LOn the heels of her second-career Invicta Fighting Championships “Fight of the Night” performance, Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (5-3-1) of Pleasanton, Calif. has signed a new, multi-fight agreement with the women’s world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion and will drop from bantamweight (135 pounds) to flyweight (125 pounds) and challenge Jennifer Maia (7-2) of Curitiba, Brazil. at Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City on Saturday, July 13.

The winner of the Invicta FC 6 matchup between Smith and Maia will be awarded a title shot against newly crowned Invicta FC World Flyweight Champion Barb Honchak (8-2) of Bettendorf, Iowa.

“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.  “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.”

The 30-year-old Smith engaged in an all-out war with former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman at Invicta FC 5 at Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City on April 5.  Following the conclusion of the three-round contest that many believe Smith won, Kaufman was awarded a controversial, split decision.

Smith also won “Fight of the Night” honors at the inaugural Invicta FC event on April 28, 2012, after slugging it out relentlessly with fellow striker Kaitlin Young for the duration of their three-round bantamweight bout.  The fight was declared a majority draw, setting up a much-anticipated rematch at Invicta FC 3 on Oct. 6 that saw Smith take charge and finish Young with an onslaught of punches from mount position in the second round (2:19) of the matchup.

Maia, a 24-year-old submission specialist, notched her first victory in the Invicta FC cage with a stunning upset, unanimous decision win over superstar Zoila Frausto Gurgel on April 5.  Recognized as one of Brazil’s quickest rising stars, Maia made quick work of each of her first four professional career opponents, scoring a first round TKO (punches) in her pro debut on Suelen Pinheiro Ribeiro in 2009, and submitting each of her next three opponents inside the first round.

In the main event of the stacked 13-bout card, ferocious KO artist and pound-for-pound sensation Cris Cyborg (11-1, 1 NC) of Curitiba, Brazil will face off with fellow superstar and submission ace Marloes Coenen (21-5) of The Netherlands in the first-ever Invicta FC world featherweight (145 pounds) championship bout.

The showdown between rivals Cyborg and Coenen marks a highly-anticipated rematch to their explosive, barnburner first fight in Sunrise, Fla. on Jan 30, 2010 in which Cyborg emerged victorious by way of TKO (punches) in the third and final scheduled round (3:40) of action.

In the co-main event, reigning Invicta FC world strawweight (115 pounds) champion Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza (9-2) of Redondo Beach, Calif. will put her title on the line against undefeated JEWELS champion Ayaka Hamasaki (9-0) of Tokyo, Japan.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Rashad Evans talks UFC 205, Conor McGregor

  • 29 days ago

Rashad Evans talks about facing Tim Kennedy at UFC 205 in New York, dropping down to middleweight and Conor McGregor attempting to hold simultaneous UFC belts. read news >>

'Cyborg' still stumping for Ronda Rousey fight: 'I watched her shadowbox, and the shadow won'

  • 21 days ago

Invicta FC featherweight champion and UFC headliner Cristiane Justino today found an ally in FS1 host Jason Whitlock, who helped her stump for a fight with former UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda read news >>

Jack Marshman Becomes the First Welsh Fighter to Be Signed by the UFC | FIGHTLAND

  • 20 days ago

Photo via Jack Marshman/Instagram It was the day Welsh MMA’s contingent of fans has been long clamoring for. On Thursday 6th October, 2016, the UFC finally signed its first Welsh fighter to complete read news >>

Tonya Evinger and Angela Hill Defend Titles at Invicta FC 20 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 14 days ago

Invicta FC 20 will feature two title tilts, equaling the championship-level output of September's Invicta FC 19 card. read news >>

Champ Tonya Evinger vs. Yana Kunitskaya, Champ Angela Hill vs. Kaline Medeiros headline Invicta FC 20

  • 14 days ago

A pair of title fights headlines Invicta FC’s final live event of 2016 with bantamweight champ Tonya Evinger vs. Yana Kunitskaya and strawweight champ Angela Hill vs. Kaline Medeiros.Filed under: New read news >>

Ireland's Charlie Ward gets UFC debut and follows teammate McGregor

  • 12 days ago

Irish fighter Charlie Ward has signed with the UFC and is set to make his debut.On Friday, it was announced that relatively unknown Irish fighter Charlie Ward (3-1) has signed a contract with the UFC read news >>

Former champ Chris Weidman signed his new contract the day before UFC 205 presser

  • 8 days ago

It’s no wonder former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman was visibly buoyant at the New York City press conference for UFC 205.Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos read news >>

Conor McGregor Wants to Obtain, Enjoy History Before Dropping a UFC Belt

  • 7 days ago

Conor McGregor will go for history at UFC 205. The UFC featherweight champion, with a victory over Eddie Alvarez, can be the first-ever UFC fighter to hold belts in two divisions at the same time. UF read news >>

Ralek Gracie Signs with Bellator MMA | MMAWeekly.com

  • 8 hours ago

Bellator MMA announced on Wednesday the signing of unbeaten prospect Ralek Gracie to an exclusive multi-fight, multi-year contract. read news >>

WSOF Inks Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist | MMAWeekly.com

  • 3 hours ago

World Series of Fighting has inked a deal with two-time Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison. read news >>