Since Megan Anderson is bound for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Invicta Fighting Championships' next card has a new main event.
In the wake of Anderson, Invicta's most recent featherweight titleholder, jumping to the Octagon to face Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino for the now-vacant UFC women's featherweight title at UFC 214 on July 29, Invicta FC officials announced on Monday that its forthcoming Invicta 24 card will now be headlined by the promotion's bantamweight champion, Tonya Evinger, moving up to 145 pounds to challenge undefeated Helena Kolesnyk.
Kolesnyk was originally scheduled to challenge Anderson for her title on the July 15 card in Kansas City, Missouri. Evinger-Kolesnyk will not be for Anderson's soon-to-be vacated title, instead taking place as a three-round headliner.
The 36-year-old Evinger is undefeated in her last 11 professional bouts and has emerged a bonafide top-10 bantamweight while dominating Invicta's 135-pound division with wins over Sarah D'Alelio, Cindy Dandois, Irene Aldana and Colleen Schneider among others. Last November, Evinger appeared to lose her Invicta title to Russia's Yana Kunitskaya via first-round armbar, but due to a gross mishandling of the finishing sequence by referee Mike England, the bout was overturned to a no contest shortly afterward. In their rematch at Invicta FC 22 in March, Evinger choked out Kunitskaya in the second round.
Though Evinger has experience fighting the likes of Gina Carano at 140 pounds under the Elite Xtreme Combat banner in the past, this will be her official featherweight debut.
Weight has been a recent issue for the undefeated Kolesnyk. Before she was lined up to face Anders, the 5-0 Ukrainian, who has fought mostly middling opposition in China under the WBK banner, was scheduled to meet France's Iony Razafiarison at Superior Fighting Championship 17 in Germany on May 20. Kolesnyk missed weight, Razafiarison declined to accept a catch-weight bout and the fight was canceled.
In addition to the new Evinger-Kolesnyk headliner, Invicta FC announced a host of other bouts for the July 15 bill: UFC veteran Milana Dudieva faces Mara Romero Borella at 125 pounds; former Invicta bantamweight title challenger Yana Kunitskaya meets Raquel Pa'aluhi; top-three atomweight Jinh Yu Frey returns to meet Ashley Cummins; Barbara Acioly and Karina Rodriguez square off in a flyweight affair; Amy Coleman and Felicia Spencer square off at 145 pounds; and a pair of strawweight contests see Sunna Rannveig Davidsdottir tangle with Kelly D'Angelo, while Mallory Martin encounter Tiffany Masters.