Invicta FC isn’t slowing down, adapting their events to the current global situation and making the most of the situation.
This week, it’s mostly flyweights in action. The main event is still a non-title strawweight fight, and as usual, they pairings are very, very interesting and lend themselves to some good action.
So we’ll start with the main event, in which Brazilian Janaisa Morandin (10-3) faces Mexico’s former XFL champ Montserrat Ruiz (8-1). Morandin has steadily improved her all-around game with tenacity and grit in her striking, but that’s also lead to her getting a bit too loose in some of those exchanges. She mostly handles the damage well, but has also lost three of her last four and is looking to get back on the winning track. It’s worth noting that two of those losses were to former champs Renata Souza and Virna Jandiroba, whom both moved on to the UFC. The third was to former Bellator talent Emily Ducote, who could realistically be just a fight away from a title fight.
Ruiz has fairly basic but limited boxing, yet has an aggressive takedown game against the cage with some great head and arm throws. Her pace and pressure with ground strikes is impressive, and she throws very hard counters. Her entries end up getting her take more punches than necessary, and she compensates for that by blitzing opponents to land harder with more volume despite not having the best accuracy.
Brogan Walker-Sanchez (6-1) came into Invicta on a good wave at 4-0 and winning her first two Invicta bouts against Cheri Muraski and Miranda Maverick. She dropped a decision in a good effort against former UFC fighter Pearl Gonzalez. She’ll be up against Erin Blanchfield, a fellow BJJ ace that has been comfortable with letting her striking go to great effect. Her lone professional loss was a split decision to current UFC fighter Tracy Cortez, and she’s won two straight since.
Former Invicta matchmaker Kaitlin Young got the itch to get back into the fight game around two years ago, and she’s making the most of it. After a three-fight run with wins over Reina Miura, Sarah Patterson and Faith McMah, her momentum was halted after taking on powerhouse Pam Sorenson last August. She’ll make an attempt to bounce back from that decision loss against 5-1 Latoya Walker, another tall striker coming back to MMA after a long hiatus. While her last MMA bout was a loss to Charmaine Tweet in 2016, she holds wins over Peggy Morgan, Brittney Elkin and Gabrielle Holloway.
Finally, former LFA talent Itzel Esquivel is back in action to meet fireplug Kelly D’Angelo, and Caitlin Sammons and Claire Guthrie duke it out in a prospect duel between certified finishers. Natalya Speece (3-1, 1 no contest) and Alexa Culp (3-0 amateur) make their pro debuts against each other to start the card off.
Amid the current pandemic, Invicta has taken precautions with pre-fight testing. All fighters have tested negative prior to the event.
Weigh-in results are as follows:
Janaisa Morandin (116.9)* vs. Montserrat Ruiz (114) - Strawweight
Erin Blanchfield (125.5) vs. Brogan Sanchez (125.5) - Flyweight
Kaitlin Young (145.9) vs. Latoya Walker (144) - Featherweight
Kelly D’Angelo (115.7) vs. Itzel Esquivel (114.9) - Strawweight
Caitlin Sammons (124.6) vs. Claire Guthrie (125.9) - Flyweight
Natalya Speece (125.1) vs. Alexa Culp (124.8) - Flyweight
**Morandin missed weight and forfeits 25% of her purse.
Invicta FC 41 starts this Thursday night at 8:00pm EST, streaming live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.