Invicta FC Phoenix Rising Preview

Invicta FC Phoenix Rising
Invicta FC is reviving the one-night tournament with their "Phoenix Rising" series. (Photo courtesy of Invicta Fighting Championships)

Invicta FC is putting on a one-night, eight-woman tournament on May 3rd in Kansas. Invicta FC Phoenix Rising 1 is set to determine the new Invicta strawweight champion after former champion Virna Jandiroba vacated her belt to join the UFC roster. With two former title challengers, three former UFC stars and one undefeated prospect involved, it promises to be entertaining.

The Format

The format of the Invicta FC Phoenix Rising tournament is fairly simple. All first round fights will last just one, five minute round. The fighter that has the fastest finish in the quarter-final will be able to pick their semi-final opponent from the other victors. If there are no finishes, the semi-final bouts will be randomly drawn. The semi-finals will also be one, five minute round. The final however will be a three round fight and will determine the next Invicta strawweight queen.

There is a wealth of talent and experience taking part in the Phoenix Rising tournament.

Invicta Phoenix Rising Participants:

  • Mizuki Inoue (13-5)      
  • Janaisa Morandin (10-2)
  • Danielle Taylor (10-4)
  • Juliana Lima (9-5)
  • Kailin Curran (4-6)
  • Brianna Van Buren (5-2)
  • Sharon Jacobson (5-4)
  • Sunna Davidsdottir (3-0)

With exciting names from top to bottom, this card promises to entertain fans. You can catch the entire fight card on UFC Fight Pass on May 3rd.

The quarter-final match-ups were picked at random and are as follows:

Former Invicta strawweight title challenger Inoue will take on wrestler Jacobson. Another former 115lbs title challenger in Morandin will compete against America’s Van Buren. Undefeated Icelandic prospect Davidsdottir will take on seven-fight UFC veteran Curran. Finally, in an all UFC alumni bout, Taylor comes up against Lima.

How it could play out

Inoue vs. Jacobson

Obviously, the format of this tournament means that anything could happen. Mizuki Inoue, an 18 fight MMA veteran has seen it all in her career. This puts her at a good advantage against all the other women in this tournament. She is also 5-1 in her last six fights, only losing to former champion Jandiroba via split decision. Her opponent in the first round, Jacobson is out of luck, however. 3-3 in her last six bouts, with two losses on the spin, Jacobson will be looking to get back to winning ways against Inoue. Her wrestling can play a big part in this tournament, if she can control Inoue for the majority of the round, she’ll cruise to victory.

Morandin vs. Van Buren

Morandin will also be looking to get back to winning ways, coming off the first stoppage loss of her 10-2 career, losing at Invicta FC 31 to Jandiroba via arm triangle. Her opponent Van Buren is coming off two wins, most recently defeating Jamie Moyle by decision at Invicta FC 33. Although the experience lies with Morandin, the momentum is with Van Buren, making this an exciting match-up.

Taylor vs. Lima

Arguably the most competitive first round match-up is between Taylor and Lima. Taylor holds an impressive 10-4 record, including a 2-3 UFC record. Her most notable win came against former strawweight title challenger Jessica Penne. Lima also holds an impressive record of 9-5, with notable match-ups against former UFC strawweight champions Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Carla Esparza. She also holds a victory over top contender Nina Ansaroff. Lima has been out of action since January 2018 however and is without a win since December 2016. We can expect the more active Taylor to start quickly and hope that Lima is suffering from ring rust.

Curran vs. Davidsdottir

The final first round bout is between Curran and Davidsdottir. Curran holds a record of 4-6 and is riding a disappointing four-fight loss streak. She is also 1-6 in her last seven bouts, with her only win coming in late 2015. To say she is out of luck is an understatement and having not had a fight since late 2017, she has also had a good length of time out of action. Davidsdottir, on the other hand, could be the dark horse in this tournament. Holding an undefeated professional record of 3-0, the Icelandic native will be looking to implement her game early on Curran. The former IMMAF world champion trains out of the same gym as UFC welterweight Gunnar Nelson, Mjolnir, in Iceland. More recently she has been getting in high-level work with UFC stars Joanne Calderwood and Roxanne Modafferi at Syndicate MMA. Although both women haven’t competed in over a year, the undefeated Icelandic native will be coming into the bout with much more confidence than Curran, which could make the difference.

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