Invicta FC will return on Friday night, including a main event that will see an up-and-coming flyweight in challenge Karina Rodriguez challenge long-time Invicta fighter Vanessa Porto. Also on the show, a new strawweight champion will be crowned as Kanako Murata and Emily Ducote compete. Live from the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, USA, let’s look at Invicta FC 38.
Bout 1: Serena DeJesus (1-0) vs. Taneisha Tennant (1-0) (Bantamweight)
The evening will open with two bantamweight fighters making their Invicta debut. Both undefeated with one victory, Serena DeJesus and Taneisha Tennant will face off. DeJesus first fought as an amateur in 2014, racking up a 5-2 record before moving to professional MMA, getting a decision victory. Tennant stayed undefeated as an amateur at 3-0, then got a first round stoppage victory in her pro debut.
Bout 2: Shaianna Rincon (2-0) vs. Auttumn Norton (0-1) (Featherweight)
The second bout of the evening is between two fighters very early in their careers. Undefeated featherweight Shaianna Rincon will face Auttumn Norton, who is attempting to come back from a loss. Both fighters have had all of their professional fights within Invicta. Norton had a 7-2 record as an amateur, with Rincon being an undefeated 4-0.
Bout 3: Lisa Verzosa (4-0) vs. Kerri Kenneson (3-1) (Bantamweight)
The third fight will see undefeated Lisa Verzosa face Kerri Kenneson. Verzosa has only been a pro since 2018, although she’s picked up four wins, all via decision. She has been fighting since 2014, finishing her amateur career with a 9-1 record. Kenneson got her first loss as a pro recently, losing in the first round to Stephanie Geltmacher. Unlike Verzosas, Kenneson’s career has happened in promotions outside of Invicta.
Bout 4: Shanna Young (6-2) vs. Maiju Suotama (8-4) (Flyweight)
Shanna Young and Maiju Suotama will face off for the second time this year. While their first meeting was only a one-round fight, Young defeated Suotama in September on an Invicta card. Previously, Young lost on Dana White’s Contender Series, a show where fighters compete for UFC contracts. This is the first proper fight that Suotama has taken in the Invicta promotion.
Bout 5: Mallory Martin (5-2) vs. Cynthia Arceo (5-1-1) (Strawweight)
Mallory Martin got a victory on Dana White’s Contender Series last summer, but sadly didn’t impress UFC brass. She returns to Invicta on Friday, facing Cynthia Arceo, who is making her Invicta debut. Arceo attained a 5-1-1 record within the King of the Cage promotion, 9-1-1 if you include the amateur bouts. On the same night as the strawweight championship bout, either Martin or Arceo could set themself up as a contender.
Bout 6: Vanessa Porto (21-8) vs. Karina Rodriguez (8-3) (Flyweight)
Vanessa Poro and Karina Rodriguez go up against each other in the co-main event of the evening. What was originally meant to be the main event for the Invicta Flyweight Championship was demoted to co-main after Rodriguez missed weight for the fight. Rodriguez is currently on a two-fight winning streak, getting decision victories against Milana Dudieva and DeAnna Bennett. Porto is on a three-fight winning streak, defeating Milana Dudieva and Mariana Morais before facing Pearl Gonzalez for the promotion’s flyweight belt. Porto has been in Invicta since nearly the start, fighting on the promotion’s second card ever in 2012.
Bout 7: Kanako Murata (10-1) vs. Emily Ducote (8-5) (Invicta Vacant Strawweight Championship)
In the main event of the evening, Kanako Murata and Emily Ducote will compete for the currently vacant strawweight championship. The former champion was Brianna Van Buren, who vacated the belt once she got a UFC contract. Murata has been undefeated since 2017, on a six-fight winning streak. She has four wins in RIZIN and most recently defeated Liana Pirosin via submission at Invicta FC 35. Ducote is coming off an Invicta win against Janaisa Morandin via first-round punches. Ducote previously had a 4-4 record in Bellator, notably fighting current Bellator Flyweight Champion Ilima-Lei MacFarlane.