On January 5th at Memorial Hall, Kansas City another incredible event is being hosted by Invicta Fighting Championship. I can guarantee you that the rest of the world is jealous that their only chance to see this event is via live internet stream. If you live in Kansas and enjoy Mixed Martial Arts, then this event is a must-see. Invicta has had an incredible 2012, and they are kicking off 2013 with one of the most exciting events in WMMA history. They have pulled all the stops out this time, and we’re all in for a treat. Here is a rundown of the thirteen matchups, and why we at Awakening think they are awesome fights.
Fight #1. Laura Marcusse vs. Cassie Robb. Both fighters make their professional debut! Laura is born and bred in Kansas City, the new home of WMMA, she is fighting on her turf! – she has an amateur record of 4-1-0. Cassie, on the other hand, is fighting out of Colorado, which is a state brimming with talent. Her amateur record is 3-2-1. Earlier this year she pulled out an impressive 40-second triangle choke victory! What a match up to start us off with!
Fight #2. Katalina Malungahu vs. Veronica Rothenhausler. We predict this one will be quick! Katalina is trained by Jeremy Horn and has a pro record of 2-1-0. She is coming off a loss to Ediane Gomes, but if you count her 3 amateur fights she has won by KO/TKO 5 times and only 1 of her fights has made it into the 2nd round. Her opponent is The Heartbreaker, who makes her pro debut surrounded by hype. She is 5’11″ and has an amateur record of 3-0. Her last two fights – and this is why there is hype – were BOTH 5-second knockouts! Yep, that’s right.
Fight #3. Tecia Torres vs. Paige VanZant. Tecia Torres is an extremely experienced fighter for a newly turned pro who’s 1-0-0. She’s had 28 fights in total and lost only 4. She’s well versed in BJJ, Muay Thai, and Karate and she comes from American Top Team. Paige, on the other hand, is the event's youngest fighter at just 18. She has a professional record of 2-0-0 and comes with great cardio. The beautiful “12 Gauge” fights out of RYU Gym in Las Vegas. Both ladies are utter balls of energy! This will be an exciting fight, and we predict it to go the distance. Also, keep an eye out for the Awakening logo, as we sponsor Tecia Torries and designed her banner!
Fight #4. Emily Kagan vs. Rose Namajunas. Emily has a pro record of 2-0-0 (Amateur 5-2) and impressively trains under the wise Greg Jackson. She is confident but believes that this fight is perhaps her biggest test to date. Her opponent is known as “Thug”. Rose is making her pro debut and is unbeaten in her amateur career. She started martial arts at the age of 4 and holds a black belt in both Karate and Taekwondo. She also has BJJ in her arsenal, so expect to see an exciting fight whether it’s standing or on the ground.
Fight #5. Lightning Liz McCarthy vs. Jodie Esquibel. In one corner we have Liz, who fights out of Oregon. She is one of the new breeds of fighters that have just trained in MMA. Her pro record is 1-0-0, and her amateur record is 6-0-0. She is unbeaten, with only one fight going the distance – an amateur title bout for the FCFF 115lb Championship. In the other corner is the firefighter/paramedic Jodie, another girl fighting out of the Jackson-Winklejohn gym! Her pro record is 2-0-0, so both girls are unbeaten. Jodie can boast having more experience as she has a 6-6-1 Boxing record also and has been training since she was 14!
Fight #6. Tamikka “Boom Boom” Brents vs. Amanda “The Lady Killer” Bell. Tamikka is an experienced but newly turned pro fighter from Springfield, IL. Her pro record is 1-0-0, but she has had 12 fights in total and remains unbeaten. For three years running she has been #1 Ranked 155lbs Amateur Female Fighter in the World. Her opponent is The Lady Killer! An amateur champion making her pro debut. Amanda has a deep martial arts background including the arts: Judo, Aikido, Hung Gar, BJJ, Boxing, Karate and Wrestling. None of her fights have gone the distance. Both of these ladies are serious! For the record, we’ve chatted with both of them, and we can inform you that they are lovely outside of the cage.
Fight #7. Stephanie Frausto vs. Cassie Rodish. Stephanie is currently 4-4-0 and is coming off of an impressive 48-second win by Guillotine at Invicta 3. She’s also the WFC Atomweight Champion! A vital member of Team Jorge Gorgel, she instructs Kickboxing at the gym. Stephanie is well rounded. Cassie, on the other hand, has a similar record of 3-3-0 and is currently on a three-fight win streak. She fights out of the Des Moines Jui Jitsu camp. At Invicta 1, she pulled out an even more impressive 36-second Guillotine victory. We could say that this fight will end in a submission, but both Stephanie and Cassie are both keen on stand up techniques too… so who knows?!
Fight #8. Jo Jo Calderwood vs. Livia von Plettenberg. Joanne is 4-0-0 in her MMA career and has a Blue Belt in BJJ. However, It should be known that this Scottish girl is a World Champion in Muay Thai, with an incredible record of 19-2-0. At just 26 years old, she is one of the best female fighters to come from Britain. Her opponent is the little known fighter Livia, from Austria. She has a record of 1-0-0. Livia has stepped in at the last minute, just 7 days before the event after one of the fighters broke her nose in training and had to pull out. Jo Jo was set to face Bec Hyatt, and Bec has now been moved to another match up.
Fight #9. Ediane Gomes vs. Hiroko Yamanaka. Ediane is an experienced Brazilian powerhouse. She fights out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. Her fight record sits at 9-2-0 and she’s running on a 3 fight win streak. Her only losses are to Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes, and 7 of her wins have been in the first round! Her opponent is Hiroko from Chiba, Japan. She is also experienced with a record of 12-2-0, she’s a former Smackgirl Champion and is adept at Grappling and Kickboxing. Ediane will no doubt have put additional strategies in place to tackle Hiroko’s 6″ height advantage.
Fight #10. Amanda Nunes vs. Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio. Amanda is a 24-year-old Brazilian who has a record of 8-2-0. She’s been boxing for 8 years and practicing BJJ for 7. None of her fights have gone the distance, and 7 of her fights have been won by her punching power. Sarah is 32 and fights out of San Jose, California. She has a record of 6-3-0 and has the experience of fighting some of the highest regarded WMMA athletes at her weight. This will be her fourth fight for Invicta, yep… she hasn’t missed one yet.
Fight #11. Leslie Smith vs Raquel “Rocky” Pennington. Leslie, 30, is an experienced fighter with a record of 4-2-1. She fought Kaitlin Young at Invicta 1 and 3, both fights are up there in regards to best female fights of 2012. She has great BJJ as well as a great standup game. Raquel is 6 years the younger, but equally experienced with a pro record of 3-2-0 (and an amateur record of 7-1-0). This is her third appearance for Invicta also. Both of these ladies understand the ground game and have a good defense. We predict they will slug out the distance and go to a decision.
Fight #12. Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler vs. Alexis Davis. Shayna fights out of South Dakota and is trained by Josh Barnett. Her record is 15-7-0, and her list of opponents is extremely impressive – she is packed with experience. A brown belt in BJJ, she is the first-ever fighter to win by a Twister Submission. Her opponent “Ally-Gator” fights out of Ontario, Canada. She holds Black Belts in BJJ and Jujutsu and is a grappling champion. Her record is very similar at 12-5-0 and has also faced the best talent in the weight class. This is a rematch, these ladies fought back in March 2010, and Shayna won by unanimous decision. Both fighters are on a winning streak – we predict a predominantly standup fight as both will respect the others BJJ. Can’t wait!!
Fight #13, Main Event and inaugural Strawweight Title. Carla Esparza vs. Bec ‘Rowdy’ Hyatt. This is a tough match for both ladies, as Claudinha Gadelha had to pull out due to injury with just a week to go. Both have trained for a different opponent and must now cram altered game plans. Carla is 8-2-0 and fights out of California. She is also a World Champion in BJJ and a Wrestling All-American. Her new opponent is Bec, another Awakening girl! She is currently on a 4 fight win streak. Bec’s spirit and aggression are her greatest asset, a confessed bringer of ridiculously stylish violence. She has one of the largest fan bases for a female fighter and is incredibly exciting to watch. This has a potential fight of the night written all over it! Be sure to keep an eye out for the Awakening logo as we designed Bec’s banner.