At this point, most MMA promotions have decided when they’ll have their eventual return. Some have already gone through with such a plan, with regional promotion Titan FC now having held two events since COVID-19 changed their 2020 plans.
Thursday is Invicta FC’s turn to return, as the Kansas-based women’s MMA promotion will hold it’s first event back. The promotion’s return with “Invicta FC 40” is held at their usual location, the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, USA.
Headlining “Invicta FC 40” is strawweights Emily Ducote and Juliana Lima, two fighters who have fought at a high level of MMA for a few years now. Along with the main event is four other fights booked for the show including many undefeated fighters. Here’s a preview of “Invicta FC 40: Ducote vs. Lima.”
Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 7:00PM CDT) (UFC Fight Pass)
On Wednesday, Invicta FC announced that the card would be without a fight. Per a release on their website, Invicta FC said DeAnna Bennett “had a medical issue during her weight cut and could not weigh-in,” forcing her out of her bout against Victoria Leonardo.
Bout 1: Genia Goodin (1-0) vs. Shelby Koren (0-0) (Strawweight)
Kicking off the card, strawweight Shelby Koren will make her professional MMA debut versus Genia Goodin. Koren had a strong amateur run, going 7-0 from 2018 to 2020. Her last win as an amateur is a recent one, as she picked up a rear naked choke win over Elle Wagman in March. She faces Goodin, who had her respective debut in June of 2019, defeating Valerie Wong via split decision.
Bout 2: Trisha Cicero (3-3) vs. Laura Gallardo (2-0) (Flyweight)
The second fight on the card sees two flyweights who have prior professional MMA experience, however, this is their first time in Invicta FC. Six fights deep, Trisha Cicero steps into Invicta for the fight time against undefeated Laura Gallardo. Cicero is on a two-fight winning streak, although she will be coming off a one-year layoff in this bout. Gallardo’s last fight was in the summer, stopping Natalie Morgan in the first round.
Bout 3: Chelsea Chandler (2-1) vs. Liv Parker (4-0) (Featherweight)
The undefeated Liv Parker will attempt to get her fifth win as she faces Chelsea Chandler in a featherweight bout. Parker’s four victories came in regional promotion Valor Fighting Challenge from early 2019 to early 2020. Chandler’s entire three-fight pro career has happened in Invicta, with her last fight being a win over Brittney Victoria in June of 2019. This fight is a move uiip for Chandler, who has fought at bantamweight prior. Parker has fought at featherweight in the past and even competed at lightweight before.
Bout 4: Alesha Zappitella (6-2) vs. Lindsey VanZandt (7-3) (Atomweight)
The co-main event of the card sees Alesha Zappitella and Lindsey VanZandt fight in an atomweight bout. Zappitella broke a two-fight skid in her last appearance, getting a unanimous decision win over Kelly D’Angelo in February. VanZandt’s fight is a return to Invicta, as her fight before was a loss to RENA in Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN. The fight looks like a reset for VanZandt, who after a five-fight 2019 is competing for the first time in seven months.
Bout 5: Emily Ducote (8-6) vs. Juliana Lima (10-6) (Strawweight)
The main event of the evening has former UFC fighter Juliana Lima facing Emily Ducote. Lima’s seven-fight UFC stint spanned five years, ending in 2018 after a unanimous decision loss to Randa Markos. She returned to Invicta in May of 2019, fighting in the promotion’s first one-night tournament, the “Phoenix Series.”
Ducote’s experienced MMA record has numerous fights in Bellator. Before making her Invicta debut, Ducote had a 4-4 Bellator record. She debuted in the promotion last summer, defeating Janaisa Morandin in the first round. Last fall she lost to Kanako Murata via split decision for the vacant atomweight belt. While this fight is the main event of Thursday’s show, it will not be the second-consecutive five-round bout that Ducote has been scheduled for.