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Katie Saull out, Marisa Messer-Belenchia steps in as replacement for Invicta FC atomweight tournament

Marisa Messer-Belenchia
Dave Mandel, Invicta FC

Marisa Messer-Belenchia returns to Invicta FC just days away from their upcoming card.

The promotion announced Tuesday that Messer-Belenchia (3-1) will join the eight-woman atomweight field for Friday’s Phoenix Tournament event, which takes place at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. Messer-Belenchia replaces Katie Saull after the Canadian was forced to withdraw due to “global travel restrictions.”

Messer-Belenchia has competed once for Invicta, losing a unanimous decision to Linda Mihalec at Invicta FC 37 in October 2019. She has also fought for Rhode Island’s Classic Entertainment & Sports MMA promotion.

Friday’s one-night tournament will determine the next challenger for atomweight champion Alesha Zappitella.

See the updated field below:

Jessica Delboni

Jillian DeCoursey

Paulina Granados

Katie Perez

Marisa Messer-Belenchia

Linda Mihalec

Lindsey VanZandt

Tabatha Watkins

The first-round matchups are pending. Last Wednesday, Invicta announced that fans will determine who squares off on the opening round, with voting beginning on June 7 and ending an hour before the ceremonial weigh-ins this Thursday. Fighters will have their matchups assigned at the ceremonial weigh-ins.

Friday’s Phoenix Tournament event will be broadcast live on AXS TV and YouTube.