Jessica Penne and Jewels champion Nago “Sugi Rock” Sugiyama has a chance to make women’s MMA history.
Penne and Sugiyama are set to face off in the main event at Invicta FC 3, Oct. 6.
In addition being in the main event, the fight between Penne and Sugiyama will determine the first Invicta FC Atomweight [105 pounds] champion, which is the smallest weight class for mixed martial arts in the United States.
Although some fans have disdain for bouts in the smaller weight classes, particularly the flyweight title match between Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152. However Invicta FC, the first all pro women’s organization in America ,has been able to utilize the talent in the lighter divisions to put on fights that have been enjoyed by both fans and critics.
Looking at the fight, both competitors are coming off of impressive wins. Penne is coming off of a third-round TKO victory against Lisa Ellis back in the co-main event at Invicta FC 1, while Sugiyama’s last fight ended with a majority decision victory over Yasuko Tamada at Jewels 19th Ring.
In addition to Ellis, Penne has wins over Amy Davis and Rena Kabota. Her only loss was against Bellator champion Zolia Grugel in 2010. Sugiyama has fought against notable talent in the Jewels and GCM organizations.
One advantage Penne may is the experience of competing under the unified rules of MMA. Although Sugiyama has gone the distance five times in her career, four of those fights were fought in two 5-minute rounds, while the other was fought in three 3-minute rounds.
Does this mean Penne will absolutely dominate Sugiyama? Not really, but Sugi Rock’s conditioning and stamina could be tested if the bout were to go into the championship rounds.
However Sugiyama also has good takedown defense, which could mean trouble for Penne if she wants to try and bring the fight to the ground. If both fighters decide to keep it standing, the fight could go either way.
Invicta FC’s previous main event of Shayna Baszler vs. Sara McMann was praised by audiences, as was the entire fight card.
While Invicta FC 3 has an overall strong fight card, the title fight between Penne and Sugiyama will set the tone for future Invicta events in the future, no matter who comes out as the champion.