Invicta’s 24th event takes place tonight (Saturday, July 15th) with a 7-fight card largely focused on rising talent.
This card continues the custom we’ve seen over the last year of great matchups as well as excellent scouting from the international scene. The card may not have a ton of major star power, but that’s largely due to a lot of shuffling at the top and a cancelled bout. As you may remember, Invicta featherweight champion was set to defend her title against Helena Kolesnyk prior to being signed to the UFC to take on Cristiane Justino. After personal issues caused Anderson to bow out of the fight, Invicta bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger was also signed to the UFC to replace Anderson. Now, Kolesnyk gets bumped down on the card which will be headlined by former UFC talent Milana Dudieva (11-5) taking on Italian newcomer Mara Romero Borella (10-4).
Borella is an Italian fighter training mostly out of American Top Team in Florida and has a strong kickboxing background. Borella’s also spry and capable on the ground, but excels in her accurate striking and knees from the clinch. She has losses at the hands of Stephanie Egger, Jin Tang and former UFC fighter Anna Elmose, and also wins over Finnish fighter Suvi Salmimies and current Bellator fighter Lena Ovchynnikova. She’ll be coming into this fight with a five-fight win streak.
Dudieva will be coming off her release from the UFC after a 1-2 run in that organization. Dudieva has a crafty ground game and sneaky submission setups, along with a tendency to get into brawls standing. Dudieva holds a TKO win over British talent Danielle West and defeated former UFC fighter Sheila Gaff by decision.
The card also features the return of standout Jinh Yu Frey (5-2) taking on Ashley Cummins (5-3). This will be the first fight for Frey since her controversial bout against atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki last September. After early career wins against Sofia Bagherdai and Stephanie Frausto, Cummins had been on a three fight losing skid before joining The Ultimate Fighter. She went on to rack up back to back wins against Nicole Smith in Bellator and former title challenger Amber Brown at Invicta 22 this past March. The winner could very well be in line for the title, and both can hit pretty hard for their weight class.
Ukranian fighter Helena Kolesnyk (5-0) will be taking on hard-nosed American Pam Sorenson (5-2), while Mexico’s Karina Rodriguez (4-2) fights Brazilian Barbara Acioly (4-0). Submission specialists Miranda Maverick (2-0) and Gabby Romero (2-1) face off, and Team Mjölnir’s Sunna Davidsdottir (2-0) fights Missouri’s own Kelly D’Angelo (2-0).
Action fighter Felicia Spencer (2-0) returns to Invicta to take on newcomer Amy Coleman (2-1). The bout that was to kick off the event was Mallory Martin (1-2) fighting hard-hitting wrestler Tiffany Masters (2-0), which was cancelled at the last minute. It should also be noted that a planned fight between Raquel Pa’aluhi and former bantamweight title challenger Yana Kunitskaya was moved to Invicta’s next event on August 31st in what is now a fight for the bantamweight title. That fight was pulled from this card due to an injury to Kunitskaya.