Invicta FC 44: A New Era Preview

Emily Ducote and Danielle Taylor pose at the ceremonial weigh-ins.
Emily Ducote and Danielle Taylor have the chance to become an Invicta FC Champion on Saturday night (Dave Mandel/Invicta FC)

All-womens MMA promotion Invicta FC will crown two new champions on Friday night at pay-per-view card “A New Era.” In the main event, Invicta FC veteran Emily Ducote will face UFC alum Danielle Taylor for the promotion’s vacant 115-pound belt.

The fight will headline a card that will take place at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, USA.

Here’s a preview of the event.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (8:00PM EDT / 7:00PM CDT) (AXS TV / Youtube)

Bout 1: Kayla Yontef (0-0) vs. Carlene Chandler (0-0) (Featherweight)

Before Invicta FC returns to PPV for the first time in years, the promotion will hold a four-fight preliminary card that will be viewable on TV or Youtube.

In the first bout of the card, featherweights Kayla Yontef and Carlene Chandler will make their pro debuts.

MMA database Tapology displays an impressive amateur career for Yontef. She has competed since 2018 and has recorded five amateur wins. She also trains out of notable gym Jackson Wink.

There is less information out about Chandler’s amateur career. Tapology has a sole fight listed in her record, which was a second-round loss to Joy Pendell.

Bout 2: Katie Perez (2-1) vs. Natalie Salcedo (0-0) (Atomweight)

The pro debut of Natalie Salcedo will happen on Friday night when she fights Katie Perez.

Salcedo had a flawless amateur record, earning five wins from 2017 to 2019. Among those wins were four finishes.

Perez made her Invicta FC debut in June, losing to Lindsey VanZandt in the opening round of the promotion’s one-night “Phoenix Tournament.” Since the bout was a one-round fight, it did not count towards her pro career.

Before the tournament loss, Perez scored two consecutive submission wins in 2020.

Bout 3: Katie Saull (3-4) vs. Marisa Messer-Belenchia (3-1) (Atomweight)

Both looking for their first official Invicta FC win, atomweights Katie Saull and Marisa Messer-Belenchia will meet on the prelims.

Saull is returning to action after over two years outside of the cage. Her last fight was in August 2019, where she lost her Invicta FC debut to Alyse Anderson.

Messer-Belenchia competed in Invicta FC’s one-night tournament in June, making it to the semi-finals of the bracket. She defeated Paulina Granados early in the bracket but lost to Jessica Delboni in her second matchup.

Bout 4: Caitlin Sammons (3-1) vs. Helen Peralta (3-2) (Flyweight)

Attempting to bounce back from her sole pro loss, Caitlin Sammons will face Helen Peralta in the final prelim of the card.

Sammons has fought in Invicta FC since turning pro in early 2019. After scoring three wins in the promotion, she had her undefeated record snapped in November of last year, getting finished within a round by Stephanie Geltmacher.

Peralta is returning to Invicta FC in the bout. She has fought for them four times in the past, but her appearance on Friday is coming off a split decision loss she took on a CFFC card in May.

Main Card (10:00PM EDT / 9:00PM CDT) (FITE)

Bout 5: Serena DeJesus (3-2) vs. Lauren Mueller (5-3) (Bantamweight)

Returning for the first time after a four-fight UFC run, Lauren Mueller will meet Serena DeJesus in the opening bout of the main card.

Mueller joined the UFC roster in 2017 following a win on “Dana White’s Contender Series.” She kicked off her run in the promotion with a victory, defeating Shana Dobson.

Mueller exited the promotion after going on a three-fight skid from 2018 to 2019.

DeJesus has competed in Invicta FC in the past, although her fight on Friday will be her first appearance for the promotion in over a year. She has attained a two-fight winning streak this year with decision wins on the regional scene.

Bout 6: Jodie Esquibel (6-6) vs. Liz Tracy (5-4) (Strawweight)

Jodie Esquibel will return to Invicta FC with the hopes of snapping a losing streak when fighting Liz Tracy.

Esquibel built her record up in Invicta FC from 2013 to 2017. With a record of six wins and two losses, she moved to UFC in 2017. She had an unsuccessful go in the promotion, losing four consecutive bouts before departing.

Tracy is also looking to snap a recent losing streak, as she has been unsuccessful in her past two Invicta FC bouts.

Bout 7: Brogan Walker-Sanchez (6-2) vs. Emilee King (5-5) (Flyweight)

Two-fight Bellator alum Emilee King will make her Invicta FC debut when facing Brogan Walker-Sanchez.

King fought twice in Bellator last year. Most notably, she handed Ava Knight her first loss in January, submitting her within a round with a rear naked choke. She later lost her second bout in the promotion to Keri Taylor-Melendez.

King has remained quite active this year, already competing twice and earning both a win and a loss. Her last bout was only a month ago, where she was submitted in the third round of a bout by Shannon Goughary.

Walker-Sanchez will be fighting for her first win since 2018. She has lost her last two bouts on scorecards to Pearl Gonzalez and now-UFC fighter Erin Blanchfield.

Bout 8: Lisa Verzosa (6-1) vs. Taneisha Tennant (3-1) (Vacant Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion)

The co-main event will see Invicta FC crown their sixth ever bantamweight champion. Previous champ Julija Stoliarenko vacated the belt just over a year ago to sign with the UFC.

One of the two challengers in Friday’s bout, Lisa Verzosa, was one-half of the title fight that Stoliarenko won. That bloody five-round split decision result didn’t go her way, but she since bounced back with a win over Raquel Canuto.

The win was Stoliarenko’s fifth in the Invicta FC cage.

Tennant last fought in September of last year, losing to Danyelle Wolf on UFC TV show “Dana White’s Contender Series.” She was coming off the momentum of being a winner in Invicta FC’s third “Phoenix Series” tournament, defeating three fighters in one night in early 2020.

Bout 9: Emily Ducote (9-6) vs. Danielle Taylor (11-5) (Vacant Invicta FC Strawweight Championship)

Emily Ducote and Danielle Taylor will fight for the vacant Invicta FC Strawweight Championship in the main event.

Invicta FC’s 115-pound belt was the second ever introduced by the promotion. It first came around in 2013 at Invicta FC 4 and has been possessed by seven fighters so far – more than any other belt in the promotion’s history.

Ducote has challenged for the belt before. She went five-rounds with Kanako Murata in late 2019, losing a split decision after the long battle. Since then the belt has been vacated due to Murata signing with the UFC.

Ducote then returned in July of last year, defeating former UFC fighter Juliana Lima via unanimous decision to get back into the win column.

If Ducote can beat another UFC vet on Friday, she will be crowned a champion.

Taylor fought six times in the UFC, posting a record of two wins and three losses before parting ways with the promotion. Her last fight for the UFC was against Zhang Weili, who went on to win a strawweight belt in 2019.

Taylor is coming back to Invicta FC after one fight outside of the promotion. She fought at XFC’s return card in November, defeating near 30-fight veteran Jessica Aguilar via split decision. The win moved her post-UFC record to two wins and one loss.

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