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Invicta FC 8 Preview

For the eighth time, Invicta Fighting Championships will host an action-packed night of fights in Kansas City, Missouri featuring some of the best and brightest of women’s MMA. Whether first-time or longtime, fight fans should expect the same quality competition from the young and exciting organization, which was founded in 2012.

But there is one major difference this time around: it’s on UFC FIGHT PASS.

On September 6th at the Municipal Auditorium, ten tangles will take centerstage ranging from atomweight (105 pounds) to the company’s first bout at lightweight (155 pounds), and will be headlined by two highly-anticipated title fights.

In the co-main event, the vacant Invicta FC strawweight championship will be up for grabs as Katja Kankaanpaa takes on Stephanie Eggink. In the main event, Invicta FC atomweight champion Michelle Watterson puts her belt on the line for the first time as “The Karate Hottie” squares off with Japanese MMA star Yasuko Tamada.

To catch everyone up to speed on this premiere on UFC FIGHT PASS, here’s a run-down of the full Invicta FC 8 card:

J.J. ALDRICH VS. DELANEY OWEN

Kicking off the card, accomplished amateur J.J. Aldrich will make her pro debut against the undefeated Delaney “Lil’ Scrappy” Owen. This strawweight (115 pounds) struggle has the makings for a ground battle, as Owen’s first two pro bouts/wins come via submission and four of Aldrich’s seven amateur wins are of the tapping variety.

JINH YU FREY VS. JODIE ESQUIBEL

Expectations are high in the next scrap as fast starter Jinh Yu Frey will make her Invicta FC debut, riding back-to-back first round finishes as she sets her sights on Team Jackson’s Jodie Esquibel. Already with two Invicta FC atomweight bouts on her resume, Esquibel owns a 3-1 pro record and has been training for half her life under famed striking coach Mike Winkeljohn. And while Yu Frey may be a newcomer, she’s a livewire in the stand-up game, with a dangerous ground game to boot.

ALEXA GRASSO VS. ASHLEY CUMMINS

Back at strawweight, Mexican knockout artist Alexa Grasso will put her undefeated 4-0 pro record to the test against Invicta FC veteran Ashley “Smashley” Cummins. The latter will be chomping at the bit as Cummins has dropped her last two Invicta FC bouts to top talents Joanne Calderwood and Emily Kagan, who were both selected by the UFC to take part in The Ultimate Fighter 20. As for the 21-year-old Grasso, she will be making her promotional debut and will no doubt be a crowd pleaser with her heavy-handed striking attack.

CHARMAINE TWEET VS. VERONICA ROTHENHAUSER

As mentioned, Invicta FC will hold its first lightweight matchup with Canada’s Charmaine “Not So Sweet” Tweet taking on the 1-0, Team Alpha Male product Veronica “The Heartbreaker” Rothenhauser. With a 13-year age gap in the classic “grappler vs. striker” matchup, the seasoned Tweet, with all five of her pro wins via submission, will most definitely want to ground the hard-hitting youngster Rothenhauser, who won her pro debut and her three amateur bouts all by KO/TKO.

PEGGY MORGAN VS. IRENE ALDANA

In a double Invicta FC debut, The Ultimate Fighter 18 alum Peggy “The Daywalker” Morgan will aim to get back on the winning track against Grasso’s LOBO Gym teammate Irene “Robles” Aldana. At 6’1” and 135 pounds, Morgan will no doubt need to put her decided reach advantage to good use early as she clashes with Mexico’s Aldana, who owns all three of her pro victories by first round KO/TKO.

MICHELLE OULD VS. DEANNA BENNETT

After a nearly two-year layoff, Team Quest’s Michelle Ould will make her pro MMA return in her Invicta FC debut against fellow flyweight (125 pounds) debutant DeAnna “The Argentine Assassin” Bennett. Before the time on the sideline, Ould was riding a three-fight win streak, including two armbar finishes. This will be the farthest from a tune-up bout, as The PIT Elevated-trained Bennett is undefeated as a pro with four straight wins, including three finishes.  

TARA LAROSA VS. ROXANNE MODAFFERI

More TUF 18 talent will be on display as grappling vet Tara LaRosa will have a trilogy-ending tangle at flyweight with “The Happy Warrior” Roxanne Modafferi. These two globe-trotting women’s MMA pioneers easily have the lengthiest resumes on the card and expectations will be set quite high as they collide for the third time. LaRosa took the first meeting via unanimous decision in 2006 and Modafferi nabbed their second bout via split decision four years later.  

EDIANE GOMEZ VS. TONYA EVINGER

Making her first drop to bantamweight, Ediane “India” Gomez will put her four-fight win streak up against Tonya “Triple Threat” Evinger’s four-fight win streak. The American Top Team-trained Gomez has scored back-to-back impressive wins in Invicta FC and hasn’t tasted defeat since a 2011 clash with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Meanwhile, Evinger is making a resurgence in the sport with her past four wins, including  what many thought was a big upset, Triple Threat’s unanimous decision win over Sarah D’Alelio at Invicta FC 7.

KATJA KANKAANPAA VS. STEPHANIE EGGINK - INVICTA FC STRAWWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

With inaugural/former Invicta FC strawweight champion Carla Esparza joining the UFC to compete on TUF 20, the 115-pound division needs a new top dog and it’s up to “Killer Bunny” and “Snowflake” to decide it. In one corner, Gracie Tampa’s Eggink is enjoying a three-fight win streak and is ready to earn gold in her Invicta FC debut. In the other corner, Finland’s Killer Bunny owns a solid 9-1-1 pro record, including a win over TUF 20’s Aisling Daly, with Kankaanpaa’s lone loss coming to TUF 20’s Calderwood at Invicta FC 7.

MICHELLE WATERSON VS. YASUKO TAMADA - INVICTA FC ATOMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

At Invicta FC 5, Waterson challenged then-champion Jessica Penne in a truly thrilling title fight. The submission ace Penne would nearly catch the underdog Waterson in an armbar in the opening stanza only to succumb to Waterson’s armbar attempt three rounds later. Now the champ, the Team Jackson-trained The Karate Hottie is on a roll with five straight wins in her rearview mirror and her first title defense ahead of her against Tamada. Meanwhile, the challenger will be making her Invicta FC and USA debut as the 15-8-3 Tamada has fought all of her pro bouts in her native Japan. Tamada is a dangerous and durable fighter with a deceptive record, having once enjoyed a 12-fight unbeaten streak and who is currently riding a three-fight win streak into this championship clash.

Watch all the action of Invicta FC 8 on September 6th, live on UFC FIGHT PASS at 8pm ET / 5pm PT.

Photo by Will Fox

Sunday, October 29
3AM
CET
Sao Paulo, Brazil

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