Invicta FC is set to crown their new atomweight champion on Thursday night at Invicta FC 42. Fighting for the belt is Ashley Cummins and Alesha Zappitella, who headline a five-fight card from Kansas City, Kansas, USA. Follow along throughout the evening for live updates.
Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 8:00PM CDT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 5: Ashley Cummins (7-5) vs. Alesha Zappitella (7-2) (Vacant Invicta FC Atomweight Championship)
Zappitella Captures Belt With Von Flue Choke
Surviving a guillotine choke, Alesha Zappitella submitted Ashley Cummins with a von flue choke in the fourth round to become the new Invicta FC Atomweight Champion.
The finish saw Zappitella put in a von flue choke while Cummins threatened with a choke from the bottom position on the ground. Cummins tapped out from the choke eventually.
“Everything feels so surreal. This is a fight I’ve been asking for for so long,” said Zappitella in her post-fight interview, tearing up over her victory.
Cummins had the better first two rounds, out-striking Zappitella and keeping the fight on the feet. Zappitella got stunned in the first round by a right hand that landed by Cummins.
Zappitella started to take the fight into her own hands in the third round, controlling Cummins on the ground.
Zappitella thanked her parents in her post-fight interview.
“They gave every single thing they could to make sure that me and my brother had every opportunity,” said Zappitella in her post-fight interview. She also thanked Tabatha Watkins, who has trained with her for her past three fight camps.
Cummins fought for the atomweight belt earlier in the year, although she did not capture the belt after losing to Jinh Yu Frey via decision. Frey, the former champion, is now a part of the UFC’s strawweight division.
Bout 4: Lisa Verzosa (5-1) vs. Raquel Canuto (6-6) (Bantamweight)
Verzosa Gets Back In Win Column With Victory Against Canuto
Bouncing back from a title shot loss earlier in the year, Lisa Verzosa won a split decision against Raquel Canuto. The striking battle saw Verzosa land clean punches and deny takedown attempts from Canuto.
While Canuto lost the fight, she had a strong finish, coming forward with punches before the fight ran out of time.
Verzosa’s previous fight was a five-round loss to Julija Stoliarenko for the Invicta Bantamweight Championship. The fight is known by many for being an extremely bloody fight.
Canuto returned to action in the fight, with her most recent fight before being a 2017 loss to now-UFC fighter Yana Kunitskaya.
Bout 3: Jessica Delboni (9-2) vs. Herica Tiburcio (11-4) (Strawweight)
Delboni Wins Over Returning Tiburcio
A almost pure striking matchup saw Jessica Delboni pick up a decision win over Herica Tiburcio. The fight saw Delboni as the more active and controlling striker throughout.
The win saw Delboni bounce back from an October loss to Julia Polastri on a Shooto Brasil card.
After the fight, Delboni mentioned that she plans to go back down to atomweight, the weight class which she competed in the last time she fought on an Invicta FC card.
The fight was Tiburcio’s return to the cage, with her last fight being a win in 2017.
Bout 2: Victoria Leonardo (6-2) vs. Liz Tracy (5-3) (Flyweight)
Leonardo Bounces Back With Decision Victory Against Tracy
A close scorecard battle went to Victoria Leonardo, who defeated fellow flyweight Liz Tracy. The fight saw Leonardo bounce back from a head kick loss to Erin Blanchfield.
The fight was mostly on the feet, with both fighters landing a high frequency of punches.
Leonardo was able to get a takedown in the second round, although she lost the position after Tracy attempted a heel hook from the bottom.
“I feel like my wrestling is part of what got me this win,” said Leonardo in her post-fight interview.
Leonardo called for a title shot after the fight.
Bout 1: Jennifer Chieng (1-0) vs. Helen Peralta (2-1) (Catchweight 120 lbs)
Short-Notice Figher Peralta Wins Over Chieng
Short-notice opponent Helen Peralta picked up a win to start the card, defeating Jennifer Chieng. Peralta controlled the fight in the clinch, keeping Chieng against the cage for the majority of the 15-minute battle.
Peralta said she was tired from the weight cut for the fight, noting that she had to cut down from 138 pounds from Monday.
“I felt my arms get really heavy [early in the fight], and I knew if I threw punches I probably was going to gas out,” said Peralta in this post-fight interview.
Peralta took the bout on a day’s notice, replacing Chieng’s original opponent, Flore Hani.
While Peralta last competed in MMA back in 2018, she took two bare-knuckle boxing bouts in 2019, winning both matchups.
Chieng’s previous MMA fight was in 2018, defeating Jessica Ruiz on a Bellator card.
Card Sees Slight Changes
The status of two fights on the card were changed on Wednesday night due to positive COVID-19 tests. Flore Hani was pulled from her bout against Jennifer Chieng, although Helen Peralta will replace her in the fight. Peralta and Chieng will fight at a catchweight of 120-pounds.
A bout between Auttumn Norton and Brittney Cloudy was removed from the card.
Due to the changes, the card’s start time has been moved by an hour (9:00PM EDT).