SUPERSTARS JESSICA PENNE AND NAHO SUGIYAMA TO BATTLE FOR FIRST-EVER INVICTA FC WORLD TITLE IN ATOMWEIGHT MAIN EVENT IN KANSAS CITY, OCT 6

August 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: MMA News 

TICKETS ON SALE SOON FOR STACKED,
13 BOUT PROFESSIONAL CARD FEATURING:

SHAYNA BASZLER VS. SARAH D’ALELIO
BARB HONCHAK VS. AISLING DALY
TARA LAROSA VS. VANESSA PORTO
LESLIE SMITH VS. CAT ZINGANO
MICHELLE WATERSON VS. LACEY SCHUCKMAN
JULIA BUDD VS. ELAINA MAXWELL

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Aug. 15, 2012) – American phenom Jessica Penne (9-1) of Laguna Hills, Calif. will square off with undefeated Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama (8-0) of Kyoto, Japan in the first-ever Invicta Fighting Championships title fight and atomweight (105 pounds) main event of the promotion’s third all-women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. on Sat., Oct. 6.

The ticket on-sale date for the much-anticipated Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama event, featuring 13 professional bouts, will be announced soon.

After bringing fans to their feet in a hard-fought main event battle against Olympic Wrestling Silver Medalist Sara McMann, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler of Sioux Falls, S.D. will return to action in the bantamweight (135 pounds) co-main event and take on Invicta FC 2 winner Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio (6-2) of San Jose, Calif.

Another Invicta FC 2 victor, Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak (6-2) of Bettendorf, Iowa will face off with rising star and furious finisher Aisling “Ais The Bash” Daly (13-3) of Dublin, Ireland in a super flyweight (125 pounds) contest.

Invicta FC will welcome one of the original pioneers of women’s MMA, submission expert Tara LaRosa (21-2) of Woodstown, N.J., who will lock horns at super flyweight with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Vanessa Porto (14-5) of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Undefeated Cat “Alpha” Zingano (6-0) of Broomfield, Colo. will make her long-awaited Invicta FC debut against Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (3-2-1) of Pleasant Hill, Calif. in a bantamweight matchup and Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson (9-3) of Albuquerque, N.M. will also make her first start under the Invicta FC banner against Lacey “The Ladie” Schuckman (7-5) of Lakewood, Colo. in an atomweight scrap.

In the leadoff main card bout, Julia “The Jewel” Budd (3-2) of Port Moody, Canada will meet Elaina “Beef” Maxwell (7-4) of San Jose, Calif.

Jessica Penne vs. Naho Sugiyama

The 29-year-old Penne will move to headlining status after a spectacular co-main event showing on Invicta FC’s inaugural card on April 28 when she stopped Lisa Ellis-Ward with an onslaught of punches in the third round (2:48) of their matchup shortly after breaking Ellis-Ward’s nose with a knee strike. A lifelong athlete, Penne was a competitive swimmer before stumbling upon a pair of boxing gloves and deciding to try her hand at MMA.

Sugiyama will put her perfect record on the line in The United States for the first time since she began tearing through the ranks of professional competitors in Japan three years ago. On Dec. 17, 2011, the 34-year-old was crowned a champion in Japanese all-women’s promotion JEWELS after defeating two opponents – Kikuyo Ishikawa and Misaki Takimoto – in one night of action.

Shayna Baszler vs. Sarah D’Alelio

The charismatic, 32-year-old Baszler helped create an electric atmosphere at Memorial Hall on July 28 by engaging McMann in an all-out war for three rounds before losing a heartbreaking decision. A fearsome grappler, Baszler has earned the respect of the fight world by earning 13 of her 14 victories with submissions, including her patented hold that she dubbed the “shwing.”

D’Alelio, 31, pulled off a stunning upset at the Invicta FC event on July 28, tapping out Porto, a far more advanced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player with a beautifully executed reverse triangle armbar in the first round (3:16) of their meeting. To date, D’Alelio has notched five of her six wins by way of submission.

Barb Honchak vs. Aisling Daly

Honchak turned in a dominant performance at Invicta FC 2, scoring a second round (1:22) TKO on Bethany Marshall with a barrage of punches to notch her sixth career win. A protégé of UFC veteran Steve Berger who recently relocated to Quad Cities, Iowa to train at Miletich Fighting Systems, the 32-year-old Honchak will look to secure her sixth consecutive victory.

The 24-year-old Daly is ranked amongst the top five competitors in the super flyweight division. She holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has earned 6 of her 13 career victories by way of submission and 5 by way of KO.

Tara LaRosa vs. Vanessa Porto

LaRosa has been nearly unstoppable throughout her decade long professional MMA career, defeating a host of fellow superstars, including Baszler, Kelly Kobold and Alexis Davis. Between 2004 and 2009, the 34-year-old went unbeaten in 15 consecutive starts. LaRosa will seek her fourth straight win in her Invicta FC debut

Following her upset defeat at the hands of D’Alelio, which snapped a four-fight win streak, the 28-year-old Porto will look to regain her stride in the women’s super flyweight division. Trained by her husband, Pedro Iglesias, whom Porto met after walking into Iglesias’ gym for the first time in 2004, Porto has shown off her mastery of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by earning 10 of her 14 career wins via submission.

Leslie Smith vs. Cat Zingano

Smith will return to the Invicta FC cage after a fractured wrist kept her on the sidelines from competing on the promotion’s second card on July 28. At the inaugural Invicta FC event on April 28, the 29-year-old Smith earned “Fight of the Night” honors for her brutal, toe-to-toe war with Kaitlin Young that was declared a draw after a three-round see-saw battle.

Zingano, a brilliant finisher who has earned four of her six career wins by way of either KO or submission, will enter the cage for the first time this year and look to extend her perfect record that she has been building since 2008. Trained by her husband, Professor Mauricio Zingano, the 30-year-old is a former collegiate wrestler who went on to win the 2007 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships before

Michelle Waterson vs. Lacey Schuckman

Waterson is a 26-year-old student of famed MMA trainer Greg Jackson. A martial arts student since the age of 10, she holds a black belt in American Freestyle Karate and was a contestant on the Muay Thai-themed Fight Girls reality series on the Oxygen television network. On Jan. 21, Waterson ended a near two-year hiatus from competition, submitting Diana Rael with a rear-naked choke in the first round (2:12) of their matchup in Albuquerque.

Also a former Muay Thai fighter, the 24-year-old Schuckman showed the world that she is always game by accepting an Invicta FC 2 fight with undefeated JEWELS champion Ayaka Hamasaki on less than two weeks’ notice. Despite the short window of time that she had to prepare for the task, Schuckman, who has earned four of her seven career wins by way of submission, nearly pushed Hamasaki the distance of their bout before succumbing to a Hamasaki armbar with just 15 seconds remaining in the third and final round of their bout.

Julia Budd vs. Elaina Maxwell

The chiseled Budd, a 29-year-old lifelong athlete and budding fitness trainer, began her prize fighting career in the sport of Muay Thai where she chalked up several a number of notable wins, including one over superstar Gina Carano, before transitioning to MMA. She is a student of former UFC competitor and world-ranked Shooto fighter, Lance Gibson. Budd scored a first-round (3:49) TKO on Elina Nilsson with a combination of punches and elbow strikes at the Invicta FC 2 event on July 28.

Like Budd, the 33-year-old Maxwell boasts a stellar kickboxing resume. A three-time champion in San Shou rules kickboxing, she won the first American gold medal at the world Wushu (San Shou) Games in Macau, China in 2003. Maxwell reeled off her third straight MMA win on March 30, earning a unanimous decision over Ashley Sanchez in Kearney, Neb.

The six-bout preliminary card will be topped by a matchup between Carla Esparza (7-2) of Redondo Beach, Calif. and Lynn Alvarez (5-2) of Las Vegas, Nev.

Two undefeated prospects, Ashley Cummins (3-0) of St. Louis, MO. and Joanne Calderwood (3-0) of Glasgow, Scottland will collide at super flyweight.

Amy Davis (3-3) of Idaho Falls, Idaho will face Stephanie Frausto (3-4) of Middletown, Ohio in an atomweight affair.

Fresh off her professional debut win at Invicta FC 2, highly-touted Jessamyn Duke (1-0) of Richmond, Ky. will face unbeaten Marciea Allen (1-0) of Watertown, S.D. in a bantamweight battle.

Tecia Torres (0-0) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Kaiyana Rain (0-0) of Los Angeles, Calif. will make their respective professional debuts against each other at flyweight.

Unbeaten Katalina Malungahu (2-0) of Las Vegas, Nev. will tangle with Taylor Stratford (0-0) of Woodland, Calif. in a featherweight (145 pounds) fight.

About Invicta Fighting Championships:

Invicta Fighting Championships (www.invictafc.com) is a world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp and sports aficionado Janet Martin, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible matchups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.

UNDEFEATED FORMER ROYCE GRACIE STUDENT VANESSA MARISCAL REPLACES INJURED SHANA NELSON AGAINST SARAH D’ALELIO AT INVICTA FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS INAUGURAL ALL-WOMEN’S MMA EVENT APRIL 28 IN KANSAS CITY, KAN.

April 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: MMA News 

Health issue KO’s Cat Zingano from matchup with Anita Rodriguez

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 16, 2012) – A spinal injury sustained during training has forced Shana Nelson to withdraw from her scheduled bantamweight (135 pounds) matchup with Sarah D’Alelio (4-2) of San Jose, Calif. on the inaugural Invicta Fighting Championships all-women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight card at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. on Saturday, April 28. Undefeated Vanessa Mariscal (2-0) of El Segundo, Calif. will step in to face D’Alelio at the event.

Additionally, Cat “Alpha” Zingano (6-0) of Denver, Colo. has withdrawn from her bantamweight (135 pounds) contest with Anita “El Tigre” Rodriguez (5-2) of Dallas, Texas, citing health issues as the cause.

The 38-year-old, 5-foot-6 Mariscal, a former student of MMA legend and UFC Hall of Fame member Royce Gracie, holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the fighting discipline she took up 15 years ago after stints in Karate, kickboxing and Jeet Kune Do.

Mariscal has put her strong Jiu-Jitsu foundation on display in MMA competition, winning both her professional bouts to date by way of rear-naked choke. In her debut on Nov. 20, 2009, she submitted Jessica Halverson in the first round of action and, in her last start on June 17, 2011, Mariscal forced Colleen Schneider to tap out in the third stanza of their bout.

The matchup between Mariscal and D’Alelio will finally come to fruition after previously falling apart on two different occasions.

“I know she’s a tough girl with a reputation for being a tough fighter,” said Mariscal about D’Alelio. “She’s not going to back down and not going to give up, so I’m not taking her lightly at all. At the same time, I’m ready to fight anyone.

“What people don’t know about me is that I’ve been doing this for a very long time but, until recently, there had never been a platform for women to fight on like there is now. After (MMA superstar) Gina Carano came along, it started to change and, now, there are fortunately some big opportunities for us. I think what Invicta is doing for the women in the sport is great and will help all of us.”

Mariscal, a personal fitness trainer and the owner of VMX Training Center, appeared on a Nov. 2011 episode of MTV reality series “I Used To Be Fat,” helping an overweight teenage girl with proper dieting and exercise in order to become healthier.

“Any time there is an opportunity for me to use my fitness and martial arts training to help someone else, I will be there to do it,” Mariscal said. “We have such a high obesity rate in America and our health care crisis is just getting worse. We are going to have to wake up and make some drastic changes in order to change things for the better and start living a healthier lifestyle as a society.”

Like Mariscal, the 5-foot-7, 31 year old D’Alelio’s greatest strength is her ground game. She has earned three of her four career professional victories by way of submission.

D’Alelio is looking to rebound from two consecutive losses, the last of which came at the hands of undefeated 2008 Olympic Judo bronze medalist Ronda Rousey on Aug. 12, 2011.

Tickets for the inaugural Invicta Fighting Championships event, priced from $35, are on sale at Memorial Hall box office (913) 549-4853), online at Ticketmaster.com and InvictaFC.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.

The live stream of the event on InvictaFC.com will begin at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST with the five-bout preliminary card and continue with the six-bout main card. The stream will be available free of charge.

In the main event, superstar Marloes Coenen (19-5) of The Netherlands will face off with Romy Ruyssen (5-1) of France in a featherweight (145 pounds) rematch. Coenen was the victor of their first meeting on Aug. 2, 2008 by way of submission (rear-naked choke) in the second round of action.

In the co-main event, two 29-year-old submission specialists – Jessica Penne (8-1) of Laguna Hills, Calif. and Lisa Ellis-Ward (14-7) of Lacey, Wash.- will square off with one another at strawweight (105 pounds).

Strikeforce bantamweight star and United States Marine Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (5-2) of San Diego, Calif. will square off with unbeaten prospect Ashleigh Curry (1-0) of Kansas City, Mo.

Leslie Smith (3-2) of Pleasant Hill, Calif. will meet Kaitlin Young (7-5) of St. Louis Park, Minn. at bantamweight and Sally Krumdiack (9-4) of Bellingham, Wash. will duke it out with Sarah Schneider (5-5) of Kansas City, Mo. at flyweight (115 pounds).

In preliminary card action, 2008 Olympic wrestling bronze medalist Randi Miller (0-0) of Denver, Colo. will make her highly-anticipated MMA debut against Mollie Estes (1-0) Lake Lotawana, Mo.

Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (7-5) of Tulsa, Okla. will take on Amy Davis (2-2) of Idaho Falls, Idaho at strawweight. Sarah Maloy (2-2) of Ada, Okla. will meet Michele Gutierrez (3-2) of Las Vegas, Nev. in a super flyweight (125 pounds) tilt. Unbeaten Ashley Cummins (2-0) of St. Louis will battle Sofia Bagherdai (4-1) of Upland, Calif. at flyweight. Jessica Philippus (0-0) of Marshall, Mo. will make her professional debut against Meghan Wright (1-3) of Cincinnati, Ohio in a strawweight matchup.

All bouts have been approved by the Kansas State Athletic Commission.

About Invicta Fighting Championships:

Invicta Fighting Championships is a world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp and sports aficionado Janet Martin, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible matchups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.

INVICTA FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS ADDS UNDEFEATED CAT ZINGANO VS. HARD-HITTING ANITA RODRIGUEZ TO INAUGURAL ALL-WOMEN’S MMA EVENT APRIL 28 IN KANSAS CITY, KAN.

March 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Boxing News 

HISTORIC FIRST EVENT

Superstar Marloes Coenen to rematch Romy Ruyssen in main event

Tickets on sale now

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (March 13, 2012) – Undefeated rising star Cat “Alpha” Zingano (6-0) of Denver, Colo. will square off with fellow hard-hitting prospect and professional boxer Anita “El Tigre” Rodriguez (5-2) of Dallas, Texas in a featured bantamweight (135 pounds) bout at the first-ever Invicta Fighting Championships all-women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. on Saturday, April 28.

In addition, Invicta has named as its first ring girl former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ring girl and model Natasha Wicks. Wicks, the winner of the 2009 “Maxim UFC Octagon Girl Search,” will work the April 28 event.

The stacked, 12-bout Invicta card will be headlined by a long-awaited featherweight (145 pounds) rematch between superstar Marloes Coenen (19-5) of The Netherlands and Romy Ruyssen (5-1) of France.

Tickets for the event, priced from $35, are on sale at Memorial Hall box office (913) 549-4853), online at Ticketmaster.com and InvictaFC.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.

Both highly-touted for their ability to dominate opponents in every range of fighting, the 29-year-old Zingano and the 26-year-old Rodriguez have traveled different paths to arrive at this pivotal stage in their respective careers.

The 5-foot-6 Zingano tip-toed her way into combat sports after becoming the only girl to join her high school wrestling team and, later, competing in college.

In 2007, she began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Mauricio Zingano, whom she later married, and went on to win a number of tournaments, including the 2007 World Jiu Jitsu Championships. Her success in the grappling art and a third round TKO victory in her only amateur MMA bout were the catalysts behind the launch of her professional fighting career.

To date, Zingano has been unstoppable in the hybrid combat sport, earning four of her six victories by way of either KO or submission. All three of her last wins came by way of KO or TKO.

“My desire to be the best female fighter in the world has gotten me this far,” said Zingano. “I’ve been constantly improving all of my skills – wrestling, boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. You’re going to see something great and amazing on April 28.”

While Zingano got her introduction to combat sports on the mats, the 5-foot-2 Rodriguez initially learned how to scrap in the ring after her father, who saw a fighter in his daughter, brought her to a local boxing gym when she was 20 years of age. Training under Valentin Espiricueta, she went on to win several amateur boxing titles before turning professional in the sweet science and, later, transitioning to MMA competition.

“Nobody wanted to fight me anymore in boxing, so I went on to MMA,” said Rodriguez, who compliments her boxing training with Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu, both with Espiricueta and with other fighters at nearby Ironside MMA in Dallas.

After losing a split decision to Jeri “Fists of Fury” Sitzes in her pro MMA debut on March 6, 2009, Rodriguez avenged the defeat just three months later, taking a split decision from Sitzes.

Rodriguez maintains that her boxing skills are still her strongest suit, despite the fact that three of her five career victories have come by way of submission.

“Boxing and stand-up fighting is what I like to do most, but I’m very comfortable fighting on the ground,” she said.

In the co-main event on April 28, two 29-year-old submission specialists – Jessica Penne (8-1) of Laguna Hills, Calif. and Lisa Ellis-Ward (14-7) of Lacey, Wash.- will square off with one another at strawweight (105 pounds).

Strikeforce bantamweight star and United States Marine Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (5-2) of San Diego, Calif. will square off with unbeaten prospect Ashleigh Curry (1-0) of Kansas City, Mo.

Another Strikeforce bantamweight competitor, Sarah D’Alelio (4-2) of San Jose, Calif., will face Shana “Rock Solid” Nelson (5-2) of Hibbing, Minn.

In other main card action, Leslie Smith (3-2) of Pleasant Hill, Calif. will meet Kaitlin Young (7-5) of St. Louis Park, Minn. at bantamweight and Sally Krumdiack (9-4) of Bellingham, Wash. will duke it out with Sarah Schneider (5-5) of Kansas City, Mo. at flyweight (115 pounds).

In preliminary card action, Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (7-5) of Tulsa, Okla. will take on Amy Davis (2-2) of Idaho Falls, Idaho at strawweight. Sarah Maloy (2-2) of Ada, Okla. will meet Michele Gutierrez (3-2) of Las Vegas, Nev. in a super flyweight (125 pounds) tilt. Mollie Estes (1-0) of Lake Lotawana, Mo. will face Randi Miller (0-0) of Broomfield, Colo. at featherweight. Unbeaten Ashley Cummins (2-0) of St. Louis will battle Sofia Bagherdai (4-1) of Upland, Calif. at flyweight. Jessica Philippus (0-0) of Marshall, Mo. will make her professional debut against Meghan Wright (1-3) of Cincinnati, Ohio in a strawweight matchup.

All bouts have been approved by the Kansas State Athletic Commission.

About Invicta Fighting Championships:

Invicta Fighting Championships is a world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp and sports aficionado Janet Martin, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible matchups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.

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