SHOWTIME Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) voice Mauro Ranallo, light heavyweight superstar “King Mo” Lawal and women’s star Julie “Fireball” Kedzie will call the action cageside at the first-ever Invicta Fighting Championships all-women’s professional MMA event, live on InvictaFC.com, from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. on Saturday, April 28.
Ranallo, the lead commentator for Strikeforce on Showtime as well as for Canada’s The Score Fighting Series and a former commentator for Japan’s Pride Fighting Championships, will serve as the play-by-play announcer during the live stream of the event.
“I have always been a huge advocate of female MMA and I am very excited to be a part of the inaugural Invicta show,” said Ranallo. “The ladies have a history of stealing the show from the guys, so it’s nice to see them get a show of their own.”
Lawal is a former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion who burst onto the fight scene four years ago with four straight victories in Japan’s World Victory Road MMA series and has since amassed a career record of 8-1 (1 NC). A former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler for Oklahoma State University, the 31-year-old has gained recognition for his technical knowledge of MMA and his meticulous attention to fighters’ styles.
“I’m excited to be a part of this event with some of the top women’s fighters in the world,” said Lawal. “The growth of women’s MMA is going to soar even more now, thanks to what Invicta is doing.”
Like Lawal, Kedzie brings a wealth of MMA fight experience with her to the show. A student of famed trainer Greg Jackson, the 31-year-old has been competing as a professional since 2004 and holds a career record of 16-9.
“This Invicta show is a landmark moment in the history of women’s MMA and I’m very excited and honored that I was asked to be a part of it,” said Kedzie.
The live stream on InvictaFC.com will begin at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST with the event’s five-bout preliminary card and continue with the six-bout main card.
The first-ever Invicta Fighting Championships event will be headlined by a long-awaited featherweight (145 pounds) rematch between superstar Marloes Coenen (19-5) of The Netherlands and Romy Ruyssen (5-1) of France. Coenen was the victor of their first meeting on Aug. 2, 2008 by way of submission (rear-naked choke) in the second round of action.
In the co-main event, two 29-year-old submission specialists – Jessica Penne (8-1) of Laguna Hills, Calif. and Lisa Ellis-Ward (14-7) of Lacey, Wash.- will square off with one another at strawweight (105 pounds).
Strikeforce bantamweight star and United States Marine Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (5-2) of San Diego, Calif. will square off with unbeaten prospect Ashleigh Curry (1-0) of Kansas City, Mo.
Another Strikeforce bantamweight competitor, Sarah D’Alelio (4-2) of San Jose, Calif., will face undefeated former Royce Gracie student and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt Vanessa Mariscal (2-0) of El Segundo, Calif.
Leslie Smith (3-2) of Pleasant Hill, Calif. will meet Kaitlin Young (7-5) of St. Louis Park, Minn. at bantamweight and Sally Krumdiack (9-4) of Bellingham, Wash. will duke it out with Sarah Schneider (5-5) of Kansas City, Mo. at flyweight (115 pounds).
Making her MMA debut on the preliminary card will be 2008 Olympic wrestling bronze medalist Randi Miller (0-0) of Denver, Colo. Miller will face unbeaten Mollie Estes (1-0) of Lake Lotawana, Mo. at featherweight.
In preliminary card action, Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (7-5) of Tulsa, Okla. will take on Amy Davis (2-2) of Idaho Falls, Idaho at strawweight. Sarah Maloy (2-2) of Ada, Okla. will meet Michele Gutierrez (3-2) of Las Vegas, Nev. in a super flyweight (125 pounds) tilt. Unbeaten Ashley Cummins (2-0) of St. Louis will battle Sofia Bagherdai (4-1) of Upland, Calif. at flyweight. Cassie Rodish (1-3) of Waukee, Iowa will face Meghan Wright (1-3) of Cincinnati, Ohio in a strawweight matchup.
All bouts have been approved by the Kansas State Athletic Commission.
About Invicta Fighting Championships:
Invicta Fighting Championships is a world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp and sports aficionado Janet Martin, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible matchups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.