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Invicta FC announces Phoenix Series 3, vacant bantamweight championship bout

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Liza Verzosa (pictured) meets Julija Stoliarenko in the bantamweight championship main event of Invicta FC: Phoenix Series 3 on March 6 in Kansas City, Kan.
Invicta FC

The third Invicta FC Phoenix Series show will see the crowning of a new bantamweight champion and a prospect get their chance to shine.

Officials announced Wednesday that the upcoming Invicta FC: Phoenix Series 3 show on March 6 will be headlined by a battle for a vacant bantamweight title between unbeaten Lisa Verzosa (5-0) and recent Ultimate Fighter contestant Julija Stoliarenko (8-3-1). The title was previously held by Sarah Kaufman, who vacated it when she signed with the PFL last year.

As with previous Phoenix Series shows, the card will also be comprised of a one-night eight-woman tournament, this time at 135 pounds. The fighters participating will be Kerri Kenneson (3-2), Brittney Victoria (3-1), Erin Harpe (2-0), Taneisha Tennant (2-0), Claire Guthrie (1-0), Hope Chase (2-1), Auttumn Norton (1-1), and Taylor Guardado (4-1, amateur).

Guardado (formerly known Taylor Stratford) owns amateur victories over Raquel Pennington, Ashlee Evans-Smith, and Amanda Bell, but has not competed since June 2011. This will be the 28-year-old’s pro debut.

Tournament matchups are to be determined by random draw prior to the event. The quarter-finals and semifinal bouts will all be one-round affairs, with the finals being a three-round contest.

A pair of key strawweight bouts will also take place on the card as Amber Brown (7-6) fights Sharon Jacobson (6-5), and Kay Hansen (5-3) fights Liana Pirosin (7-3).

Mitzi Merry (2-1) vs. Morgan Hickam (1-2), and Serena DeJesus (1-1) vs. Julia Ottolino (1-0) will serve as bantamweight tournament reserve bouts.

Last May, Brianna Van Buren won the inaugural Phoenix Series strawweight tournament before moving on to the UFC, while Miranda Maverick won a flyweight tournament in September. Maverick fights Pearl Gonzalez this Friday at Invicta FC 39 in what could be a No. 1 contender’s bout.

Invicta FC: Phoenix Series 3 takes place at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The show will air live on UFC Fight Pass.