Preview – Invicta FC 30: Frey vs Grusander for atomweight belt

After some time off, Invicta graces us with another action-first card featuring some fresh faces. While this isn’t an event laced with the most…

By: Victor Rodriguez | 5 years ago
Preview – Invicta FC 30: Frey vs Grusander for atomweight belt
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After some time off, Invicta graces us with another action-first card featuring some fresh faces. While this isn’t an event laced with the most recognizable names the organization has to offer, there’s a bunch of relatively new talents ready to show off some growth as fighters along with some debuting fighters. The top of the card will feature the more seasoned fighters, with a new atomweight queen to be crowned in the main event.

Jinh Yu Frey (6-3) returns to Invicta after a nail-biter against Ashley Cummins last July, culminating in a unanimous decision win. After some uncertainty regarding the Invicta title picture, she managed to secure a fight against former UFC fighter Seo Hee Ham in Road FC in December, which she lost by knockout. She still brings amazing athleticism and forward pressure with very good submission defense. Her opponent will be Finland’s Minna Grusander, who went 5-0 as an amateur (with three submissions) and is currently 6-1 as a professional. Grusander’s got a sneaky striking game with good setups off her 1-2, improved wrestling and very good control on the ground. This looks poised to be another fight where it takes place everywhere with neither party backing down.

Co-main honors go to Florida’s toughest algebra teacher Felicia Spencer (4-0) taking on Helena Kolesnyk (5-1). Kolesnyk racked up a record full of finishes on the international circuit, and fell short against Pamela Sorenson last July when she lost by armbar. Spencer’s got great timing and a fun kicking game she’s built her overall striking around, adding punches and movement. Kolesnyk can strike as well, but will have to be mindful of Spencer’s control on the ground and bevy of strikes once the fight goes there.

Former UFC fighter Heather Jo Clark (7-6) returns for the first time since her decision loss to Alexa Grasso in November of 2016. Now she faces Brazilian talent Kinberly Novaes (9-4), who has early career wins over former UFC title challenger Jessica Andrade and Brazilian veteran (journeywoman?) Bianca Sattelmayer. She recently dropped consecutive decision losses against the very talented Syuri Kondo in Pancrase and against Janaina Morandin in her Invicta debut last December. Novaes is primarily a striker, and she eschews defense to land the harder shot in close exchanges. She’s also remembered for fighting while three months pregnant back in 2015 against Renata Baldan.

Rising prospect Miranda Maverick (3-0) takes on Guamanian BJJ brown belt Brogan Sanchez (5-0). Kerri Kenneson (3-0 pro, 4-1 amateur) makes her second Invicta appearance against Stephanie Geltmacher (2-0 pro, 3-1 amateur). Alesha Zappitella (3-0) was scheduled to fight Shino VanHoose, who pulled out of the event. In her place will be New York’s own Jillian DeCoursey (2-0 pro, 4-1 amateur). DeCoursey has a BJJ background, while Zappitella trains with Amanda Bobby Cooper and company in Michigan, honing her serious wrestling skills.

Stephanie Alba (3-2) faces another Michigander in Alyce Anderson (3-1), who last fought and lost to Shino VanHoose last year after starting her pro run at 3-0. Opening the card will be EBI flyweight winner Erin Blanchfield (1-0 pro, 1-0 amateur) vs another teacher/fighter, Brittney Cloudy (7-2), who makes her professional debut.

Also of note is the fact that everyone made weight on this card, to the delight of one Julie Kedzie. Also, the weigh-ins look like they were a lot of fun:

We’ve also got video of the weigh-ins (link available here if not accessible via embed).

Full fight card is as follows:

Jinh Yu Frey (104.8) vs Minna Grusander (104.7)

Felicia Spencer (145.8) vs Helena Kolesnyk (144.2)

Kinberly Novaes (116) vs Heather Jo Clark (116)

Miranda Maverick (125.1) vs Brogan Walker-Sanchez (125.8)

Kerri Kenneson (135.2) vs Stephanie Geltmacher (135.5)

Jillian DeCoursey (105.9) vs Alesha Zappitella (105.5)

Alyse Anderson (105.4) vs Stephanie Alba (105.9)

Erin Blanchfield (124.1) vs Brittney Cloudy (125.9)

Invicta FC 30: Frey vs Grusander begins at 8:00pm EST this Saturday night, streaming live exclusively via UFC Fight Pass.

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About the author
Victor Rodriguez
Victor Rodriguez

Victor Rodriguez has been a writer and podcaster for Bloody Elbow since 2015. He started his way as a lowly commenter and moderator to become the miscreant he is now. He often does weekly bits on fringe martial arts items across the globe, oddball street combat pieces, previews, analysis, and some behind-the-scenes support. He has trained in wrestling, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the occasional Muay Thai and Judo lesson here and there. Victor has also been involved with acting and audio editing projects. He lives in Pennsylvania where he plays way too many video games and is an S-rank dad.

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