Invicta FC 7 is just around the corner, but fans are already buzzing about a busier 2014 schedule for the company. That busy year could start in January with Invicta FC 8, should everything stay on schedule.

The seventh card is headlined by three title bouts in the bantamweight, strawweight and flyweight divisions, making it incredibly stacked. That leaves the next card scrambling for headliners and top talent, which should be no problem for the world’s biggest female MMA promotion.

Plus, consider the fact that the UFC is planning on adding a women’s strawweight division, and women’s MMA is on a huge roll as of late. The UFC could end up cherry-picking fighters from the Invicta roster for its newest weight class, so Invicta needs to try to get those ladies fights before they can leave.

Let’s take a look at Invicta FC 8 and propose 10 match-ups that could make the card exciting and great.

FW Championship: Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (12-1) vs. Ediane Gomes (10-2)

An all-Brazilian featherweight title bout would be perfect for the headlining fight of Invicta FC 8. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino is one of the sport’s biggest stars, and Ediane Gomes has proven to be one of the best featherweights outside of Cyborg.

Gomes has been dominant since entering Invicta, winning both of her fights in impressive fashion. She choked out Katalina Malungahu, before defeating Japanese star Hiroko Yamanaka. Those wins have put her toward the front of the line and had her lined up for a fight with Cyborg earlier this year, until she suffered an injury and was forced out of the match-up. With not a lot of talent lining up to fight Cyborg or claiming top contendership, Gomes is the perfect fit for this bout.

Justino is by far the best striker in women’s MMA today. Her power is uncanny and her game very well-rounded. Her time in Invicta has seen her decimate Fiona Muxlow and Marloes Coenen, the latter of which came in a bout for the title.

The featherweight title is one of the two belts not being defended at Invicta FC 7, so having it defended at the eighth show is an obvious choice. Plus, Justino is likely Invicta’s biggest draw and could have a competitive outing with Gomes.

AtomW Championship: Michelle Waterson (11-3) vs. Jessica Penne (11-2)

A rematch for the atomweight title may not be what everybody is looking for, but it is really the only option at this point for Invicta. With no clear top contender and Jessica Penne coming off a win that followed up her title loss, this rematch is intriguing, to say the least.

Penne was a favorite going into her first title defense against Michelle Waterson and was touted as someone who could hold onto the belt for some time. That was all taken away after “The Karate Hottie” armbarred her in the fourth round of their fight. It was a competitive affair, but Penne came out the loser there. However, she came back strong in her first fight since that title loss, dominating and tapping out Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc.

Waterson has yet to fight since that title win, which may make it look somewhat unfair that Penne would get a rematch in Waterson’s first title defense. However, given how competitive the bout was and how there is no top contender, she really has no choice here. Her two-fight Invicta career has seen her beat Lacey Schuckman in a highly entertaining bout before winning the belt from Penne.

Invicta FC 7 includes three title bouts, so having two on Invicta FC 8 doesn’t seem like a bad idea. It would definitely justify paying for a pay-per-view from the company.

FlyW: Michelle Ould (7-3) vs. Jennifer Maia (7-3-1)

Newly signed Bellator veteran Michelle Ould is anxiously awaiting her Invicta debut, and following some injuries and inactivity, she would seem a perfect fit for Invicta FC 8. Opposite of Ould should be fellow top flyweight Jennifer Maia, who has proven to be one of the best 125ers in the world, much like Ould.

Maia was recently in a top contender bout for the flyweight championship, but came up short against Leslie Smith. That took some of the shine off the momentum she had gained with the company following a successful debut over former Bellator champ Zoila Gurgel. The well-rounded Brazilian would be a great first test for a star like Ould.

Ould is a well-rounded, marketable personality of the sport that could have great staying power in Invicta. The former Bellator employee, who owns wins over Jessica Rakoczy and Munah Holland, has to be a contender in the 125-pound division and can prove it against a high-level lady like Maia. Plus, with not a lot of options for future title challengers, Ould could elevate herself to top contention with a win.

This would be an important tilt in a light-on-contenders division. Ould has the skills to be a champion, and Maia can certainly show us if Ould is capable of cutting in line.

StrawW: Bec Hyatt (5-3) vs. Rose Namajunas (2-1)

The strawweight division is full of talent, which explains why the UFC is so interested in the weight class. Of course, two of the fan-favorites are Australian Bec Hyatt and rising star Rose Namajunas.

Namajunas has proven to be one of the most exciting fighters in women’s MMA due to her improving striking and wild submission game. She is known for her flying attacks, including her signature flying armbar. She has Invicta wins over Emily Kagan and Kathina Catron, but recently fell in her last fight to fellow prospect Tecia Torres in a competitive bout. Coming off a loss, she should get another top 115-pounder who is also coming off a loss.

That’s where Hyatt comes in. She is beloved by the fans, but she is 1-2 with Invicta, including a late-notice title loss to Carla Esparza. Hyatt is well-rounded, though one could argue she is a good ground fighter. That is the type of fighter who can put on a barnburner against a fighter like Namajunas.

Given the past performances of both women, there is no doubt this would be a “Fight of the Night” candidate. It could also be a tryout for the UFC, should the promotion follow through with its intent to put the 115-pound division in place.

AtomW: Alex Chambers (4-1) vs. Simona Soukupova (4-3-1)

Atomweight is in need of a new contender outside of Jessica Penne. Two women that have to be in top consideration are Australian Alex Chambers and Simona Soukupova of the United Kingdom, both of whom were successful in their recent bouts at 105 pounds in Invicta.

Soukupova, despite owning two submissions, is a powerful striker that headhunts in the cage. Her one fight with the all-women’s promotion saw her win a short-notice bout against Cassie Rodish. It was a bout in which Soukupova was a heavy underdog, but she finished Rodish with a guillotine choke.

Chambers is one of Australia’s best prospects in any weight division, as seen in her Invicta debut. Considered an underdog opposite of Jodie Esquibel, Chambers ended up dominating the American and choking her out in just over 90 seconds. The well-rounded Aussie is a threat to any woman in the 105-pound division.

So, these top-10 atomweights would seem to be perfect opponents. It could offer the next atomweight title challenger, something the division desperately needs.

FW: Veronica Rothenhausler (1-0) vs. Tamikka Brents (2-0)

Two of the brightest prospects at 145 pounds have to be Veronica Rothenhausler and Tamikka Brents. So, why not have them fight each other and see who the alpha female of the two is?

Brents is a grinder who is yet to lose in her two-fight pro career and nine-fight amateur career. She is powerful and athletic, which helps her secure takedowns and smash opponents with ground-and-pound. We haven’t seen her in Invicta since January, when she outworked Amanda Bell to a decision.

If there is a knockout artist at 145 that is not named Cristiane Justino, it has to be Rothenhausler. Rothenhausler is a brawler that has amazing stopping power, as seen in her pro and amateur career. Two of her amateur bouts ended by five-second knockout, including one against CFA featherweight champion Ashlee Evans-Smith. Her Invicta debut saw her clobber Katalina Malungahu with a one-punch knockout that sent shockwaves through the arena.

These two top prospects could put together an entertaining scrap. The winner could be considered a contender and the other would need to go back to the drawing board.

StrawW: Emily Kagan (3-1) vs. Juliana Lima (6-1)

Brazil’s Juliana Lima and Emily Kagan, two once-beaten strawweights, would make for another great match-up and a fun outing. Both women are technical and well-rounded, which would set the stage for a high-level encounter.

Kagan is a Greg Jackson disciple and is 1-1 in the company. After dropping her debut to Rose Namajunas, she defeated Ashley Cummins to get back in the win column. She would be an excellent test for any woman in the division, especially a highly touted fighter like Lima.

Lima is a Muay Thai striker. She is a huge 115-pounder and could be a dark horse in the division. She is immensely powerful and can stop any woman in the division with her striking. Her only fight with Invicta was a loss to Katja Kankaanpaa.

Both ladies like to keep it on the feet, making this bout an interesting checkers match. Whether there is a finish or not, it is sure to bring entertaining moments.

AtomW: Lacey Schuckman (9-7) vs. Cassie Rodish (4-4)

An atomweight bout fans have been itching to see in Invicta for a bit of time pits Lacey Schuckman against Cassie Rodish. Both are toward the top of the division, exciting and a fight or two away from a title shot in this shallow weight class.

Rodish opened her Invicta career with wins over Meghan Wright and Stephanie Frausto, but fell in her last fight to Simona Soukupova. The Iowa native is a ground fighter, but has shown she is well-rounded in her performances. This is why she would be a good opponent for Schuckman.

Schuckman has been desperately looking for fights and has taken some up a weight class or more just to stay active. However, given her talent, she should get as many Invicta fights as possible to push her toward the title picture. She is 0-2 with the company, but has taken on top fighters Ayaka Hamasaki and Michelle Waterson, the latter of which is now the champion of the division.

This has “Fight of the Night” written all over it. These two would put on a fast-paced fight that could elevate one to near the top five in the division.

BW: Kaitlin Young (7-8-1) vs. Fiona Muxlow (6-3)

There aren’t too many bantamweights left in the company at this point, and Invicta is going to have to sign some prospects to bolster the division. In the meantime, 135-pound veteran Kaitlin Young, who is known to be exciting, should get another bout with the company and welcome a former featherweight in Fiona Muxlow to the division.

Muxlow has been a midcard featherweight since entering Invicta. She was fed to Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino in the Brazilian’s promotional debut and hasn’t returned since. She has intentions of coming down to 135 pounds, which should be fulfilled soon, especially since Invicta doesn’t have a ton of 135ers anymore.

Young has been nothing but exciting during her time with the all-female promotion, but has yet to win in four outings. She would definitely be in desperate need of a win, so this would be a sink-or-swim situation that would either put her back in the win column or welcome a new threat to the division.

It would be a classic striker vs. grappler match, with Young as a kickboxer and Muxlow as a submission fighter. That kind of contrast often leads to either finishes or exciting action.

AtomW: Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (8-7) vs. Jodie Esquibel (3-1)

There is no doubt that Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc is a fan-favorite, which is why she should be a staple of the undercard until she can string together some wins. That’s why she should take on another popular atomweight in Jodie Esquibel, who, like Rivera-Calanoc, is coming off a loss in her last fight. Both women are in need of a win and could kick off the card in style.

Esquibel is 1-1 with Invicta, taking a close split decision over Liz McCarthy and falling by submission to Alex Chambers. Rivera-Calanoc is 1-2 with the company, defeating Angelica Chavez and taking losses to Amy Davis and Jessica Penne. This is why this bout would be crucial to both fighters, both of whom are the types of fighters that produce fun scraps.

The Greg Jackson product, Esquibel, is a good striker, which also happens to be Rivera-Calanoc’s area of expertise. This is a great kick-off to the card and could set the tone for the whole night.

Photo: Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (Jeff Vulgamore/The MMA Corner)