International Fight Week in Las Vegas just got a big addition in the form of women’s MMA, as Invicta revealed its 13th installment with three title fights. The card will be spearheaded by Cris “Cyborg” Justino, who defends her Invicta Featherweight Championship in the main event.
The lineup and details were acquired through a press release from Invicta FC Thursday afternoon.
The event will take place in Las Vegas on July 9 during the biggest MMA weekend of the year, International Fight Week. It will air on UFC Fight Pass the same weekend as a number of events, including UFC 189: Aldo vs. McGregor and The Ultimate Fighter 21 finale, which also take place in Las Vegas.
Justino looks to continue her dominance in Invicta, as she is 3-0 with the company. This will be the second defense of her featherweight championship, a title she won back in 2013 with a win over Marloes Coenen and defended against Charmaine Tweet in her most recent bout.
She has been one of the best women in MMA since breaking onto the scene in 2005. She figures to try and drop to 135 again after this bout, as an impending bout with Ronda Rousey would be a box-office mega-draw.
She takes on Faith Van Duin, a New Zealander with a 5-1 record. She made a victorious debut with Invicta at the promotion’s last event, as she choked out Amanda Bell in impressive fashion.
There are also two other title bouts on the card.
The vacant Invicta Bantamweight Championship is up for grabs, and two of Invicta‘s best will compete for it. Mexican banger Irene Aldana will take on TUF 18 veteran Tonya Evinger.
Aldana has cruised through the Invicta 135-pound division, going 2-0 with two fight-round finishes. In a total of three minutes, 55 seconds in Invicta cages, Aldana has choked out both Peggy Morgan and Colleen Schneider, which has earned her this opportunity.
Evinger, since her brief appearance on TUF, has turned a corner and become one of the best 135ers not on the UFC roster. She went back to the drawing board and took Invicta by storm, rattling off consecutive wins over Sarah D’Alelio, Ediane Gomes and Cindy Dandois.
Lastly, Herica Tiburcio will defend her Invicta Atomweight Championship for the first time when she takes on top Japanese opponent Ayaka Hamasaki.
Tiburcio won her title in her most recent bout, when she shocked Michelle Waterson with a dominant submission performance. It was her debut at 105 pounds, as she had spent the rest of her career at 115.
Hamasaki has split time between Invicta and Deep Jewels, only losing once in 12 career bouts. She, like Tiburcio, is a great grappler, which should lead to a excellent mat war.
Outside the three title bouts, there are four more undercard bouts that should make for a great event.
Ireland’s Catherine Costigan will make her Invicta and U.S. debut when she takes on top 105-pounder Amber Brown. Costigan fits the weekend well, as Conor McGregor‘s presence will bring a strong Irish contingent, which could help fill the Invicta arena.
Also, Jamie Moyle will take on Amy Montenegro in the strawweight division; Cage Warriors champ Pannie Kianzad will premiere against fellow debutant Jessy Rose Clark; and Ronda Rousey running mate Marina Shafir will make her Invicta debut against Amber Leibrock.
It looks to be a loaded card that should be one of the many highlights of International Fight Week.
Stay tuned with Bleacher Report for more details as they become available.
|Weight Class||Fighter No. 1||Fighter No. 2|
|Featherweight*||Cris “Cyborg” Justino (c)||Faith van Duin|
|Bantamweight*||Tonya Evinger||Irene Aldana|
|Atomweight*||Herica Tiburcio (c)||Ayaka Hamasaki|
|Atomweight||Amber Brown||Catherine Costigan|
|Strawweight||Jamie Moyle||Amy Montenegro|
|Bantamweight||Pannie Kianzad||Jessy Rose Clark|
|Featherweight||Marina Shafir||Amber Leibrock|
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