On Jan. 13, Invicta Fighting Championships waltzes back into our lives with a star-studded fight card featuring a handful of the top female combatants in MMA. Here's a look at five burning questions that will be answered on fight night:
Will Felicia Spencer jump over Megan Anderson in the featherweight rankings?
Megan Anderson was scheduled to fight Cris "Cyborg" at UFC 214, but withdrew due to personal reasons. Now after close to a year on the shelf, the Aussie's hype train has slowed a tad, and other featherweights have jumped into the title mix in the division. A couple have put their name into the conversation for a potential UFC showdown against the Brazilian champ. One of those women is Felicia "Feenom" Spencer, an undefeated striker out of Florida. If Spencer wins big at Invicta FC 27, she'll improve to 4-0 and put herself in solid position to leapfrog Anderson in the 145-pound rankings. It would be her third win in a row since Anderson's last appearance inside the cage.
Which promotional newcomer will make a splash?
Invicta FC 27 marks the promotional debut for a number of ladies, including Jade Ripley, Melissa Wang and Helen Peralta. With a potential call-up to the UFC on the line, everyone is going to be fighting hard to make a great first impression. Which newcomer is most likely to shine bright? Tiffany Masters could be the one to watch. The 23-year-old "Rainbow Renegade" is extremely well-rounded, with strikes, high-level submission skills and an elite grappling game.
Can Sarah Kaufman score a second chance with the UFC?
The UFC didn't renew Kaufman's contract following her loss to Valentina Shevchenko in 2015. A big win at Invicta FC 27 could put her right back on track to get on the UFC's radar. She already has victories over multiple women who are currently in the UFC, and is coming off a win over "Jessy Jess" Clark -- one of the UFC's top flyweights. Beating Pannie Kianzad should score her a second chance with the Vegas promotion.
Will Vanessa Porto make weight?
The Brazilian tipped the scales at well over the 126-pound flyweight max in two of her previous Invicta FC appearances, including her most recent fight. Will she make weight at Invicta FC 27? Time will tell the answer to that question. If Porto ever wants to take the next step in her MMA career with a call-up to the UFC, she'll need to show she can consistently make weight.
Can Sharon Jacobson hop back into title contention?
In 2015, "The Dreamcatcher" was one of the top prospects in the world at 115 pounds. With a victory that year over Jamie Moyle that extended her win streak to four, Jacobson cracked the top 10 in the world and seemed destined for a UFC call-up. But after taking a two-year hiatus from the sport and suffering a submission loss to Kali Robbins in her comeback fight, plenty of questions remain about her current place in the sport. At Invicta FC 27, will she show off the Olympic-caliber wrestling and devastating striking that made her a rising star three years ago? Or will jiu-jitsu continue to be her Achilles' heel?
Invicta FC 27, which emanates Jan. 13 from Kansas City's Scottish Rite Temple, airs live on UFC Fight Pass.