Saturday, December 7, 2013, the Invicta Fighting Championships 7 will be at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. In the Main Event they have the 34 year-old flyweight champion Barb Honchak who stands 5’3” tall with a record of (8-2, 1 KO) from Miletech Fighting Systems/Steve Berger’s MMA in St. Louis, Missouri defending her title against three-time “Fight of the Night” winner, 31 year-old Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (6-3-1, 3 KOs) of the Cesar Gracie Fight Team, Pleasant Hill, CA who stands 5’9” tall.
In the co-feature, it will be the strawweight champion, 26 year-old, 5’1” Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza (9-2, 3 KOs) of Team Oyama, Redondo Beach, CA, defending her belt against undefeated Brazilian superstar 25 year-old Claudia Gadelha (11-0, 2 KOs) of Team Nova Uniao, Mossoro, Rio Grande Do Norte, Brazil.
In a third world title fight, the inaugural Invicta FC bantamweight world championship, they’re featuring 30 year-old knockout artist Lauren Murphy (7-0, 5 KOs) of the Gracie Barra Katy Academy in Katy, Texas against unbeaten rising star 37 year-old 5’9” Miriam Nakamoto (2-0-1 NC, 2 KOs) from the Combat Sports Academy, Dublin, CA.
Nakamoto said she made the transition to MMA because it was something that intimidated her, and one should always face their fears. In the brutal world of Muay Thai, few have accomplished anything near what Nakamoto has. In the eight limb fighting sport, she has seven world titles and an undefeated record. With unparalleled striking ability, the former boxer presents a frightening challenge for Murphy.
Murphy, born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, has gone through a ton of changes herself. After winning two MMA championships in Alaska in 2011, two of the most important men in her life let her know they were leaving the state.
First, her then-boyfriend (now husband), Joe Murphy, a member of the U.S. Air Force stationed in Alaska, got word he was being transferred to Panama City, Florida. A few weeks later her coach, Patrick Applegate, was relocating with his family to Katy, Texas. With her fight career hanging in the balance, she followed her fiance to Florida.
Soon after, she made arrangements to make the 10-hour drive from Florida to Texas to meet up with her old coach and maybe get a few weeks of training before heading back to Florida. After arriving at the new facility, Gracie Barra Katy, things changed dramatically.
“Everything about Gracie Barra Katy was and is what I’ve needed,” said Murphy. “The facility is state-of-the-art and I have so many talented and professional training partners pushing me. From the moment I walked into the gym, they have taken care of me in every way.”
She spent the next couple months getting back into shape and working with this new dream team of coaches - Applegate, San Shou, Alex Cisne and Aaron Pena. Since becoming a part of this new team last October, she’s defeated Jennifer Scott via TKO in March. Three weeks later, she took a short-notice fight against one of the country’s best fighters, Kaitlyn Young. Murphy stunned the Invicta crowd in Kansas City by soundly defeating the heavily favored Young via unanimous decision.
Invicta brought Murphy back to Kansas City in July to face an even tougher opponent in Sarah D’Alelio. Once again, she overpowered and out-struck her opponent to get another win and this opportunity to fight Nakamoto for Invicta’s inaugural bantamweight belt.
Invicta FC Flyweight Championship:
Barb Honchak – 124 ½ Pounds
vs Leslie Smith – 124 ¾ Pounds
Invicta FC Strawweight Championship
Carla Esparza (9-2) – 114 Pounds
Claudia Gadelha (11-0) – 114 Pounds
Inaugural Invicta FC Bantamweight Championship
Lauren Murphy – 134 Pounds
Miriam Nakamoto – 134 ¾ Pounds
Felica Herrig (9-4) – 114 ½ Pounds
Tecia Torres (3-0) – 114 ½ Pounds
Joanne Calderwood (7-0) – 115 ½ Pounds
Katja Kankaanpaa (8-0-1) – 114 ¾ Pounds
Julia Budd (5-2) – 145 ½ Pounds
Charmaine Tweet (4-3) – 145 Pounds
Vanessa Porto (15-6) – 125 ¼ Pounds
Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-3) – 124 ¾ Pounds
Sarah D' Alelio (7-4)– 135 ½ Pounds
Tonya Evinger (11-6) – 135 ¾ Pounds
Munah Holland (5-2) – 127 Pounds
Nina Arsanoff (5-3)– 126 ¾ Pounds
Invicta 7 is being distributed in North America by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via IN Demand, DISH, Avail-TVN in the United States, as well as Bell TV, Shaw PPV, SaskTel, TELUS, and MTS in Canada, for only $14.95. In addition, viewers worldwide may purchase the show at www.invictafc.com and the Invicta Fighting Championship’s Facebook page.
Invicta is also offering a FREE one-hour live viewing in North America, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, available via all aforementioned PPV carriers and The Fight Network in Canada. Viewers worldwide may also watch the free bouts, featuring Sarah D' Alelio (7-4) vs. Tonya Evinger (11-6) at bantamweight and Munah Holland (5-2) vs. Nina Arsanoff(5-4) at flyweight, via www.invictafc.com and Invicta Fighting Championship’s Facebook.
Invicta Fighting Championships, an organization committed to pioneering the growth of women’s MMA, was founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp and sports aficionado Janet Martin.