Canadian kickboxer Julia (The Jewel) Budd has another new opponent for next week’s Invicta FC 5, and hopefully this one will stick. The Port Moody, B.C., native take on Mollie Estes at the event in what will be her third appearance in the all-female MMA promotion.
Budd (4-2) was originally supposed to face Ediane Gomes (1-1) at the event, which takes place April 5 at Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City. That was before Invicta signed former Strikeforce champion Cristiane (Cyborg) Santos and decided to match her versus Gomes.
Budd was then paired against Fiona Muxlow; however, Gomes was injured and again Budd’s opponent was pulled in order to face Santos.
Estes, meanwhile was originally on the card against Veronica Rothenhausler, but the latter had to withdraw with an injury.
The 29-year-old Budd, a protégé of former MMA star Lance Gibson and known for her phenomenal conditioning, will be seeking her third straight win, all with Invicta, since a 39-second loss to Ronda Rousey in Strikeforce, in which her elbow was dislocated. Her last two wins came by first-round TKO — both by way of punches and elbow strikes — over Elina Nilsson and Danielle West.
In March 2005, Budd became the first fighter to defeat superstar Gina Carano in a combat sport when she beat her by unanimous decision in a Muay Thai rules contest.
Invicta FC 5 will feature two championship fights. The main event of the 13-bout card sees atomweight champion Jessica Penne (10-1) of Huntington Beach, Calif., defend her crown against superstar Michelle (The Karate Hottie) Waterson (10-3) of Albuquerque, N.M. In the co-main event and first-ever Invicta FC flyweight (125 pounds) title fight, submission ace Vanessa Porto (15-5) of Sao Paulo, Brazil will square off with Barb Honchak (7-2) of Bettendorf, Iowa.
Santos (10-1, 1 NC) of Curitiba, Brazil, makes her highly-anticipated Invicta debut against the rising Australian star Muxlow (6-2) in a featherweight tilt, while Bellator strawweight champion Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-2) of Cincinnati will also compete for the first time with Invicta when she takes on submission expert Jennifer Maia (6-2) in a flyweight fight.
Also on the eight-bout main card, former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman (15-2) of Victoria will compete in Invicta once before joining the UFC as she meets dangerous striker Leslie (The Peacemaker) Smith (5-2-1).
Rounding out the main card is a bantamweight matchup between Lauren Taylor (5-0) and Kaitlin Young (7-7-1) and a strawweight meeting between (Rowdy) Bec Hyatt (4-2) and Invicta newcomer Jasminka Cive (5-0).