Invicta Fighting Championships is the top womens MMA organization on the planet. Invicta FC 13 will be on UFC Fight Pass on Thursday night, starting at 11 p.m. EST. I enlisted some pals to help hype this event, and the awesome Melanie Gale of Women’s MMA joined in to talk about what she’s looking forward to.
Melanie: Faith Van Duin absolutely deserves her shot at Cyborg and her title. She decisively defeated Amanda Bell, but it does say something about the featherweight division across all WMMA that a relatively unknown Kiwi wins one in Invicta and gets a shot at the title. Van Duin may have beat Bell decisively, but she didn’t smash her. She was visibly flustered by Bell’s pressure, and Bell is a kitten compared to Cyborg. I doubt Van Duin survives the first round.
Evinger’s career has had its definite low points, and that and her elimination round loss to Raquel Pennington at TUF 18 is probably what has kept her out of the UFC. But she’s on a three-fight winning streak in Invicta, chalking up victories over Sarah D’Alelio, Ediane Gomes, and Cindy Dandois, and seems to have reignited the fire in her belly.
Aldana definitely outshines Evinger on the mat, even with Evinger’s many submission wins, and if she can take the fight down and keep it down, she has a good chance of winning. I think, however, the strap is Tonya Evinger’s to lose. She is a more experienced and more complete fighter than Aldana. Evinger by TKO round two.
There is a real chance for Hamasaki to take this one. Her size fits into the atomweight division better, and her string of wins is impressive: Mei Yamaguchi, Naho Sugiyama, Seo Hee Ham, and Mizuki Inoue. Pair that with her grappling and judo skillsets, and Tiburcio has a real struggle on her hands. I honestly think this fight could go either way, but I’ll give a slight edge to Tiburcio’s excellent pressure fighting and the well-known training edge of the Brazilian camps. Tiburcio by decision.
Catherine Costigan is a Cage Warriors vet whose large following has spooked Amber Brown enough that she’s made comments about it during interviews. Ireland’s “Alpha Female” inked a multi-fight deal with Invicta a few months ago, and since then hasn’t been shy about what she wants: Brown’s defeat and a shot at the belt. Costigan is a finisher, so she has a good chance of getting what she wants, although Brown will definitely make her work for it. This fight will be a battle and a lot of fun for fans, especially if Costigan continues her flamboyant walk-out routine. Almost too tough to call, but Costigan by submission.
Also keep an eye on bantamweight Jessica-Rose Clark and strawweight Jamie Moyle. I firmly expect to see both of them signed to the UFC within the next year.
Jessica: Hey look, it’s Marina “Ronda Rousey’s Best Friend” Shafir! She may be good, and I expect her to do well against an opponent making her pro debut. Like Rousey herself, and Rumina Sato, Giva Santana, Marloes Coenen and Rickson Gracie before her, SHAFIR BY ARMBAR.
I feel kind of jerky by lumping Catherine Costigan and Pannie Kianzad together, but they are both undefeated European fighters making their Invicta debuts, so why not? They should roll through their competition pretty easily.
I was really impressed with Tiburcio in her victory over Michelle Waterson to win the Atomweight Championship. Hamasaki is very solid, too, and has only lost to Claudia Gadelha, who is basically the most shredded lady in the world. That being said, I’m going for Herica to win, so long as she wears a cut-off sweatshirt that’s two sizes too big in this fight.
Tonya Evinger is pretty solid, and has a ton of experience, but dang, I’m all-in with Irene Aldana (and to a greater extent, her strawweight pal, Alexa Grasso). Aldana’s got good boxing and a nice ground game. I think she’ll overwhelm Evinger early and win the title. VIVA ALDANA!
What on Earth did Faith Van Duin do to get thrown into a cage with Cris Cyborg? Did she assassinate a prince or something? If Cyborg doesn’t completely maul Van Duin inside one round, that can be a moral victory for FVD.
Now let’s just hope that Cyborg stops lifting weights, gets a little leaner, and makes a real attempt to drop down to 135 so she can fight Ronda Rousey, dang it.
Invicta FC 13 will be on UFC Fight Pass on Thursday, July 9, starting at 11 p.m. EST. Watch it!