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Invicta FC 26: Maia vs Niedzwiedz - Preview and weigh-in video

The “action first“ motto is alive and well as Invicta FC returns to Kansas City.

Maia-Modafferi (Esther Lin, Invicta FC)

Invicta FC sets its tent up for another rodeo in their familiar stomping grounds to deliver a title fight and an action-centered event on Friday night.

The top of the card features the return of the always-exciting flyweight champion Jennifer Maia (14-4-1), who faces rising Polish contender Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (10-0) with the title on the line. Niedzwiedz has steadily improved her ability to strike at range and mix up her offense, along with a possessing a great gas tank and crafty grappling/submission defense. This will be Maia’s first fight since her title defense over current UFC talent Roxanne Modafferi in September of last year. As for Niedzwiedz, she’s currently beating better and better opposition, having defeated Christine Stanley, Samara Santos and Vanessa Porto - all since 2016.

The co-main event is the anticipated Invicta debut of formidable BJJ black belt and world champion Mackenzie Dern (4-0), who is taking on battle-tested Brazilian Kaline Medeiros (8-5). Medeiros has wins over Aline Serio, Sarah Payant, Brigitte Narcisse and Stephanie Eggink, as well as losses to Marianna Kheyfets, Peggy Morgan and Angela Hill. Dern holds a win over current UFC fighter Montana De La Rosa in what is sure to be a surefire submission of the year candidate.

In other bouts, former title challenger Vanessa Porto (18-8) takes on former UFC talent Milana Dudieva (11-6), while Amy Montenegro (8-2) takes on Brazilian newcomer and grappling phenom Virna Jandiroba (11-0). Former atomweight title challenger Amber Brown (6-4) puts her hard-nosed grappling style to the test against slick Texas product Tessa Simpson (5-2). And fearsome Mexican Karina Rodriguez (5-2) will be fighting against powerhouse kickboxer Christine Ferea (1-1).

Earlier in the card, Brazil vs Brazil will be the theme when Janaisa Morandin (9-1) faces Kinberly Novaes (9-3). Morandin is coming off a rough fight against former strawweight champion Livia Renata Souza, while Novaes finally makes her stateside debut after wins over Larissa Ribeiro and UFC fighter Jessica Andrade. Novaes has losses against former Invicta champion Herica Tiburcio and current UFC fighters Juliana Lima as well as Syuri Kondo.

Finally, the card starts off with two fighters making their professional debut as Kay Hansen (1-0 amateur) faces off against Emilee Prince (2-3 amateur).

Four fighters missed weight for this event, forfeiting portions of their purse as a result. This has led to a handful of fights to be rearranged to be catchweight bouts.

You can check out the weigh-ins below (please use link here if video player is not working.)

Jennifer Maia (123.3) vs Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (124.6) - Flyweight championship fight

Mackenzie Dern (115.9) vs Kaline Medeiros (115.8) - Strawweight

Janaisa Morandin (115.4) vs Kinberly Tanaka Novaes (121.8) - Catchweight

Milana Dudieva (125.6) vs Vanessa Porto (127.6) - Catchweight

Virna Jandiroba (114.3) vs Amy Montenegro (117.6) - Catchweight

Tessa Simpson (105.4) vs Amber Brown (106.3) - Catchweight

Christine Ferea (125.7) vs Karina Rodriguez (124.7) - Flyweight

Kay Hansen (114.4) vs Emilee Prince (115.5) - Strawweight

Invicta FC 26 will be live from the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, MO, and will be streaming live via UFC Fight Pass starting at 8:00pm EST.