Invicta Fighting Championships will crown its first 105-pound champion this Fall when Jessica Penne faces unbeaten Jewels champ Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama at Invicta FC 3. The event is currently targeted for October 6th and is expected to take place at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.
The bout between Penne and Sugiyama is tentatively set to headline the October card, but the promotion also hopes to showcase a 135-pound title tilt that may serve as the night’s main event. Penne aims to take over the top spot at 105 and she discussed the bout with MMARising.com today.
Penne (9-1-0) made a big statement in her Invicta FC debut on the promotion’s inaugural card in April. Returning to action for the first time in over 17 months, Penne engaged in a back-and-forth bout with Lisa Ellis before breaking Ellis’s nose with a knee and finishing the fight with punches in the third round. The victory vaulted Penne to number two in the atomweight division, but the 29-year-old Californian has her sights set on capturing Invicta FC gold and the top spot at 105 pounds. She will have a chance to accomplish both goals in October when she battles Sugiyama in Sugiyama’s North American debut.
“Obviously, I’m extremely excited about the upcoming fight with Sugiyama,” Penne told MMARising.com today. “I think that it’s an amazing opportunity and I’m very fortunate to be a part of the first Invicta title fight. When I started fighting, I never really thought about where I wanted to go with the sport because there weren’t that many opportunities. I just wanted to train and compete, and to finally have an opportunity to fight for a belt is just a dream come true.
“I’m really looking forward to competing against Sugiyama. She has an impressive record and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I don’t know a lot about her, but I’m going to train hard and I’ll be ready for anything. Thanks to Invicta for giving us this opportunity.”
Sugiyama (8-0-0) began her career in the former Valkyrie promotion in 2009. After wins in her first two fights, Sugiyama was matched up against Valkyrie Flyweight Champion Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada in a non-title bout on the promotion’s final card. Surprising many, Sugiyama upset Tamada to become the top fighter at 105 pounds in just three fights. She has since proven that the win was no fluke with five straight victories for Japan’s all-female Jewels promotion and became Jewels Featherweight Queen Champion in December with two wins in one night. Most recently, Sugiyama defeated Tamada for a second time at Jewels: “19th Ring” in May. Having dispatched of all top contenders in Japan, she now looks to capture a second championship with what would be her biggest win to date.
Invicta Fighting Championships 3 is targeted for October 6th at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.