Invicta FC 40 Results: Emily Ducote Wins Strawweight HeadlinerRecent strawweight title challenger Emily “Gordinha” Ducote put herself back into championship contention with a hard-fought victory tonight at Invicta Fighting Championships 40 in Kansas City, Kansas. Ducote rallied to defeat Juliana “Ju Thai” Lima by Unanimous Decision in the main event.

Elsewhere on tonight’s card, Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella picked up her second straight victory with a close and competitive Split Decision verdict over Lindsey “Damsel” VanZandt in an atomweight contender’s bout, and Chelsea Chandler quickly submitted Olivia “Phoenix” Parker at 145 pounds.


Ducote (9-6-0) established her jab early in tonight’s main event, but Lima (10-7-0) began to take control of the striking exchanges as the opening round progressed. She landed a hard right hand and two knees in a clinch, and continued to mix up her strikes while preventing Ducote from taking her down. Ducote turned the tides in round two, however, and she mixed up her strikes effectively with punch-kick combos while keeping Lima on the defensive. Lima eventually scored with a hard one-two and Ducote responded by taking her down into side control, She mounted Lima and cut her below the right eye with elbows before the bell.

Between rounds, an energised Ducote paced back and forth, and she kept the pressure on Lima in the final round with combinations and long jabs. Lima had her moments on the feet, but Ducote cracked her with a hard right hand as the fight neared its final minute and she took Lima down seconds later. Lima battled back to her feet and the fighters traded jabs until the end of the competitive fight. Scores were 29-28 across the board for Ducote, who is now once again a top contender at 115 pounds following tonight’s win. Ducote was also awarded with a Performance of the Night bonus.


Zappitella (7-2-0, 1 ND) controlled much of the opening round on the mat after taking VanZandt (7-4-0) down into side control, where she landed elbows to VanZandt’s face and prevented her from getting back to her feet until shortly before the bell. It was more of the same in the first half of round two, and Zappitella was once again able to score with ground and pound after she took VanZandt down. However, VanZandt eventually kicked her off and she came on strong with straight right hands and combinations. Zappitella continued to pursue takedowns and she managed to drag VanZandt down late in the back-and-forth round.

In the final round, Zappitella remained focused on taking VanZandt down, but VanZandt defended well and she took Zappitella’s back in a clinch against the fence. Zappitella spun free and took VanZandt down, only to be kicked off soon after. On the feet, VanZandt held a clear edge in the striking exchanges and she scored with a hard body kick and a knee. VanZandt countered a late takedown from Zappitella with a triangle choke attempt, but her rally was not quite enough to steal back the fight. One judge had the close bout 29-28 for VanZandt, while the remaining two had it 30-27 and 29-27 for Zappitella, who moved a step closer to an atomweight title fight with the Split Decision victory.


Earlier on the card, Chandler (3-1-0) made short work of Parker (4-1-0) in their brief featherweight matchup. Chandler attacked with punches right away and hurt Parker with a left hook to the body. Soon after, she dropped Parker with an overhand left and quickly locked on a rear-naked choke on the ground that forced Parker to submit at the 1:05 mark of round one. For her quick finish, Chandler also took home a Performance of the Night bonus.

In flyweight action, Trisha Cicero (4-3-0) overcame a tough first round and edged out Laura “La Jefa” Gallardo (2-1-0) by Split Decision. Gallardo scored multiple takedowns in the opening round, but Cicero rallied as the fight progressed and she outstruck Gallardo on the feet with jab-uppercut combos and hard leg kicks that caused Gallardo to lose her balance late in round two. The final round saw Gallardo continuing to try to take Cicero down and Cicero landed leg kicks and right hands while fending her off. Cicero’s crisp striking in the final ten minutes proved to be the difference maker and two judges scored the fight 29-28 in her favour, while the third had it 29-28 for Gallardo.

Opening up the card, Genia “The Slim Reaper” Goodin (2-0-0) remained unbeaten with a Unanimous Decision win over Shelby Koren (0-1-0) at strawweight. In the first round, Koren chained together non-stop submission attempts on the ground and she appeared to hyperextend Goodin’s arm in an armbar, but Goodin was completely unfazed. She took Koren down in the second round and threatened with a mounted triangle choke, but Koren was crafty and escaped before threatening with another armbar herself. In round three, Goodin reversed a headlock throw from Koren and mounted her, and she landed some solid punches from the top before Koren could escape back to her feet. Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice for Goodin, who made it two for two inside the Invicta FC cage.

The start of the Goodin-Koren bout was delayed by several minutes due to a power outage at the venue, but the remainder of the event proceeded as planned with no interruptions.

Full play-by-play for all bouts on the Invicta FC 40 card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Invicta Fighting Championships)