The Bantamweights in INVICTA Fighting Championships, the premier women’s mixed martial arts promotion, will take center stage this Friday night for the third staging of its Phoenix Series tournament.
Coverage of Phoenix Series 3 will begin Friday at 8 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. PST on UFC Fight Pass live from Kansas City, KS.
As of this writing, the pairings for the single-night, eight-contender field have yet to be revealed and won’t be revealed until a random drawing takes place on Thursday at the weigh-in for the card.
Here are the Bantamweights scheduled to compete at the event on Friday night, in alphabetical order by last name:
This is how the competition works in the Phoenix Series if you missed the first two events last year:
Tournament quarterfinals and semifinals take place as single five-minute periods, with the final being three rounds at five minutes per round.
The quarterfinal and semifinal fights are exhibitions and thus don’t count toward the fighters’ official records.
Only the final is a professional fight and will count toward the fighters’ official records.
As is customary throughout the sport of mixed martial arts, three judges will score the fight on the basis of effective striking, grappling, aggression, and control to decide the winner in the event of a decision.
Should a fight be scored a draw in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, an independent fourth judge will decide the winner of the contest.
After the quarterfinal round is complete, another random drawing takes place to determine the semifinal round pairings—provided that there were no stoppages in the quarterfinals.
In the event of stoppages in the quarterfinals, the fighter who stopped her quarterfinal opponent the fastest will have her choice of semifinal opponents from the three remaining contenders, with the other two semifinalists being matched up against each other.
New for Phoenix Series 3 is a first for MMA in this country.
On Feb. 10, INVICTA FC president Shannon Knapp announced that Phoenix Series 3 will feature a test run of open scoring during the card.
In addition to the Bantamweight tournament, a Bantamweight title fight headlines the show on Friday night, as Lisa Verzosa (5-0) takes on Julia Stoliarenko (8-3-1) in a five-round fight.
The winner becomes the new INVICTA FC Bantamweight champion.
Heading into the title fight, Julia Stoliarenko is the taller combatant at 5-foot-7, one inch taller than Lisa Verzosa at 5-foot-6.
How they got here:
Lisa Verzosa has yet to lose in her professional career, most recently defeating Kerri Kenneson (unanimous decision) in INVICTA FC 38 back on Nov. 1.
In the other corner, Julia Stoliarenko has posted a 4-1 mark in her last five fights and enters this title contest on a four-fight winning streak.
Last time out, she stopped Mariam Tatunashvili (first-round submission- armbar) on Nov. 16 in King of Kings 80.
The Tale of the Tape:
Tapology shows that Verzosa has a three-inch reach advantage (68 inches to 65 inches) over Stoliarenko heading into this fight.
Prediction: Lisa Verzosa by unanimous decision.
The following Bantamweight reserve fights take place on Friday night.
If a contender in the tournament field is unable to progress through to the next round, the winner of a reserve fight will take her spot.
These, too, are exhibitions and don’t count toward the fighters’ records:
Flori Neamtu-Moeller (1-1) vs. Kelly Clayton (1-2)
Mitzi Merry (2-1) vs. Morgan Hickham (1-2)
In addition to these reserve fights, the following three-round Strawweight contest also will take place:
Kay Hansen (5-3) vs. Liana Pirosin (7-3)
INVICTA Phoenix Series 3 at a Glance: [Friday]
Card: 8 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. PST, UFC Fight Pass
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