INVICTA FIGHTINGCHAMPIONSHIPS UNVEILS ALL-WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MMA SERIES APRIL 28 INKANSAS CITY
SUPERSTAR MARLOES COENEN TO REMATCH ROMY RUYSSEN IN INAUGURAL MAIN EVENT
Tickets On Sale Fri., Feb. 24
Jessica Penne To Face Lisa Ellis-Ward In Co-Main Event
Strikeforce Stars Liz Carmouche And Sarah D’Alelio To Also See Action
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Feb. 20, 2012) – Theterm “girl power” is about to take on a whole new meaning
Invicta Fighting Championships, an all-women’s world championship Mixed MartialArts (MMA) fight series led by longtime MMA industry executive Shannon Knapp, will launch with astacked, 11-bout fight card headlined by a long-awaited featherweight (145pounds) rematch between superstar MarloesCoenen (19-5) of The Netherlands and RomyRuyssen (5-1) of France at MemorialHall in Kansas City, Kan. on Sat., April 28.
Tickets for the first-ever Invicta Fighting Championships event, priced from $35,go on sale Fri., Feb. 24 at Memorial Hall box office (913) 549-4853), online atTicketmaster.com and InvictaFC.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.
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) ofLacey, Wash.- will square off with one another at strawweight (105 pounds).
Strikeforce bantamweight (135 pounds) stars Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (5-2) of San Diego, Calif. and Sarah D’Alelio (4-2) of San Jose,Calif. have also been enlisted for action. Carmouche, a United States Marine who did three tours of duty in TheMiddle East, will square off with unbeaten prospect Ashleigh Curry (1-0) of Kansas City, Mo. while D’Alelio will face Shana “Rock Solid” Nelson (5-2) ofHibbing, Minn.
“The time has come for a platform dedicated exclusively to building the growingwomen’s division in our great sport,” said Invicta Fighting Championships VicePresident Knapp, who has held positions with the UFC, the IFL and, mostrecently Strikeforce, where she served as head of fighter relations and a coremember of the promotion’s matchmaking team, until shortly after Strikeforce wasacquired by the parent company of its top competitor, the UFC. “Invicta is committed to increasing the depthof the women’s field and building female superstars by providing women athleteswith the opportunity to compete and hone their skills on a consistent basisthroughout the year.
“I am honored to headline Invicta’s first fight card and I am looking forwardto earning another win over Romy,” said the 5-foot-9, 30-year-old Coenen, a formerchampion in Strikeforce’s 135 pound division and the premiere female competitorout of Holland’s famed Team Golden Glory. Coenen submitted Ruyssen with a rear-naked choke in the second round oftheir first meeting in Basel, Switzerland on Aug. 2, 2008.
Ruyssen is a slick and dangerous 22-year-old grappler who has claimed all fiveof her career victories by way of submission in the first round of battle. Four of the five wins came via armbar.
“My first fight with Marloes is the only loss of my career so far, and I intendto avenge that loss on April 28” said Ruyssen. “Marloes is a great fighter, but she doesn’t quite have the ground gamethat I have. I am going to take her downand finish her.”
Penne, regarded as one of the most promising, up and coming female talents inMMA, was unbeaten through her first seven professional starts before losing aunanimous decision to Zoila Gurgelon Aug. 19, 2010. In her last effort onNov. 19, 2010, she bounced back, submitting Amy Davis with a rear-naked choke in the first round of theirmatchup.
Ellis-Ward will look to return to the win column after two straight losses atthe hands of Megumi Fujii and Jessica Aguilar, respectively. Prior to the slide, Ellis-Ward had reeled offtwo consecutive wins - a first roundsubmission (rear-naked choke) of StephanieFrausto and a unanimous decision over AislingDaly.
In other main card action, Leslie Smith(3-2) of Pleasant Hill, Calif. will face off with Kaitlin Young (7-5) of St. Louis Park, Minn. at bantamweight and Sally Krumdiack (9-4) of Bellingham,Wash. will duke it out with SarahSchneider (5-5) of Kansas City, Mo. at flyweight (115 pounds).
The 28-year-old Carmouche jumpstarted her career with five straight wins, onlyone of which went to the judges’ scorecards. She is looking to return to her winning ways after sufferingback-to-back losses at the hands of Coenen and another superstar in Sarah Kaufman.
After scoring a first round TKO (punches) on Jessy Forman in her professional debut on June 12, 2010, the26-year-old Curry will return to the cage for the first time. Curry has been touted for her western boxingskills.
D’Alelio, a 31-year-old, 5-foot-7 grappler, was victorious in her first fourcareer fights - three by submission and one by TKO - but is looking for herfirst win since losing back-to-back fights against Julie Kedzie and undefeated rising star and Olympic Judo medalist Ronda Rousey.
The 31-year-old, 5-foot-7 Nelson, a hard-hitting striker who competes out ofMinnesota Fight Factory, reeled off wins in her first four professional boutsand is coming off a first round TKO (punches) of Lina Eklund on Feb. 18.
In preliminary card action, NicdaliRivera-Calanoc (7-5) of Tulsa, Okla. will take on Amy Davis (2-2) of Idaho Falls, Idaho at strawweight. SarahMaloy (2-2) of Ada, Okla. will meet MicheleGutierrez (3-2) of Las Vegas, Nev. in a super flyweight (125 pounds) tilt. Mollie Estes (1-0) of Lake Lotawana,Mo. will face Randi Miller (0-0) ofBroomfield, Colo. at featherweight. Unbeaten Ashley Cummins (2-0) of St. Louis will battle Sofia Bagherdai (4-1) of Upland, Calif.at flyweight. Jessica Philippus (0-0) ofMarshall, Mo. will make her professional debut against Meghan Wright (1-3) ofCincinnati, 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 tohone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp and sportsaficionado Janet Martin, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growthof women’s MMA by promoting the best possible matchups between femalecompetitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.