Former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight (135 pounds) Champion Sarah Kaufman (15-2) of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada will look to return to her winning ways when she faces off with prolific striker Kaitlin Young (7-6-1) of St. Louis Park, Minn. at the Invicta Fighting Championships world championship women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event at Memorial Hall in Kansas City on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Tickets for Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama, priced from $25, are on sale and can be purchased at Memorial Hall box office (913) 549-4853), online at Ticketmaster.com and InvictaFC.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.
“Invicta FC has made huge waves for women in MMA over the last five months. It’s been amazing to watch so many of the top women all fight on the same card, so I’m looking forward to be a part of their next show,” said the 26-year-old Kaufman, who is looking to rebound from a first-round (:54) submission (armbar) defeat at the hands of undefeated Strikeforce champion Ronda Rousey.
“Kaitlin is a very strong 135 pounder,” said Kaufman. “She’s got a lot of height and is quite technical in many areas. I’m excited to get in there against her, especially in the wake of the worst performance of my career. I’m hungry to get back in there and prove why I’m ranked at the top of my weight class.”
A former professional dancer, Kaufman began training MMA after a martial arts studio opened underneath her dance studio seven years ago. Her competitive spirit pushed her to enter the fight world and, under trainer Adam Zugec, she reeled off victories in her first 12 professional bouts, defeating fellow former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate as well as superstar Alexis Davis and submission ace Shayna Baszler along the way.
Like Kaufman, the 26-year-old Young will look to return to the win column following a second round (3:34) submission (rear-naked choke) loss at the hands of rising star Liz Carmouche on the last Invicta FC card on July 28.
“Sarah is a great fighter who has made a big name for herself in the sport, so I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Young, who took up Tae Kwon Do at the age of 14 and earned her black belt in the discipline before discovering Muay Thai.
To date, Young has earned six of her seven professional wins by KO. In her third start, she scored a memorable KO on Tate with a head kick just 30 seconds into their matchup.
Young earned “Fight of the Night” honors at the inaugural Invicta FC event, slugging it out with Leslie Smith in a relentless, see-saw battle for three rounds before the fight was declared a majority draw.
In the Invicta FC 3 main event, superstar Jessica Penne (9-1) of Laguna Hills, Calif. will face off with undefeated phenom Naho “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama (8-0) of Kyoto, Japan at atomweight (105 pounds) in the first-ever Invicta FC women’s world title bout.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler (14-7) of Sioux Falls, S.D. will return to action in the bantamweight co-main event and take on Invicta FC 2 winner Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio (6-2) of San Jose, Calif.
Another Invicta FC 2 victor, Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak (6-2) of Bettendorf, Iowa, will collide with rising star and furious finisher Aisling “Ais The Bash” Daly (13-3) of Dublin, Ireland in a flyweight (125 pounds) contest.
Invicta FC will welcome one of the original pioneers of women’s MMA, submission expert Tara LaRosa (21-2) of Woodstown, N.J., who will lock horns at flyweight with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Vanessa Porto (14-5) of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (3-2-1) of Pleasant Hill, Calif. will meet an opponent to be determined in a bantamweight matchup. Smith’s original opponent, Cat Zingano, has withdrawn from their scheduled matchup.
Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson (9-3) of Albuquerque, N.M. will also make her first start under the Invicta FC banner against Lacey “The Ladie” Schuckman (7-5) of Lakewood, Colo. in an atomweight scrap.
In the leadoff main card bout, Julia “The Jewel” Budd (3-2) of Port Moody, Canada will meet Elaina “Beef” Maxwell (7-4) of San Jose, Calif. at featherweight (145 pounds).
The six-bout preliminary card will be topped by a strawweight (115 pounds) matchup between Carla Esparza (7-2) of Redondo Beach, Calif. and Lynn Alvarez (5-2) of Las Vegas.
Two undefeated prospects, Ashley Cummins (3-0) of St. Louis, MO. and Joanne Calderwood (3-0) of Glasgow, Scottland will collide at flyweight.
Amy Davis (3-3) of Idaho Falls, Idaho will face Stephanie Frausto (3-4) of Middletown, Ohio in an atomweight affair.
Fresh off her professional debut win at Invicta FC 2, Jessamyn Duke (1-0) of Richmond, Ky. will face unbeaten Marciea Allen (1-0) of Sioux Falls in a bantamweight battle.
Tecia Torres (0-0) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Kaiyana Rain (0-0) of Los Angeles, Calif. will make their respective professional debuts against each other at strawweight.
Unbeaten Xtreme Couture prospect Katalina Malungahu (2-0) of Las Vegas, Nev. will battle an opponent to be determined at featherweight after her original opponent, Taylor Stratford, was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a knee injury.