Invicta FC has seen its roster depleted recently. The inclusion of 115- and 135-pound women in the UFC has meant a ransacking of the promotion for talent. It has turned Invicta from the only show in town for the ladies to an important feeder for the UFC, as well as a proving ground for up-and-coming women and veterans alike.

Invicta has responded to its thinning roster by going on a shopping spree, snapping up world-ranked fighters and prospects. In all, Invicta has already inked seven new women that will grace every division from the 105-pound atomweight division to the 145-pound featherweight division.

It will be interesting to see where these women’s careers go from here. So, let’s make some career projections for these women who will be competing with the prestigious Invicta FC.

Faith Van Duin

The Invicta featherweight division is currently in need of some depth, and it will get just that in the form of New Zealand’s Faith Van Duin. She should instantly jump into title contention, especially with a win or two with the company.

Currently ranked at No. 10 in The MMA Corner’s women’s rankings, Van Duin has been a pro for under a year and has already run up a 4-0 record. This includes a three wins in a single night on Aug. 31, 2013, when she won a one-night tournament under the Storm MMA banner. The 27-year-old took notable wins over Arlene Blencowe and Kate da Silva in that tournament.

Van Duin brings a tight ground game into Invicta FC, and that will be beneficial in her run with the company. She especially showed her skill in the da Silva win, where she defeated the jiu-jitsu fighter with an impressive fourth-round triangle choke.

All things considered, this is a big signing for Invicta. Assuming Van Duin is ready to go, she will not get an easy opening fight. Perhaps a bout with fellow ranked featherweight Tamikka Brents would be a good measuring stick for both ladies, as they look to make a run at the title. If Van Duin succeeds, she shows she is ready for top contention. If she falls, it’s back to the drawing board in an attempt to get back on the winning track.

Irene Aldana

Do not judge Irene Aldana for her latest performance against Larissa Pacheco. Pacheco is likely UFC bound and has been running through competition with no remorse as of late.

Aldana is a legitimately scary striker that adds to a bantamweight division that has been depleted by the UFC’s signings of Invicta’s top talent. She has heavy, quick hands that have been known to put down opponents with ease. Anybody who stands with Aldana runs the risk of having their jaw realigned.

Aldana took her first fight in October of 2012, but didn’t take her second fight until almost exactly a year later. Her second and third fight happened on the same night, when she won a four-woman tournament for the Xtreme Kombat promotion. In that tourney, she used her devastating knees and clinch game to floor Flor Saenz and a jaw-dropping wheel kick to put away Mayra Arce. That just shows how nasty and diverse she can get with her striking game.

The 25-year-old fighter from Mexico is looking to get back into the win column after the loss to Pacheco in her most recent outing. She needs a measure of where she will be in the division, so a bout with Duda Yankovich would be a good starting point. Both are good stand-up fighters, and both need to right the ship after recent losses.

Herica Tiburcio

Herica Tiburcio is one of the four 115-pound fighters Invicta has inked in an obvious response to the UFC snapping up the promotion’s biggest talent for The Ultimate Fighter 20. The Brazilian is a great talent to grab.

Although it is believed that she could drop to atomweight—she stands at 4-foot-11 and can afford to tighten up her midsection—she is a great talent at 115 pounds, regardless. Tiburcio is a jiu-jitsu ace on the ground, winning six of her seven bouts via submission, including four impressive armbars and two nasty guillotine chokes. She is a handful for any opponent when she is in top position on the mat.

At 22 years old, Tiburcio could be a mainstay with Invicta, unless the UFC comes calling. With Invicta’s lack of depth at strawweight right now, she could challenge for a title rather quickly. A bout with fellow Brazilian and recent Invicta signee Livia Renata Souza would be a good opener for Tiburcio. One woman gets closer to the title and the other looks to rebound.

Livia Renata Souza

That brings us to Livia Renata Souza. As a 22-year-old jiu-jitsu fighter who has scored a majority of her wins by tapout, Souza is similar in many ways to Tiburcio. However, unlike Tiburcio, “Livinha” is undefeated at 5-0.

The jiu-jitsu fighter is known for her top pressure, but she continues to develop her striking. Right now, her hands and kicks are used to close the distance and secure a takedown.

Souza has already notched wins over Brazilian vets Aline Sattelmayer (twice), Bianca Reis and Andressa Rocha. She has gone to decision just once, owning submission wins via armbar (twice), triangle choke and heel hook.

Souza is a prospect, just like Tiburcio. Both have the ability to make waves at 115 pounds, and the aforementioned idea of putting Souza in the cage against Tiburcio would provide us with a potential top contender in the strawweight division.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

KSW veteran and undefeated Pole Karolina Kowalkiewicz may be one the biggest of the signings by Invicta. She is currently ranked No. 14 in The MMA Corner’s women’s rankings, behind most of the girls currently on The Ultimate Fighter 20‘s roster.

Kowalkiewicz is well-rounded, with some solid striking and a good ground game. She prefers to put girls on their back so she can rain down strikes from the top and pursue a submission. Her most recent win was her biggest—she defeated Simona Soukupova on late notice, smothering the world-ranked atomweight en route to a convincing decision. Her world ranking and one win in Invicta could bring her a title shot early in her tenure.

Kowalkiewicz could be given a test in the form of 5-1 Austrian Jasminka Cive. Cive is still considered a prospect and her only loss came to Bec Rawlings, so she deserves another chance to prove she is legit. Kowalkiewicz could use this fight to propel her name into the strawweight title talks.

Ashley Greenway

Say hello to “Dollface.” That’s the nickname of newly acquired amateur talent Ashley Greenway. After a 5-1 amateur record that saw her only loss come to current strawweight contender Tecia Torres, Greenway is signed and ready to make a run in the professional ranks of MMA.

She has spent her amateur career fighting on the East Coast, where she finished four of her five amateur bouts. She has only fought once since 2012, but has been diligently working to improve in the gym before she enters the pro ranks officially.

She co-owns a gym in North Carolina, where she started her training in 2005. So, even though she doesn’t have a lot of fights on her record, she has been around for almost a decade of training. Her best attribute would be her ground game, where she creates openings with her ground-and-pound so she can secure a submission.

Greenway will be making her pro debut with Invicta. Therefore, she will need a litmus test to see where she is in the division. A bout against Kathina Catron would be a good measuring stick for Greenway. Either she wins and shows she is ready for bigger and better things, or she finds out she needs more work in the gym to succeed at a high level as a pro.

Amber Brown

The atomweight division is in need of some new talent, too, and Invicta did a great job in filling that requirement with Amber Brown. She is ranked No. 12 in The MMA Corner’s women’s rankings, showing that she may be poised to make a run at the title from the onset of her tenure.

Brown holds a record of 3-1 and is just 25 years old. She trains in Albuquerque, N.M., with Fit NHB, which means she gets some reps with some very good men and women. She is coming off the biggest win of her career in Japan, where she tapped out Kikuyo Ishikawa with an impressive armbar.

Brown is incredibly athletic and has an amateur and pro boxing background to go with a newly developed ground game. The growth in her ground game was obvious between her loss to Emi Fujino and her win against Ishikawa. Not much time passed between those fights—the Fujino loss came in May 2013, the win over Ishikawa was in late July—but Brown showed that she is a sponge for knowledge. She was able to put the Fujino submission loss in the back of her mind and pull out a submission win of her own.

That being said, Brown would be wise to keep the fight upright with her boxing skills. A bout with fellow prospect Stephanie Frausto would showcase two young talents in the Invicta atomweight ranks. With not many challengers on Michelle Waterson’s radar, every win is huge, and a victory for Brown would certainly put her in contention.

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.