The all-women's promotion is back, this time with bantamweight and strawweight titles up for grabs. There are no big names on the card, but in addition to the title fights, prospects in the featherweight division, e.g. Megan Anderson, are also on the card.
What: Invicta FC 17: Evinger vs. Schneider
Where: OC Fair and Events Center, Costa Mesa, Calif.
When: Saturday, eight-fight Fight Pass card starts at 9 p.m. ET.
When it comes down to it, I just don't think anyone in Invicta's bantamweight division can hang with Evinger once she turns it into a wrestling contest with ground and pound. She's too physical, too talented and way too ahead of the curve relative to her peers. MMA is crazy and upsets happen all the time as we all know, but there's not a lot of reasons from this vantage point to think Schneider is going to have a ton of success against the one-woman wrecking crew that is Evinger.
Hill was thrown to the wolves early in her career, which makes her return to Invicta both important and helpful. In her last fight, she showed real technical maturity with a diverse but consistent application of well-selected strikes that complimented ever-improving footwork as well. I like Souza's chances here, but she absolutely has her work cut out for her. The difference for me is Souza absolutely holds an advantage on the ground. On the feet it's closer to even, perhaps even in Hill's favor. That said, Souza has shown rapidly improving striking herself, including powerful body attacks married with instinctual finishing skills. A Hill win here should surprise no one, but Souza is the rightful, if slight, favorite.
Both of these ladies are a bit wild, but perhaps in different ways. Medeiros has shown some ground savvy while Serio is very strong in the clinch. The overall physically stronger of the two is Medeiros, however, and the Sityodtong product has decent punching power. Both have a number of defensive shortcomings, which makes a clean prediction here tricky, but forced to make a choice, I'll take the more physically dominant athlete who has been more active. That's Medeiros.
This is a tough call and classic striker vs. grappler. Walker has the advantage on the feet while Tweet holds the advantage on the ground. My problem with Walker is she has solid striking (particularly boxing) fundamentals and does possess power, but she's not what I'd describe as a heavy hitter. Her ground game is also mostly functional to survive or get back to the feet. Tweet has shown great control in the past with very respectable passing skills. This is a close fight and by no means a blowout in either direction, but I'm just not (yet) convinced by Walker's upside.
Amanda Bell vs. Megan Anderson
I'm going to side with the Aussie here. Ultimately, she's the more physical athlete. Anderson has shown the ability to use that physicality in smart ways as she's made adjustments in fights. Bell is tenacious, but basically lacks refinement. The problem for Anderson, however, is that she's shown very real defensive liabilities in the stand-up department that nearly cost her in her last fight. She wisely worked around them to earn the win, but someone like Bell, who is happy to brawl, could very much make Anderson pay. This is fight that's very winnable for Anderson, but she must pay closer to attention to timing and her defensive assignments.
Other bouts on the card:
Christine Stanley def. Shannon Sinn
Rachael Ostovich def. Ariel Beck
Laura Howarth def. Alexa Conners