A bantamweight bout between Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith and Raquel “Rocky” Pennington has been added to the main card of Invicta Fighting Championships 4 on January 5th in Kansas City, Kansas. The featured matchup was officially announced by the promotion earlier today.
Smith is coming off of an impressive second-round TKO victory over Kaitlin Young in a rematch at Invicta FC 3. She has tasted defeat just once in her past five fights. Pennington defeated Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras in her Invicta FC debut in July and now looks to rebound from a loss in October.
Smith (4-2-1) became an instant star in April as one half of a spirited Fight of the Night battle with Young, which featured sustained action for 15 minutes. Smith appeared to hold an edge in the striking exchanges, but the judges were ultimately unable to determine a winner and returned a Split Draw verdict. An injury kept Smith off of the Invicta FC 2 card in July, but she returned to the cage in October and settled the score with Young in the rematch. Three of Smith’s pro wins have come by TKO and her ground game has improved considerably under the tutelage of Cesar Gracie. A victory next month could put Smith on a short list of contenders for the inaugural Invicta FC Bantamweight Championship.
Pennington (3-2-0) followed up on a stellar 7-1 run as an amateur with wins in three of her first four pro bouts, including a Unanimous Decision victory over Moras at Invicta FC 2. The well-rounded Colorado native is skilled on the feet and on the ground and has put on strong showings in each of her recent fights. In October, Pennington returned to Invicta FC to face unbeaten rising star “Alpha” Cat Zingano. She engaged in a competitive bout with the highly-touted Zingano before succumbing to a rear-naked choke in the second round. The loss aside, Pennington is still a bright prospect in the bantamweight division and she would take a big step up the ranks with a victory over Smith.
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]
- Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith vs Raquel “Rocky” Pennington [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]
- Stephanie “Macaquinha” Frausto vs “Sassy” Cassie Rodish [105 Pounds]
- Tamikka “Boom Boom” Brents vs Amanda “The Lady Killer” Bell [145 Pounds]
- “Lightning” Liz McCarthy vs Jodie Esquibel [105 Pounds]
- Emily Kagan vs Rose “The Riveter” Namajunas [115 Pounds]
- Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres vs “12 Gauge” Paige VanZant [115 Pounds]
- Katalina Malungahu vs Veronica “The Heartbreaker” Rothenhausler [145 Pounds]