Invicta FC will kick off their 2022 schedule with a rematch, as atomweight champion Alesha Zappitella will face Jessica Delboni on January 12th, per a press release issued Wednesday.
The title fight will headline Invicta FC 45, which is scheduled to go down behind closed doors in Kansas City, Kansas, USA.
Delboni first challenged Zappitella in May, fighting to a split decision result in the end. While the close nature of their first fight could have elicited a rematch itself, Delboni fought her way shot at Zappitella by winning a one-night eight-woman tournament in June.
Delboni’s win in the final bout of the bracket came against Bellator alum Lindsey VanZandt.
The title fight earlier this year was Zappitella’s first title defense. She earned the belt in September 2020, securing a fourth-round submission win against Ashley Cummins to take the then-vacant belt.
A win early next year would mark Zappitella’s fifth consecutive victory in the Invicta FC cage.
Five-Fight Card Includes UFC Alum
The entire five-fight lineup that Invicta FC announced Wednesday includes many recognizable names.
Former UFC fighter Lauren Mueller will return in the co-main event, trying to break an extensive losing streak when facing rising bantamweight Claire Guthrie. Mueller lost her return earlier in the year, dropping a split decision to Serena DeJesus.
Former PFL fighter Morgan Frier will make her Invicta FC debut on the card, facing Courtney King in a rare featherweight bout.
Undefeated Monica Franco will look to score her third pro win when returning against Hailey Cowan.
Making her first appearance since wrapping up a six-fight UFC run, Emily Whitmire will meet former CFFC title challenger Hilarie Rose.
Bout 5: Alesha Zappitella (9-2) vs. Jessica Delboni (11-3) (Invicta FC Atomweight Championship)
Bout 4: Claire Guthrie (3-1) vs. Lauren Mueller (5-4) (Bantamweight)
Bout 3: Courtney King (4-2) vs. Morgan Frier (4-3) (Featherweight)
Bout 2: Monica Franco (2-0) vs. Hailey Cowan (5-2) (Bantamweight)
Bout 1: Hilarie Rose (5-3) vs. Emily Whitmire (4-5) (Strawweight)