In yet another fan-friendly innovation from Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women MMA promotion is empowering fans to become matchmakers for Invicta FC Phoenix Tournament: Atomweights which takes place Friday, June 11.
Eight atomweight contenders will step into the Invicta cage with one emerging as the new No. 1 contender – but who they fight in the first of potentially three fights in one explosive night will be decided by the fans!
For the first time in MMA history, online fan voting will determine the match-ups for the quarterfinal stage of the tournament. In the previous three Phoenix events, a random draw was used to determine the fighter pairings.
Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp said, “Invicta continues to innovate with the introduction of a fan-matchmaking element for our next Phoenix Tournament. Playing fantasy matchmaker is a big part of MMA fandom, and we’re giving fans the chance to weigh-in on the opening round of a one-night tournament that will crown the new No. 1 Invicta atomweight contender.”
Much like when Invicta experimented with open scoring back in 2019 before committing to it, the promotion is adopting a ‘look-and-see’ approach to the fan voting component for the Phoenix Tournament.
She said, “The Phoenix Tournament format itself is perhaps the biggest MMA innovation in years: the return of single-night tournaments, open scoring, five-minute fights in the quarters and semis before the two finalists meet in a three-rounder. It is a unique format and having fans vote on the initial bracketing is just another wrinkle to what we feel is the most exciting format in combat sports.”
HOW DOES VOTING WORK?
Fans can visit the Phoenix Tournament Voting Portal and vote for the four quarterfinal bouts they want to see. Whichever pairings receive the most votes will be the opening four fights of the tournament, comprising the entire quarterfinal round. Fans can vote multiple times for their favorite match-ups.
For the semifinals, whichever athlete scores the fastest finish in the quarterfinals will get to decide who she faces. As with previous Phoenix Tournaments, if there are no stoppages in the quarterfinals, a random draw will decide which winners face off in the semis.
Voting will be open until one hour before the event's ceremonial weigh-ins on Thursday, June 10.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE’S A LAST-MINUTE WITHDRAWAL?
In the case of an athlete dropping out of the competition before she has a chance to compete, an alternate will take her place in both the tournament and the voting portal.
ANY CONCERNS FIGHTERS/CAMPS WILL TRY TO INFLUENCE VOTE?
No. Every athlete who accepts an invitation to compete in a Phoenix Tournament is agreeing to fight three times in one night – that is absolute proof these women will fight anyone, short notice or not. Even if they have a preferred opponent in the quarterfinals, there’s no way influence who wins the fights and makes it to the semifinals and, ultimately, the final. The tournament winner will have to beat three opponents on June 11.
WHAT DOES THE TOURNAMENT WINNER GET?
The winner of the atomweight tournament will wins not only a Phoenix Trophy, but a cash prize and, most importantly, a guaranteed shot at reigning Invicta FC atomweight champion Alesha Zappitella.
HOW CAN I WATCH THE ACTION?
The event will be broadcast on U.S. cable network AXS TV, the Fight Network in Canada and also stream worldwide on Invicta FC’s YouTube Channel.
Phoenix Tournament: Atomweight Athletes Jéssica Delboni Jillian DeCoursey Katie Perez Katie Saull Lindsey VanZandt Linda Mihalec Paulina Granados Tabatha Watkins