Invicta FC is set to kick off their 2022 schedule with a rematch. Wednesday night’s card, Invicta FC 45, is scheduled to be headlined by atomweight champ Alesha Zappitella and returning challenger Jessica Delboni.
The fight headlines a free-to-view six-fight card from Kansas City, Kansas, USA.
Follow along throughout the evening for live updates on the event.
A preview of the card can be read here.
Main Card (8:00PM EST / 7:00PM CST) (Youtube)
Bout 1: Sarah Kleczka def. Maria Favela via Decision, Split
Bout 2: Katie Saull def. Tamika Jones via Submission, Armbar (RD 1, 4:30)
Bout 3: Helen Peralta def. Elise Pone via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 4: Hailey Cowan def. Monica Franco via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 3:17)
Bout 5: Ramona Pascual def. Shamir Peshewa via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:00)
Bout 6: Jessica Delboni def. Alesha Zappitella via Decision, Unanimous (Invicta FC Atomweight Championship)
Bout 6: Alesha Zappitella (9-2) vs. Jessica Delboni (11-3) (Invicta FC Atomweight Championship)
Delboni Beats Zappitella In Rematch, Earns Atomweight Belt
Jessica Delboni avenged a loss and became the new Invicta FC Atomweight Champion on Wednesday night, going five rounds against Alesha Zappitella for a unanimous decision win (50-45, 50-45 & 49-46).
Delboni’s win came after a dominant performance that had a good mix of striking and grappling.
While Zappitella was able to take Delboni down at times, Delboni was often able to escape positions or reverse them to take control.
Delboni was the better striker throughout, landing more accurately and frequently than Zappitella.
Delboni previously lost a controversial split decision to Zappitella last year. That fight was Zappitella’s first win since earning the belt over Ashley Cummins in 2020.
Delboni earned a rematch later in the year, defeating three fighters in a one-night “Phoenix Series” tournament.
Bout 5: Ramona Pascual (5-2) vs. Shamir Peshewa (2-0) (Catchweight 150 lbs)
Pascual Stops Peshewa Quickly For U.S. Debut Win
A quick flurry of strikes from Ramona Pascual earned her a quick win in the co-main event, stopping Shamir Peshewa in just a minute with strikes.
Pascual hurt Peshewa with a knee to the body in the first minute. Pascual followed up with more shots to a hurt Peshewa, causing the referee to step in and end the bout.
Pascual, representing Hong Kong, was making her U.S. debut in the fight.
Pascual was originally scheduled to meet Courtney King on this card. She was recently given Peshewa as a new short-notice opponent.
Peshewa took the fight on short notice. She weighed in three-and-a-half pounds over the 150-pound catchweight limit for this fight.
Bout 4: Monica Franco (2-0) vs. Hailey Cowan (5-2) (Bantamweight)
Cowan Submits Franco In Invicta FC Debut
Hailey Cowan won her Invicta FC debut on Wednesday night, submitting Monica Franco in the second round with a rear naked choke.
The submission came after a strong showing from Cowan that showed her grappling and striking skills. The open scoring being utilized for the event showed that Cowan had won the first round before the finish.
Cowan was fighting in Invicta FC for the first time after a seven-fight run in LFA. She was coming off a loss, which she took back in September 2020.
After the fight, Cowan called for a bout at UFC 271 next month.
Franco entered Wednesday with an undefeated record of two wins. One of the fights came in early 2020 when she beat Kristina Pettigrew.
Bout 3: Helen Peralta (4-2) vs. Elise Pone (1-0) (Flyweight)
Peralta Picks Up Second Win At Flyweight
Helen Peralta handed Elise Pone her first pro loss, putting together a dominant win on scorecards (30-25, 30-25 & 30-26).
Peralta frequently did damage in clinch positions, landing with dozens of punches that Pone wasn’t able to stop.
Peralta scored a knockdown early in the final round, connecting with a right cross that brought Pone to the ground briefly. The work she did from these positions quickly gave her a solid lead early on.
Peralta now has two consecutive wins. She won her flyweight debut in August, defeating Caitlin Sammons on scorecards.
Pone won her MMA debut on an Invicta FC card in May last year, beating Chrissy Yandolli.
Bout 2: Katie Saull (3-5) vs. Tamika Jones (1-0) (Atomweight)
Saull Ends Losing Streak With Armbar Sub
Katie Saull spoiled the Invicta FC debut of Tamika Jones on Wednesday night, closing out a dominant round with an armbar submission.
Saull showcased her sharp boxing in the first round before taking Jones down. Saull attempted a rear naked choke while on the back, but lost the position after Jones turned around and took full guard.
Saull was able to explode into an armbar attempt while on her back, causing Jones to tap out in the final minute of the round.
Saull had lost three consecutive fights before Wednesday, with two of the appearances being close split decision results.
Jones, a former wrestler, was coming off a successful pro debut in December.
Bout 1: Maria Favela (2-1) vs. Sarah Kleczka (2-3) (Bantamweight)
Kleczka Ends Losing Streak With Split Decision Win
Sarah Kleczka evened her pro record to open the main card, defeating Maria Favela via split decision after a three-round battle (29-28 Favela, 29-28 Kleczka & 29-28 Klezcka).
Kleczka took the win after a fight that was strictly a stand-up battle.
Favela won the first round of the fight, landing a higher volume of punches in the opening frame. Kleczka upped her output in the second and third rounds, making it a close fight and giving her enough rounds to win the fight.
Kleczka broke a three-fight losing streak in the appearance, earning her first win since 2018.
Favela is now on a two-fight skid. She missed weight for the fight, coming in two-and-a-half pounds over the bantamweight limit on Tuesday.