Invicta Fighting Championships announced today the lineup for it’s October 6th fight card. The event boasts a 13 fight card that is headlined by an atomweight title bout between #1 ranked Naho Sugiyama and six year veteran of the sport, Jessica Penne. Other moves of note include a bantamweight bout between Shayna Baszler and Sarah D’Alelio, a flyweight contest pits Barb Honchak against former Pink Fight 132 pound champion Vanessa Porto, as well as several high profile sign-ins.
The promotion’s first champion will be crowned in the main event when reigning Jewels Featherweight Queen Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama puts her unbeaten record on the line when she faces strawweight standout Jessica Penne in her U.S. debut. Naho already holds victories over many top fighters within the Atomweight division, most notably Kikuyo Ishikawa who she outpointed to take a split verdict late last year. Sugiyama looks to make a big splash in her North American debut by capturing her second title in less than a year with a victory over Penne.
Jessica Penne made a name for herself at strawweight, but picked up one of the biggest wins of her career when she stopped fellow 115 pound veteran Lisa Ellis in her atomweight debut. Now considered a top 5 fighter at 105, Penne plans to dethrone Japan’s Atomweight Queen while making history by becoming the first champion crowned under the InvictaFC banner.
Fresh off of what some consider a controversial decision loss to 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist Sara McMann, Baszler looks to get right back on track. It was announced today that she will face off with Sarah D’Alelio who already has two victories in two appearances in the Invicta cage. D’Alelio picked up the biggest win of her young career and did it in impressive fashion when she submitted Vanessa Porto in Kansas City last month. With McMann currently rehabbing an injury many feel that this may be a number 1 contender’s bout, or at the very least, the winner could possibly be one fight away from a Bantamweight Title fight with the previously mentioned McMann.
Pound-For-Pounder Tara LaRosa has signed to face Vanessa Porto who will be dropping down to 125 after the loss to D’Alelio back in July. With a 21-2 record that rivals Japanese legend Megumi Fujii’s resume, LaRosa has long been considered one of the best, if not the very best fighter on the women’s circuit for close to 10 years with wins over a who’s who in WMMA. But, the Philadelphia Fight Factory product will have her hands full when she welcomes highly regarded bantamweight Vanessa Porto to the division.
Missouri’s Barb Honchak returns to action and this time she faces an even tougher test when she battles Ireland’s Aisling Daly. Considered one of the best amateurs around before turning pro, Honchak had a rocky road early on in her professional career, but has since rolled off 5 wins in a row after dropping a split decision to Angela Magana in 2010. Honchak finally got that statement win she was looking for last October at Breast Cancer Beatdown when she submitted 1-time Strikeforce title challenger Roxanne Modafferi. Reigning NAAFS Flyweight titleholder Aisling Daly hopes to rebound from a loss to Rosi Sexton in late Spring, a defeat that resulted in her being knocked out of the Cage Warriors Flyweight tournament. Currently, ranked in the top 10 at 125, this is a big fight for both women.
In other bouts, Cat Zingano moves up in weight for her Invicta debut where she faces Leslie Smith. Michelle Waterson and Lacey Schuckman will clash in an atomweight affair. And an important fight in the featherweight division kicks off the main card when Strikeforce veteran Julia Budd collides with Elaina Maxwell.
The preliminary card has its share of quality action as well. After 2 years away from the sport, Lynn Alvarez returns to action against the fast rising Carla Esparza. Joanne Calderwood, who put herself on the map by defeating Russia’s Lena Ovchynnikova, battles Ashley Cummins. Top amateur prospects Tecia Torres and Kaiyana Rain collide in their pro debuts, Stephanie Frausto (the younger sister of Bellator Champ Zoila) faces Amy Davis and much more.
InvictaFC has also announced that one more fight will be announced in the coming days. Below is a list of the entire card which is subject to change.
Atomweight Title Bout:
- Naho Sugiyama vs. Jessica Penne @Atomweight (105-Pound Championship)
- Shayna Baszler vs. Sarah D’Alelio @Bantamweight (135 Pounds)
- Barb Honchak vs. Aisling Daly @Flyweight (125 Pounds)
- Tara LaRosa vs. Vanessa Porto @Flyweight (125 Pounds)
- Cat Zingano vs. Leslie Smith @Bantamweight (135 Pounds)
- Michelle Waterson vs. Lacey Schuckman @Atomweight (105 Pounds)
- Julia Budd vs. Elaina Maxwell @Featherweight (145 Pounds)
- Carla Esparza vs.ynn Alvarez @Strawweight (115 Pounds)
- Ashley Cummins vs. Joanne Calderwood @Strawweight (115 Pounds)
- Amy Davis vs. Stephanie Frausto @Atomweight (105 Pounds)
- Jessamyn Duke vs. Marciea Allen @Bantamweight (135 Pounds)
- Tecia Torres vs Kaiyana Rain @Strawweight (115 Pounds)
- Taylor Stratford vs. Katalina Malungahu @Featherweight (145 Pounds)