Invicta Fighting Championships returns tonight for its first event in over two months with an exciting atomweight title fight emanating from Sugar Creek Casino in Hinton, Oklahoma. Defending champion Jéssica Delboni of Brazil will meet challenger Jillian DeCoursey in the last fight on an exciting seven-fight card that will showcase the women’s mixed martial arts stars of tomorrow.
One of the world’s top 105-pound female fighters, Delboni is set to compete for the first time in eight months. She last fought Alesha Zappitella in January at Invicta FC 45 and won a unanimous decision over five rounds. Delboni had previously fallen to Zappitella in a closely-contested split decision back in 2021. Now 1-1 with “Half-Pint,” she will look to settle the score down the road as she will face a different kind of challenge in well-rounded DeCoursey. Though she is just 5-3 as a mixed martial artist, DeCoursey is 4-1 over the last three years with her only defeat coming to Elise Reed, a sound striker who has picked up wins in the UFC up a weight class at 115 pounds.
Delboni and DeCoursey do share a pair of common opponents in Zappitella and Lindsey VanZandt. Zappitella owns wins over each of the fighters in Wednesday’s main event and both fights saw the judges’ scorecards. As a result, each of Wednesday’s competitors should have toughness and endurance in spades, and the fight could come down to who is able to get the better of the standing exchanges. Delboni has remained active outside the cage despite competing in mixed martial arts just four times since 2020. She defeated Karoline Martins in kickboxing last year and holds a 5-1 grappling record over the past 15 months.
The #InvictaFC49 main event is OFFICIAL! Atomweight champion @Jessicadmma defends her title against @lionheartjill TOMORROW NIGHT!#InvictaFC49 | Wednesday, September 28 | LIVE from Sugar Creek Casino in Oklahoma at 8/7c on @axstv + @fightnet + @facebook + @youtube! pic.twitter.com/FjjgmSMD3q
— Invicta FC (@InvictaFights) September 27, 2022
The co-main event will see Finland’s Maiju Suotama take on Brazilian Ketlen Souza at 125 pounds. Souza will be making her Invicta debut and could quickly work her way into the flyweight title picture if she can extend her current winning streak to four. Souza has punished the competition as of late, earning finishes of two out of her three most recent victories while just one of her last seven fights have seen the judges’ scorecards.
It will be up to Souza to match the physicality of Suotama, though the Finnish fighter is just 2-3 since returning to the sport in 2017 with losses in each of her last three. She most recently fought Lucie Pudilova, who recently made her way back to the UFC, at OKTAGON 22. However, a victory over Souza could pump new life into her career.
Rest of the Card
The remainder of Wednesday’s card will feature some familiar faces to fight fans. The featured fight will see American Liz Tracy face off with Brazil’s Valesca Machado. Both fighters have been on impressive runs as of late in both MMA and in grappling. Machado is 7-1 in her last eight but gave a great account of herself against Piera Rodriguez on Dana White’s Contender Series 44. Tracy, meanwhile, is coming off a pair of wins of her own and submitted the record-holder for most submissions by a woman in UFC history, Gillian Robertson, at Submission Underground 22.
A pair of housemates on the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter are also scheduled to collide when Kaytlin Neil meets Hannah Guy. Both fighters were positioned on opposing teams in the TUF House, but did not meet on the show. Instead, they will fight in the Invicta FC cage, with both competitors seeking to impress the industry leader. Helen Peralta, another member of the 30th Season of TUF will also compete on Wednesday. She will take on Poliana Botehlo, a seven-fight UFC veteran in an intriguing flyweight tilt. Meanwhile, Combate Global veteran Montserrat Rendon will look to improve to 5-0 against LFA veteran Brittney Cloudy, and Mexico’s Nadia Vera will take on Ireland’s Shauna Bannon in a battle of unbeaten fighters.
Invicta FC 49 Results
Jillian DeCoursey def. Jessica Delboni via Submission (RNC) at 4:49 of Round 1
Ketlen Souza def. Maiju Suotama via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Valesca Machado def. Liz Tracy via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Kaytlin Neil def. Hannah Guy via Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-27)
Poliana Botelho def. Helen Peralta via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Montserrat Rendon def. Brittney Cloudy via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Shauna Bannon def. Nadia Vera via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)