Invicta Fighting Championships will stage its inaugural all-female event on April 28th at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. The night’s five-fight preliminary card is expected to be headlined by a 105-pound bout between Nicdali “The Night Queen” Rivera-Calanoc and Amy “Lil’ Dynamite” Davis.
Also announced for the card today was the long-awaited MMA debut of 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Randi Miller, who faces Mollie Ahlers-Estes. Top prospect Ashley “Smashley” Cummins battles the returning Sofia Bagherdai and Jessica Philippus makes her pro debut against Meghan Wright.
Fight #5 (105 pounds): Nicdali “The Night Queen” Rivera-Calanoc (7-5-0) vs Amy “Lil’ Dynamite” Davis (2-2-0, 1 NC). Rivera-Calanoc drops down to the strawweight division after mixed success in recent bouts at 115 and 125. The Oklahoma native is a former Freestyle Cage Fighting titleholder and has finished four opponents via a form of knockout. She is coming off of a competitive decision defeat in May. Idaho’s Davis is an accomplished Muay Thai striker who has recently placed a renewed focus on mixed martial arts competition. After a contentious decision loss at the end of 2010, Davis rebounded with an impressive first-round stoppage victory this past October.
Fight #4 (125 pounds): Michele “Diablita” Gutierrez (3-2-0) vs Sarah Maloy (2-2-0). In one of the more pivotal bouts on the card, Nevada’s Gutierrez faces Oklahoma’s Maloy in a matchup of prospects in need of a big win. Gutierrez rebounded from a loss in her pro debut with three straight victories and she should have a decided advantage on the feet against Maloy. However, like Maloy, Gutierrez enters the April bout after a disappointing loss that halted her rise up the ranks. Maloy has a solid wrestling base and submitted her first two pro opponents, but she suffered setbacks in a pair of 2011 bouts for Freestyle Cage Fighting.
Fight #3 (145 pounds): Randi Miller (0-0-0, making MMA debut) vs “Miss” Mollie Ahlers-Estes (1-0-0). Now residing in Colorado, Miller brings her elite wrestling skills to the cage for the first time and joins fellow Olympic medallists Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann in the professional mixed martial arts ranks. Miller is one of the top female wrestlers in North America and she will pose a tough test for Missouri’s Ahlers-Estes, who won her pro debut by way of Unanimous Decision in October after a successful stint as an amateur. Miller could prove to be a future star in the featherweight division, but she will first have to get past Ahlers-Estes in April.
Fight #2 (115 pounds): Ashley “Smashley” Cummins (2-0-0 pro, 10-0-0 overall) vs Sofia Bagherdai (4-1-0). 24-year-old St. Louis, Missouri police officer Cummins has developed into one of the top female prospects in the United States and has yet to taste defeat through ten bouts. After capturing numerous titles as an amateur, Cummins claimed her first pro belt in November and kicked off 2012 with a close decision win this past month. California native Bagherdai steps back into the cage for the first time since 2008 and now drops down to the flyweight division. Her lone career defeat came against Carina Damm, who tested positive for steroids after the fight.
Fight #1 (105 pounds): Jessica Philippus (6-1-0 amateur, making pro debut) vs Meghan “The Babe” Wright (1-3-0). This late addition to the card pits Missouri’s Philippus against Cincinnati, Ohio’s Wright in Philippus’s professional debut. Philippus has not lost since her MMA debut against rising star Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak in a 2009 bout contested well above Philippus’s normal fighting weight. She is coming off of an impressive victory over Sarah “The Piranha” Goodlaxson one year ago. Wright has encountered ups and downs since joining the pro ranks, but all three of her defeats have come against current or former top-ten-ranked opposition.
Invicta Fighting Championships 1 takes place on April 28th at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.