Worldwide MMA Preview – RFA 34, PXC 51 and Invicta 15

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Kicking off the weekend on Friday night from Colorado is RFA 34. The main event is a welterweight title fight featuring Bojan Velickovic and Ben Smith. Velickovic is a Serbian fighter who failed at the first hurdle in TUF: 19 but has been on a good run in RFA with three wins in a row to bring his record to 12-3. Smith is a former RFA welterweight champion but he dropped the belt to Gilbert Smith in his first defence. At 35 years of age time is running out for Smith to get a UFC fight but if he can win the RFA title he will put himself in a good position as lots of RFA champions have moved to the UFC in recent years.

Also on the card is UFC veteran Hugo Viana. This is first fight since leaving the UFC where he had a 3-3 record. He will fight local fighter Zac Riley.

Saturday in Manila, Philippines is PXC 51 and South Korean prospect Kwan Ho Kwak will be trying to win the bantamweight title against Kyle Aguon. Aguon is from Guam and has wins over UFC fighters Russell Doane and John Delos Reyes. Kwak is the Top FC bantamweight champion and he has a perfect 7-0 record. He has some impressive finishes so far and a powerful kicking game.

The biggest card of the weekend is on Saturday night in California and it is Invicta 15. It is headlined by a featherweight title fight between long time champion Cristiane Cyborg Justino and Ukrainian challenger Daria Ibragimova. Cyborg needs no introduction at this point, she has been the dominant force at featherweight in women’s MMA since she beat Gina Carano in 2009. She has fought four times in Invicta and finished all four fights. It no longer looks like a fight with Ronda Rousey is happening anytime soon so Cyborg will probably stay at featherweight for a while longer, Ibragimova could provide an interesting challenge though. The challenger is 9-1 with her only defeat coming to Cindy Dandois early in her career. She has seven submissions on her record and if he can manage to take Cyborg down she could potentially pull off the upset.

The Invicta strawweight title is also being contested on the card, the champion Livia Renata Souza will fight DeAnna Bennett. Souva is 8-0 with seven submission wins on her record. She captured the title in her Invicta debut with a fourth round choke against Katja Kankaanpaa. Souza was due to defend her title for the first time against Alexa Grasso at Invicta 14 but Grasso suffered an injury. At that event Bennett beat Kankaanpaa so now she is the number one contender. Bennett is also 8-0 as a professional with a win over UFC bantamweight Julianna Pena and four wins in Invicta.