Friday is a big night of sports. On the baseball diamond, Game 1 of this year’s World Series will be held and FOX Sports will carry the action of every base hit, home run and strikeout of this year’s Fall Classic just as they’ve done yearly since the turn of the century.
But let’s be honest with ourselves for just one moment. Not everybody in the country will be tuning into the old ballgame on Friday night. No, this Friday, the eyes of the combat sports world will be focused on Beantown.
Boston will serve as the host city for the start of a light weekend of action in MMA. Women’s promotion Invicta FC returns to live action this Friday evening for Invicta FC 54. It’s the promotion’s first time on the East Coast.
As always, live coverage of the event can be streamed throughout the world on the promotion’s official YouTube channel beginning at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT. For those viewers watching on linear television, AXS TV will carry Invicta FC 54 live.
Note: AXS TV’s channel number varies from provider to provider. Consult your onscreen guide for the channel position in your area or on your system.
Machado vs. Faria Begins Strawweight Twin-Bill in Invicta FC 54 Co-Main Event
Barring any postponements between now and Friday night, Invicta FC 54 is currently slated to feature a six-fight card. Action at 115 lbs. tops the bill this week.
It begins with the Invicta FC 54 co-main event. Former Invicta FC Strawweight Champion Valesca Machado (12-4, 1 NC MMA, 3-1 Invicta FC) has herself a new opponent for this fight when she’ll take on Kalindra Faria (19-9-1 MMA, Invicta FC promotional debut), a veteran of the UFC.
With no title at stake in this one, the Invicta FC 54 co-main event is an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round in an all-Brazil showcase.
IT'S FIGHT WEEK! Friday at @HOBBoston we're back with @dannimccormack putting gold on the line against @KarolinaMMAUK. Watch on @AXSTV + @fightnet + @YouTube + @facebook. But there's no substitute for being there LIVE so get tickets NOW! #InvictaFC54 🎟 https://t.co/KlhmYFTBpl pic.twitter.com/77qul6dW5E
— Invicta FC (@InvictaFights) October 23, 2023
Invicta FC 54 Co-Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into the Invicta FC 54 co-main event on Friday night, Kalindra Faria stands as the taller contender at 5-foot-7, compared to the 5-foot-4 frame of Valesca Machado. The former owns a 1 1/2-inch reach advantage (63 1/2 inches to 62 inches even) over the latter ahead of this fight.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the oddsmakers have Valesca Machado installed as a -360 favorite, with Kalindra Faria countering as a +285 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Machado Eager to Get Second Shot at Title After Invicta FC 54 Co-Main Event
Valesca Machado has posted a record of 4-1 over her last five MMA bouts. Last time out, she saw her four-fight winning streak snapped (unanimous decision) at the hands of Danni McCormack (7-2 MMA, 2-0 Invicta FC), a veteran of Bellator MMA, in Invicta FC 52 back on March 15. Initially, Machado was to have fought Isis Verbeek (4-2 MMA, 1-1 Invicta FC) on Friday until the latter withdrew from the event.
McCormack is due to defend her 115-lb. strap in the Invicta FC 54 main event against Karolina Wojcik (11-3 MMA, 2-1 Invicta FC). More on that fight later on this week.
She’s had seven months to stew over the title changing hands. In that time, what has she been able to do in training camp to prepare for this fight?
A victory here could propel Machado right back into top contender status and set up a potential rematch against Danni McCormack early on in 2024. Machado has to take this process one fight at a time, one round at a time.
If she thinks too far ahead, she’ll get behind the eight-ball, a position she can’t afford to be in, especially against an opponent who will be appearing in her 30th career fight on Friday.
MMA Veteran Faria Brings Experience to Invicta FC 54 Co-Main Event
In the other corner, Kalindra Faria enters the co-headliner having gone 1-4 in her last five MMA fights. Last time out, she sustained a unanimous decision loss to Julia Polastri (12-3 MMA) in June of 2022.
Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen, Kalindra Faria is no one-trick pony when it comes to combat sports. She’s a well-rounded combat athlete with experience in boxing, kickboxing and grappling, with two fights in the sweet science already in her record books earlier this summer.
Having that much experience across the board is certainly helpful for Faria and her camp as she readies for her first MMA bout in over 16 months’ time. She’s also in the twilight of her career at the age of 37.
Can Kalindra Faria use her wealth of knowledge in the combat parlance to put together one last ride? Tune in and find out.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the Invicta FC 54 co-main event looks to favor Kalindra Faria, a decorated competitor with a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, compared to Valesca Machado’s status as a striker.
Look For Machado to Unload with Right-Handed Shots
Given that Valesca Machado is a striker by trade, it stands to reason that she can score with the right hand regularly. Her Invicta promotional debut was proof of that.
From time to time in the first round, she uncorked the right hand, bothering her opponent Liz Tracy to the point where her pace was stifled.
With Tracy knocked off of her gameplan, Machado seized control of the fight, landing the right hand more often and withstanding her opponent’s ground game. These efforts played a huge role in her winning the fight by decision after three rounds.
If Valesca Machado can go to the right hand and wobble Kalindra Faria so that her intended gameplan is compromised, she’ll find herself back in the championship conversation after Friday night.
Kalindra Faria Vicious with Subs
In the other corner, Kalindra Faria is known as a submission specialist. She can end the fight with just a single takedown, but can also reverse the script if needed, like in her fight against Dina da Silva in 2022.
Midway through the opening round, upon getting softened up with punches to the head from da Silva in an attempt to advance on a submission attempt, Faria took top mount and started landing ground and pound. From there, it looked like she’d win by knockout, but she transitioned to back mount and flattened da Silva like a Saturday morning pancake to apply the torque for a rear-naked choke.
If Faria finds herself down on the scorecards as the Invicta FC 54 co-main event progresses, look for her to adjust her plan of attack. This could give her the opening she needs to try and score a submission.
Who needs Game 1 of the World Series when you’ve got hard-hitting MMA to watch on Friday? The Invicta FC 54 co-main event will have more force behind it than any home run hit in the ballpark that night.
Prediction: Valesca Machado by Unanimous Decision.