Invicta FC will be in Kansas City, Missouri this Friday and in the main event Jessica Penne will defend her Atomweight championship for the first time against and Michelle Waterson. The card features a fair amount of star power with Cristiane Santos also on the card, along with Sarah Kaufman and Zoila Frausto Gurgel. The card will be a $9.99 PPV available on UStream, the promotions second try at a PPV.
Penne is a grappling powerhouse, training out of Kings MMA and Checkmat Jiu Jitsu, one of sport BJJ's top teams. On the ground she uses a wonderful combination of technique and flexibility to baffle opponents, take position and then submit them. On the feet Penne is very tall and throws a very rangy jab, but her stand up is still very rudimentary. She is very hittable at range, but she closes distance reasonably well, throws a few knees in the clinch and then goes for takedowns. Penne is also adapt at catching kicks for takedowns.
While Waterson has the nickname "The Karate Hottie" her best fighting often comes when she is grappling. She has a highly aggressive guard and top game, constantly looking for submissions and is fond of throwing up armbars, using her long, flexible legs to leverage the lock. Waterson's extensive background in karate does make her comfortable at range, able to throw punches and kicks with ease, but in the past she has struggled with opponents who charge into clinch.
While Waterson will have advantage on the feet and her guard is very dangerous, her grappling ability drops off once her guard is passed. She gives up mount and her back at times and against Penne that is serious problem. I'll take Penne by Decision.
Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos is back for the first time since being suspended for steroids at the end of 2011 during a Strikeforce event. It has been a long time away from active competition and nobody is quite sure how the time off is going to impact the former Champion. She'll be fighting Fiona Muxlow, a 35-year-old Australian Mixed Martial Artist. Primarily a grappler, Muxlow likely will be over matched physically in this match and, barring serious depreciation on Cyborg's part, it should be a vintage performance by the former Strikeforce Champion.
Invicta will also be crowning their first Strawweight Champion with a match between Miltech Fighting System's Barb Honchak, a strong wrestler, and Brazilian brawler Vanessa Porto. While Honchak brings punishing top position to the table, Porto is larger and fairly well rounded with good takedown defense. This fight might hit the mat a few times, but it seems more likely Porto makes an impact on Honchak before the final bell. I'll take Porto by stoppage.
Also on the card former Strikeforce title challenger Sarah Kaufman returns for the first time since her armbar loss to Ronda Rousey in August of last year. Kaufman takes on Cesar Gracie stand out Leslie Smith, a brawler who loves engaging on the feet and on the ground.
Zoila Frausto Gurgel, wife of former UFC and Strikeforce star Jorge Gurgel, faces off with Chute Boxe product Jennifer Maia. Gurgel complied an impressive 6-1 record in Bellator with notable wins over Jessica Aguilar, Megumi Fujii, and Jessica Penne, and is one of the more underrated women's fighters in the sport.
Also Bec Hyatt is back in action after headlining the last Invicta card where she put a spirited resistance to the wrestling attack of Carla Esparza. And kicking off the undercard is Rose Namajunas, girlfriend of Pat Barry, who will be cornering her again.
For fans of WMMA this is a must watch event and for the average MMA fan looking for something to do on a Friday night, Invicta FC cards have never failed to deliver.