Kansas City, Mo. – The Phoenix Series is returning.
After a thrilling debut event in May that crowned a new strawweight champion, Invicta Fighting Championships will once again hold an eight-woman, one-night tournament on Sept. 6 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The single-elimination tournament will feature one-round fights in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, with the tournament final being a three-round affair to determine the tournament champion.
The eight tournament participants will be matched up during a random draw prior to the event.
As was the case during the inaugural tournament, the quarterfinal fighters will have plenty of incentive to finish their fights. Each finish will earn the winning fighter a monetary bonus, but more importantly, the fastest finisher in the quarterfinal round will have the luxury of picking their opponent for the semifinals based on the remaining three combatants. If there are no finishes in the quarterfinals, the semifinal match-ups will again be determined by random draw.
Phoenix Series 2 will feature the flyweight division and includes a mix of promising prospects, UFC veterans and a former title challenger.
The field will include three fighters who recently competed in the flyweight contender tournament. UFC veteran — and former strawweight title challenger — DeAnna Bennett (10-5-1) aims to rebound from her hard-fought defeat against Karina Rodriguez in the Invicta FC 35 main event. Fellow UFC veteran Milana Dudieva (12-8) also hopes to bounce back from a loss to Rodriguez in a “Fight of the Night” performance at Invicta FC 34. Finally, 22-year-old submission stalwart Miranda Maverick (5-2) will be out to prove herself against the field of veterans.
They are joined by a pair of Invicta veterans known for their grappling acumen. Colorado’s Cheri Muraski (6-2) returns to the Invicta cage for the first time since Invicta FC 29. Her opponent from that event, Portland’s Liz Tracy (5-3), also enters the tournament field.
Rounding out the lineup will be a trio of promotional newcomers. Daiana Torquato (9-3) makes her Invicta debut riding the momentum of seven straight wins in her native Brazil. Also hailing from Brazil, Contender Series veteran Marilia Santos (10-3) hopes to capture the form that has earned her wins across the globe. Finally, Strikeforce veteran Maiju Suotama (8-4) of Finland will test her mettle under the Invicta banner for the first time.
In addition to the eight tournament fighters, the event will showcase two non-tournament bouts.
The night’s co-main event — which takes place between the tournament semifinals and final — features Alexa Conners (5-3) against Invicta newcomer Mariya Agapova (6-1). Conners will make her fifth appearance under the Invicta banner, but her first at 125 pounds. Agapova recently appeared on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, but suffered her first career defeat to Invicta veteran Tracy Cortez.
Taking place between the tournament’s quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, 21-year-old Missouri flyweight Josee Storts (1-0) takes on fellow newcomer Helen Lucero (0-0), who will be making her professional debut.
The broadcast team from the first Phoenix Series tournament remains intact as Invicta FC post-fight correspondent and former Invicta fighter Laura Sanko once again calls play-by-play. Joining Sanko on the call will be veteran cageside analyst Jimmy Smith. All of the action will air live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
A pair of tournament reserve match-ups will be added to the fight card in the coming weeks. Tickets to the event can be purchased now through Eventbrite.
Phoenix Series 2
Cheri Muraski (6-2)
Daiana Torquato (9-3)
DeAnna Bennett (10-5-1)
Liz Tracy (5-3)
Maiju Suotama (8-4)
Marilia Santos (10-3)
Milana Dudieva (12-8)
Miranda Maverick (5-2)
Alexa Conners (5-3) vs. Mariya Agapova (6-1)
Josee Storts (1-0) vs. Helen Lucero (0-0)
About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (Facebook.com/InvictaFights), and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.