Jessica Penne Eyes New Challenges At 105 After Invicta FC WinOn Saturday night in the co-main event of Invicta Fighting Championships 1, Jessica Penne put on her most impressive performance to date in her second fight in the atomweight division. Penne stopped veteran opponent Lisa Ellis with punches in the third round of a back-and-forth battle.

Penne believes that she has found a new home at 105 pounds, where she no longer gives up a size and strength advantage to opponents who cut significant amounts of weight. She spoke with following her victory and discussed the debut Invicta FC card and her fighting future.

“The Invicta promotion as a whole is extremely well-organised and really a pleasure to work with,” says Penne, who moved to 9-1 with the win over Ellis. “It’s probably the best show that I’ve ever had the pleasure to fight on. I didn’t get to see any of the other fights, so that’s definitely something that I’d like to check out.”

While Ellis is renowned for her ground game and represented a very tough test for Penne in her second fight at 105 pounds, Penne remained active even when working from her back. Aside from a few solid punches that Ellis landed on the feet, which caused some bruises to form on Penne’s forehead, Penne was otherwise happy with and proud of her performance. Of note was a unique double armbar attempt from a rear crucifix that Penne employed late in the opening round.

“I have a pretty flexible approach and just sort of combine conventional and unorthodox ways,” Penne says of the rarely-seen submission. “My coaches, Mark [Munoz] and Lucas [Leite], always encourage me to be creative and to improvise. I use my flexibility to my advantage. It works for me.”

In the third round of the bout with Ellis, Penne landed a knee from a Thai clinch that appeared to break Ellis’s nose and the strike changed the entire course of the round and the fight. Penne credits her corner for telling her to put the pressure on Ellis after hurting her with the knee.

“My corner just told me to go forward, and when they told me that I kind of realised that she was bleeding from the nose,” Penne recalls. “It’s all up to [my corner] and I just did what they told me to do.

“I think that the opportunity to earn the belt at 105 would be amazing, but we don’t know what they have planned for the next show or the one after that,” Penne adds when discussing her next step under the Invicta FC banner. “[I’ll fight] whoever is available to fight at 105 because I’ve tried for quite a while to get a fight at 105 and I haven’t had that much luck.

“I’m finally fighting in a weight class that I believe I belong in,” she continues. “I walk at 115, so there’s always been a size advantage for girls who cut down and I never had to do that [when fighting at 115]. Now I feel a lot bigger and stronger. To fight again at 115, I don’t see myself being able to put on that much weight to be competitive because all of the women [there] are starting to cut a lot of weight to move down a weight class. I think 105 is where I’m better.”

After her impressive win on Saturday, a title fight for Invicta FC may not be too far away for Penne, but she remains focused on taking on tough challengers in her new weight class and establishing herself as the top atomweight in the sport in the process.