North America’s premier all-female mixed martial arts organization today announced the card for their July event which is bantamweight heavy as 7 of the 13 bouts in the lineup (5 of 8 main card bouts) are in the 135 pound weight-class. The event will be headlined by a BW clash between veteran Shayna Baszler and rising prospect, Sara McMann.
A silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games in freestyle wrestling, Sara is undefeated since crossing over to MMA in 2010 as an amateur. In just 12 months as a pro, her resume already includes wins over ranked opponents Tonya Evinger and most recently top 10 ranked Strikeforce veterans, Hitomi Akano. McMann is currently scheduled to face Anita Rodriguez on June 16th, and there is no word yet on whether or not McMann will have to pull out of the Battle Xtreme Championship co-featured bout.
Baszler has been a staple on the women’s scene for almost 10 years but has had much trouble finding fights presently. Although she is on a 4 fight win streak (including a win in the semi-finals of Freestyle Cage Fighting’s bantamweight grand prix over Alexis Davis), Baszler has not fought in over a year and a half. This bout is a stiff test for both athletes.
Two Strikeforce veterans Alexis Davis and Hitomi Akano face off in what many believe will be an entertaining ground battle. Both women enter the contest coming off of a loss and at 37 this is a pivotal fight in Akano’s career. Liz Carmouche will make her return to the promotion when she squares off with Kaitlin Young. Young is coming off of a Fight of the Night-worthy performance where she battled Leslie Smith to a draw last April.
Milana Dudieva, who is one of the top 145ers out of Russia drops down to bantamweight for her North American debut. Although she is lesser known in the states, Dudieva looks to make a name for herself when she takes on Amanda Nunes. With only 1 of their combined 14 victories seeing the judges, this fight looks to be exciting no matter where the fight goes as both women are well-versed in both the striking and grappling arts.
Other notable bouts on the card include ranked 145er Kelly Kobold dropping down to 135 to battle Pink Fight’s 132 pound queen, Vanessa Porto. Top 10 ranked Barb Honchak sees action as she faces unbeaten Bethany Marshall. Julia Budd returns to action at featherweight and looks for a win against Elina Nilsson, and rounding off the main card will be Bellator’s Carla Esparza who collides with Sarah Schneider.
At the top of the undercard is an Atomweight affair. #2 rated 105er Kikuyo Ishikawa battles Angelica Chavez who continues to rise up the ranks. Another 105 pound bout of note will see top amateurs Jessica Philipus and Liz McCarthy clash in their pro debut. Invicta Fighting Championships returns to Kansas City on July 28th.
The full fight card for the event is listed below. The lineup is subject to change.
Main Card Bouts:
– Sara McMann vs. Shayna Baszler @Bantamweight
– Alexis Davis vs. Hitomi Akano @Bantamweight
– Liz Carmouche vs. Kaitlin Young @Bantamweight
– Amanda Nunes vs. Milana Dudieva @Bantamweight
– Vanessa Porto vs. Kelly Kobold @Bantamweight
– Barb Honchak vs. Bethany Marshall @Flyweight
– Julia Budd vs. Elina Nilsson @Featherweight
– Carla Esparza vs. Sarah Schneider @Strawweight
– Kikuyo Ishikawa vs. Angelica Chavez @Atomweight
– Sarah Moras vs. Raquel Pennington @Bantamweight
– Jessamyn Duke vs. Suzie Montero @Bantamweight
– Jocelyn Lybarger vs. Cheryl Chan @Flyweight
– Jessica Philippus vs. Liz McCarthy @Atomweight