The all-women's promotion is back and Cyborg Justino is in tow. She'll defend her featherweight title and the strawweight title is up for grabs as well in a competitive scrap.
What: Invicta 15: Cyborg vs. Ibragimova
Where: OC Fair and Events Center, Costa Mesa, Calif.
When: Saturday, seven-fight Fight Pass card starts at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Cristiane Justino vs. Daria Ibragimova
Ibragimova is a little Cyborg-esque in that she likes to get after it right away in fights, but she has neither the physicality nor technical acumen to make this much of a contest. The Russian also likes to work grappling control positions, which is wise against the Brazilian except Cyborg is better there, too. This one should be nasty, brutish and short.
This is a very close battle and one where whoever can define the complexion of the fight is likely to win. Souza has the edge in finishing ability once the fight is taken to the mat, but Bennett arguably has the better ability to keep the fight standing. The fight should be a pitched battle early, but Bennett's ability to nullify Souza's strengths in the end should be the difference. I expect Bennett to land more consistently on the feet en route to becoming the champion.
I expect VanHoose to get physically bossed around here. Brown can very easily dominate in the clinch, secure top position after a takedown and virtually have her way. VanHoose has fought credentialed opponents, but seems to lack the kind of physicality that should give Brown all the advantages she needs to win this with relative ease.
It's hard to see how Pa'aluhi drops this one. Schneider can crack a little bit, but Pa'aluhi was giving Amanda Nunes all sorts of problems in terms of making quick transitions to vulnerable positions and staying there. Schneider is long and has decent takedown defense against the cage, but the difference between the two overall in terms of positional hustle pretty clearly favors Pa'aluhi.