Oct 2, 2012
(PRESS RELEASE) -- KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Oct. 1, 2012) – Invicta Fighting Championships will stream its highly-anticipated Penne vs. Sugiyama, world championship 14-fight women’s professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event, live in its entirety and free of charge to a worldwide audience on the promotion’s website,, from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Returning to the Invicta FC broadcast booth to call the action for promotion’s third event will be Showtime MMA and former PRIDE Fighting Championships voice Mauro Ranallo, light heavyweight superstar “King Mo” Lawal and women’s MMA standout Julie Kedzie.

Additionally, road warrior Danielle West (4-3-1) of London, UK will replace Elaina Maxwell, who has withdrawn from the event due to a concussion, in the leadoff main card featherweight (145 pounds) matchup against hard-hitting Julia Budd (3-2) of Port Moody, CA

“We are thrilled to once again be able to showcase an entire night of world-class women’s professional MMA action live to a global audience,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp. “We hope that Elaina has a speedy recovery and will be able to return to competition soon and, at the same time, commend Danielle for taking this fight on just a week’s notice, especially given the fact that she has a long journey from overseas.”

The 35-year-old West’s road to the Invicta FC cage hasn’t been an easy one. A native of Boston, Mass. and former resident of Toronto, CA where she endured a period of homelessness and took shelter in various parking garages and cardboard boxes, she found a new life in London in 2000 and a new means of getting fit in judo and capoeira.

Since then, West, a full-time marketing strategist and analyst, has simultaneously labored to establish herself as a professional athlete, venturing to The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Russia and Japan to compete, while also winning a gold medal in each of the last five grappling tournaments she entered.

In her Invicta FC debut on July 28, the 29-year-old Budd put forth a powerful performance, taking Elina Nilsson to the ground in the first round of their matchup and finishing Nilsson at the 3:49 mark of the round with a series of punches and elbow strikes from mount position.

Budd, a protégé of former UFC and Shooto competitor Lance Gibson, has also made a mark in the sport of Muay Thai kickboxing, winning a national championship and earning a victory over superstar Gina Carano.

The live stream of the Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama event on will begin at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST with the event’s six-bout preliminary card and continue with the eight-bout main card. Doors at Memorial Hall will open at 5 p.m. CST.

In the Invicta FC 3 main event, superstar Jessica Penne (9-1) of Laguna Hills, Calif. will face off with undefeated phenom Naho Sugiyama (8-0) of Kyoto, Japan at atomweight (105 pounds) in what will also be the first-ever Invicta FC women’s world title bout.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt Shayna Baszler (14-7) of Sioux Falls, S.D. will return to action in the bantamweight (135 pounds) co-main event and take on Invicta FC 2 winner Sarah D’Alelio (6-2) of San Jose, Calif.

Undefeated sensation Cat Zingano (6-0) of Denver, Colo. will throw down with Invicta FC 2 winner Raquel Pennington (3-1) of Colorado Springs, Colo. at bantamweight.

Prolific strikers Kaitlin Young (7-6-1) of St. Louis Park, Minn. and Leslie Smith (3-2-1) of Pleasant Hill, Calif. will face off in a highly-anticipated bantamweight rematch to their April 28 slugfest at the inaugural Invicta FC event that ended in a majority draw.

Another Invicta FC 2 victor, Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak (6-2) of Bettendorf, Iowa, will collide with rising star and furious finisher Aisling Daly (13-3) of Dublin, Ireland in a flyweight (125 pounds) contest.

Invicta FC will welcome one of the original pioneers of women’s MMA, submission expert Tara LaRosa (21-2) of Woodstown, N.J., who will lock horns at flyweight with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Vanessa Porto (14-5) of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Michelle Waterson (9-3) of Albuquerque, N.M. will also make her first start under the Invicta FC banner against Lacey Schuckman (7-5) of Lakewood, Colo. in an atomweight scrap.

The six-bout preliminary card will be topped by a strawweight (115 pounds) matchup between Carla Esparza (7-2) of Redondo Beach, Calif. and Lynn Alvarez (5-2) of Las Vegas, Nev.

Two undefeated prospects, Ashley Cummins (3-0) of St. Louis, MO. and Joanne Calderwood (3-0) of Glasgow, Scottland will collide at flyweight.

Amy Davis (3-3) of Idaho Falls, Idaho will face Stephanie Frausto (3-4) of Middletown, Ohio in an atomweight affair.

Fresh off her professional debut win at Invicta FC 2, Jessamyn Duke (1-0) of Richmond, Ky. will face unbeaten Marciea Allen (1-0) of Sioux Falls in a bantamweight battle.

Tecia Torres (0-0) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Kaiyana Rain (0-0) of Los Angeles, Calif. will make their respective professional debuts against each other at strawweight.

Unbeaten Xtreme Couture prospect Katalina Malungahu (2-0) of Las Vegas will battle Ediane Gomes (8-2) of Coconut Creek, Fla. via Sao Paulo, Brazil at featherweight.

All bouts have been approved by the Kansas State Athletic Commission.

About Invicta Fighting Championships: Invicta Fighting Championships ( is a world championship 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 and sports aficionado Janet Martin, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible matchups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.
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