KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Invicta FC 43 has a new main event, as well as more starpower.
COVID-19 has forced the postponement of a planned flyweight title fight between UFC veteran Pearl “The Chi-Town Princess” Gonzalez (10-5) and 21-year-old Erin “Cold Blooded” Blanchfield (6-1). As a result, the strawweight title clash between Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (9-6) and Mexico’s Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (9-1) has been elevated to top-billing on Friday, Nov. 20.
Oklahoma’s Ducote will challenge for a belt for the second time, having come up short against Kanako Murata at Invicta FC 38. Ducote bounced back with a win over UFC veteran Juliana Lima at Invicta FC 40 in July and with Japan’s Murata signing with the UFC, the title is now vacant. Ruiz was also in action in July, submitting former title challenger Janaisa Morandin in the first round of the Invicta FC 41 main event.
In addition to the main event change, two-time Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison (7-0) will serve as the opponent for veteran Courtney “The Lion” King (4-1). Harrison, a sixth-degree black belt in judo, has compiled a perfect record competing in the lightweight division under the Professional Fighters League banner. Five of her seven victories have come inside the distance. She most recently captured the promotion’s lightweight tournament with a decision win over UFC veteran Larissa Pacheco. The fight with King will mark the 30-year-old’s debut at 145 pounds. Colorado’s King enters the bout riding a three-fight winning streak that includes two submission victories. The 27-year-old most recently submitted fellow Invicta alum Audrey Wolfe in December. She also holds wins over Holli Logan and Colbey Northcutt.
The previously announced flyweight bout between Oklahoma’s Stephanie “Hold Fast” Geltmacher (4-1) and Florida’s Trisha Cicero (4-3) has changed after Cicero has been forced to withdraw from the event. Stepping in will be another Floridian, as Caitlin “Ginger” Sammons (3-0) aims to keep her perfect record intact against the decorated wrestler Geltmacher.
Also joining the card, bantamweight “Hurricane” Hope Chase (2-1) welcomes “The Quiet Storm” Brittney Cloudy (2-2) back to the promotion, while 20-year-old Alexa Culp (1-0) looks to score another “Performance of the Night” bonus against promotional newcomer Meaghan Penning (0-0) at strawweight.
Invicta FC 43 takes place in Kansas City and airs live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT. The event will be overseen by the Kansas Athletic Commission and will feature open scoring. With the ongoing pandemic, Invicta FC 43 will take place behind closed doors — sans fans and media. As with any Invicta event, the safety of its athletes, their corners, its staff and commission officials is of the utmost priority. All participants will be tested for COVID-19 prior to the event.
Invicta FC 43 fight card
- Strawweight Title: Emily Ducote vs. Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz
- Featherweight: Courtney King vs. Kayla Harrison
- Flyweight: Stephanie Geltmacher vs. Caitlin Sammons
- Bantamweight: Brittney Cloudy vs. Hope Chase
- Strawweight: Alexa Culp vs. Meaghan Penning
- Strawweight: Juliana Miller vs. Kendal Holowell
PFL Lightweight Champ Kayla Harrison to make Featherweight debut at Invicta FC 43
NEW YORK (November 9, 2020): 2019 Professional Fighters League Women’s Lightweight Champion, Kayla Harrison is set to return to action on Friday, November 20 at Invicta 43 where she will square off with heralded Invicta featherweight, Courtney King (4-1) in the evening’s co-main event. Harrison (7-0) is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo (2012 and 2016) and has been dominant since beginning her undefeated mixed martial arts career with the PFL in 2018.
“I have been on a mission to show I am the best fighter,” said Harrison, a two-time Olympic Judo gold medalist. “I have been tackling challenges my entire career and this bout at 145-pounds is a new and exciting one for me. I’m looking forward to competing in this new weight class and can’t wait to get back into the PFL cage come April.”
PFL is the first organization ever to present MMA in a true sport season format, with a Regular Season, Playoffs, and Championship. Harrison, 30, ran through her division en route to the 2019 championship, tallying four wins, including a pair of submissions, to claim the PFL title and the $1 million purse that came with it. The Judo legend, who has made all seven of her professional starts at 155-pounds, will be competing for the first time at 145-pounds when she steps into the cage with Invicta featherweight contender King.
“I am really excited to see Kayla compete for the first time at 145-pounds,” said PFL President of Fighting Operations, Ray Sefo. “She was a dominant champion at 155-pounds, and I look forward to her tackling another challenge on her journey to becoming one of the greatest fighters MMA has ever seen and I’m looking forward to her next run at PFL gold beginning in April.”
King enters the bout on a three-fight winning streak, which includes two submission victories. The 27-year-old most recently submitted fellow Invicta alum, Audrey Wolfe in December. She also holds wins over Holli Logan and Colbey Northcutt.