A hand injury has forced Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith out of her featured bantamweight bout with Amanda “Lioness of the Ring” Nunes at Invicta Fighting Championships 2 on July 28th in Kansas City, Kansas. Hawaii’s Raquel “Rocky” Pa’aluhi has stepped in to face Nunes on the card.
MMARising.com confirmed the change with a source close to the promotion today. Smith is believed to have suffered a hairline fracture and a timetable for her return is not yet known. Pa’aluhi is Nunes’s third planned opponent after her original foe, Milana Dudieva, also withdrew due to an injury.
Pa’aluhi (2-2-0) is a veteran of the X-1 promotion in her native Hawaii, where she has fought five times. After winning her first two bouts as an amateur, the talented striker turned pro in June 2010 and earned wins in two of three fights. This past August, Pa’aluhi took a big step up in competition to face Olympic silver medallist and fellow Invicta FC 2 competitor Sara McMann at ProElite 1. In an action-packed, back-and-forth bout, Pa’aluhi put on a game performance but ultimately succumbed to a keylock in the final round. Despite the setback, Pa’aluhi impressed many in the bout with McMann. She now faces another tough opponent on short notice, but a victory over Nunes would vault Pa’aluhi up the competitive bantamweight ranks.
Nunes (6-2-0) must once again adjust her strategy with the latest opponent change. The hard-hitting Brazilian has earned knockout finishes in each of her six career wins, including a 14-second stoppage of Julia “The Jewel” Budd at Strikeforce Challengers 13. In September, Nunes faced her toughest test to date when she battled another Invicta FC 2 competitor, Alexis Davis, under the Strikeforce banner. Despite a strong first round, Nunes was overwhelmed on the ground in round two and suffered the first TKO defeat of her career. Prior to the loss, Nunes had won six straight fights. She looks to get back into contention with a victory in her Invicta FC debut.
Invicta Fighting Championships 2 takes place on July 28th at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.
Invicta Fighting Championships 2 Fight Card (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]
- Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio (5-2-0) vs Vanessa Porto (14-4-0) [135 pounds]
- Ayaka Hamasaki (7-0-0) vs Lacey “The Ladie” Schuckman (7-4-0) [115 pounds]
- Amanda “Lioness of the Ring” Nunes (6-2-0) vs Raquel “Rocky” Pa’aluhi (2-2-0) [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]
- Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras (2-0-0) vs Raquel “Rocky” Pennington (1-1-0) [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]
- “South Valley’s Own” Angelica Chavez (4-1-0) vs Nicdali “The Night Queen” Rivera-Calanoc (7-6-0) [105 pounds]
- Jessica Philippus (7-1-0 AM) vs “Lightning” Liz McCarthy (6-0-0 AM) [105 pounds]
(Photo Credit: ProElite)