Invicta FC officials hinted on Jan. 13 in an exclusive interview with Long Island MMA Examiner Eric Holden that Invicta FC 5 is so stacked with talent that the card is unlikely to feature more than a couple entry-level fights.
"This card is going to be stack from the top down so not sure how many entry level fights will get on this event," Invicta FC matchmaker Janet Martin said. "We are getting date and location finalized soon."
That may be good news for fans of female MMA, but it does not bode well for up-and-coming stars who have just one pro fight under their belt.
Invicta FC 4 featured professional debuts from the likes of Cassie Robb and Laura Sanko. Fans also got a closer look at the next wave of talent in female MMA, as 18-year-old strawweight Paige VanZant made her Invicta debut against Tecia Torres on the Jan. 5 card.
Those are the kinds of fights that may not be featured on Invicta FC 5, as the card is loaded with veteran talent.
Invicta FC 5 official fight announcements include Vanessa Porto (15-5) vs Barb Honchak (7-2) for the inaugural Invicta FC flyweight title, and an atomweight title bout between Jessica Penne (10-1) and Michelle Waterson (10-3).
Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp said Invicta FC fans can also expect to see the return of Invicta vets Bec Hyatt (4-2), Rose Namajunas (1-0) and Veronica Rothenhausler (1-0), as well as the promotional debut of ex-Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman (15-2).
Knapp said Invicta FC 5 was targeted for April 13, but she'll look at other dates since the UFC will host the TUF 17 Finale on the same night.
Knapp did not rule out another partnership with Ustream despite a breakdown in the company's paywall system at Invicta FC 4, which resulted in Invicta losing thousands of dollars.
"Yeah, absolutely, would I use them again? Yeah," Knapp said of Ustream. "If we do not have a [television] deal in place at that time, I'm sure we'll go back in and give it another whirl. I mean, why not? Why wouldn't we? It's a natural progression in the business, and we ask for very minimal, fan-friendly price points."
MMA fans can tweet the matchups they would like to see to @invictafights. While it's no guarantee the top suggested matchups will be added to the card, the promotion will undoubtedly take fan picks into consideration when deciding matches to put together for Invicta FC 5.
Invicta FC 5 will be held at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif., with a targeted date of mid-April.
As for Robb, who signed a multi-fight deal with Invicta FC, she says she's prepared to fight on the April card is the promotion calls.
"I have a lot of faith in Janet Martin," Robb said. "She picked the perfect opponent for my debut so I'm anxious to see who she picks next. I'm sure they will have me against another debut girl or someone with a close record."