After capturing strawweight gold in sensational fashion last August, Emily Ducote (10-6) is ready for her first title defense in the most talented and athletic division in women’s MMA. And it’s bound to be a tough night at the office, as she faces stout power wrestler Alesha Zappitella (9-3, 1 no contest).
Zappitella’s game isn’t hard to see, she uses feints to set up her takedown attempts and closes distance rapidly to throw punches inside. She’ll take a punch to dish out three more, and has a strong clinch game against the fence. Ducote’s takedown defense can vary depending on her opponent, but she’s still strong off her back and has improved her striking significantly. Her submission setups take time, but she’s really good at making sure that her opponent is dead to rights when she’s locked in on an attempt.
Colorado’s Courtney King (4-2) returns to Invicta after a successful debut against Holli Salazar and an understandable defeat against Olympian Kayla Harrison. King’s work is predicated on heavy ground strikes to make the opponent pliable before attempting a submission, while trying to keep the mid-range standing. Her opponent for this outing is Chelsea Chandler (3-1), who’s got some pretty slick hands but a somewhat uneven pace. Her ground game is nice on the offense, with some really good submission savvy. There aren’t that many featherweights on the roster right now, but this is a promising pairing.
Jillian DeCoursey (4-3) managed to earn a win back in 2016 against Lindsey VanZandt (7-5) when they were both in the amateur ranks. Now they’re set to square off again with a lot more experience as VanZandt brings her rangy kicking game and mugging clinch approach against DeCoursey’s BJJ and close-up boxing tactics.
Janaisa Morandin (10-4) returns for the first time in almost two years to the flyweight ranks, with a wily but heavy-handed striking arsenal and lots of forward pressure. She meets fellow Brazilian Liana Pirosin (7-4). Brittney Cloudy (4-3) brought the violence in her last outing, and has a showdown at bantamweight against “Southpaw Outlaw“ Serena DeJesus (4-2).
Talented grappler Fatima Kline (1-0) is back in the saddle against striker Sidney Trillo (2-0), while New York’s Jennifer Chieng (1-1) welcomes Alyssa Linduska (7-1) amateur to Invicta for her professional debut.
Here’s a nice little featurette on the title fight by the stellar Cynthia Vance:
As well as a few mini-breakdowns for some of the undercard bouts courtesy of former Invicta champ Megan Anderson:
Weigh-in results are as follows:
Emily Ducote (114.4) vs. Alesha Zappitella (114.9) – Invicta Strawweight title
Courtney King (145.5) vs. Chelsea Chandler (145.8) – Featherweight
Lindsey VanZandt (106) vs. Jillian DeCoursey (105.9) – Atomweight
Janaisa Morandin (125.7) vs. Liana Pirosin (125.9) – Flyweight
Serena DeJesus (135.6) vs. Brittney Cloudy (135.3) – Bantamweight
Fatima Kline (115.9) vs. Sidney Trillo (114.8) – Strawweight
Jennifer Chieng (115.6) vs. Alyssa Linduska (115.6) – Strawweight
Invicta 47: Ducote vs Zappitella starts this Wednesday night at 8:00pm EST streaming live and free on YouTube.