Invicta FC’s AXS TV debut set for May 21 with two title fights

MMA Junkie Staff
·2 min read

Invicta FC will kick off its new era on AXS TV with new owners Anthem Sports and Entertainment with a pair of title fights next month.

Invicta on AXS TV is set for May 21, a Friday, an Invicta official told MMA Junkie on Tuesday. The card will take place at the Police Athletic League in Kansas City, Kan. The two-hour main card will air on AXS TV at 8 p.m. ET. In addition, the full seven-fight card, including the two title fights, will be available as free streams on Invicta’s social media platforms.

In the main event, Karina Rodriguez (8-4) will meet Daiana Torquato (10-3) for the strawweight title vacated by Vanessa Porto when she signed with Bellator.

The co-feature also will be a title fight. Atomweight champion Alesha Zappitella (8-2) will put her 105-pound title on the line for the first time when she takes on Jessica Delboni (10-2).

Rodriguez, from Mexico, hasn’t fought since a November 2011 unanimous decision loss to Porto in the Invicta FC 38 co-main event. Prior to that, she had back-to-back decision wins in 2019 against Milana Dudieva and DeAnna Bennett.

Torquato, from Brazil, first fought for Invicta at the promotion’s one-night tournament at Phoenix Series 2 in September 2019. After a split decision win over Dudieva in her opening bout, she was submitted by Bennett in her second fight. Those bouts were exhibitions and not counted on her record, though, which technically gives her a six-fight winning streak heading into the title fight.

Zappitella went 3-0 in 2020, despite the trials the year brought to the MMA world. After back-to-back decision losses in 2019 to Viviane Pereira at Invicta FC 35 and Kanna Asakura at RIZIN 18, she took decisions from Kelly D’Angelo and Lindsey VanZAndt in 2020, then submitted Ashley Cummins in the fourth round this past September to win the vacant atomweight title.

Brazil’s Delboni has won three of her past four, including a decision over Herica Tiburcio at Invicta FC 42 this past September. That got her back in the win columnn after a TKO loss to Julia Polastri at a Shooto event in Brazil 11 months prior.

Additional fights for Invicta’s AXS TV debut are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.