Livia Renata Souza vs DeAnna Bennett Headlines Invicta FC 15Invicta FC Strawweight Champion Livia Renata “Livinha” Souza makes the first defence of her title on January 16th at Invicta Fighting Championships 15 in Costa Mesa, California. Souza is set to face undefeated contender DeAnna “The Argentine Assassin” Bennett in the night’s main event.

Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp announced the title fight on today’s edition of The MMA Hour. Three additional bouts were also confirmed for the Invicta FC 15 card in January including a bantamweight contender’s battle between rising stars Raquel “Lionheart” Pa’aluhi and Irene Aldana.

Souza (8-0-0) submitted six of her first seven opponents in Brazil before signing with Invicta FC this past year. She made her debut for the promotion in April and became an overnight star by submitting Katja “Killer Bunny” Kankaanpää to become the new Invicta FC Strawweight Champion. Souza had planned to make the first defence of her new title against Alexa Grasso, but the bout was delayed and ultimately scrapped when Grasso was sidelined due to an injury.

Bennett (8-0-0) kicked off her pro career with four impressive wins for the Showdown Fights promotion, including notable victories over TUF 18 winner Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Peña and Colleen “The Thoroughbred” Schneider. She racked up back-to-back flyweight victories for Invicta FC before dropping down to 115 pounds. Bennett needed two tries to make weight for her strawweight debut in February and missed weight for her controversial Split Decision win over Kankaanpää at Invicta FC 14.


Pa’aluhi (5-4-0) has completely turned her career around since returning to Invicta FC one year ago. She first outpointed Kaitlin Young at Invicta FC 9 and most recently extended her winning streak to three by defeating Ediane “India” Gomes. Her opponent in January, Aldana (5-2-0), became a star in her home country of Mexico by viciously knocking out her first three opponents. She earned first-round submission wins in each of her first two fights for Invicta FC before suffering a one-sided TKO loss to champion Tonya “Triple Threat” Evinger in July.

Also on the Invicta FC 15 card, TUF 20 contestants and recent UFC castoffs Lisa Ellis (15-10-0) and Angela “Overkill” Hill (2-2-0) will both compete in separate matchups. Ellis takes on top atomweight contender Amber “The Bully” Brown (5-1-0) at 105 pounds, while Hill clashes with Jodie Esquibel (5-1-0) in a featured strawweight bout.

Invicta FC Featherweight Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (14-1-0, 1 ND) may also compete on the card, possibly against Cindy “Battlecat” Dandois (6-2-0), but Justino’s participation and even her status with Invicta FC is very much in question. Justino refuted claims that she had agreed to compete at 140 pounds at Invicta FC 15 and expressed frustration with the event’s repeated delays. The Brazilian, whose Invicta FC contract is financed by the UFC, has been courted by Bellator and may soon look to join Bellator’s women’s featherweight division.

Invicta Fighting Championships 15 takes place on January 16th at The Hangar at The OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California.



(Photo Credit: Invicta Fighting Championships)