Submission specialist Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio (5-2) of San Jose, Calif. will replace injured Kelly Kobold in a bantamweight (135 pound) matchup against streaking superstar Vanessa Porto (14-4) of Sao Paulo, Brazil on the main card at the Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann all-women’s professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. on Sat., July 28.
Kobold was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a shoulder injury sustained during a routine training session.
“Vanessa’s really tough, really strong, really aggressive and good on the ground, but I’m all of those things too,” said D’Alelio, analyzing the matchup with Porto. “This is a great fight and I think it’s going to be a serious battle. If I win, it will put me in top contender status.”
Both the 31-year-old D’Alelio and the 28-year-old Porto have shown their ability to dominate opponents on the ground. Porto holds a black belt in the submission grappling discipline of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu while D’Aelio holds a lower rank of blue belt. D’Alelio doesn’t feel Porto’s greater skill and experience level in one fighting art will be a deciding factor in the fight, though.
“Things like that don’t matter when there are punches involved,” D’Alelio said.
D’Alelio made an impressive appearance at the inaugural Invicta FC event on April 28, dominating and eventually stopping Vanessa Mariscal with a barrage of punches that prompted Mariscal to verbally submit. The win snapped D’Alelio’s two-fight losing streak
Porto will enter the Invicta FC cage looking for her fifth consecutive victory. In her last effort on March 10, she scored a 41 second KO on Luana Teixeira with a single punch in a matchup in Brazil.
Porto, who hasn’t been pushed past the second round by any of her last four opponents and finished three of them inside the first stanza, doesn’t look at D’Alelio as any different from her previous adversaries.
“It’s just one more opponent. I’m here to fight and do not choose whom I fight,” said Porto. “I will fight anybody in the world at 135 pounds.”
Porto earned her black belt under her husband and first trainer Pedro Iglesias, who will serve as one of her cornermen against D’Alelio on July 28. She began training with Iglesias in 2004.
Tickets for Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann, priced from $25, are available for purchase at Memorial Hall box office (913) 549-4853), online at Ticketmaster.com and InvictaFC.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.
In the bantamweight (135 pounds) main event, 2004 Olympic Wrestling Silver Medalist and undefeated MMA star Sara McMann (5-0) of Gaffney, SC. and battle-tested submission wizard Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler (14-6) of Sioux Falls, SD.
In the co-main event, Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano (18-9) of Tokyo, Japan will square off with Japanese Jiu-Jitsu black belt and Cesar Gracie-protégé Alexis Davis (11-5) of Colborne, Ontario Canada at bantamweight.
In other main card action, U.S. Marine and rising bantamweight star Liz “Girl-rilla” Carmouche (6-2) of San Diego, Calif. will square off with St. Louis Park, Minnesota’s Kaitlin Young (7-5-1), who earned “Fight of the Night” honors at the inaugural Invicta event on April 28.
JEWELS champion Akaya Hamasaki (7-0) of Yamaguchi, Japan will head to Kansas City, Kan. to square off with fellow undefeated star Jasminka “Impressive” Cive (5-0) of Graz, Styria Austria in a flyweight (115 pounds) matchup
Hard-hitting KO artist Amanda Nunes (6-2) of Salvador, Bahia Brazil will make her Invicta debut against sensational finisher Milana Dudieva (8-1) of Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia Russia in a bantamweight battle.
American prospects Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak (5-2) of East Moline, Ill. and undefeated Bethany Marshall (4-0) of Newport News, Va. will meet in a super flyweight (125 pounds) matchup.
Julia “The Jewel” Budd (2-2) of Port Moody, British Columbia Canada will face Elina Nilsson (2-2) of Gothenburg, Sweden at featherweight (145 pounds).
In the opening main card bout, Jiu-Jitsu champion and former high school wrestling star Carla Esparza (6-2) of Redondo Beach, Calif. will square off with Sarah “White Tiger” Schneider (6-5) of Kansas City, Mo. in a flyweight tilt.
The Invicta FC event will kick off with a five-bout preliminary card. In a bantamweight matchup between two undefeated future stars, Sarah Moras (2-0) of Kelowna, British Columbia Canada will face Raquel Pennington (1-0) of Colorado Springs, Colo.
After compiling a 5-2 record under amateur status, 25-year-old Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke (0-0) will make her much-anticipated professional debut against unbeaten 30-year-old Suzie Montero (1-0) of Pompano Beach, Fla. at bantamweight.
One-half of the 26-year-old twin MMA fighter duo, Jocelyn “Lights Out” Lybarger (0-0) of Phoenix, Ariz. will make debut under professional status opposite Cheryl Chan (0-0) of Surrey, British Columbia Canada at super flyweight.
In one of two atomweight (105 pounds) matchups, Nicdali Calanoc-Rivera (7-6) of Tulsa, Okla. will take on Angelica Chavez (4-1) of Albuquerque, N.M. In the other, Jessica Philippus (0-0) of Marshall, Mo. will battle Liz McCarthy (0-0) of Tigard, Ore.
All bouts have been approved by the Kansas State Athletic Commission.