Hope you had room for more fights.
While the big two put up events this weekend that are historic in their own way, Invicta returns to the Phoenix Rising tournament format - a one-night elimination to settle the hierarchy in the flyweight division.
As a one-night tournament with limitations on ring time per night, the format will be a quarterfinal and semifinal fights will be one five-round fight each, with the final being a full three round fight, five minutes apiece.
Furthermore, none of the tournament fights were previously set up. A drawing took place at the weigh-ins to determine who would be fighting who in the opening round. The winner gets bragging rights in the division and a tournament almost as tall as founder and president Shannon Knapp herself.
All eight tournament fighters have made weight for tomorrow's event! Who will emerge victorious? Tune in to witness #PhoenixSeries2 LIVE on @ufcfightpass at 8/7c! pic.twitter.com/QmQoBkBCjO— Invicta FC (@InvictaFights) September 6, 2019
It’s pretty nice. Good luck getting through TSA with it, though.
The first thing that stands out is the variety in styles and experience here. It adds unpredictability and adds layers of interest as the night goes on. The previous winner, Brianna Van Buren, was promptly snatched up by the UFC after putting on a wild night of performances, and there’s a chance for something special like that to happen here again.
As far as the field is concerned, we do have some fighters familiar to the Invicta fold. Former UFC fighters DeAnna Bennett (10-5, 1 draw) and Milana Dudieva (12-8) are in, hoping to use their veteran credentials to outwork some of the less-traveled talent.
Shanna Young (6-2) was on Dana White’s Contender Series this summer, suffering a decision loss. She hopes to rebound and meets Finland’s Maiju Soutama (8-4) in the opening round. Miranda Maverick (5-2) suffered a decision win in February against DeAnna Bennett, but was able to secure a submission win in July in Shogun Fights. Her grappling approach and toughness will be a requirement against a very game Victoria Leonardo (6-1), coming into this fight on a three win streak.
BJJ standout Kay Hansen (4-3) welcomes a very dogged and determined Carolina Jimenez (6-0) to the Invicta cage in a reserve bout.
Chantel Coates (1-1) faces Flore Hani (1-1), but will be ineligible to be a tournament reservist with a win due to missing weight.
Finally, two non-tournament fights will be on the card with Josee Storts (2-1 amateur, 1-0 pro) against Helen Lucero (3-2 amateur, pro debut), and Mariya Agapova (6-1) against Alexa Conners (5-3).
Weigh-ins and initial bout drawings are available here (or here if not visible on page)
Fight card after the drawing is as follows:
Alexa Conners (125.8) vs Mariya Agapova (125.7) - Flyweight
Josee Storts (125.9) vs Helen Lucero (125.1) - Flyweight
Carolina Jimenez (124.5) vs Kay Hansen (125.5) - Flyweight tournament reserve bout
Chantel Coates (129**) vs Flore Hani (124.7) - Flyweight tournament reserve bout
Daiana Torquato (125.4) vs Milana Dudieva (125.9) - Flyweight tournament bout
Liz Tracy (125.7) vs DeAnna Bennett (125.8) - Flyweight tournament bout
Miranda Maverick (125.9) vs Victoria Leonardo (126) - Flyweight tournament bout
Maiju Suotama (123.6) vs Shanna Young (126) - Flyweight tournament bout
Invicta FC: Phoenix Rising Series II starts this Friday, September 6th at 8:00pm EST. As usual, this event will stream live exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.