The injury curse is at it again, this time striking women’s MMA promotion Invicta Fighting Championships as Claudia Gadelha is out of the inaugural 115-pound, strawweight title bout slated for Invicta FC 4 on Jan. 5.

Taking Gadelha’s place against Carla Esparza will be Australia’s Bec Hyatt, who makes her Invicta debut at the event.

Hyatt, riding a four-fight winning streak, was expected to face Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood in the first bout of the main card, but now finds herself in the main event. The 23-year-old most recently competed in October, needing just 37 seconds to dispatch of Christina Nicole Tatnell by TKO at Nitro MMA 7 in her native Queensland. Three of her four career wins have come via stoppage or submission.

Meanwhile, Esparza also enters the contest red-hot, having stopped both Lynn Alvarez and Sarah Schneider by TKO in her two previous appearances under the Invicta banner. The Team Oyama fighter has suffered just two defeats in her career, against top-ranked Megumi Fujii and Jessica Aguilar.

The pair will battle it out for the upstart promotion’s second title. The Kansas City-based organization crowned its inaugural atomweight champion, Jessica Penne, in October.

With Hyatt sliding into the main event, her original opponent, Calderwood, will now meet promotional newcomer Livia Van Plettenber.

Hyatt and Esparza will mark the culmination of a 13-fight card at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The six-fight main card will stream via the promotion’s website for $7.95. Also on the card will be veteran bantamweights Shayna Baszler and Alexis Davis, as well as featherweights Ediane Gomes and Hiroko Yamanaka.

Photo: Bec Hyatt (