Katja Kankaanpaa (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)Invicta FC 12: What to Watch For Dale De Souza April 21, 2015 Events, Previews, Spotlight Ever since the inception of Shannon Knapp’s Invicta Fighting Championships, it has been within the norm for the MMA world to discuss the Kansas City-based promotion’s events by noting a number of things, but most significantly, by recognizing the competitive fire that burns inside each girl signed under the Invicta banner. This weekend, that fire will be on full display when the promotion returns to Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. for Invicta FC 12, headlined by Invicta FC strawweight champion Katja Kankaanpää’s first title defense of the title she won almost a year ago. Kankaanpää won’t get an easy first challenge, though, as Argentine-born submission ace Livia Renata Souza will come in on an undefeated tear to make her debut against the strawweight queenpin. The co-main event sees Vanessa Porto against former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title challenger Roxanne Modaferri. “The Happy Warrior” shares one piece of common ground with the former flyweight title challenger Porto, in that both women are on two-fight winning streaks heading into this fight. As always tends to happen with MMA cards, Invicta FC 12 leaves the MMA world with a plethora of things to watch for, outside of its two marquee matchups. Ediane Gomes At one time, Ediane Gomes was seen as a woman that looked ready to fight Cris “Cyborg” Justino at 145 pounds, but circumstances prevailed, and Gomes ended up on the worse end of a first-round submission loss to Tonya Evinger. Fast forward to now, and it just feels good to know that, for the second fight in a row, Gomes can rest easily by knowing that nothing has gotten in the way of her date with 4-4 bantamweight Raquel Pa’aluhi. If there ever came a time where Gomes could begin to reinvent herself, a win over Pa’aluhi would give her a great place to begin her resurgence. Peggy Morgan So much has happened since season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter that it seems like most may have forgotten about “The Daywalker”. Morgan struggled on the show, at the TUF 18 Finale against Jessamyn Duke, and in her Invicta debut against Irene Aldana, but then turned things around against Andria Wawro, who showed some potential on paper in a manner much like Morgan’s undefeated Invicta 12 foe, LaToya Walker. “Black Mamba” is known as much for her knockout power as she is for her ability to go three rounds when needed, but she will face a stern test when Morgan fights her on Friday, and fans can rest assured that Morgan will make this one an ugly, ugly fight. Porto vs. Modaferri Well, imagine that. Two girls slated to fight at Invicta FC 10 just happened to match back up while both just happened to accumulate 2-0 runs after tough losses. All jokes aside, Porto wants to return to a match with reigning champion Barb Honchak, but while there may not be a question of what she can do to beat Modaferri, there is a question of whether she can finish Modaferri, as Porto’s knack for finishing has certainly hit a snag of sorts since signing with Invicta. Add in the fact that Modaferri herself has won both of her last two fights by decision, and the task of impressively coming through with a win becomes even tougher, though not impossible, to accomplish. Kankaanpää vs. Souza We mentioned that “The Killer Bunny” will make her first title defense against Souza, who will come in on a 7-0 professional run, but that is as far as we know about her, beyond her record of six submission victories to her one unanimous-decision win, and the fact that she faces the Finnish-bred champ on Friday. Still, we cannot count Souza out because of her lack of notoriety, since the last time anyone did that Michelle Waterson lost her atomweight crown to Herica Tiburcio in a major upset. Not to suggest that Souza fights anything like Tiburcio, but the 33 year-old Kankaanpää benefits from keeping all bases covered in terms of her fight plan. Even if Souza does not attempt to impose her submission-savvy from the onset, she will come to Kansas City with every intent to break Kankaanpää’s hold on the title before she starts to enjoy her reign as the actual world’s strawweight champion, whether “Killer Bunny” likes it or not.