Jessica Correa Delboni Downs Alesha Zappitella, Captures Invicta Atomweight Championship

Revenge was sweet for Jessica Correa Delboni.

A multi-pronged standup attack and stellar takedown defense carried the Parana Vale Tudo standout to a unanimous decision over Alesha Zappitella, as she captured the Invicta Fighting Championships atomweight crown in the Invicta 45 headliner on Wednesday at the Police Athletic League in Kansas City, Kansas. Scores from the assembled judiciary were 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46.

Zappitella (9-3, 6-2 Invicta) was woefully ineffective with her approach and wound up trapped on the feet with a superior striker. After two somewhat competitive rounds, Delboni seized the reins in the third. There, she bottled up Zappitella along the fence and unleashed knee and elbow strikes from close range, moved back into open space and sprawled on an attempted takedown before battering the champion with rapid-fire hammerfists to the side of the head. Not much changed across the final 10 minutes. Delboni (12-3, 4-2 Invicta) continued to pile up points with kicks to the leg and punches upstairs, extended her lead and avenged her controversial May 21 defeat to the Scorpion Fighting System product.

Meanwhile, Syndicate MMA’s Ramona Pascual put away Shamir Peshewa with knees to the body and punches in the first round of their catchweight co-main event at 150 pounds. Pascual (6-2, 1-0 Invicta) brought it to a close 60 seconds into Round 1.

Pascual closed the distance with punches and buried a knee into her counterpart’s ribs. Peshewa (2-1, 0-1 Invicta) doubled over in visible distress and retreated to the fence, only to be met with more knees and punches. Referee Zach Teiberis stepped in to stop it once it became clear the Knoxville Martial Arts Academy rep could not recover.

The 33-year-old Pascual has rattled off four consecutive victories, three of them finishes.

Elsewhere, Legacy Fighting Alliance veteran Hailey Cowan shined in her organizational debut, as she submitted Monica Franco with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their bantamweight showcase. Franco (2-1, 1-1 Invicta) checked out 3:17 into Round 2.

Cowan (7-2, 1-0 Invicta) neutralized the Hawaiian with clinch work and takedowns. She tripped Franco to the floor in the middle stanza, climbed to full mount and ultimately progressed to the back. From there, she cinched the choke and let her squeeze do the rest.

In other action, Helen Peralta (5-2, 5-1 Invicta) laid claim to a unanimous decision over Elise Pone (1-1, 1-1 Invicta) in a three-round flyweight affair, drawing 30-25, 30-25 and 30-26 scores from the cageside judges; Katie Saull (4-5, 1-2 Invicta) submitted Tamika Jones (1-1, 0-1 Invicta) with an armbar 4:30 into the first round of their atomweight clash; and Sarah Kleczka (3-3, 2-2 Invicta) eked out a split decision—29-28, 28-29, 29-28—over Maria Jose Garcia Favela (2-2, 0-2 Invicta) in a three-round bantamweight battle.


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