The six-fight main card for Invicta Fighting Championships 1 is complete. The all-female event, which takes place on April 28th at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, is headlined by a previously announced 145-pound rematch between Marloes “Rumina” Coenen and Romy Ruyssen.
In the co-feature, Bellator veterans Jessica Penne and Lisa Ellis-Ward face off at 105 pounds. The card also features a pair of bantamweight bouts, as former Strikeforce title challenger Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche faces Ashleigh Curry, while one-time EliteXC star Kaitlin Young takes on Leslie Smith.
Fight #11 (145 pounds): Marloes “Rumina” Coenen (19-5-0) vs Romy Ruyssen (5-1-0). The main event of the evening pits former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion Coenen against French rival Ruyssen in a rematch from August 2008. Coenen won the pair’s first meeting by submission late in the second round. The Dutch standout went on to capture Strikeforce title gold from the previously unbeaten Sarah Kaufman in October 2010. Coenen lost her title in July and now makes her long-awaited return to action under the Invicta FC banner. Ruyssen has earned her second shot at Coenen with four straight submission victories. All five of Ruyssen’s wins have come in the first round.
Fight #10 (105 pounds): Jessica Penne (8-1-0) vs Lisa Ellis-Ward (14-7-0). In an early Fight of the Night candidate, California’s Penne faces fellow Bellator tournament veteran Ellis-Ward of Washington in a battle of two of the premier female fighters under 115 pounds. Both women are known for their ground games and each has earned submission wins over some of the sport’s bigger names. Penne has been inactive in MMA since a November 2010 win, but she travelled to Japan this past September and upset Japanese superstar Rena Kubota in a shoot boxing match. Ellis-Ward looks to bounce back from a decision loss in November and could break into the top ten at 105 pounds at Penne’s expense.
Fight #9 (135 pounds): Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (5-2-0) vs Ashleigh Curry (1-0-0). Former Strikeforce title challenger Carmouche travels from California to face Missouri’s own Curry in one of three featured bantamweight bouts on the main card. Carmouche is best known for coming perilously close to capturing the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship this past March before falling victim to a fourth-round triangle choke from then-champion Coenen. Curry has thus far spent the majority of her fighting career in boxing, but she earned a first-round TKO victory in her lone MMA bout to date.
Fight #8 (135 pounds): Kaitlin Young (7-5-0) vs Leslie Smith (3-2-0). Minnesota-based knockout artist Young looks for her fourth win in her past five fights when she faces California’s Smith in another featured bantamweight bout that could establish a future title contender. Young has recently come back strong from a tough losing streak. Her lone defeat in her past four bouts came via a razor-thin decision in an April 2011 title fight. Six of Young’s seven wins have come via a form of knockout. Smith is a skilled striker in her own right and took Kerry Vera to a competitive decision in only her second fight. She returns to 135 pounds after moving up to 145 this past October.
Fight #7 (135 pounds): Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio (4-2-0) vs Shana “Rock Solid” Nelson (5-2-0). The final bantamweight bout on the card again pits California against Minnesota in a clash of Strikeforce veterans. D’Alelio opened her pro career with four stoppage wins, but she is coming off of a controversial defeat to current Strikeforce star Ronda Rousey in August and needs a big win to get herself back on track. Nelson already holds notable wins over Kaitlin Young and Yoko Takahashi, but her toughest battle may come in getting down to 135 pounds in April. Nelson demolished Sweden’s Lina Eklund this past weekend, but came in well over the bantamweight limit.
Fight #6 (115 pounds): “Slick” Sally Krumdiack (9-4-0) vs Sarah “White Tiger” Schneider (5-5-0). A native of Washington, Krumdiack is a two-time champion who holds titles for Freestyle Cage Fighting and Legends MMA. She has campaigned primarily at 125 pounds and has challenged some of the division’s best, but now returns to the flyweight division to face Missouri’s Schneider, a former bantamweight who earned a first-round victory in October. Schneider has totalled big wins over the likes of Kaitlin Young and Julie Kedzie. She should bring a size and strength advantage into the April bout, but Krumdiack has a savvy submission game. The winner could move into contention for a flyweight title in the future.
Invicta Fighting Championships 1 takes place on April 28th at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. A preview of the night’s preliminary card bouts can be found here.
Invicta Fighting Championships 1 Fight Card (subject to change):
– Marloes “Rumina” Coenen vs Romy Ruyssen
– Jessica Penne vs Lisa Ellis-Ward
– Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche vs Ashleigh Curry
– Kaitlin Young vs Leslie Smith
– Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio vs Shana “Rock Solid” Nelson
– “Slick” Sally Krumdiack vs Sarah “White Tiger” Schneider
– Nicdali “The Night Queen” Rivera-Calanoc vs Amy “Lil’ Dynamite” Davis
– Michele “Diablita” Gutierrez vs Sarah Maloy
– Randi Miller vs “Miss” Mollie Ahlers-Estes
– Ashley “Smashley” Cummins vs Sofia Bagherdai
– Jessica Philippus vs Meghan “The Babe” Wright