With Strikeforce closing its doors later this month, women fighters who compete in the featherweight (145 pounds) division can still have a stage to perform on if they do not want to drop to bantamweight (135 pounds).
Invicta Fighting Championships featured two featherweight matches at their last event: Ediane Gomes vs. Hiroko Yamanaka and Veronica “The Heartbreaker” Rothenhausler vs. Katalina Malungahu. Gomes controlled Yamanaka for three rounds to get a decision victory while Rothenhausler scored a 72-second knockout over Malungahu in her professional debut.
These four fighters are just a few featherweights who make up Invicta’s featherweight division. Veterans like Julia Budd and Marloes Coenen as well as prospects such as Tamikka Brents and Mollie Estes.
With the UFC crowning Ronda Rousey as its first women’s bantamweight champion and Jessica Penne and Carla Esparza winning belts in Invicta’s atomweight and strawweight divsions respectively, there appears to be a focus on the lighter women’s weight classes.
However, with warriors like Gomes and knockout artists like Rothenhausler, Invicta could develop their featherweight division into the equivalent of a men’s heavier division. Invicta currently has two championships and will have a flyweight (125 pounds) title match being contested in April. Why not have add a featherweight championship?
Strikeforce previously had Cris “Cyborg” Santos as their featherweight champion until she was stripped of the belt in 2011 for failing a post-fight drug test. Santos is set to drop down to bantamweight – something she previously said she could not do without affecting her health – at some point in the future to fight Rousey.
I have said it before, but If Santos decides she does not want to drop the weight, I am sure she can find a place at Invicta as can all of the other women 145-pound fighters who are looking for that main event moment or that big career changing opportunity.
Who do you like to see become the inaugural Invicta FC Featherweight champion? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover with the hashtag #RantMMA.