Invicta Fighting Championships, MMA’s premier women’s-only promotion, is back with an exciting follow-up to its 2023 debut back in January. Invicta FC 52 will emanate from Reelworks Denver in Denver, Colorado and will be headlined by a strawweight championship fight between Valesca Machado and Danni McCormack. It is “movie night” in the strawweight division, with six of the evening’s seven bouts scheduled for 115 pounds.
Invicta FC Strawweight Championship — Machado vs. McCormack
Machado, Invicta’s incumbent strawweight champion, may have a case for being the most UFC-ready fighter on the roster. The 27-year-old Brazilian flashed in a big way when she gave a great account of herself against Piera Rodriguez on an episode of Dana White’s Contender Series in 2021. Since then, “Tina Black” has not lost, compiling a 4-0 record that includes her winning a one-night tournament at Invicta FC 50 to capture the Invicta FC strawweight championship. The woman she defeated for the title, Karolina Wójcik, is ticketed for the co-main event on this card. Machado is a well-rounded fighter with few true weaknesses, and a victory tonight could force the UFC’s hand before the next season of DWCS comes along later this summer.
Machado’s opponent on Wednesday night, McCormack, is just 1-2 over his last three but won her Invicta FC debut last November when she defeated Maíra Mazar. She has spent the majority of her career fighting for Bellator, the No. 2 MMA promotion in North America, so her strength of schedule is unique to many of Invicta FC’s recent debutants. McCormack brings a striking-based style to the table as a pupil of John Kavanaugh at SBG Ireland and should have a willing five-round dance partner in Machado. A victory for the challenger could turn heads and put Ireland on the map in women’s MMA.
Rest of the Card
Poland’s Wójcik will likely have an opportunity to earn a strawweight title shot when she takes on Brazil’s Ediana Silva in the co-main event. Both fighters share the commonality of being the strawweight champion Machado’s two most recent opponents and are a combined 12-2 over the last 14 fights. Ireland will receive some additional representation past McCormack in the main event when Shauna Bannon, a trainee of former UFC flyweight Paddy Holohan, takes on Finnish veteran Minna Grusander. Bannon is an unbeaten 4-0 prospect who could stamp a claim to a title shot or title eliminator at worst with an emphatic victory.
Bannon is not the only unbeaten prospect with title aspirations on this card. Fatima Kline, a 22-year-old jiu-jitsu specialist, who scored a dominant win over Laura Gallardo at Invicta FC 51 back in January, called for a strawweight title shot after the win. Instead, she will make the quick turnaround against 33-year-old Russian judoka Natalia Kuziutina in one of the most intriguing matchups on the card. Calie Cutler and Mayra Cantuária are also scheduled to compete, as are Sayury Cañon and Amanda Macioce at 115 pounds. Diana Sanchez will lead off the night in another strawweight battle of young, hungry fighters when she takes on the debuting Kendra McIntyre.
Invicta FC 52 Results
Danni McCormack def. Valesca Machado via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) — For the Invicta FC Strawweight Championship
Karolina Wójcik def. Ediana Silva via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Shauna Bannon def. via Minna Grusander via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mayra Cantuária def. Calie Cutler via Submission (RNC) at 2:27 of Round 2
Fatima Kline def. Natalia Kuziutina via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Sayury Cañon def. Amanda Macioce via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Kendra McIntyre def. Diana Sanchez via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)