Fans of women's MMA have been wondering for weeks exactly where and when Invicta FC 5 will be held, and the answers have finally been revealed.
Invicta FC 5 takes place on Apr. 5th and is targeted for the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.
The event is headlined by an Invicta FC Atomweight Championship bout between champion Jessica Penne and Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson, with a co-main of Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak against Vanessa Porto.
The event was originally planned for Apr. 13 in Irvine, Calif., and then rumored for Apr. 6 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., but Invicta FC 5 is now officially slated for Friday, Apr. 5.
Fightline.com also reports that flyweight (125 pounds) superstar Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-2) of Cincinnati, Ohio has signed a multi-fight contract with Invicta Fighting Championships and will make her debut for the women’s world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion in April.
Frausto Gurgel will square off with submission expert Jennifer Maia (6-2) of Curitiba, Parana Brazil.
“We are thrilled to welcome Zoila, an established superstar in the sport, to the Invicta FC roster and are looking forward to seeing her compete in our rapidly growing flyweight division,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp. “Zoila has turned in a number of thrilling performances while rising through the ranks of fighters over the last few years, and we are confident that she will help raise the bar of competition even further in the Invicta FC cage.”
The 29-year-old Frausto Gurgel, the wife of former UFC and Strikeforce competitor Jorge Gurgel, is coming off a sensational, 6-1 run in Bellator Fighting Championships action that included victories over rival superstars Rosi Sexton, Jessica Aguilar and submission wizard Megumi Fuji, who entered the Oct. 28, 2010 matchup with Frausto Gurgel with a perfect 22-0 record. Frausto Gurgel edged out a split decision to snap Fuji’s unbeaten run that began in 2004, and become the first Bellator women’s strawweight (115 pounds) champion in history.
During the Bellator stint, Frausto Gurgel also handed Jessica Penne the only defeat of her career before Penne went on to become the first-ever Invicta FC champion at atomweight (105 pounds).
“I am excited to join Invicta FC, where the best women fighters in the world are competing,” said Frausto Gurgel, whose 22-year-old sister Stephanie Frausto, also fights for Invicta FC as an atomweight. “Invicta FC has become more than just a promotion – it’s evolved into an entire movement for women’s MMA, and I’m proud to represent that movement while continuing to fight and beat the best opponents out there.”
Hyatt looks to get back in the win column following her Invicta FC 4 loss to Carla Esparza, while Cive hopes to extend her win-streak to six. Hyatt instantly became one of the hottest up-and-coming stars in female MMA with her gritty performance against Esparza, so her tilt against Cive has "Fight of the Night" written all over it.
In other main card action, former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman is set to make her Invicta FC debut, but her opponent has not yet been formally announced.
Invicta FC vet Leslie Smith was slated to fight Kaufman at Invicta FC 4, so there's a strong possibility that they will meet inside the cage in April.
Kaufman hasn't fought since losing to Ronda Rousey in Aug. 2012.
"It is going to be a great week! Lots of exciting announcements coming up!" Knapp wrote. "Invicta FC #5 location, date, full fight card with 14 fights and we are welcoming a lot of new athletes to the Invicta FC family. Good stuff!"
Rose Namajunas (1-0), Veronica Rothenhausler (1-0) and Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc are the latest fighters rumored to appear on the Invicta FC 5 card.