A featured flyweight bout between one of the division’s fastest rising stars, Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak, and unbeaten prospect Bethany Marshall is the latest addition to Invicta Fighting Championships 2 on July 28th in Kansas City, Kansas. The bout was officially announced today.
In other action on the main card, Strikeforce veteran Julia “The Jewel” Budd competes for the first time since a November bout with current Strikeforce champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. Budd faces off against Sweden’s Elina Nilsson in the lone featherweight matchup on the Invicta FC 2 card.
Honchak (5-2-0) began her mixed martial arts career in 2007 and compiled an 8-1 amateur record that included two title victories. Her transition to the professional ranks got off to a shaky start after decision losses in two of her first three bouts, but she has since bounced back with four straight wins against solid opposition. Honchak’s most impressive performance came in her most recent bout when she submitted former Strikeforce title challenger Roxanne Modafferi at BlackEye Promotions 5 in October. Until recently, Honchak lived in and trained out of Missouri, but she recently relocated to nearby Illinois and has also spent time training with former foe Cat Zingano in Colorado to sharpen her skills. Honchak looks to continue her rise to the top of the flyweight division by handing Marshall her first pro loss.
Marshall (4-0-0) also kicked off her career with a successful stint as an amateur and she has yet to taste defeat since making her pro debut in 2008. After two wins in her home state of Virginia, Marshall handed Christina “Machine Gun” Domke the first loss of her pro career in just 20 seconds when she choked her unconscious with a guillotine choke at Raging Wolf 6 in New York. Like Honchak, Marshall is also coming off of her highest-profile bout to date in her most recent outing. At M-1 Challenge 24, Marshall submitted fellow Virginian Stacy Grant with a second-round toe hold. Three of Marshall’s four pro wins have come by way of submission, but ring rust could play a factor for the 24-year-old as she competes for the first time since the March 2011 bout with Grant.
Budd (2-2-0) jumped right into the proverbial fire by making her pro MMA debut on a televised card for Strikeforce in October 2010 and she did not disappoint. The talented striker, already well-known for having defeated Gina Carano in a Muay Thai bout, dominated Shana “Rock Solid” Nelson for just shy of eight minutes en route to a TKO victory. The win put Budd on a short list of contenders for then-champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, but a shocking 14-second knockout loss to Amanda Nunes removed Budd from the immediate title picture. She rallied back with a decision victory over fellow Muay Thai standout Germaine de Randamie this past June, but is now looking to get back on the winning track after a quick and gruesome submission loss to current Strikeforce titleholder Rousey in November.
Nilsson (2-2-0) is one of the lesser known competitors on the Invicta FC 2 card, but the Swedish fighter sports a similar background to her opponent and an identical record. With her strength also based in Muay Thai, Nilsson has split her time between kickboxing and mixed martial arts bouts in Sweden. After setbacks in her first two forays into MMA competition, Nilsson has won back-to-back fights and is coming off of her most notable victory to date in May 2011. Nilsson faced off against a tough opponent in England’s Danielle “The Curse” West and emerged victorious via third-round TKO. She has not competed since the bout with West, however, and faces a solid test in her U.S. debut.
Invicta Fighting Championships 2 takes place on July 28th at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.
Invicta Fighting Championships 2 Fight Card (to date; subject to change):
– Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler (14-6-0) vs Sara McMann (5-0-0) [135 pounds]
– Alexis Davis (11-5-0) vs Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano (18-9-0) [135 pounds]
– Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (6-2-0) vs Kaitlin Young (7-5-1) [135 pounds]
– Amanda “Lioness of the Ring” Nunes (6-2-0) vs Milana Dudieva (8-1-0) [135 pounds]
– Kelly “Blood Red” Kobold (18-3-1) vs Vanessa Porto (14-4-0) [135 pounds]
– Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak (5-2-0) vs Bethany Marshall (4-0-0) [125 pounds]
– Julia “The Jewel” Budd (2-2-0) vs Elina Nilsson (2-2-0) [145 pounds]
– Carla Esparza (6-2-0) vs Sarah “White Tiger” Schneider (6-5-0) [115 pounds]
– “South Valley’s Own” Angelica Chavez (4-1-0) vs Kikuyo Ishikawa (7-3-0) [105 pounds]
– Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras (2-0-0) vs Raquel “Rocky” Pennington (1-0-0) [135 pounds]
– Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke (5-2-0 AM) vs Suzie Montero (1-0-0) [135 pounds]
– Jocelyn “Lights Out” Lybarger (4-2-0 AM) vs Cheryl Chan (6-2-0 AM) [125 pounds]
– Jessica Philippus (7-1-0 AM) vs “Lightning” Liz McCarthy (6-0-0 AM) [105 pounds]