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Invicta FC 17 Championship Preview – Livia Souza vs Angela Hill



Invicta FC 17 takes place this Saturday, May 7th, from Costa Mesa, California and will be broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass. The card features title fights in both the main and co-main event slots, the latter of which is for the Invicta FC strawweight title as Livia Renata Souza defends her 115 pound strap against former The Ultimate Fighter competitor and UFC veteran, Angela “Overkill” Hill.

The champion hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil and is undefeated in her MMA career thus far, holding an impressive 9 – 0 professional record. Having only turned 25 a couple of months ago, Souza is widely considered to be one of, if not the brightest prospect in the women’s strawweight division. First and foremost, the Brazilian is a grappler and jiu-jitsu specialist, which is clearly evident by taking a glance at her record, showing that 7 of her 9 wins have come by a variety of submissions, the majority of which came in the first round. However, in her most recent showing, Souza demonstrated that she is certainly no slouch on the feet, stopping the previously unbeaten DeAnna Bennett with a brutal body kick just 90 seconds into their January meeting.

Interestingly, Souza recently offered to step in as a short notice replacement for the injured Jessica Aguilar at UFC 197, a spot on the card that was later filled by Carla Esparza. Souza has spoken openly on numerous occasions of her desire to compete for the UFC and, with a win over a former UFC fighter in Angela Hill on Saturday, she may well get her wish sooner rather than later.

Hill has other ideas though. The muay thai specialist is intent on earning Invicta gold in the United States’ golden state on Saturday. Having made the transition to MMA and started her career with a win, Hill tried out for season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter where she was successfully chosen as a cast member. Unfortunately for her, she was paired with top seed Carla Esparza in the first round and was eliminated from the competition. The 28-year-old would bounce back from that disappointment at the show’s finale, defeating fellow cast member Emily Kagan in a one-sided decision. Hill’s next two fights were also against fellow participants from that series of TUF in Tecia Torres and Rose Namajunas, currently ranked #4 and #3 by the UFC respectively. After losing to both, Hill was, rather surprisingly, released from the promotion.

Once more, Hill would demonstrate her ability to rebound from disappointment, signing with Invicta FC and reeling off back to back knockout wins to start off 2016 against Alida Gray and, most recently, Stephanie Eggink. Those two impressive showings were the catalysts for her receiving an Invicta strawweight title shot against Souza on Saturday night. In just her third fight for the promotion, Hill could become their 115 pound champion.

While it is not purely a striker vs grappler contest with both women having made considerable strides in the areas once considered potential weaknesses, the case could be made that Hill has the advantage while the fight stays standing, whereas Souza would hold the aces if the contest hits the mat. One of these women will leave Invicta FC 17 triumphant with a gold belt to take with them and, based on the records of both competitors, this fight could be finished at any point.

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Fight Announcements

Mizuki Inoue Replaces Janaisa Morandin for Invicta 28 Strawweight Title Main Event



One month ago, the stage for the 28th Invicta FC, event was set. Match ups made and announcements done, the women-only MMA promotion eagerly awaited the upcoming show which featured Janaisa Morandin battling Virna Jandiroba for the promotions vacant Strawweight title. Sadly, last Friday, Invicta officials announced Janaisa Morandin withdrew from the upcoming bout. In the same day, officials announced, Mizuki Inoue replaces Morandin to fight for the vacant Strawweight title against, Virna Jandiroba.

Averting disaster for the promotion meant pulling Mizuki Inoue from her bout scheduled as the co-main event on the same card. The Japanese fighter initially drew Milana Dudieva, in what was Dudievas Strawweight debut. The former UFC Bantamweight received a new opponent, yet was bumped from the co-main event slot. Dudieva faces Christina Marks, in the Strawweight division.

For Mizuki Inoue, the change of opponents represents an entirely different challenge. Her previous opponent, Dudieva planned (and continues to) to fight in a new weight division for the first time in her career. She also owned a frustrating four consecutive loss streak, stemming from the end of her run with the UFC. Not to mention, three of four losses came by way of TKO.

Virna Jandiroba is undefeated in her twelve career professional bouts. Of those twelve victories, ten are by way of submission stoppage. The Brazilian grappling expert fought the majority of her professional MMA career at Strawweight.

Mizuki Inoue certainly finds herself in a higher stakes match up. As the overstated statement goes, with great risk comes great reward. But, this new match-up relinquishes an advantage the Japanese fighter held over her previous opponent, grappling. Mizuki Inoue career record is nearly equally as impressive as her opponents. She has a wealth of experience in combat sports, having fought under Shootboxing and grappling rule sets throughout her young career. At 23, her record sits at 12-4 with 9 submission finishes.

Jandiroba holds more experience within her skin, being a seasoned 29 years old.  Invicta 28 marks the second time the Brazilian fights inside the United States of America. Her first bout stateside, a submission victory over the Ultimate Fighter 23, contestant Amy Montenegro. Also of note, Virna Jandiroba is the #2 pound for pound women fighter in Brazil (rankings by, which exclude UFC fighters) behind only Jennifer Maia and technically speaking, Maia signed with the UFC last month. Therefor, she is ineligible for regional rankings. Which, in turn, makes Jandiroba the #1 pound for pound women fighter in Brazil (rankings by, excluding UFC fighters).

Invicta 28 takes place on March 24th, at the Union Event Center, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Invicta 28 is the first show of 2018 for the womens only promotion. It also marks the first ever trip to Utah for Invicta FC. Other match-ups featured on the March 24th card include; TUF 26 contestant DeAnna Bennett takes on Karina Rodriguez, Kali Robbins faces former UFC Strawweight, Pearl Gonzalez, Milana Dudieva goes up against a different TUF 26 contestant, Christina Marks. 

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Invicta 27 Officially Announced




The all-women promotion, Invicta FC, returns to Kansas City, Missouri on January 13th, 2018 for Invicta 27. The promotion announced on their website, the promotions inaugural 2018 event will start the new year off with a fan-friendly main event, Sarah Kaufman (18-4 1 NC) vs. Pannie Kianzad (8-2).

Kaufman returns to Invicta FC after a three-year stint with the UFC. The Canadian athlete fought once prior, in the female-only promotion, defeating Leslie Smith via split decision. Both women earned Fight of the Night honors for their efforts. In her previous three bouts, Kaufman posted a record of 1-2. The former Strikeforce bantamweight champion lost her final two UFC bouts against Alexis Davis and Valentina Shevchenko. Her most recent bout was a victory over Jessica Rose-Clark, in the Battlefield FC promotion.

The veteran Kaufman made her debut in 2006, nearly six years before her opponent. Pannie Kianzad made her professional debut with the Estonian promotion MMA Raju, in 2012. Kianzad began her career undefeated in eight bouts. On the way, capturing the Cage Warriors bantamweight championship. The Iranian-Swede holds an identical record to Kaufman in her previous three bouts, 1-2. Currently, she finds herself on a two-loss skid.

In the co-main event, Vanessa Porto (19-8) faces Mariana Morais (12-5). The Brazilian, Morais, is coming off a disappointing title challenge in the flyweight division of the KSW promotion. Ariane Lipski submitted her in 58 seconds. Porto, however, is fresh off her Invicta 26, TKO victory over, Milana Dudieva.

Porto is an Invicta FC veteran, having fought in seven of the promotions twenty-six held events. Throughout her career, the veteran faced the best women the world had to offer. The thirty-three-year-old has fought the likes of Roxanne Modafferi (twice), Agnieszka Niedzwiedz, Barb Honchak, Tara LaRosa, Jennifer Maia (twice), Tonya Evinger, Germain De Randamie, Amanda Nunes, and Cris “Cyborg” Justino.

The first card of 2018 for Invicta holds a plethora of inexperienced women. Of the 17 women booked for the card, only four women hold ten or more professional fights on their record. Another four women will make their professional MMA debut: Loma Lookboonmee, Jade Ripley, Helen Peralta, and Akeela Al-Hameed. The Invicta 27, the card will feature nine bouts. The event will take place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri on January 13th, 2018. The card will proceed as follows:

Pannie Kianzad (8-2) vs. Sarah Kaufman (18-4 1 NC) – Bantamweight Division

Vanessa Porto (19-8) vs. Mariana Morais (12-5) – Flyweight Division

Sharon Jacobson (4-2) vs. Ashely Nichols (3-1) – Strawweight Division

Ashley Cummings (5-4) vs. Stephanie Alba (3-2) – Atomweight Division

Brogan Walker-Sanchez (4-0) vs. TBA – Flyweight Division

Felicia Spencer (3-0) vs. Akeela Al-Hameed (0-0) – Featherweight Division

Mallory Martin (1-2) vs. Tiffany Masters (2-1) – Strawweight Division

Melissa Wang (1-0) vs. Loma Lookboonmee (0-0) – Atomweight Division

Jade Ripley (0-0) vs. Helen Peralta (0-0) – Strawweight Division

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Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut 



Late Friday night, Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 1-0 Invicta FC) won her co-main event booking, defeating Kaline Medieros (8-6, 2-2 Invicta FC), at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz, via submission (armbar) with only fifteen seconds remaining in the fight.

Much of the fight was controlled by Dern. The heralded prospect displayed her power, visibly damaging her opponent with multiple overhand rights. Striking is an under-developed aspect of her attack, only when compared to the twenty-four-year-olds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above all, she showed a progression of her striking skills. Dern looked to be bigger and physically stronger than her veteran opponent. She utilized forward pressure and found the proper timing for her overhand right throughout.

The veteran Medeiros showed her toughness throughout the fight. She defended and scrambled out of some bad positions during the grappling exchanges. Ultimately, she tapped when caught in a deeply planted armbar.  While Medeiros did earn a few hard trip takedowns, it factored minimally in the result as she refused to follow Dern to the mat. The Boston native suffered her second straight loss, Friday night. Her first was to, former Invicta strawweight champion, Angela Hill.

Dern made her professional debut in July of 2016 with Legacy Fighting Alliance (previously: Legacy Fighting Championship). In her debut, she defeated Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. The Phoenix-born fighter won her next three bouts. Before her MMA career began, Dern won the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) championship at 60 kg. She was the first American born female to become champion at the weight. Her grappling resume boasts many more incredible accomplishments. Justifiably, a growing spotlight now hangs over her, her skills, and potential in the sport of MMA.

Elsewhere on the Invicta 26 card, Jennifer Maia defeated Agnieszka Niedzweidz by unanimous decision. Maia retained her Invicta flyweight belt, defending it for the second time. Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz, took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.

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