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UFC signs Invicta FC strawweight champion Kanako Murata

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The UFC has picked up Invicta and Rizin veteran Kanako Murata.

Invicta FC has a new strawweight champion. In the main event Kanako Murata was able to outpoint Emily Ducote in a fun fight to become the second Japanese fighter (after Ayaka Hamasaki) to win a title in the promotion. Dave Mandel / Invicta FC

The UFC has added a new fighter to its strawweight roster; Kanako Murata, last seen lifting the Invicta FC strawweight title. Murata announced she had joined ZUFFA with a message shared on RIZIN’s official twitter account (ht Marcel Dorff).

Murata, 26, has a pro record of 11-1. Her only loss came against former UFC fighter Rin Nakai. That was a flyweight bout back in 2016. Nakai how competes at featherweight.

Murata’s current win streak stands at seven wins with victories over Claire Fryer in Pancrase, Angela Magana at RIZIN and Emily Ducote in Invicta. In recent years Murata has shown off an impressive submission game, with four of her last five fights ending via tap out (with two Von Flue chokes, a rear naked choke and an anaconda choke).

Murata defeated Ducote by split decision at Invicta FC 38 last November to clinch the strawweight title. That was her second appearance for Invicta.

Murata versus Ducote was a fun back and forth affair with Murata scoring multiple takedowns and Ducote looking sharper on the feet.

With Murata leaving the promotion, and her 115 lb belt becoming vacant, the opportunity to claim it will probably fall back to Ducote, who beat Juliana Lima in the main event of Invicta FC 40 last week. A likely scenario is that she would fight the winner of Janaisa Morandin and Montserrat Ruiz, who face each other at the main event of Invicta FC 41 on July 30th.