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.
The updated Invicta FC 43 fight card can be found below:
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