Invicta FC 42 Results: Alesha Zappitella Captures Atomweight TitleAlesha “Half Pint” Zappitella earned her third straight victory and captured championship gold tonight at Invicta Fighting Championships 42 in Kansas City, Kansas. The standout wrestler submitted long-time contender Ashley “Smashley” Cummins to win the vacant Invicta FC atomweight title.

Zappitella gained momentum as tonight’s championship main event bout progressed and she employed a shoulder choke to secure the title victory and a Performance of the Night bonus in the fourth round. In the co-main event, Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa edged out Raquel “Lionheart” Canuto.


Zappitella (8-2-0, 1 NC) engaged in a kickboxing battle with Cummins (7-6-0) during the opening ten minutes tonight and Cummins rocked her with a right hand in the opening round. Zappitella rallied with a takedown late in the round, but Cummins continued to get the better of the striking exchanges in the second stanza. Zappitella switched things up in round three and she secured a takedown after ducking under a Cummins right hand. Zappitella spent almost the entire duration of the round working from top position with short elbow strikes.

As the fourth round began, Cummins countered a Zappitella takedown with a guillotine choke, but that proved to be her undoing. Zappitella passed to half-guard as Cummins maintained her grip on the choke, which allowed Zappitella to trap her in a shoulder choke from the top. Cummins tried to hold on, but tapped out at the 1:20 mark of round four.

Zappitella has become a breakout star for Invicta FC during the past two years and tonight’s victory earned the 25-year-old both the Invicta FC Atomweight Championship and a well-deserved Performance of the Night bonus. An emotional Zappitella thanked her teammates and family for their support in her career as she spoke backstage following her title win.


Verzosa (6-1-0) and Canuto (6-7-0) engaged in a back-and-forth battle on the feet for three rounds in the bantamweight co-feature. Canuto was the aggressor throughout much of the first round, as she pressed forward with punch-kick combos and Verzosa responded with counterpunches while circling on the outside. Canuto appeared to have an edge in the striking exchanges, but two judges disagreed and scored the first round in Verzosa’s favour. That proved to be the difference maker, as Verzosa picked up the pace with her offence and took round three, while Canuto landed a hard right hand and a flurry of punches late in the final stanza to steal round three.

One judge saw the fight 29-28 for Canuto, but the other two both had it 29-28 for Verzosa, who eked out a razor-thin victory and got back on track after dropping a five-round decision to Julija Stoliarenko in a bloody and action-packed battle in March.


Jéssica Correa Delboni (10-2-0) and former atomweight champ Hérica Tibúrcio (11-5-0) engaged in a competitive bout at strawweight tonight, with Delboni securing a well-earned Unanimous Decision victory. Delboni used three- and four-punch flurries to keep Tibúrcio on the defensive at times, and she thwarted Tibúrcio’s attempts to take the fight to the mat. Tibúrcio’s best success came in round three, as she was more aggressive throughout and walked Delboni down with overhand lefts and rights. However, Delboni’s superior kickboxing in the first two rounds had already sealed the fight in her favour, as the judges returned scores of 30-27 twice and 29-28 at the end of the three-round matchup.

In the Invicta FC 42 Fight of the Night, Victoria “Fury” Leonard (7-2-0) edged out Liz “The Titan” Tracy (5-4-0) at flyweight. Aside from a hard right-hand counter from Leonardo, Tracy fared well in the opening round by landing kick-punch combos and scoring a takedown late in the round. Leonardo opened round two with body kicks and right hands, and she secured a brief takedown. Back on the feet, Leonardo landed the better combinations and she stayed outside of Tracy’s range. The final round was very close, as Tracy mixed up her strikes well with more kick-punch combos early on and Leonardo came back strong in the dying seconds with a hard one-two and three body kicks. All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Leonardo, who took the Unanimous Decision victory.

Opening up the card, Helen “Iansã” Peralta (3-1-0) made the most of a last-minute opportunity by defeating Jennifer “Dugwen” Chieng (1-1-0) in their 120-pound catchweight contest. Peralta, who took the fight on one day’s notice and drove in from Iowa on the day of weigh-ins, dominated Chieng in the clinch in all three rounds. She hurt Chieng with a series of left hands late in the second round and nearly finished her after throwing Chieng to the mat, but time expired. Peralta continued her clinch control in the final round and never let Chieng mount any significant offence. Scores were 30-26 and 30-27 twice for Peralta, who made a successful return to the Invicta FC cage after two years away.

Full play-by-play for all bouts on the Invicta FC 42 card can be found here.



(Photo Credit: Invicta Fighting Championships)