After slugging it out in one of the most memorable toe-to-toe wars in women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) history, power striker Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (3-2-1) of Pleasant Hill, Calif. will return to the Invicta Fighting Championships cage, replacing Milana Dudieva, in a featured bantamweight (135 pounds) showdown with fellow hard-hitting KO artist Amanda “Lioness of the Ring” Nunes (6-2) of Salvador, Bahia Brazil at Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. on Sat., July 28.
Dudieva has withdrawn from her commitment due to medical illness.
The 29-year-old Smith’s gutsy stand in her three-round, epic battle with Kaitlin Young at the inaugural Invicta FC event on April 28 brought the Memorial Hall crowd to their feet and earned both competitors Fight of the Night honors. The result of the fight – a draw – has surely motivated Smith to finish her second Invicta FC bout in decisive fashion.
Smith has earned two of her three professional career victories by way of KO. Prior to turning professional, she was victorious in all three of her amateur starts – one by KO, one by submission and one by decision – in 2008.
The 24-year-old Nunes, touted as one of the most dangerous young prospects in the women’s field of the sport, will look to return to the win column after being stopped by contender Alexis Davis with a barrage of punches in the second round (4:53) of their matchup in Dallas, Tex. on Sept. 10, 2011. The loss snapped Nunes’ six-fight win streak that began on May 24, 2008 with a 11-second TKO of Paty Barbosa on May 24, 2008.
Nunes burst onto the national fight scene in The U.S. in her fight before last, scoring a stunning 14-second KO (punches) of Julia Budd, live on SHOWTIME. Nunes also boasts a victory over fellow Brazil native and Invicta FC competitor Vanessa Porto, whom Nunes finished after two rounds of action Dec. 12, 2009 when Porto’s corner threw in the towel.
Tickets for Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann, priced from $25, are available for purchase at Memorial Hall box office (913) 549-4853), online at Ticketmaster.com and InvictaFC.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.
In the bantamweight main event, 2004 Olympic Wrestling Silver Medalist and undefeated MMA star Sara McMann (5-0) of Gaffney, SC. and battle-tested submission wizard Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler (14-6) of Sioux Falls, SD.
In the co-main event, Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano (18-9) of Tokyo, Japan will square off with Japanese Jiu-Jitsu black belt and Cesar Gracie-protégé Alexis Davis (11-5) of Colborne, Ontario Canada at bantamweight.
In other main card action, U.S. Marine and rising bantamweight star Liz “Girl-rilla” Carmouche (6-2) of San Diego, Calif. will square off with St. Louis Park, Minnesota’s Kaitlin Young (7-5-1), who earned “Fight of the Night” honors at the inaugural Invicta event on April 28.
Submission specialist Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio (5-2) of San Jose, Calif. will lock up with streaking superstar Vanessa Porto (14-4) of Sao Paulo, Brazil at bantamweight.
JEWELS champion Akaya Hamasaki (7-0) of Yamaguchi, Japan will head to Kansas City, Kan. to square off with fellow undefeated star Jasminka “Impressive” Cive (5-0) of Graz, Styria Austria in a flyweight (115 pounds) matchup
American prospects Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak (5-2) of East Moline, Ill. and undefeated Bethany Marshall (4-0) of Newport News, Va. will meet in a super flyweight (125 pounds) matchup.
Julia “The Jewel” Budd (2-2) of Port Moody, British Columbia Canada will face Elina Nilsson (2-2) of Gothenburg, Sweden at featherweight (145 pounds).
In the opening main card bout, Jiu-Jitsu champion and former high school wrestling star Carla Esparza (6-2) of Redondo Beach, Calif. will square off with Sarah “White Tiger” Schneider (6-5) of Kansas City, Mo. in a flyweight tilt.
The Invicta FC event will kick off with a five-bout preliminary card. In a bantamweight matchup between two undefeated future stars, Sarah Moras (2-0) of Kelowna, British Columbia Canada will face Raquel Pennington (1-1) of Colorado Springs, Colo.
After compiling a 5-2 record under amateur status, 25-year-old Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke (0-0) will make her much-anticipated professional debut against unbeaten 30-year-old Suzie Montero (1-0) of Pompano Beach, Fla. at bantamweight.
One-half of the 26-year-old twin MMA fighter duo, Jocelyn “Lights Out” Lybarger (0-0) of Phoenix, Ariz. will make debut under professional status opposite Cheryl Chan (0-0) of Surrey, British Columbia Canada at super flyweight.
In one of two atomweight (105 pounds) matchups, Nicdali Calanoc-Rivera (7-6) of Tulsa, Okla. will take on Angelica Chavez (4-1) of Albuquerque, N.M. In the other, Jessica Philippus (0-0) of Marshall, Mo. will battle Liz McCarthy (0-0) of Tigard, Ore.
All bouts have been approved by the Kansas State Athletic Commission.