This Saturday, the all women's MMA promotion Invicta FC will return to UStream, but they will also make the television PPV debut with a stacked event. Invicta FC 6 will be headlined by their inaugural Featherweight (145 lb) Championship match between two former Strikeforce champions: the former Women's Featherweight champion Cris "Cyborg" Justino (11-1) and the former Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Champion Marloes Coenen (21-5).
This is actually a rematch between these two, as they met at Strikeforce: Miami in January of 2010. At the time, Cyborg was a Muay Thai wrecking machine riding an eight fight winning streak, using the famously physical Chute Boxe style to batter opponents. Marloes Coenen was a submission fighter who many thought would test Cyborg's still developing ground game. In their first fight, Coenen actually stood and struck with Cyborg for a time and landed some solid punches, but she didn't have the power to earn Cyborg's respect on the feet. Both on the feet and the ground Cyborg physically bullied Coenen and wore her down. By the third round Coenen had little energy left and Cyborg finished her with ground strikes.
Things have changed a bit since then. Cyborg was busted for steroid use, but in her return to action in April of this year, she looked like her old self as she dominated Fiona Muxlow. Coenen dropped to Bantamweight, a division with significantly more star-power and became Champion there for a time. Coenen is also coming off an armbar win over Fiona Muxlow in December. While this fight could take a turn if Coenen is able to take Cyborg down, it is far more likely that Cyborg repeats her performance in the first fight.
Just before the main event, a Strawweight title eliminator between two great prospects, Ayaka Hamasaki (9-0) and Claudia Gadelha (9-0). Hailing from Japan, Hamasaki practiced Judo for eight years before quitting after college and taking an office job. She got into MMA to help stay in shape and experienced enough success to go professional, the 31-year-old has been fighting since 2009. Gadelha, by contrast, is only 24, and fights out of elite Brazilian fight camp Nova Uniao. Both fighters are grapplers. Hamasaki's Judo background gives her a strong top position and heavy hips, but she does rely more on muscle than technique when comes to submissions. Gadelha is also a top-position grappler. She tends to muscle a little on takedowns, but once on the ground she has good and aggressive grappling. This fight likely goes to the younger Gadleha, but a grinding, top position win from Hamasaki isn't out the question.
Next up Sarah D'Alelio (7-3) takes on Lauren Taylor (6-0). Both are grapplers from a jiu jitsu background, and both prefer being in top position and throwing down strikes. Taylor showed amazing grit and heart in her last fight as she battled back against Kaitlin Young, and it was all based around Taylor getting the takedowns. D'Alelio is a strong wrestler and will likely be the one to dictate where this fight takes place, and get a decision win as the result.
In what is sure to be an exciting match, Leslie Smith from Cesar Gracie's fight team takes on Jennifer Maia of Chute Boxe. While some fans might not be thrilled to see Maia after her cage clinching clinic against Zolia Frausto Gurgel, Smith brings a Diaz like attitude into the cage. She is willing to fight no matter where the fight takes her, and she will throw hands any chance she gets. She took Sarah Kaufman down to the wire last time, and I don't think Maia will so easily control the distance in this fight. Smith's aggression and pace will get the better of Maia, and Smith will win by stoppage.
Former Atomweight champion Jessica Penne (10-2) looks to bounce back from her championship loss to Michelle Waterson against Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (8-6). This is a bounce back fight for Penne. She has a huge grappling edge in this fight and should be able to submit Rivera-Calanoc.
This is far from the majority of the action on this card. Scottish striker Joanne Calderwood (6-0) takes on Team Jackson grappling-based fighter Norma Rueda Center (2-0). Twitter celeb and former title challenger Bec Hyatt and Japanese fighter Mizuki Inoue (5-1) will face each other. Girlfriend of Pat Barry and undefeated prospect Rose Namajunas (2-0) returns after her flying armbar win to face Tecia Torres (2-0). And prospect Ashley Cummins (3-1) looks to bounce back from a body shot knockout loss against Emily Kagan (2-1).
Full Fight Card:
Marloes Coenen vs Cris Cyborg [Featherweight Title Fight]
Claudia Gadelha vs Ayaka Hamasaki
Sarah D'Alelio vs Lauren Taylor
Leslie Smith vs Jennifer Maia
Jessica Penne vs Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc
Joanne Calderwood vs Norma Rueda Center
Bec Hyatt vs Mizuki Inoue
Miriam Nakamoto vs Duda Yankovich
Rose Namajunas vs Tecia Torres
Ediane Gomes vs Charmaine Tweet
Ashley Cummins vs Emily Kagan
Mollie Estes vs Veronica Rothenhausler
Cassie Robb vs Livia Von Plettenberg