Jessica Penne to defend atomweight title against Michelle Waterson

Invicta FC News




KANSAS CITY (February 11, 2013) – Women’s world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion Invicta Fighting Championships has partnered with Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City to deliver the promotion’s first world championship doubleheader event in history on Friday, April 5. In the main event, reigning Invicta FC Atomweight (105 pounds) Champion Jessica Penne (10-1) of Huntington Beach, Calif. will defend her crown against superstar Michelle Waterson THE KARATE HOTTIE (10-3) of Albuquerque, N.M. and, in the co-main event and first-ever Invicta FC flyweight (125 pounds) title fight, submission ace Vanessa Porto (15-5) of Sao Paulo, Brazil will square off with red-hot star Barb Honchak (7-2) of Bettendorf, Iowa.

Additionally, flyweight superstar Zoila Frausto Gurgel: (12-2) of Cincinnati, Ohio will make her Invicta FC debut against submission expert Jennifer Maia: (6-2) of Curitiba, Parana Brazil.

Tickets for Invicta FC 5: Penne vs. Waterson: go on sale soon.

“We are excited about entering a new chapter in Invicta FC history that consists of a partnership with one of the finest and most impressive entertainment venues in the country as well as our first world championship doubleheader card that is loaded with world-class women’s fight talent,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp:.

The 30-year-old Penne made history on Oct. 6 when she became the first Invicta FC atomweight champion in history after dominating and submitted previously unbeaten superstar Naho Sugiyama: with a triangle choke in the second round (2:20) of their main event showdown. The victory was Penne’s third straight.

Waterson, a 27-year-old protégé of famed trainer Greg Jackson:, will put a four-fight win streak on the line in the matchup with Penne. A black belt in American Freestyle Karate, Waterson also boasts extensive training in Muay Thai and made a name for herself as a contestant on the Muay Thai-themed reality show Fight Girls on the Oxygen television network.

In her last start, Porto, a 28-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, earned a unanimous decision victory over women’s MMA pioneer Tara LaRosa: at Invicta FC 3 on Oct. 6. Porto, who has blazed a trail to stardom in her native Brazil, is one of only two fighters to go the distance with former Strikeforce champion and executioner Cris Cyborg:, and holds notable wins over decorated, former JEWELS champion Hitomi Akano: and Germaine de Randamie:.

The 33-year-old Honchak, a protégé of former UFC competitor Steve Berger:, is in the midst of a six-fight win streak that began on Jan. 14, 2011 when she earned a unanimous decision over Felice Herrig LIL BULLDOG:. Honchak’s last two victories – a second round TKO (punches) of Bethany Marshall: on July 28, 2012 and a unanimous decision over Aisling Daly: on Oct. 6, 2012 – both came inside the Invicta FC cage.

In other action on the nine-bout main card, bantamweight (135 pounds) superstar Sarah Kaufman: (15-2) of Victoria, BC Canada will make her long-awaited Invicta FC debut against dangerous striker and Invicta FC 3 and Invicta FC 4 winner Leslie Smith THE PEACEMAKER: (5-2-1) of Pleasant Hill, Calif.

Hard-hitting KO artist Amanda Nunes LIONESS OF THE RING: (7-3) of Miami, Fla. via Salvador, Bahia Brazil will look to rebound from her Invicta FC 4 unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Sarah D’Alelio: when she squares off with fellow power striker Kaitlin Young (7-7-1) of St. Louis Park, Minn. at bantamweight.

In a featherweight (145 pounds) contest, streaking submission wizard and Invicta FC 3 and Invicta FC 4 victor Ediane Gomes: (10-2) of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. will battle hard-punching Julia Budd THE JEWEL: (4-2) of Port Moody, BC Canada.

The exciting, prolific Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc THE NIGHT QUEEN: (8-6) of Tulsa, Okla. will return to the Invicta FC cage for the third time in an atomweight matchup with Cassie Rodish: (4-3) of Des Moines, Iowa.

After accepting an opponent change and promotion to championship main event status just a week and a half before Invicta FC 4, Bec Hyatt ROWDY: (4-2) of Brisbane, Australia will drop from flyweight to strawweight (115 pounds) and look to return to the win column against undefeated sensation and Invicta FC newcomer Jasminka Cive: (5-0) of Graz, Austria.

Katja Kankaanpaa: (7-0-1) of Seinajoki, Finland will square off with fellow undefeated rising star Juliana Carnerio Lima: (5-0) of Belo Horizonte, Brazil at strawweight in what will mark both fighters’ Invicta FC debuts.

The Invicta FC five-fight preliminary card will be highlighted by a bantamweight tilt between two undefeated prospects in powerhouse Jessamyn Duke THE GUN: (2-0) of Richmond, Ky. and Muay Thai stylist Miriam Nakamoto: (1-0) of Dublin, Calif.

Alex Chambers: (4-1) of St. Ives New South Wales, Australia will meet unbeaten Jodie Esquibel: of Albuquerque, N.M. at atomweight.

Fresh off of her professional debut victory in the Invicta FC cage, top-flight prospect Rose Namajunas: (1-0) of St. Paul, Minn. will face off with fellow undefeated upstart Kathina Catron: (2-0) of Tehlequa, Okla. at strawweight.

Following her explosive first round KO and professional debut victory over Katalina Malungahu: at Invicta FC 4, recent Team Alpha Male enlistee Veronica Rothenhausler: (1-0) of Sacramento, Calif. will return to the cage against Mollie Estes: (1-1) of Kansas City.

Making her professional debut, River Jones: (0-0) of Nelson, BC Canada will meet Lauren Barefoot: (1-0) of Omaha, Neb. at bantamweight in the event’s first preliminary card bout.

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.

About Ameristar Kansas City:

Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City is owned and operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ-GS: ASCA), and is a premier property characterized by a state-of-the-art casino floor and outstanding dining, lodging and entertainment options. The property features the largest casino and the most games in the Kansas City area, as well as one of the largest poker rooms in the Midwest. Ameristar offers nine diverse dining venues — The Horizon Buffet, The Falcon Bakery, Pearl’s Oyster Bar, Great Plains Cattle Co., Amerisports Brew Pub, Casino Deli, Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque, Burger King and Sbarro The Italian Eatery, as well as the Star Club, a private players’ lounge. Entertainment amenities include the Star Pavilion, featuring national headliners; Depot #9, with popular regional and local acts; the Regal Cinema’s Kansas City 18 Theater; Hi-Vi video arcade; and Kids Quest, a supervised child-care facility. The property also includes a 184-room hotel. The property was awarded “Favorite Casino” for the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association’s 2012 Visitor Choice Awards. Best Casino in 2012 Ingram’s Magazine “Best of Business Awards;” in the 2003, 2005, 2007 – 2009, 2011 Kansas City Magazine’s “Best of Kansas City” readers’ poll and 2011 Best Casino in Home in the Northland Magazine’s readers’ poll. Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City also was awarded Best Steakhouse, Best Buffet, Best Live Poker and Best Tournaments in the 2012 Casino Player Magazine’s “Best of Gaming” awards.

Invicta FC
Press relations officer: Mike Afromowitz

Carla Esparza Crowned First Invicta FC Strawweight Champion

Invicta FC News

in History with unanimous decision win over Bec Hyatt
Alexis Davis Chokes Out Shayna Baszler In Thrilling Co-Main Event
Invicta FC

Photo Credit: Esther Lin / Invicta Fighting Championships
Picture 1 – Rothenhausler vs. Malungahu / Featherweight (145 pounds) Veronica Rothenhausler (left) made an explosive professional debut, crumbling Katalina Malungahu (right) with a hard right hand in undercard action at the Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt, women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. on Saturday, Jan. 5, live on
Picture 2 – Calderwood vs. von Plettenberg – Dressed fashionably in Scottish attire, Joanne Calderwood (right) continued her perfect run as a professional, this time battering Livia Von Plettenberg (left) of Austria with continuous strikes to coast to a unanimous decision victory.
Picture 3 – Ediane Gomes vs. Hiroko Yamanaka – Ediane Gomes (near) cracks Hiroko Yamanaka (far) with a straight right hand in their featherweight matchup. Gomes earned a unanimous decision win after three rounds of battle.
Picture 4 – Sarah D’Alelio vs. Amanda Nunes – Sarah D’Alelio (left) executed her takedowns effectively enough to neutralize the punching power of fellow bantamweight (135 pounds Amanda Nunes (right).
Picture 5 – Leslie Smith vs. Raquel Pennington – Leslie Smith (left) and Raquel Pennington (right) exchanged powerful strikes on their feet for three straight rounds before Smith was declared the victor by unanimous decision.
Picture 6 – Shayna Baszler vs. Alexis Davis – Shayna Baszler “THE QUEEN OF SPADES” (left) tags old rival Alexis Davis (right) with a right hand in their much-anticipated rematch to a 2010 meeting.
Picture 7 – Shayna Baszler vs. Alexis Davis – In the third round, a bloodied Davis (left) put Baszler (right) to sleep with a rear-naked choke, avenging the 2010 loss to Baszler.
Picture 8 – Carla Esparza vs. Bec Hyatt – In the main event and first-ever Invicta FC strawweight (115 pounds) championship fight, Carla Esparza (left) was able to repeatedly take Bec Hyatt (right) down, but unable to finish the tenacious Australian.
Picture 9 – Carla Esparza vs. Bec Hyatt – Hyatt (left) lands a left hand to the chin of Esparza (right).
Picture 10 – Carla Esparza wins – Esparza (right) with her hands raised and the Invicta FC strawweight championship belt around her waist after being awarded a unanimous decision victory after five rounds of action.

KANSAS CITY, KAN. (Jan. 6, 2013) – 25 old sensation Carla Esparza “COOKIE MONSTER” (9-2) of Redondo Beach, Calif. earned a five-round unanimous decision over a game Bec Hyatt “ROWDY” (4-2) of Brisbane, Australia to become the first-ever Invicta Fighting Championships strawweight (115 pounds) champion, in the main event of a star-studded 13-bout women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event at Memorial Hall in Kansas City on Saturday, Jan. 5, live on
Esparza effectively weathered the storm brought on by the 23-year-old Hyatt, who took the title fight on just over a week’s notice after Esparza’s original opponent, Claudia Gadelha, was forced to withdraw from the matchup due to a broken nose sustained in training. Hyatt was originally slated to face Joanne Calderwood on the main card.
Esparza repeatedly took Hyatt down whenever the Australian attempted to explode on her feet. Esparza controlled the action on the ground, but was unable to finish Hyatt at any point.
In the bantamweight (135 pounds) co-main event and a much-anticipated rematch, Alexis Davis (13-5) of Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada avenged a 2010 loss to fellow top contender Shayna Baszler “THE QUEEN OF SPADES” (15-8) of Sioux Falls, S.D., putting Baszler to sleep with a rear-naked choke in the third round (:58) of their matchup.
Davis and Baszler engaged in a competitive battle on the mat for much of the first two rounds before finishing the second stanza on their feet, exchanging blows.
In the outset of the third frame, the two traded shots on their feet again before Baszler slipped and gave Davis the opportunity to take Baszler’s back and secure the finishing hold. Baszler refused to tap out and, instead, went to sleep, prompting the referee to stop the action at the 58 second mark of the round.
In other Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt main card action, Leslie Smith “THE PEACEMAKER” (5-2-1) of Pleasant Hill, Calif. engaged Raquel Pennington “ROCKY” (3-3) of Colorado Springs, Colo. in a three-round firefight, outslugging Pennington to earn a unanimous decision victory in bantamweight action.
Sarah D´ Alelio “THE MONSTER” (7-3) of San Jose, Calif. effectively neutralized the dangerous punching power of Amanda Nunes “LIONESS OF THE RING” (7-3) of Salvador Bahia, Brazil, taking the bantamweight fight to the mat repeatedly before earning a unanimous decision. An illegal upkick to the face by Nunes in the second round cost her a point on each of the judges’ scorecards.
Ediane Gomes (9-2) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. notched her second consecutive Invicta FC victory and her third straight win overall, by taking a unanimous decision from Hiroko Yamanaka (12-3) of Kisarazu, Japan in a featherweight (145 pounds) tilt.
Joanne Calderwood (5-0) of Glasgow, Scottland used her long reach to keep Muay Thai champion and Matt-Lindland protégé Livia von Plettenberg (1-1) at bay and punish Von Plettenberg with a mix of front kicks to the face and knee and elbow strikes for the majority of three rounds before being awarded a unanimous decision.
In preliminary card action, Veronica Rothenhausler (1-0) of Reno, Nev. made an explosive professional debut, crumbling Katalina Malungahu of Las Vegas, Nev. to the canvas with a right hand to the chin in the first round (1:12) of their featherweight matchup.
Complete Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt Results:
Main Card:
Carla Esparza def. Bec Hyatt via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
Alexis Davis def. Shayna Baszler via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, :58
Leslie Smith def. Raquel Pennington via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sarah D’Alelio def. Amanda Nunes via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Ediane Gomes def. Hiroko Yamanaka via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Joanne Calderwood def. Livia Von Plettenberg via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Preliminary Card:
Cassie Rodish def. Stephanie Frausto via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 1:04
Tamikka Brents def. Amanda Bell via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jodie Esquibel def. Liz McCarthy via majority decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Rose Namajunas def. Emily Kagan via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 3:44
Tecia Torres def. Paige Van Zant via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Veronica Rothenhausler def. Katalina Malungahu via KO (punch) – Round 1, 1:12
Laura Marcusse-Sanko def. Cassie Robb via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:07
About Invicta Fighting Championships:
Invicta Fighting Championships Invicts FC 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 FC
Press relations officer: Contact: Mike Afromowitz