Two-time “Fight of the Night” award winner Leslie Smith has signed a new, multi-fight deal with Invicta Fighting Championships.
Smith will drop to 125 pounds to take on Jennifer Maia at Invicta FC 6 in a bout that will decide the next challenger for flyweight titlist Barb Honchak. The event takes place July 13 at Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Mo., and will see 145-pound standouts Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino and Marloes Coenen square off for the vacant featherweight title in a rematch of their 2010 Strikeforce bout.
Smith, 30, recently saw a two-fight winning streak halted by a hard-fought split decision loss to ex-Strikeforce queen Sarah Kaufman at Invicta FC 5. Known for her resilience and volume punching in the cage, “The Peacemaker” has earned a 2-2-1 record under the Invicta banner since making her debut one year ago at the promotion’s debut event.
Maia, meanwhile, rebounded from her first-round knockout to Sheila Gaff last year by posting back-to-back victories, first outpointing Jessica Andrade to close out 2012 before doing the same to ex-Bellator ruler Zoila Frausto Gurgel in her April 5 Invicta debut. The 24-year-old Brazilian has stopped five of her seven victims in three years as a pro, picking up four of those wins by submission.
“We are excited to bring Leslie under the Invicta Fighting Championships umbrella for the long term and to watch her compete in a new weight class that is becoming super competitive in our promotion,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp in the official release. “Since we launched our live event series last year, Leslie has demonstrated incredible tenacity and athleticism by putting on some of the most memorable fights in our cage. She is a true warrior, as is her opponent Jennifer Maia, so we are looking forward to an explosive matchup between two of the sport’s stars on what will be Invicta FC’s biggest fight card to date.”