For those complaining, please be patient. Fighters if you have any questions or concerns, I highly recommend giving Shannon a call and she will be more than willing to address them.

Once the announcement is made, things will go quickly. One match that is a definite is Cyborg Justino versus Ediane Gomes. Knapp is also planning two cards out of the gate to make up for the lost time.

If there is one message Knapp wants to give the fighters and fans, it’s “Big things are coming and the announcement is well worth the wait.”

June 2014 WMMA Rankings – Most Divisions Sees Minor Movement

Bucci Courtesy Fabio Corelli
Bucci Courtesy Fabio Corelli

While we await the upcoming announcement for Invicta, fighters are still climbing the ladder and making their names known. Most divisions saw some movement this month.

In the featherweight (145) division – with her win over Annalisa Bucci, undefeated Pannie Kianzad moves up a spot to #4, exchanging places with Faith Van Duin. Bucci was able to recover a few weeks later with a win over Maria Hougaard, which moved Bucci from #10 last month to #6 this month. Hougaard drops a spot to #7 with the rest of the top ten last month dropping a spot.

Pancrase bantamweight (135) champion Rin Nakai remains undefeated at 16-0-1 and gains a solid win over InvictaFC’s Sarah D’Alelio breaks into the top 10. Evinger drops to #11 and D’Alelio drops off the list completely.

The flyweights (125) stay pat this month.

Strawweight (115) Katja Kankaanpää gains another win and recovers from her only loss of her career with a win this month, prompting her to take the #5 spot on the list. This bumps Ayaka Hamasaki (now #6) and Tecia Torres (now #7) down a spot.

Due to inactivity, atomweight (105) Cassie Rodish has dropped off the top 10, prompting Sadae Numata to move from #10 to #9. Saori Ishioka enters the list at the 10 spot after making her way back to MMA after a two year absence with a win. Diana Rael is also off the list due to inactivity, and Gina Iniong is added to the list.

You can see the complete June Unified WMMA Rankings here.

Watch Cassie Robb vs. Liz McCarthy From ICF 13

Courtesy Burnt Images/Ryan Hall
Courtesy Burnt Images/Ryan Hall

Two Invicta atomweights should whole other levels to their game at Intense Championship Fighting 13.

Having not fought for a year, both Cassie Robb and Liz McCarthy didn’t lose a step entering the cage with Robb showing improved striking and McCarthy more patience. After a skillful fight, McCarthy would take the unanimous decision.

The MRS (WMMA and WBoxing News) May 23

Green vs. Wilson Courtesy Ryan Hall/Burnt Imagines
Green vs. Wilson Courtesy Ryan Hall/Burnt Imagines

Miscellaneous News

All of the fights have been posted for the ICF 13 card (with the exception of the main event between Liz McCarthy and Cassie Robb, which will be posted tonight). You can watch them here:

We also have a post fight interview with Emily Corso here.

In a rare fight on Wednesday, Charmaine Tweet has avenged a loss, defeating Anna Barone by rear naked choke in round 1. Barone had KOed Tweet in their first encounter.

Barone weighed in 6 pounds over weight for the match and gave up 20% of her purse.

Tweet improves to 5-4.

Also Wednesday, in boxing, Alicia Ashley defeated Nohime Dennisson by TKO round 6 in Queens, New York

michelle nicolini 02ADCC champion Michelle Nicolini has signed to Legacy MMA.

The BJJ black belt is one of the most accomplished in the lower weight classes and seems to be transitioning to MMA well, going 2-0 with both wins by first round armbars. She is fighting at 115.

Nicolini got her black belt under Robert Drysdale and has been doing seminars all around the world. She will be doing an all female BJJ seminar on June 21 in San Francisco. Details here.

No word on when she will debut for Legacy.

Cortney Casey will be fighting for Pacific Xtreme Combat June 27th in Guam. It is suspected she will be facing promotional star Kailin Curran.

Casey stated she is still with XFC, and they have given her permission to fight on the card. We should have more info next week.

Sofia Bagerdai had a training injury and has had to pull out of her match with Lynn Alvarez at the World Series of Fighting next month. Bagherdai stated the injury would only take a few months to heel but wanted to take some time off to raise her daughter.

Sarah Kaufman was on the MMA Hour and stated she is looking for either a match with Miesha Tate or Cat Zingano. Kaufman theorized Zingano would most likely need a warm-up match before her title match with whomever the champion is after the July fight, and wouldn’t want to wait for or five months for a fight. She also reasoned Tate fight would make sense due to history and “Tate coming off a win”. Both are ranked higher than Kaufman.

On the converse, Kaufman doesn’t want to fight Sara McMann since “she is coming off a loss”.

Kaufman added she “wants to knockout Jessica Eye” but stated a rematch with her wouldn’t be in the cards until Eye gets another win.

You can listen to the complete interview here.

India Gomes took to social media to state her intentions on moving to 135 eventually and challenged Holly Holm to a fight.

Gomes (10-2) hasn’t fought since January 2013. After getting her match cancelled at Invicta last fall due to two opponents dropped out due to medical issues, Gomes is getting antsy to fight. he took her frustrations to social media.

She put the bantamweight division on notice and called out Holm on her facebook, stating InvcitaFC featherweight champ Cyborg Justino is ducking her.

InvictaFC has went on record that Gomes will face Cyborg on the promotion’s next card when they announce it.

Three female fighters have made the Maxim Hot 100, and it’s no surprise who they are.

Gina Carano was the highest ranked, at #39, while UFC champ Ronda Rousey took the 42nd spot. Miesha Tate took #58.

You know that couple hundred dollars Jenny Liou got from Dana White? Liou told Pro WMMA Now the money went to help find her fight team a new gym.

Liou will be facing Jocelyn Lybarger Monday (more on that in scheduled matches).


This Sunday on the podcast, we will talk to veteran fighter Sarah Schneider who will face young gun Amber Stautzenberger at Beatdown 11 in North Dakota June 7th.

You can listen here live at 1 p.m. pst/4 p.m. est.


We talked to InvictaFC head Shannon Knapp this week and the hope is the final details will be set for an announcement this coming week. She has two mock cards set and looks to come out of the gate running once the deal is announced.

We are expecting Jessica Eye and Sara McMann will have match announcements next week.

Liz McCarthy is making Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas her new training home for the next year. TUF 20 hopeful Helen Harper is also making the move to Syndicate as we hear.

After a very successful all female card, Intense Championship Fighting is looking to do a half male/half female card in Great Falls in August during the Montana State Fair. A rematch between Emily Corso versus Lynnell House is rumored.

Scheduled Matches

Van Soest and Payne Courtesy Bennie Palmore
Van Soest and Payne Courtesy Bennie Palmore


Lucy Payne looks to avenge her loss  to Tiffany Van Soest Friday night at Lion Fights’ debut at the the Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, CT. The fight will air on AXS TV. Both fighters came in on weight for their 126 pound bout.

Van Soest is looking to come off her first pro loss and get back in the title hunt. She lost the belt to Caley Reese earlier this year.

Since her loss to Van Soest, Payne got a TKO win over Victoria Lomax, winning the Awakening 57 Kg title.

In an undercard bout, New England based fighters Brandy Young and Colleen Downey will do battle.


For the first time since 2011, the Lybarger sisters will be in action on the same card.

At King of the Cage in Scottsdale, AZ, Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger will take on Jennifer Liou and Jillian Lybarger will face Danielle Taylor. All four fighters tried out for the Ultimate Fighter 20.

Jocelyn (3-1) is coming off a win over Rosa Acevedo at RFA this past April. Liou (2-0) defeated Jillian this past February and is looking to take out the other sister.

Jillian is looking to recover from her pro debut loss to Liou with a win over Taylor. Jillian went 4-4 as an amateur.

Taylor (1-0) won her pro debut this past March and went 4-1 as an amateur.

bucci hougaard weigh ins
Bucci and Hoguaard

An important featherweight bout is on the docket as Maria Hougaard Djursaa and Annalisa Bucci will battle for the EUMMA 145 title in Denmark.

Djursaa is coming off a first round rear naked choke over  Alexandra Buch. She has win three straight including a TKO over Jorina Baars.

Bucci (6-3) is coming off a decision loss to Pannie Kianzad two weeks ago. Bucci was on a 5 fight win streak before the loss.

In a pair of pro bouts in Brazil:

  • At America’s FC 1 in Sao Paulo, Mariana dos Santos takes on Gabriela Lins
  • Janaisa Morandin faces Ana Luiza de Jesus at Aspera FC 7 in Santa Catarina


In Krasnodar, Russia, two world title are up for grabs

WIBA and WBC super middleweight champion Nikki Adler will take on Gifty Amanua Ankrah.  Undefeated Adler (11-0) won both titles last year by unanimous decision.  Ankrah (3-3-1) is coming off back to back KO victories.

The other match will see a battle for the vacant WIBA and UBO super featherweight title as Natalia Smirnova (7-0) will duke it out with Yarkor Chavez Annan (7-6-1).

EBU flyweight champion Simona Galassi will defend her belt against Galina Koleva Ivanova in Emilia Romagna, Italy.

Galassi  (19-3-1) is coming off a loss in a non-EBU title match against WBA champ Susi Kentikian. She had back to back wins before the loss.

Former WBC batnamweight champ Ivanova is looking to snap a two fight losing streak.

In Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, the interim WBA super bantamweight title will be decided as former champ Jackie Nava battles Alys Sanchez.

Nava (28-4-3) was on a four fight win streak before taking a two year break from the sport. Sanchez (12-1) is coming off her first loss, a split decision to Carolina Arias.

On other action, a pair of bouts are set for Sao Paulo, Brazil, as Elica Jamile takes on Milla Ferreira, and Andreia Alves dos Santos faces Aline Vanessa.

Weekend Results – ICF Females Shine; DEEP-JEWELS Crowns 135 Champ

McCarthy vs. Robb
McCarthy vs. Robb


We were live at the Four Season Arena in Great Falls for the Intense Championship Fight’s first ever all female card this past Fridfay. The six fight card didn’t disappoint as Portland’s Emily Corso gain her first two wins as a professional and Liz McCarthy get a much needed win.

The main event saw InvictaFC vets McCarthy and Cassie Robb in what was a highly technical contest.  Both saw improvement in their time off from the cage with Robb’s striking and McCarthy’s clinch work. In the end, McCarty would take the unanimous decision.

Corso’s first fight ended in controversy as the ref stopped the contest in the first round, thinking her opponent Lynnell House tapped. Both fighters disagreed with the tap, but the ref sited “fighter’s safety” and declared it a technical submission. House’s camp is appealing the ruling.

You can watch the fight here.

Corso vs. Beck Courtesy Burnt Images/Ryah Hall
Corso vs. Beck Courtesy Burnt Images/Ryah Hall

Corso would compete later in the night to take on Ariel Beck in what was Beck’s pro debut. Beck, a professional boxer, struck hard to open the first round before Corso initiated the takedown. Beck would try for a headlock, which prompted Corso take Beck’s back and sink in the rear naked choke at 1:28.

In amateur action:

  • Hannah Kampf def. Tangina Deveraux by split decision
  • Heather Wilson def. Anna Symonds by split decision
  • Kayla Green def. Sonja Wilson by unanimous decision (watch the video here)

Fight videos will be posted throughout the week here on Wombat Sports plus post fight interviews.

Courtesy Fight 2 Live

DEEP-JEWELS had a set of seven MMA bouts plus on female kickboxing contest.

In the main event, Strikeforce vet Takayo Hashi was crowned the first ever DEEP-JEWELS 135 champion, defeating Shizuka Sugiyama by TKO in round 3.

The first round saw a close striking exchange between the two fighters. The rounded ended with Hashi getting Sugiyama into a triangle choke as the bell sounded.

The second round started much like the first, but Hashi was able to initiate the taekdown and get some ground and pound in. The rounded ended on the feet, with Hashi taking the upperhand in striking.

Hashi would strike in the clinch at the beginning of the first stanza, but Sugiyama would mount a short comeback with punches and a takedown. Sugiyama would take Hashsi’s back. Hashi would reverse and attempt several submission before taking top position and then Sugiyama’s back. Hashi would land ground and pound and the ref stopped the contest at 4:20 of round 3 to be crowned the first ever D-J 135 champion.

Hashi improves to 15-4-1.

Courtesy Fight 2 Live
Courtesy Fight 2 Live

Also on the card, former Valkyrie champion Mei Yamaguchi made a successful DEEP-JEWELS debut by submitting Yukiko Seki. Yamaguchi controlled all of the fight, landing strikes, and initiating the choke. Seki refused to tap and went out forcing the ref to stop the contest. Yamaguchi improves to 12-7-1 and snaps a two fight losing streak.

In other action on the card:

  • Saori Ishioka def. Satomi Takano by technical submission (armbar) 4:44 round 1
  • Naomi Taniyama def. Yuko Kawabata by unanimous decision
  • Shiori Hori def. Maya Dobashi by technical submission (armbar) 4:43 round 1
  • Ayaka Miura def. Ella Wu by Technical Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) 1:25 round 1
  • Tomo Maesawa def. Brittany Ann Decker by unanimous decision
  • Seo Hee Ham def. Yuuki Kira by unanimous decision in a kickboxing match

Finland saw three female bouts, including InvictaFC star Katja Kankaanpää returning to action fight in her homeland.

Kankaanpää would defeat Alyona Rassohyna by armbar at 3:53 in round 2. Kankaanpää improves to 9-1-1 and recovers from her first loss. She also re-affirms her spot as one of the top InvictaFC straweights.

Also on the card, Finland’s Vuokko Katainen and England’s Kate Jacksonwent to a split draw, and Suvi Salmimies won her pro debut against last minute replacement Clemence Schreiber.

Courtesy Ground and Pound Germany
Courtesy Ground and Pound Germany

Newly signed InvictaFC fighter Karolina Kowalkiewicz got her 5th straight win and retained her KSW strawweight title with a submission win over InvictaFC vet Jasminka Cive.

Undefeated Kowalkiewicz took the fight to the ground early and was able to take mount and the back while on the mat. Cive fought out of a rear naked choke, but Kowalkiewicz transitioned to the armbar for the tap at 3:53 of round 1.

On other pro bouts:

  • At AFC 20 in Hollywood, FL, Valérie Létourneau TKOed Jazmine Quezada in 38 seconds
  • Sarah McLeod submitted Shawna Lang by rear naked choke at 4:56 in round 2 at Prize Fighting Championships in Williston, ND
  • At PrestigeFC in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, Diana Atkin defeated Sarah Mcrann by TKO at 2:39 of round 2

Ammy MMA

In amateur action this past weekend:

  • At AFL 45 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Heidi Thompson defeated Charmaine Rosario by unanimous decision
  • Marissa Smith defeated Gina Begley by unanimous decision at Rumble Time in Kansas City, MO
  • At Central Coast Showdown in Salinas, California, Shaianna Rincon submitted Michelle Gama by guillotine on round 1
  • Bianca Rodriguez submitted Emily Ducote by armbar round 1 at BG MMA in Enid, OK
  • In a pair of bouts at Cage of Honor in Cape Girardeau, MO, Nora Hamilton TKOed Savannah Smith in 1:02 of round 1, and Shawna Tyler defeated Terri Triplett bt TKO in round 1
  • Rebekah LeVine won the XAFS atomweight title by KOing Leslie Sanchez in round 2 at  Xplode Amateur Fight Series in Escondido, CA
  • At Fight Force International Kage Wars in Biloxi, MS, Miki Rogers defeated Elisa Marrugo by TKO round 1


WIBA welterweight Tori Nelson remains undefeated as she finished  Mia St John by TKO in round 2 in Annandale, Virginia.

Nelson (9-0-3) came off strong out of the gate, landing huge shots to outmusucle St. John. In round two the referee saw enough and stopped the contest.

A pair of title bouts happened in Osaka, Japan.

Yuko Kuroki gained the WBC minimumweight title, getting the unanimous decision over now former champ Mari Ando. Kuroki improves to 11-4.

Nao Ikeyama won the vacant WBO atomweight title with her unanimous decision win over Jessebelle Pagaduan. Ikeyama hands Pagaduan her first loss.

In Saarland, Germany, Raja Amasheh was crowned the WBF and WBC Silver flyweight champion. Amasheh defeated Susana Cruz Perez by unanimous decision to win the vacant title. Raja Amasheh is now 17-0.

Sindy Amador successfully defended her IFBA light flyweight title with a split decision over Maria Suarez in Ontario, California. Amador improves to 12-1.

In other boxing action the past weekend:

  • In a pair of bouts in Durango, Mexico, Karina Hernandez won the vacant NABF female flyweight title by defeating Aracely Palacios by unanimous decision and Nora Cardoza defeated Lorena Mendoza by unanimous decision
  • Natalia Vanesa del Valle Aguirre defeated Maria Soledad Capriolo by unanimous decision to win the vacant South American super featherweight title in Cordoba, Argentina
  • In Nerang, Queensland, Australia, Shannon O’Connell def. Gentiane Lupi by majority decision
  • Christina Rupprecht KOed Ramona Panait in round 1 in Bayern, Germany
  • In Versoix, Switzerland, Ornella Domini defeated Borislava Goranova by unanimous decision
  • Maiva Hamadouche got the TKO over Wendy Gervois in round 4 in Clichy la Garenne, Hauts-de-Seine, France
  • In Chihuahua, Mexico, Jessica Arreguin Munoz got the TKO over Karla Ivette Valenzuela Garcia in round 5
  • In a pair of bouts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Debora Anahi Dionicius defeated Alejandra Maria de Lujan Rios by unanimous decision and Julieta Andrea Cardozo defeated Lorena Noemi Gomez by majority decision

“Sisters in Armbars” – The Resurgence of Female Fight Teams in 2014

team tate xtreme couture
Xtreme Couture Female Team

Nothing is better than a training partner who has been there.

Over the past 6 months we have seen some movement in terms on where female fighters have been training. Many are seeking something new in terms of mind set, or simply a bigger challenge than their local gym can accommodate. Some just simply want to train with some of the best on the planet.

The advantages are great if you can find a female team you can click with. Questions can be answered that no male fighter can answer. Plus if you get with a top notch team, you can take your training to a whole other level.

Female fight teams are nothing new. Jackson’s MMA was the first women’s team to gain national attention, with American Top Team and CSA not far behind. All three have gained new members over the past year. Xtreme Couture had a solid female team as well until late 2012, when a lot of behind the scenes happenings saw a mass exodus of both female and male fighters. Miesha Tate has helped the team rebuild. With TUF 20 cast member Alex Chambers, TUF 20 hopeful Heather Clark, and UFC fighter Leslie Smith taking up training with Xtreme Couture, it’s becoming the go to place to train in Vegas.

Syndicate MMA in Vegas is starting to rival their neighboring gym, however. Roxanne Modafferi is starting to build a team of her own with WSOF fighter Sofia Bagherdai and Tuff-n-uff tournament finalist Jamie Moyle looking to make strides on a national level. InvictaFC fighter Liz McCarthy also took up some training at Syndicate to prepare for her next fight.

Both gyms saw some fighters make friendly visits during “The Ultimate Fighter” tryouts, so we look for more fighters to make Vegas their home in the near future.

Another growing female team is the MMA Lab in Phoenix, which has seen InvictaFC champion Lauren Murphy take up residence recently. The Lybarger twins have been training there for the past year or so.

Several noteworthy teams you may not know about is Grudge Training Center in Denver (Cassie Robb, Stephanie Skinner, and Rose Namajunas among others) and Reign MMA (Jessica Penne, and Justine Kish among others).

Least we not forget the most popular team of them all at the moment – “The Four Horsewomen” of the Glendale Boxing Club; UFC champion Ronda Rousey, UFC fighter Shayna Baszler and Jessamyn Duke; and Marina Shafir.

We are positive there are more female teams out there and we only expect this to grow as the sport does.

Video – Julie Kedzie Updates us on Her Role as InvictaFC Matchmaker

kedzie invictaIt has been over 5 months since Julie Kedzie retired from competition and taken a new job as InvictaFC matchmaker, and so far she has taken to the role well.

Kedzie so far has brought some insight from a fighter’s prospective, and helped sign quite a few new fighters from across the planet. Although there has been a learning curve, she is excited to help book InvictaFC 7 coming in June.

We talked to Kedzie about how her new job is going, scouting new talent, Invicta’s partnership with Tuff-n-uff, and developing the InvictaFC women’s divisions.

Tuff-n-uff Promoter Jeff Meyer Talks Partnership with Invicta; Future of Company

Jeff Meyer with Jessica Zomchik
Jeff Meyer with Jessica Zomchik

Tuff-n-uff MMA has come a long way in 20 years.

Considered one of the best amateur MMA promotions in the U.S., Tuff-n-uff has done a lot for the female fighters and have turned out stars that are currently in the UFC and Invicta.

The promotion is continuing their efforts to make world class fighters even after the tragic passing of founder and CEO Barry Meyer. His brother Jeff has taken his mission to continue producing talent and put on solid shows.

Saturday, the promotion announced their 20th anniversary show is set for June 7th at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, in hopes to break the arena’s attendance record. You can get a free ticket by going to They are also seeking donations for the Three Square Food Bank and people are encouraged to bring a canned food item to the event.

The card will feature several female bouts including the finals of the Tuff-n-uff strawweight tournament. The winner between Jamie Moyle and Molly Wren-Holms will earn an Invicta contract and be declared tournament champion.

We talked to Jeff Meyer about the impact of the promotion throughout the years,  the new partnership with Invicta, and what the future brings.


The MRS – (WMMA & WBoxing News) – April 25

the-ultimate-fighter-tufMiscellaneous News

Reminder that we will be at ground zero Monday as eight spots are up for grabs on “The Ultimate Fighter 20”. We have 20 confirmed trying out for the show but expect more will show up.

We can tell you also the already announced eight cast members will be in town next week for medicals. (Juliana Lima, Paige Van Zant, and Claudia Gadelha won’t be doing the show.) It will be a quick turnaround in terms of those eight chosen at tryouts who will be picked Monday night. There will be a total of 16 fighters in the TUF house.

If the UFC stands to form, we won’t know the rest of the cast until filming ends in late June/early July.

Make sure to follow our twitters @WombatSports & @Wmmanews for updates. We plan in posting some interview with the hopefuls and a few surprise guests.


Mei Yamguchi (11-7-1) will make her long awaited DEEP-JEWELS debut on the promotion’s 4th card May 18th.

The former Valkyrie champ is coming off back to back split decision losses at PXC, which could have gone either way. She dropped to 105 in her last fight and looked impressive at her new weight.

Yamagucho will face journeywoman Yukiko Seki (12-23) who is coming off a decision win last November over Madoka Ebihara.

The card will be main evented by Shizuka Sugiyama and Takayo Hashi battling for the inaugural D-J 135 title.

Charmaine Tweet hopes to average a loss May 21 as she takes on Anna Barone in Montreal, Canada.

Barone (2-3) KOed Tweet in 18 seconds in the first meeting in October 2011. Barone only fought once since then, losing to Kaitlin Young via doctor’s stoppage.

Tweet (4-4) was on a three fight win streak before debuting for Invicta last year, losing a decision to Julia Budd.

The fight will take place at 155 pounds and will main event the card. It is expected to be streamed.

Featherweight prospect and Dane Maria Hougaard Djursaa will look to gain some gold as she faces Italian Annalisa Bucci at European MMA May 23rd in Falconer Salen in Denmark.

Djursaa (5-4) is on a three fight win streak with wins over Jorina Baars and Alexandra Buch. Bucci (6-2) is on a five fight win streak, finishing all but one opponet during her streak. She will face undefeated Pannie Kianzad May 3 before taking on Djursaa.

No word on if the fight will be streamed.


The CJ Report did an interview with InvictaFC vet and former JEWELS 115 title holder Ayaka Hamasaki. She is currently rehabbing a nagging knee injury she had before her last fight with Claudia Gadelha. She went under the knife a month after  her last fight and seems to be recovering well. She hopes to return in late summer or early fall for DEEP-JEWELS. Contrary to early reports, she stated a drop to 105 is an option, but she is sticking to 115 for now.

In the interview, she talked about the retirement of long time training partners Megumi Fujii and Htiomi Akano, and the current WMMA scene in Japan. You can watch it here.

Amateur prospect Sarah McLeod will make her pro debut May 16th at Prize Fighting Championship in Williston, North Dakota against Shawna Lang.

McLeod (7-5-1) has won her last three fights. Not much is know about Lang, but has a win over Brittany Weis in 2012. She has also fought for Fusion Fight Legaue out of Billings, MT.

This fight will stream live on for $10.

World boxing champion Cecillia Braekhus has parted ways with her promoter according to an article on NRK Sports.

Braekhus has had problems with her promoter, Sauerland, for a while. She was waiting for her contract to be up to get rid of the promoter so she can fight more often and help pave the way to a possible superfight with Holly Holm.

Thanks to @LEEKDaSneek for the news tip.

The Americana MMA clothing line has announced they have put a $5000 KO bounty on UFC Champ Ronda Rousey.

The company specified that they will give the award to the first fighter who gets a knockout over the champ in a sanctioned fight.

Wimp2Warrior Season 2 is in the can and will debut in Australia in June. The series, which takes ordinary men and women and turn them into MMA fighters, will also post videos as the series progresses for foreign viewers.  They are planning a third season, which will feature a U.S. vs. Canada cast.

You can watch a trailer so season 2 here.


As we mentioned several times before, Juliana Lima and Claudia Gadelha won’t be taking part in the Ultimate Fighter 20. A major reason is due to the language barrier. We are hearing that Gadelha will be making her octagon debut in Brazil in June.

InvictaFC vet Danielle West has stated she is dropping to 125 and is preparing a test cut in the next few weeks. She plans on returning to action in August.

Alexis Davis will spend part of her upcoming fight camp at Team Alpha Male to help with her wrestling.

ADCC and world BJJ champion Gabi Garcia stated she will make her MMA debut at Real Fighting Japan August 17 against a yet to be named opponent according to an article on She also mentioned being given an offer to fight for XFCi.

Scheduled Fights


corriea duke weigh inTwo undefeated fighters will battle in Baltimore at UFC 172.

Ultimate Fighter vet Jessamyn Duke and Brazilian Bethe Correia are both seeking their second UFC win. Both came Correia (135) and Duke (135.5) came in on weight.

Duke (3-0; 1NC) is coming off a decision win over TUF castmate Peggy Morgan. She has been training with champion Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler to prepare for the fight.

Correia (7-0) is coming off a decision win over Julie Kedzie. She trains with the Pitbull Brothers of Bellator fame.

The fight will air on the televised prelims on Fox Sports 1 Saturday.

Kalindra Faria looks for her 11th straight win as she takes on Sanja Sucevic at XFC International in Sao Paulo ,Brazil.

Faria (14-3-1) made a successful transition strawweight in her lat outing, submitting Laura Balin in the second round at MMA Super Heroes. She has finished six of her last 11.

Sucevic (4-2) is coming off a loss last year to TUF 18 contestant Colleen Schneider at 125 pounds. She is making her way back to strawweight and has wins over Lena Ovchynnikova and Irene Cabello.

The fight will stream for free on Saturday.

In other pro bouts:

  • In a pair of fights at Spartan Combat League in Denver, CO,  Brittney Elkin faces Amanda Bell and Shannon Sinn takes on Courtney Himes 
  • Angela Hill makes her pro debut against Stephanie Skinner at USFFC in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • At DakotaFC in Fargo, North Dakota, Mariah Prussia battles Shannon Gunville
  • Pamela Boveda fights Elen Torres at Rhino Fight Combat 6 in Alto Parana, Paraguay
  • At Barracão Fight Championship 3 in Ponta Grossa, Brazil, Jessica Suelem dukes it out with Jaquelline Santana
  • Aline Sério faces Paula Baack at GSF in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • At Jason Fight Championship 1 in Brazil, Ana Maria Índia takes on Ilara Joanne

Ammy MMA

In amateur action this weekend:

  • In a pair of bouts at Gladius Fights 11 in Cortland, New York, Hannah Grable takes on Andrea Lee and Alyssa Vasquez faces Janice Meyer.
  • Ashley Jackson battles Nichole Usko at NAAFS – Akron, Ohio
  • At Warrior FC in Corbin, Kentucky, Elizabeth Richardson dukes it out with Alannah Arnett
  • Aspen Ladd fights Cynthia Calvillo at WCFC in Sacramento, California
  • At Rage in the Cage in Staffordshire, England, Anya Lynette Hynes takes on Amy O’Mara (120)
  • Sinead Kavanagh faces Aoifé Murphy  at Cage Contender in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • At FiveStar in Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada, Robin Combs battles Elyse Stevenson


Yesica Yolanda Bopp is looking to be a two division champion as she takes on Daniela Romina Bermudez for the vacant WBO flyweight title in Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

Bopp (26-1) is the current WBO/WBA light flyweight champion having won the title last July. She successfully defended the title in December against Ana Fernandez.

Bermudez (16-2-2) is on an eleven fight win streak and hold belts at bantamweight and super flyweight.

Also on the card, Adela Celeste del Carmen Peralta faces Maria Angelica Ruiz.

Nicole Boss looks to defend her EBU lightweight title for the first time as she takes on Sopio Putkaradze in Berne, Switzerland.

Boss (11-4-2) in on a four fight win streak and won the vacant title with a decision win over Kremena Petkova in December.

Putkaradze  (10-1-2) has won four straight and is looking for her first boxing title.

In other boxing action:

  • In a pair of bouts in Polanco, Distrito Federal, Mexico, Maria Ramirez takes on Sonia Osorio, and Viridiana Ramos faces Estefani Casilla 
  • In bouts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ruth Stephanie Aquino fights Tamara Marianella Nunez and Stefany Bizquiazo battles Norma Elizabeth Diaz Caucota 
  • In Panama City, Panama, Zuliana Mendoza dukes it out Jocelyn Edwards and Iliana Bonilla faces Zuseth Hoyte 
  • Ericka Rousseau takes on Bilitis Gaucher in Charente-Maritime, France
  • In Saint-Maur, Indre, France, Jessica Tamara Vargas fights Cindy Bonhiver (122)
  • Anne Sophie Da Costa dukes it out Fleis Djendji in Saint-Just en Chaussee, Oise, France
  • In Haute-Vienne, France, Myriam Dellal faces Wendy Gervois (135)
  • Jessica Balogun takes on Edita Lesnik in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
  • In Kielce, Poland, Ewa Brodnicka fights Kremena Petkova
  • Anna Donatella Hultin battles Karina Kopinska in Malmo, Sweden
  • In Buchs, Switzerland, Vivian Fontana dukes it out with Katarina Vistica