Tag Archive for Renata

Jessica Aguilar Removed from UFC Fight Night 126 After Liva Renata Souza Withdrawal

Over the weekend, former Invicta FC standout Livia Renata Souza was forced to pull out of her Octagon debut against Jessica Aguilar at UFC Fight Night 126 due to a hand injury.
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Tonya Evinger Chokes Yana Kunitskaya at Invicta 22; Livia Renata Souza Torches Ayaka Hamasaki

There was no controversy this time.
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Tonya Evinger Chokes Yana Kunitskaya at Invicta 22; Livia Renata Souza Torches Ayaka Hamasaki

There was no controversy this time.
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Tonya Evinger Chokes Yana Kunitskaya at Invicta 22; Livia Renata Souza Torches Ayaka Hamasaki

There was no controversy this time.
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Tonya Evinger Chokes Yana Kunitskaya at Invicta 22; Livia Renata Souza Torches Ayaka Hamasaki

There was no controversy this time.
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Invicta atomweight champ Ayaka Hamasaki moves up to strawweight to face Livia Renata Souza

Update: Jinh Yu Frey (5-2), who Hamasaki defeated via doctor stoppage in September, will face undefeated Janaisa Morandin (9-0) on the same card.

Ayaka Hamasaki wants to make a statement.

The Invicta FC women’s atomweight champion will move up to strawweight to face former champion Livia Renata Souza at Invicta 22 on March 25 in Kansas City, sources told MMA Fighting on Monday.

Invicta president Shannon Knapp confirmed the news and said it would be the co-main event of the card. It should be announced officially this week, she said.

Hamasaki (14-1), the current 105-pound champion, is moving up for this fight at 115, per sources, because she is trying to make a statement to the UFC that she can compete in that weight division. The UFC only has women’s divisions at bantamweight and strawweight. Hamasaki, 34, is disappointed that she has not yet been signed by the UFC despite an impressive résumé for Invicta and other organizations, sources said.

The Japanese fighter’s only loss was in 2013 and it came against top UFC strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha. Hamasaki has won five straight since then and has held the Invicta atomweight title since July 2015.

Souza (9-1) lost the Invicta strawweight title to Angela Hill last May. It was the first loss of her career. Souza, 25, finished both of her previous fights in Invicta and is still considered a solid prospect in the division.

The fight between Hamasaki and Souza will not be for the title, though Hill has since departed Invicta for the UFC, Knapp said. Hamasaki’s wish is to go to the UFC if she beats Souza, but she is also willing to chase a second Invicta title and defend the atomweight belt later this year on top of that, sources said.

Invicta 22 is headlined by a women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Tonya Evinger and challenger Yana Kunitskaya. Evinger seemed to lose the belt to Kunitskaya in November, but the result was overturned to a no contest by the Missouri Office of Athletics due to a referee error, and Evinger remained the champ.

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Invicta atomweight champ Ayaka Hamasaki moves up to strawweight to face Livia Renata Souza

Ayaka Hamasaki wants to make a statement.

The Invicta FC women’s atomweight champion will move up to strawweight to face former champion Livia Renata Souza at Invicta 22 on March 25 in Kansas City, sources told MMA Fighting on Monday.

Invicta president Shannon Knapp confirmed the news and said it would be the co-main event of the card. It should be announced officially this week, she said.

Hamasaki (14-1), the current 105-pound champion, is moving up for this fight at 115, per sources, because she is trying to make a statement to the UFC that she can compete in that weight division. The UFC only has women’s divisions at bantamweight and strawweight. Hamasaki, 34, is disappointed that she has not yet been signed by the UFC despite an impressive résumé for Invicta and other organizations, sources said.

The Japanese fighter’s only loss was in 2013 and it came against top UFC strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha. Hamasaki has won five straight since then and has held the Invicta atomweight title since July 2015.

Souza (9-1) lost the Invicta strawweight title to Angela Hill last May. It was the first loss of her career. Souza, 25, finished both of her previous fights in Invicta and is still considered a solid prospect in the division.

The fight between Hamasaki and Souza will not be for the title, though Hill has since departed Invicta for the UFC, Knapp said. Hamasaki’s wish is to go to the UFC if she beats Souza, but she is also willing to chase a second Invicta title and defend the atomweight belt later this year on top of that, sources said.

Invicta 22 is headlined by a women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Tonya Evinger and challenger Yana Kunitskaya. Evinger seemed to lose the belt to Kunitskaya in November, but the result was overturned to a no contest by the Missouri Office of Athletics due to a referee error, and Evinger remained the champ.

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Livia Renata Souza vs. Angela Hill title fight co-headlines Invicta FC 17

Livia Renata Souza was campaigning for a chance to fight on the UFC 197 card against Juliana Lima, but she will be defending her Invicta FC strawweight belt next as she takes on UFC veteran Angela Hill in the co-main event of Invicta FC 17 in Costa Mesa, Calif., on May 7.

Souza (9-0) last defended her 115-pound in January, knocking out DeAnna Bennett in just 90 seconds and improving to 2-0 under the promotion’s banner with a pair of finishes.

Hill (4-2), who went 1-2 in the UFC between 2014 and 2015, stopped Alida Gray and Stephanie Eggink in a span of 56 days under the Invicta FC banner in 2016.

Also official for the event is a strawweight clash between Mizuki Inoue (11-4) and Aline Serio (9-5), a pair of featherweight match-ups featuring Latoya Walker (5-0) vs. Charmaine Tweet (8-5) and Amanda Bell (3-3) vs. Megan Anderson (5-2), and undefeated atomweight Julia Jones (4-0) versus Tessa Simpson (4-1).

Headlined by Tonya Evinger vs. Colleen Schneider for the bantamweight championship, Invicta FC 17 takes place at Costa Mesa’s The Hangar at OC Fair & Event Center. The promotion is expected to announce three additional bouts later this week.

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Livia Renata Souza says she’s ready for UFC: ‘I’m the f*cking strawweight Conor McGregor’

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Invicta FC strawweight champion Livia Renata Souza scored the first knockout of her career Saturday night but she didn’t make it out unscathed.

“F**k Muay Thai, man,” Souza said post-fight at Invicta FC 15. “I love jiu-jitsu because it doesn’t hurt. No problem, though.”

The champ broke her right hand sometime during her 90-second title defense to the formerly undefeated DeAnna Bennett.

Now 9-0 with seven submission victories, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt believes she’s proven herself well-rounded enough to be a serious threat on the next level.

“I have more fights left on my Invicta contract but don’t have anyone left to fight with me at my level in Invicta,” Souza said. “My job in Invicta is done. I think it’s time for the UFC. I only need an opportunity to prove myself. That’s it.”

Invicta president Shannon Knapp has no problem with Souza shooting for the UFC, even though she’s not quite ready to let her walk away yet.

“I think every athlete aspires to fight on a great stage,” Knapp said. “C’mon. I understand that and I want athletes to definitely achieve their dream. If that’s the dream, we’ll keep working until she’s ready to go there.”

Invicta FC has a bankable opponent for Souza in the 7-0 Mexican standout Alexa Grasso, but the bout has already fallen through twice before.

“I won’t talk about Alexa Grasso anymore,” said Souza.”She’s had many opportunities to fight me. Now, I won’t fight her because she’s not an interest. Now I need to go to the next step. I’ll wait for some opportunities in the big event, you know. I’m waiting for your call, Dana.”

Souza didn’t play matchmaker but didn’t sound opposed to the idea of scrapping with fan favorite Paige VanZant, referring to the 21-year-old UFC vet as “a joke.”

“I’m the f***ing strawweight Conor McGregor,” Souza said. “I don’t look to the person. I only look at the numbers. I don’t see their faces.

“[VanZant] is a great fighter. I don’t disrespect fighters in the UFC. She’s on another step above me, but I could win that fight easily.”

Having now made a few trips to compete outside of Brazil, Souza says she plans on incorporating more training at the top gyms in the United States.

“I’m always improving my game to bring it to the next level,” said Souza. “Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, wrestling. Now I need some camps in the U. S. to improve my game a lot more. I have some options and now I’ll research the best gyms. I prefer places like American Top Team. My coaches and managers can decide that.”

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Invicta notebook: Livia Renata Souza says everyone knows Alexa Grasso is ‘running away from me’

COSTA MESA, Calif. — It’s not often a champion accuses a challenger of ducking. That seems to be the case here, though.

Livia Renata Souza, Invicta FC’s strawweight champion, said she was supposed to fight Alexa Grasso twice over the last four months and it hasn’t come together. Grasso has been injured, but Souza is not really sure she buys it.

“Alexa is a big opponent, a talented opponent,” Souza said. “But everybody knows she’s running away from me two times. Two times [an] injury? Man, it’s a joke. She can run, but she can’t hide for the rest of her life.”

Grasso should technically be the one doing the chasing considering Souza holds the belt. But these are unique circumstances. Grasso, a 22-year-old top prospect with major marketability, is highly sought after by the UFC. Souza, a very experienced Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner and judoka, presents a very difficult matchup for the rising star.

The two women were supposed to meet at Invicta FC 14 in September and at Invicta FC 15 on Saturday night here, but Grasso has been hurt. Instead, Souza will defend her title against DeAnna Bennett in the co-main event at The Hangar at the Orange County Fair. Grasso is slated to return at Invicta 16 on March 11 in Las Vegas against an opponent yet to be determined.

“The great [fighters] don’t choose the fight, don’t run from the fight,” Souza said. “I fight every time, everywhere with someone. I don’t choose my opponents. Invicta chooses my opponents. The UFC can one day choose my opponents. I only fight; I don’t choose.”

In a recent interview with MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz, Souza furthered that talk.

“I actually had three camps for this fight,” Souza said. “I had two fights cancelled against that Mexican marathoner, also known as Alexa Grasso. I did two hard training camps specifically for her. Both fights were cancelled, but it helped me build a base for my camp for DeAnna. I just had to make some adjustments and go for it.”

Souza (8-0) won the Invicta belt by fourth-round submission over Katja Kankaanpaa last April. The 24-year-old from inner-city Sao Paulo is a future star herself. Souza feels like she can compete with just about anyone in the UFC right now and it would be her “biggest dream” to reach that level. The Brazilian added that she considers Paige VanZant to be “a joke.”

“The top five is great athletes, but the rest I can fight and easily win against anyone,” Souza said.

She might be right and she may one day get to prove it. Until now, there’s Bennett next and possibly Grasso down the line. Souza isn’t holding her breath, though.

“September, November, December,” Souza said. “I know if she’s going to fight with me, she already knows she lost. It’s good to me. Whatever. I don’t care. I don’t give a sh*t for her.”

Wakin’ up in Vegas

Looking at Raquel Pa’aluhi’s 3-4 record heading into this current Invicta run, one wouldn’t expect much. But the Hawaiian bantamweight has taken her game to new levels since she moved to Las Vegas late in 2014.

Pa’aluhi (5-4) has won two straight now and has looked dominant in the victories over Kaitlin Young and Ediane Gomes. The 25-year-old is working hard on her boxing with coach Dewey Cooper at Roy Jones Fight Academy and also Floyd Mayweather’s gym. Robert Drysdale Jiu Jitsu is her self-described “home base” and she’s won multiple grappling tournaments over the last year as a purple belt.

On Saturday, Pa’aluhi will meet fellow veteran Colleen Schneider. She expects to show even more improvement.

“It’s night and day,” Pa’aluhi said. “I think people thought the last fight was impressive. They’re gonna see a totally different person.”

Many thought Pa’aluhi should have gotten the title shot against Tonya Evinger. She said Invicta gave her the option to wait for Evinger, who is likely to fight in March. Pa’aluhi had not fought since last April, so she wanted to get back in there.

“I didn’t want to wait,” Pa’aluhi said. “I wanted to fight already.”

Card changes

A featherweight bout between Ediane Gomes and Amanda Bell was cancelled just an hour before weigh-ins Friday

Flyweight prospect Christine Stanley was in Costa Mesa ready to fight this week, but she no longer has an opponent for the second time. Katy Collins pulled out due to injury earlier in the week. Previously, Stanley was supposed to face Shannon Sinn at Invicta 15.

Amber Brown also has a new opponent after Lisa Ellis pulled out this week. Shino VanHoose, a 20-year-old making her Invicta debut, has stepped in for the atomweight fight.

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