Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio and Amanda “Lioness of the Ring” Nunes will face off in a pivotal bantamweight bout at Invicta Fighting Championships 4 on January 5th in Kansas City, Kansas. The featured main card fight was one of a series of bouts officially announced for the event today.
Also confirmed for the card is a featherweight contender’s battle between Brazil’s Ediene “India” Gomes and Japan’s Hiroko “Cat’s Eye” Yamanaka. MMAjunkie.com first reported on plans for the Gomes-Yamanaka matchup in late October and the bout is now official for the Invicta FC 4 main card.
D’Alelio (6-3-0) got a new start under the Invicta FC banner this year following a disappointing loss in Strikeforce. She made the most of the opportunity with a one-sided stoppage of Vanessa Mariscal at Invicta FC 1 in April and followed that up with her biggest win to date – a first-round submission of Vanessa Porto – in July. The jiu-jitsu specialist’s hopes for Invicta FC title contention were temporarily dashed this past month, however, as D’Alelio succumbed to a second-round rear-naked choke from fellow grappling ace Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler in the Invicta FC 3 co-feature. The promotion still hopes to create a bantamweight title in 2013 and D’Alelio can get right back into the championship hunt with a victory in January.
Nunes (7-2-0) was also able to rebound from a tough loss in Strikeforce when she made her Invicta FC debut in July. Facing short-notice opponent Raquel “Rocky” Pa’aluhi, Nunes took her Hawaiian foe down and choked her out in just over two minutes. Nunes has yet to go the distance in any of her nine fights and she is renowned for her striking power, which she used to knock out featherweight Julia “The Jewel” Budd in her January 2011 Strikeforce debut. The win over Pa’aluhi showed that Nunes can hold her own on the ground as well and her training in North America has led to a number of improvements in her game. She, too, looks to take another step up the bantamweight ranks with a key victory.
Gomes (9-2-0) is one of the most talented grapplers in the women’s featherweight division and she has secured seven wins to date by way of submission. Following a quick loss to “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey in March 2011, Gomes rebounded with a pair of victories before the end of the year, including a key win over Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith. She debuted for Invicta FC this past month against hard-hitting newcomer Katalina Malungahu and survived her opponent’s initial barrage of strikes before trapping her in a fight-ending rear-naked choke. With an Invicta FC featherweight title likely to debut next year, Gomes could position herself for a shot at the championship with her fourth straight win.
Yamanaka (12-2-0, 1 ND) first rose to fame in her native Japan with victories in 12 of her first 13 fights. The one-time open-weight fighter gradually moved down in weight and began to make big improvements to her game after joining the Master Japan gym. She brought an eight-fight winning streak into her December 2011 Strikeforce debut against then-champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, but Yamanaka was overwhelmed by Santos’s punching power. The result of the fight was overturned when Santos tested positive for steroids, but Yamanaka’s second appearance for Strikeforce also ended in defeat. She suffered a Unanimous Decision loss to Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randamie in that bout and now looks for a fresh start under the Invicta FC banner.
Invicta Fighting Championships 4 takes place on January 5, 2013 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. The event is headlined by the inaugural Invicta FC Strawweight Championship bout between Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza and Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha.
Invicta Fighting Championships 4 Fight Card (to date; subject to change):
– Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza vs Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha [Invicta FC Strawweight Title]
– Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler vs Alexis “Ally-Gator” Davis [135 Pounds]
– Amanda “Lioness of the Ring” Nunes vs Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio [135 Pounds]
– Ediene “India” Gomes vs Hiroko “Cat’s Eye” Yamanaka [145 Pounds]
– Joanne Calderwood vs Bec “Rowdy” Hyatt [115 Pounds]
– Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith vs TBD [Weight TBD]
– Stephanie “Macaquinha” Frausto vs “Sassy” Cassie Rodish [105 Pounds]
– Veronica “The Heartbreaker” Rothenhausler vs Katalina Malungahu [145 Pounds]
– Tamikka “Boom Boom” Brents vs Amanda “The Lady Killer” Bell [145 Pounds]
– “Lightning” Liz McCarthy vs Jodie Esquibel [105 Pounds]
– Rose “The Riveter” Namajunas vs Emily Kagan [115 Pounds]
– Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres vs “12 Gauge” Paige VanZant [115 Pounds]