Ashley Cummins & Alesha Zappitella To Meet For Vacant Atomweight Title In Invicta FC 42 Headliner

The vacant Invicta FC Atomweight Championship will get a new owner on September 17 when Ashley Cummins and Alesha Zappitella clash for the title in the main event of Invicta FC 42. The title became vacant last month with the previous title holder, Jinh Yu Frey, left Invicta FC and signed with the UFC.

Invicta FC issued a press release on the matter, revealing the full card for Invicta FC 42:

Atomweight Title Clash Headlines Invicta FC 42 on Sept. 17

Kansas City, Kan. – The world’s premier combat sports organization for women will continue its action-packed summer schedule on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Invicta Fighting Championships 42 will crown a new atomweight champion as longtime Invicta combatant Ashley “Smashley” Cummins (7-5) takes on world-class wrestler Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (7-2) for the vacant 105-pound belt. The Missouri-born, California-based Cummins is no stranger to the Invicta cage, debuting at the promotion’s inaugural event in April of 2012. Since then, she’s made a total of nine appearances under the Invicta banner, battling the likes of current UFC fighters Joanne Calderwod, Alexa Grasso and most recently, former atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey. Cummins came up short in a hotly contested affair with Frey, but will get a second opportunity to claim gold. Michigan’s Zappitella is just 25 years old, but has already compiled a championship-worthy resume. She’s been victorious in four of her five Invicta bouts, including back-to-back wins over Lindsey VanZandt and Kelly D’Angelo to cement her status as a title contender.

The co-main event will take place in the bantamweight division as former title challengers Lisa “Battle Angel” Verzosa (5-1) and Raquel Canuto (6-6) — née Pa’aluhi — collide. Verzosa was last in action at Phoenix Rising 3 in March, engaging in a “Fight of the Year” battle with Julija Stoliarenko. The split verdict was the first defeat of the 24-year-old’s career. Canuto returns to MMA action for the first time since Invicta FC 25 in 2017. The Hawaii native has since achieved her black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and is ready to step back into the cage where she’s faced the likes of current two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes, Sara McMann, Pannie Kianzad and Yana Kunitskaya.

Also on the card, Brazilian veteran Jéssica Delboni (9-2) faces former atomweight champion Herica Tiburcio (11-4) in a strawweight match-up, flyweight Victoria “Fury” Leonardo (6-2) takes on Liz “The Titan” Tracy (5-3), bantamweight Auttumn Norton (1-1) welcomes Brittney Cloudy (2-2) back to the promotion, and New York newcomer Jennifer “Dugwen” Chieng (1-0) meets Tahiti native Flore “Aito Hine” Hani (2-1) at strawweight.

Invicta FC 42 will be overseen by the Kansas Athletic Commission and will feature open scoring. The event will air live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. CT. With the ongoing pandemic, Invicta FC 42 will take place in Kansas City behind closed doors — sans fans and media. As with any Invicta event, the safety of its fighters, their corners, its staff and commission officials is of the utmost priority. All participants will be tested for COVID-19 prior to the event.

The full fight card can be found below:

Atomweight Title: Ashley Cummins vs. Alesha Zappitella
Bantamweight: Lisa Verzosa vs. Raquel Canuto
Strawweight: Jéssica Delboni vs. Herica Tiburcio
Flyweight: Victoria Leonardo vs. Liz Tracy
Bantamweight: Auttumn Norton vs. Brittney Cloudy
Strawweight: Jennifer Chieng vs. Flore Hani

About Invicta FC:
Invicta Fighting Championships (invictafc.com) is a world championship, all-pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport. Follow Invicta on Twitter (@InvictaFights), Facebook (InvictaFights) and Instagram (@InvictaFC) for all the latest information.

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