Invicta FC is bringing back its Phoenix Tournament on June 11. This time it will determine the number one contender for the Invicta FC atomweight title, which is currently held by Alesha Zappitella.
The Phoenix Tournament already has a few features that make it stand out from the pack. The quarterfinals of the one-night tourney will be just one round fights, due to the Kansas Commission’s restrictions on how many rounds an MMA fighter can fight in one night. And the semifinal and final fights will benefit from open scoring.
And now Invicta has added a new novelty to the fray - fan voting.
According to a press release the promotion is handing over match-making duties, for the quarterfinals, to the fans.
“For the first time in MMA history, online fan voting will determine the match-ups for the quarterfinal stage of the tournament,” read the release. “In the previous three Phoenix events, a random draw was used to determine the fighter pairings.”
In the release Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp is quoted as saying: “Invicta continues to innovate with the introduction of a fan-matchmaking element for our next Phoenix Tournament. Playing fantasy matchmaker is a big part of MMA fandom, and we’re giving fans the chance to weigh-in on the opening round of a one-night tournament that will crown the new No. 1 Invicta atomweight contender.”
The field of contenders in this tournament are:
- Jéssica Delboni (10-3)
- Jillian DeCoursey (4-3)
- Katie Perez (2-1)
- Marisa Messer-Belenchia (3-1)
- Lindsey VanZandt (7-4)
- Linda Mihalec (2-1)
- Paulina Granados (4-4)
- Tabatha Watkins (3-3)
To be apart of the fan voting you need to visit the Phoenix Tournament Voting Portal. There you can vote on all the different combinations of quarterfinal match-ups. There is no limit to how many times you can vote. Voting is open now and will remain open until an hour before the ceremonial weigh-ins on June 10.
For the semifinals, the fighter who scored the fastest finish in the quarterfinals will get to play match-maker and choose their opponent, thus determining the other semi-final. If there are no finishes in the quarterfinals the semifinals will be determined by a random draw.
In their press release Invicta included a passage regarding whether or not the promotion was concerned about fighters or their camps trying to influence the vote.
“Every athlete who accepts an invitation to compete in a Phoenix Tournament is agreeing to fight three times in one night – that is absolute proof these women will fight anyone, short notice or not,” read the release. “Even if they have a preferred opponent in the quarterfinals, there’s no way to influence who wins the fights and makes it to the semifinals and, ultimately, the final. The tournament winner will have to beat three opponents on June 11.”
Invicta FC Phoenix Tournament: Atomweights airs on U.S. cable network AXS TV, the Fight Network in Canada and also streams worldwide (for free) on Invicta FC’s YouTube Channel.