This Friday night, Invicta FC returns for their second one-night tournament. This time the flyweight division will be on display in the Phoenix Series. The event will mark the first in the string of upcoming events for the promotion that is currently capped off by Invicta FC 38 on November 1 in Kansas City, Kansas.
Originally announced for the event’s headlining bout was the recently crowned champion in Brazil’s Vanessa Porto as she’s set to defend against Mexico’s Karina Rodriguez. Porto finally captured the elusive Invicta title on her third attempt by dispatching of the red-hot Pearl Gonzalez at Invicta FC 34 in February.
As for her opponent, Rodriguez just earned her title shot by winning her way through a four-woman tournament that saw her defeat the likes of Milana Dudieva in a fight of the night effort followed up by some redemption in her rematch with DeAnna Bennett.
It’s been quite a while since Invicta held an event that saw two titles be contested for. In fact, you would have to go all the way back to November 18, 2016, for Invicta 20. However, that won’t be the last time we’ve seen two titles on the line in the promotion come Invicta 38.
On Tuesday, Invicta President, Shannon Knapp announced on the Beatdown podcast that the vacant strawweight title will be up from grabs when highly-touted Japanese prospect, Kanako Murata (10-1) squares off against former Bellator flyweight title challenger, Emily Ducote (8-5).
The 115-pound strawweight title has seemingly been passed around like a hot potato throughout its history as it’s the only Invicta title to have never been defended more than one time.
For both competitors in Murata and Ducote, this will be each of their sophomore appearances in the organization and they’re both coming off of flawless debut performances.
The Matsuyama native and RIZIN FF standout is just 26-years-old and currently rides a six-fight winning streak with all of her last four wins ending by way of submission – two of those coming in the form of the rarely seen Von Preux choke.
On Ducote’s end, her most recent win was an extension of her rebounding off of a three-fight losing streak that began with her challenging for the inaugural Bellator 125-pound championship against the current champion, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. Her Invicta debut saw her score her first career win by knockout as she put away another former title challenger, Janaisa Morandin late into the opening round of their encounter.
There are surely many more great bouts to be added to this card as well as the ones that are preceding it on the schedule. But two title fights is never a bad way to start the building process.