Invicta FC is setting up shop once again tonight in their new de facto home of Colorado, with a real treat of a card. Mostly showcasing the lower weight classes, Invicta FC 53: DeCoursey vs. Dos Santos features an atomweight title fight in the main event spot. It’s a good one, even if the circumstances are a bit complicated.
What isn’t complicated is the rest of the matchmaking, which all falls in the Invicta sweet spots. We’ve got our less-experienced talent opening the card, two fun atomweight fights outside of the main event, and a co-main event with two pretty talented bantamweights. It’s not too many moving pieces, and they all move like parts in what should be a fun show, top-to-bottom.
Will Jillian DeCoursey continue to look unstoppable?
After back to back losses to current UFC talent Elise Reed in Cage Fury and then a tournament loss against Linda Mihalec, Jillian DeCoursey (6-3) rattled off two straight wins in electrifying fashion. A super-quick finish over Lindsey VanZandt was followed by a first-round finish against then-champion Jessica Delboni for the atomweight belt.
Going from heartbreak to one of the most exciting champions on the Invicta roster is pretty amazing. It seems DeCoursey has managed to turn a major corner in her career. She clearly looks like she’s still improving and growing as a fighter. Unfortunately, that makes her first title defense a strange decision. Rayanne dos Santos (13-6) is a fighter we’ve seen before from her time on Contender Series. And I didn’t have much to say about her that was particularly kind:
Why the confident declaration? Well, while I make efforts to not disrespect fighters and their craft, she simply should not be here. Dos Santos (11-5) only has wins against two opponents with records over .500.
I’m going to guess a lot of hay will be made of her recent four-fight win streak. But, guess what? One was 0-1, another was 0-5, and the others were making their pro debuts. Being 9-5 or 10-5 and facing debuting talents isn’t just a red flag, it’s a clear ploy to get dos Santos into a bigger organization with a padded record. Not even a particularly well-padded one, either. In fact, she’s faced four opponents making their debut going back to when she was 2-2.
Almost every fight against a fighter over .500 has led to her losing. One of the two fighters with winning records she actually won against is now 8-9 with two draws. But at least that fighter also lost to Loopy Godinez and Cheyanne Vlismas. I guess there’s that.
As anticipated, dos Santos lost that Contender Series fight. She then went on to defeat a 1-2 fighter by submission when she had an 11-6 record, then fought 5-5 Katie Saull and won. While she gave a spirited performance against Gomes—in which she did better than I expected—she didn’t show much improvement in her following two wins. All that said, dos Santos still tough, plus she has submission skills.
DeCoursey won’t underestimate her and dos Santos will certainly bring the fight to her. The champ has never looked better and looks like she’s still maturing as a fighter. This fight should favor Jillian by a lot, even if I don’t expect dos Santos to just roll over and give up.
Guthrie vs Rubin should be fun!
Olga Rubin (8-3) made some progress at featherweight, going undefeated until fighting for the Bellator featherweight championship and falling short against Julia Budd. A subsequent loss to Sinead Kavanaugh led to her dropping to bantamweight, where she’s currently 2-1. That single bantamweight loss was to the very talented Taneisha Tennant, and it was a split decision.
She’ll meets Claire Guthrie (5-1), a hard-nosed grappler that’s trained and performed at altitude before. Bantamweight is an odd division because of the sparse talent, but these two could bring a fun, albeit not very orderly fight. Neither is afraid to get into a dogfight, and it’s a nice stylistic matchup.
Delboni moves up
Former atomweight champion Jessica Delboni (12-4) moves up to strawweight in hopes of getting back in the win column with less strain from weight cutting. Her first order of business is taking on the heavy-handed UFC vet Danielle Taylor (11-8). Taylor may be coming off three straight losses, but will probably still have a strength advantage against Delboni.
Delboni didn’t get to the top at atomweight for no reason, though. She’s crafty, has a well-rounded game and gets creative with grappling transitions. It’s a great fight to see how Delboni adapts to the new weight class while giving Taylor a stiff challenge.
The full Invicta FC 53 card
- Jillian DeCoursey (104.8) vs. Rayanne dos Santos (104.3) – Invicta atomweight championship
- Olga Rubin (135.7) vs. Claire Guthrie (135.7) – Bantamweight
- Jéssica Delboni (115.6) vs. Danielle Taylor (114.9) – Strawweight
- Monique Adriane (105.5) vs. Nicole Geraldo (105.9) – Atomweight
- Liana Pirosin (126) vs. Elise Pone (125.3) – Flyweight
- Elisandra “Lili” Ferreira (105.3) vs. Flor Hernandez (105.8) – Atomweight
- Ky Bennett (124.8) vs. Kendal Holowell (125.4) – Flyweight
Invicta FC 53: DeCoursey vs dos Santos takes place this Wednesday night starting at 9:00pm EST. The pre-event coverage will begin at 8:30pm, and the card will be simulcast on AXS TV as well as Invicta’s YouTube account, where it streams live.
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