Invicta FC 42: Cummins vs. Zappitella Preview

Women’s MMA promotion Invicta FC returns on Thursday night with the goal being to crown a new atomweight champion. Headlining their six-fight card is a matchup between atomweights Ashley Cummins and Alesha Zappitella. Here’s a preview of the show, which is scheduled to take place from the Police Athletic League in Kansas City, Kansas, USA.

Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 7:00PM CDT) (UFC Fight Pass)

Bout 1: Jennifer Chieng (1-0) vs. Flore Hani (2-1) (Flyweight)

The main card will kick off with a flyweight fight which sees Jennifer Chieng return against Flore Hani. Chieng’s sole pro fight came in 2018, where she defeated Jessica Ruiz on a Bellator card. Hani will return after a win last November, getting a decision victory over Kathy Solorzano. Hani has appeared on an Invicta card before, losing in the first round of a one-night tournament to Chantel Coates, going to decision after one round.

Bout 2: Auttumn Norton (1-1) vs. Brittney Cloudy (2-2) (Bantamweight)

A bantamweight bout between Auttumn Norton and Brittney Cloudy is also planned for the main card. Norton’s last fight was her first win, defeating Shaianna Rincon on an Invicta FC card last November. Cloudy will aim to bounce back from a loss on the card, as she was not favoured in a split decision against Hailey Cowan on an LFA card last March.

Bout 3: Victoria Leonardo (6-2) vs. Liz Tracy (5-3) (Flyweight)

Both looking to bounce back from a loss, Victoria Leonardo and Liz Tracy will compete on the card. Leonardo last fought in February, losing in the second round to Erin Blanchfield via a head kick knockout. She lost a one-round fight before then as part of the promotion’s one-night tournament last September.

That night was the same one where Tracy got her last loss, losing a decision to DeAnna Bennett. Her previous fight, a late 2018 battle, saw her lose to then-undefeated Stephanie Geltmacher.

Bout 4: Jessica Delboni (9-2) vs. Herica Tiburcio (11-4) (Strawweight)

After a layoff of more than three years from MMA, Herica Tiburcio will return on Thursday night against Jessica Delboni. Tiburcio fought five times in Invicta previously, with a notable win coming against UFC fighter Michelle Waterson in 2014. Her last fight was in May of 2017, dropping a split decision to Tessa Simpson.

Delboni has fought once before for Invicta, winning a split decision over Lindsey VanZant in August of 2019. She lost her last bout, being finished by Julia Polastri with strikes on a Shooto Brasil card last October.

Bout 5: Lisa Verzosa (5-1) vs. Raquel Canuto (6-6) (Bantamweight)

Returning after a bloody championship fight last March, Lisa Verzosa will fight Raquel Canuto in the co-main event of Thursday’s show. Verzosa’s last fight was in March, where she lost a five-round fight to Julija Stoliarenko, who is now part of the UFC roster. The five-round battle was noted as a violent and especially bloody meeting.

Verzosa has five previous wins from 2018 to 2019, four of which came from Invicta FC.

Canuto will be making her return to Invicta FC after an absence from MMA. She last fought in 2017, losing a decision to now-UFC fighter Yana Kunitskaya. Canuto’s past in MMA involves facing many big names, including Raquel Pennington and current UFC Bantamweight and Featherweight Champion Amanda Nunes.

Bout 6: Ashley Cummins (7-5) vs. Alesha Zappitella (7-2) (Vacant Invicta FC Atomweight Championship)

In the main event of the evening, Ashley Cummins and Alesha Zappitella will face off to determine the sixth Invicta FC Atomweight Champion. The previous champion, Jinh Yu Frey, vacated her belt last February after not making weight for a championship bout. Frey is now a member of the UFC.

Cummins, a former Bellator fighter and member of “The Ultimate Fighter” cast, was the opponent for Frey last February. Losing her bout, Cummins went 25 minutes with Frey. Prior to the loss, Cummins had two consecutive wins under the Invicta FC banner.

Zappitella’s last fight was in July, putting on a performance over Lindsey VanZant that earned her a split decision victory. The win, along with her February victory over Kelly D’Angelo, made Zappitella one of the clear cut next names to challenge for a belt in the promotion. She will get that opportunity for the first time on Thursday.

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