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Tag: invicta fc

Hit the Ground Runnin’: Julie Kedzie Lands Gig As Invicta FC’s New Matchmaker


(No, we will *not* stop using this photo of Julie Kedzie, thank you very much. Via MMAFighting.)

Well that didn’t take long.

Just a few weeks after announcing her retirement from the sport following a split decision loss to UFC newcomer Bethe Correira at Fight Night 33, Julie Kedzie has already found a new gig. During an appearance on yesterday’s “MMA Hour,” the WMMA pioneer/adorable cat lady announced that she will be pulling double duty over at Invicta FC moving forward, serving as the promotion’s matchmaker in addition to continuing with the color commentating role she has held since last year. Said Kedzie in a press release:

I am excited about this incredible new opportunity that will allow me to remain as active and hands on as ever in contributing to the growth of women’s competition in our great sport, Shannon Knapp has done an unbelievable job at pushing the envelope and helping transform women’s MMA into an aggressively expanding enterprise, a development that will undoubtedly lead to increased participation in the sport by young women athletes who want to challenge themselves in the world’s fastest growing sport.

Whew. For a second there I thought Kedzie was going to announce that she, just now, had reached the peak of her physical prime and was unretiring. Crisis averted, Taters.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited as all hell to see what kind of matchups Kedzie puts together in Invicta’s *stacked* strawweight division. The possibilities are endless: Thug Rose vs. Hyatt, Van Zant vs. Herrig, Esparza vs….what’s that you say?

-J. Jones

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UFC Pillages Invicta FC’s Strawweight Division, 115-Pound Women to Be Featured on TUF 20


(Well, it was fun while it lasted. / Photo via InvictaFC)

On Wednesday evening, the UFC officially announced the launch of its 115-pound women’s division, after acquiring the contracts of 11 top strawweight fighters from Invicta FC: Carla Esparza, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Joanne Calderwood, Tecia Torres, Rose Namajunas, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Alex Chambers, Juliana Lima, and Paige Van Zant.

Those fighters (along with five more strawweights to be named later) will compete on the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter, which begins filming in May 2014. The winner of the season will become the UFC’s inaugural strawweight champion. Coaches for the season haven’t been named yet.

As for Invicta FC, company president Shannon Knapp has put on a happy face and explained that Invicta’s strawweight division will carry on without its 11 best fighters, which seems kind of depressing. But her promotion has had a good working relationship with the UFC since the beginning, and that’s not going to change.

At this point, you probably have a lot of burning questions racing through your heads, so we’ve put together a helpful FAQ to answer some of the major ones…

Q: Does this mean that CagePotato’s sponsorship of Rose Namajunas is effectively over?
A: Yeah, pretty much. But we wish Rose the best with the bigger, fancier sponsors that she’ll be snapping up next year. JUST TREAT HER RIGHT, BRO.

Q: I haven’t watched TUF since the Brock Lesnar season. (Chicken shit, chicken salad, good times.) Why can’t the UFC just start putting these women on upcoming fight cards? Like, they could re-book Gadelha vs. Esparza for the inaugural strawweight title on a UFC on FOX 1 show or something. You know what I mean?

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Got Four Hours to Spare? Then Watch Invicta FC 7 In Its Entirety, Right Here [VIDEO]


(Props: YouTube.com/InvictaFC)

Full disclosure: I didn’t watch Invicta FC 7: Honchak vs. Smith on Saturday because I was in Detroit taking my son to meet Cookie Monster, but apparently their Internet PPV stream fell apart (again), strawweight title challenger Claudia Gadelha dropped off the card the night before with a bacterial infection, and only the curtain-jerking match ended in a legitimate stoppage.

I feel like I’m not doing a very good job of selling this show. People who actually watched it told me it was pretty damn entertaining, with flyweight champ Barb Honchak and strawweight Tecia Torres standing out with their impressive performances. The entire broadcast has been uploaded by the fine folks at Invicta, featuring the rather eclectic broadcast team of Michael Schiavello, Miesha Tate, and Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal. (Julie Kedzie was busy.)

Check it out, and let us know what you think/thought. I swear, I’ll get around to watching these fights tonight, or by tomorrow at the absolute latest.

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Nick Newell Chokes Out Sabah Fadai, and Other Weekend MMA Updates [VIDEO]

Nick Newell scored a guillotine choke victory over Sabah Fadai at WSOF 7 last night. It looked like Newell, who’s now 11-0, hardly broke a sweat during the 81 seconds the match lasted.

Nick Newell kicked ass and tore up the regional lightweight scene en route the WSOF. He even left the XFC because he felt he was fighting beneath his level of competition; he wanted UFC veterans and promising prospects. Newell deserves a fight against such an opponent at this point in his career; his abilities surely can’t be denied at this point.

Also of note on WSOF 7: Georgi Karakhanyan defeated the highly accomplished wrestler Lance Palmer to become the first-ever WSOF featherweight champion. Jesse Taylor, the guy who got kicked off TUF for trashing a casino with a drunken possy (except without the possy), won a No.1 contender fight against Elvis Mutapcic. Taylor will now face David Branch for the inaugural WSOF middleweight title.

See other highlights from the weekend after the jump.

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Rose Namajunas THUGBLOG #2: Falling Off the Ladder


(Image via Rose Namajunas/SuckerPunch Entertainment. Click for full-size version.)

By Rose Namajunas

It now has been about one and a half months since my first professional loss, and I have to say I feel great! Well just at the moment. Let’s not talk about my unattractive cry-athon that took place for God knows how long. It’s okay though, I’m glad everything happened the way it did. Pat’s mom told me something great. She said, “It’s better to fall off a ladder closer to the ground than all the way at the top.” She’s right because some people fall when they are so high they never come back from it.

Either way it still sucks to fall, especially when so many people out there are watching your every move, waiting for the chance to kick you when you’re down. Even though they are watching you so hard that they don’t even realize how pathetic their own lives are. How sad is that? They won’t ever know what this sucky feeling feels like because they don’t have the guts to climb up the ladder. They also won’t ever see how beautiful the view is. It reminds me of another great quote that went something like, “The more you avoid death the more you avoid living.” People are so afraid of getting hurt that they fear life itself. I have fear but I won’t let that stop me from taking chances and chasing my dreams.

I have learned a lot in my amateur and first two pro fights but not nearly as much as I have learned in the past month and a half. Now I know I have things to work on, and more importantly it doesn’t seem as easy as it did a few months ago! Before my pro debut in Invicta I went into that fight knowing I would be the greatest in the world one day but I didn’t have any proof that I was on that level yet. Going from that to setting a world record for the fastest submission with a flying armbar made me forget that I am competing at a really high level with a huge experience disadvantage.

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Bellator Closes Down Women’s Division; Felice Herrig Snatched Up by Invicta


(Go gentle into that good night, hot secretary. /Photo via Sherdog)

The writing’s been on the wall for a some time now — Bellator didn’t put on any women’s fights during their brief 2013 Summer Series, only featured three women’s bouts during all of Season 8, and hasn’t hosted a women’s tournament since 2010. Last night, Bjorn Rebney released a statement confirming that their last three contracted female fighters have been released, and that Bellator will no longer be promoting women’s MMA:

Jessica Eye, Jessica Aguilar and Felice Herrig represent all that is good in women’s MMA. Both Eye and Aguilar are ranked No. 1 in the world in their respective divisions and carry themselves with class and distinction, elevating the women’s game. I’ve said many times that fighters need to fight, and fight often. Given our current focus, we are not in a position to provide these very deserving women regular and recurring fights on a large platform, and I felt it was best to let them go and secure options that did. I genuinely wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors and will be rooting for each of them wherever they fight.”

Since the arrival of Invicta FC last year, followed by the debut of female bantamweights in the UFC, the marketplace for women’s MMA has become much more competitive. Bellator’s early efforts to promote women’s fighting were admirable, but at some point they began to lose interest. Notably, Bellator virtually forgot about Zoila Frausto after she won the promotion’s inaugural strawweight tournament, and there’s been nothing resembling a long-term strategy for women in Bellator since then. Essentially, there are other promotions doing women’s MMA much better these days, and with bigger stars. (See: Rousey, Cyborg.) Seems like a good time to walk away.

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Report: ‘Cris Cyborg’ To Compete in Two Muay Thai Fights in One Night, Because She’s Just That Nasty


(Photo via Esther Lin/Invicta FC)

It hasn’t even been two weeks since Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino fought and won in MMA against Marloes Coenen at Invicta FC 6, but the new featherweight champion has booked not one but two Muay Thai fights for herself on August 25th in Thailand. “Cyborg will take on France’s top kickboxer Angelique Pitiot and Italy’s Annalisa Bucci, with one taking three rounds and the other two rounds,” Wombat Sports reports.

“Cyborg” represents the famed Brazilian Chute Boxe team, which has Muay Thai as its base, but according to the report, the fighter has never previously been to the kickboxing style’s motherland of Thailand. While many fighters travel to exotic locations in the weeks after fights for vacation, Justino is going to Thailand to fight two women back-to-back just because she can.

Say what you will about her questionable Tito Ortiz-driven decision of turning down a contract with the UFC, but this lady isn’t afraid to fight for her money, that’s for sure. We don’t know much about her two scheduled opponents but considering the fact that five rounds of shadow-boxing — much less actual fighting — gets us winded, we’re quite impressed with Cyborg’s latest goal.

Oh yeah, Kim Couture is also on the card, fighting Thai fighter Petchrocha Looksaikongdin. First off, we didn’t realize that “Sugar Free” (ugh) was still competing. Secondly, fighting someone with that many syllables in their name, in their own backyard, doesn’t seem like a great idea for Kim, who is no stranger to unfortunate beat-downs.

After the jump: Cris Cyborg destroys some broad named Edna in a Muay Thai rules bout back in 2006.

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Invicta FC 6: Some of These Other Chicks Are Hella Scary Too Tho

I love Leslie Smith, but there’s no way I’m not using this kickface.    PhotoProps: Esther Lin / Invicta FC

Invicta continues to impress with good matchmaking and stellar action in its latest card, and for the first time, Invicta is available widely through pay per view, leaving behind any old issues with UStream. Apparently this is the first all-female MMA pay per view, so it’s a historic night, and the fights delivered, as usual.

Since I’ve already effectively spoiled the main event for you, why not follow along as I talk out loud about how cool the show was and which ladies be scary.

 

CagePotato’s Professional Gangsta “Thug” Rose Namajunas was glorious in defeat last night, putting on a highly entertaining bout with Tecia Torres that was an early pick for Fight of the Night.  Namajunas looked for a flying armbar, but I guess Torres had heard something about it.

Also, Thug Rose gives zero fucks about your stupid resets, Big John:

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Could Invicta FC Be Headed to Showtime? Short Answer: Probably


(Well, that’s *one* way to hype a marquee WMMA fight, we guess.) 

When Showtime ended their relationship with Strikeforce this past January, they left behind a massive void in the MMA world that has been tirelessly documented in the time since by…next to no one, quite honestly. Sure, we all loved Strikeforce when it wasn’t moments away from descending into utter chaos (and even when it was), but with the UFC holding an event on 1 of its 14 channels every other week and Bellator quietly putting on smaller-level shows in between, it seems as if we’ve quickly forgotten about Showtime’s once quintessential role in MMA broadcasting.

Well, it appears as if all that could change in the near future, as Showtime Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinoza recently told FOX News Latino that the network was interested in a return to the MMA world and specifically, a partnership with Invicta FC. This statement did not come without a bit of hesitance, though:

The hesitation right now is really we’re investigating the market. The real question is … given the TV landscape as it stands now, the MMA landscape, is there a demand for more MMA on television? I have my doubts because there’s quite a few hours already being programmed.

(Invicta) knows how to make noise and do good-sized events on a budget. It would be interesting to see what they can do on a bigger platform. 

A move to Showtime would be the perfect move for Invicta to say the least. The promotion has rapidly gained popularity over the course of their first handful of events to the point that the Invicta 4 online stream crashed due to overcrowding.

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[UPDATE] MMA Manager Brett Atchley Banned from Attending Invicta FC Events

One week ago today, Invicta FC CEO Shannon Knapp posted a Facebook message warning fighters and fans about the predatory, deceitful and manipulative tactics of MMA manager Brett Atchley, causing numerous other fighters to come forward and describe in great detail what a rotten individual he apparently is. Now, Knapp has revealed that Atchley will no longer be allowed to attend future Invicta FC events. Via Inside MMA:

“In light of the documented information that has come to us – and this is via text messages from Mr. Atchley, along with email and things of that nature – with the misuse of our company name, my name [and] also in light of the fact that some of these sexual misconduct allegations have taken place at our events, we’re going to stand firm in saying Mr. Atchley will not be welcome at our events.”

Couldn’t have happened to a[n allegedly] nicer guy.

In his defense, Atchley offered the following statement:

I am stunned and deeply saddened that my reputation as a hard-working manager can be torn apart by a few unfounded malicious attacks against me and my character. I categorically deny all of the false allegations that have been made and look forward to an opportunity to clear my name.”

If it were only “a few” allegations, Atchley probably wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. In reality, there are multiple reports here and here covering the things that he’s been accused of doing – all of it very serious, heavy stuff.

It didn’t exactly help his cause that he would supposedly do all of it while falsely representing Invicta FC, either. Invicta unsurprisingly wants to distance themselves as much as possible from him, and banning him from events sends a strong message that his actions do not represent the promotion.

We’ll keep you up-to-date as this continues to unfold.

@SethFalvo

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