Invicta Fighting Championships waltzes back into our lives with a stacked MMA fight card on Jan. 13 from Kansas City's Scottish Rite Temple.
At the top of the Invicta FC 27 card, legendary Canadian bantamweight Sarah Kaufman takes on Pannie Kianzad in a high-stakes affair that could earn the victor a call-up to the UFC. The 32-year-old Kaufman has gone undefeated since the UFC released her in 2015. A win here might just score her a second chance to impress inside the Octagon. The 26-year-old Kianzad looks to snap a two-fight losing skid -- and notch a win over one of the biggest names in the history of women's MMA.
In the co-main, flyweight Vanessa Porto fights Mariana Morais in a pivotal scrap that could determine who is worthy of a UFC opportunity. With the UFC recently unveiling a new 125-pound division for women, this fight is a great opportunity for Porto and Morais to hop on the radar of the UFC's matchmaking team. Porto is making a fast turnaround, as she fought and won at Invicta FC 26. The young Morais, a fellow Brazilian, went 2-1 in 2017.
Elsewhere on the card, wrestling sensation Sharon "The Dreamcatcher" Jacobson looks to wipe away the bitter taste of defeat from a submission loss in her last Invicta start. She goes head-to-head with Ashley Nichols in strawweight action. Additionally, Stephanie "The Cyclone" Alba is set to make her promotional debut opposite grizzled atomweight vet Ashley "Smashley" Cummins.
The rest of the card is just as solid, with undefeated featherweight standout Felicia Spencer taking on Akeela Al-Hameed. A win here could prove that Spencer is Invicta's top prospect at 145 pounds. In a division that is undoubtedly one of the most shallow in women's MMA, the winner will be on the short list of possible future contenders to take on the winner of Holm vs. Cyborg.
Kicking off the Invicta FC 27 event, promotional newcomers Jade Ripley and Helen Peralta meet at 115 pounds. And in atomweight action, Loma Lookboonmee fights Melissa Wang in a bout that will mark both ladies' promotional debuts. It has also been announced that Brogan Walker-Sanchez will fight at flyweight against an opponent to be named later. Invicta FC 27, which also features a 115 pound fight between Mallory Martin and Tiffany Masters, airs live on UFC Fight Pass.