Jessica Penne Faces Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc At Invicta FC 6Former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion Jessica Penne looks to get right back into the title picture when she faces Nicdali “The Night Queen” Rivera-Calanoc in a main card bout at Invicta Fighting Championships 6 on July 13th in Kansas City, Missouri. The 105-pound fight was announced tonight.

Penne became the first champion in Invicta FC history when she submitted Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama at Invicta FC 3 in October, but she was upset by Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson in her first title defence. Rivera-Calanoc is coming off of a big win over Angelica Chavez at Invicta FC 2.

Penne (10-2-0) dropped down to the 105-pound atomweight division in late 2010 after suffering her first career loss. Her first fight in the new weight class ended in a dominant first-round submission victory, but Penne soon found that few opponents were willing to face her. She made her Invicta FC debut on the new promotion’s inaugural card and stopped battle-tested veteran Lisa Ellis in the third round to set up a fight with Jewels titleholder Sugiyama for the first Invicta FC title. Penne prevailed via second-round triangle choke to claim the vacant belt.

Earlier this month, Penne put her title on the line against Waterson in the main event of Invicta FC 5. Many observers saw Penne as a significant favourite to win the fight, but Waterson threatened with numerous submission attempts in the first two rounds and finally forced Penne to submit to an armbar midway through round four.

Rivera-Calanoc (8-6-0) spent much of the early portion of her career competing at 125 pounds, where she became a champion for Freestyle Cage Fighting. In 2011, she moved down in weight to 115 pounds and engaged in a competitive bout with current Bellator star Felice “Lil’ Bulldog” Herrig, and later opted to move down even further to compete as an atomweight. Rivera-Calanoc’s first fight at 105 pounds ended in a submission defeat at Invicta FC 1, but she returned to action three months later and posted a clear-cut Unanimous Decision win over Chavez.

In addition to the atomweight contender’s bout between Penne and Rivera-Calanoc, bantamweight fan favourite Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith will also be in action on the Invicta FC 6 card. Smith awaits an opponent for her main card matchup. She is coming off of a Fight of the Night-winning performance at Invicta FC 5, in which she was very narrowly edged out by former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman.

Invicta Fighting Championships 6 takes place on July 13th at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. The event is headlined by a pair of championship fights.


Invicta Fighting Championships 6 Fight Card (to date; subject to change):

– Marloes “Rumina” Coenen vs Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino [Invicta FC Featherweight Championship]
– Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza vs Ayaka Hamasaki [Invicta FC Strawweight Championship]
– Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio vs Lauren Taylor
– Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith vs TBD
– Jessica Penne vs Nicdali “The Night Queen” Rivera-Calanoc
– Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood vs Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha
– Ediane “India” Gomes vs Julia “The Jewel” Budd
– Bec “Rowdy” Hyatt vs Mizuki Inoue
– “The Queen of Mean” Miriam Nakamoto vs “Diamond” Duda Yankovich

– “Thug” Rose Namajunas vs Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres
– Ashley “Smashley” Cummins vs Emily Kagan
– “Miss” Mollie Estes vs Veronica “The Heartbreaker” Rothenhausler
– “Fancy” Laura Sanko vs Livia “T-Rex” von Plettenberg



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, /