Invicta FC 38 Official Results and Wrap-Up Video

On Friday, Nov. 1, Invicta Fighting Championships hosted its 38th event from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.

The event streamed live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

Please find a post-fight wrap-up video from the event above and the official results below.

Invicta FC 38 official results:

  • Kanako Murata def. Emily Ducote via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46)
  • Vanessa Porto def. Karina Rodriguez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Mallory Martin def. Cynthia Arceo via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
  • Shanna Young def. Maiju Suotama via unanimous decision (28-26, 29-27, 28-27)
  • Lisa Verzosa def. Kerri Kenneson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Auttumn Norton def. Shaianna Rincon via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Taneisha Tennant def. Serena DeJesus via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Invicta FC 38 results: Kanako Murata decisions Emily Ducote, claims strawweight belt

If recent history is any judge, Kanako Murata is soon to get a call from the UFC.

Murata (12-1 MMA) won a grueling, back-and-forth fight with Emily Ducote on Friday night to claim the vacant strawweight championship in the main event of Invicta FC 38 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The judeges’ scores in a split decision were 48-47, 47-48, and 49-46.

Each of the past three Invicta strawweight champions — Angela Hill, Virna Jandiroba, and Briana Van Buren — vacated the belt to go to the UFC.

But after a 25-minute battle in which Murata’s superior wrestling skills held the day over Ducote’s more polished standup — and a late scare in the fifth in which Murata survived a nice armbar by Ducote — she doesn’t sound like she’s in a rush to go anywhere, anytime soon.

“All I can think of is that my opponent was very, very tough, and it was a very tough fight,” Murata said.

With her sixth career decision victory, Murata, a native of Japan, has won seven straight fights. Ducote (8-6 MMA), a former Bellator standout, had a two-fight win streak snapped.

The evening’s co-feature bout was originally slated to be the the main event, as Vanessa Porto was slated to take on Marina Rodriguez for the former’s Invicta FC flyweight title. Rodriguez, however, missed weight by just over a pound on Thursday, meaning both that she forfeited 25 percent of her purse and that the bout was changed to a three-round, non-title fight.

But that didn’t detract much from what turned out to be an entertaining, back-and-forth scrap. Porto (22-8 MMA) overwhelmed Rodriguez (8-4 MMA) in the opening round with tenacious grappling and scored several takedowns. Rodriguez got back into the fight in a slugfest of a second round, as she landed a wicked knee to the jaw.

In the third, Porto had more gas left in the tank, as she went back to her grappling to secure a unanimous decision on scores of 29-28 across the board.

“Even with (Rodriguez) missing weight it still was a great fight,” Porto said. “My goal tonight was to win and I am very happy.”

With her seventh career decision win, Porto has now won four in a row. Rodriguez had a two-fight win streak snapped.

Full Invicta FC 38 results:

Kanako Murata def. Emily Ducote via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) — Murata wins vacant Invicta FC strawweight title
Vanessa Porto def. Karina Rodriguez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mallory Martin def. Cynthia Arceo via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Shanna Young def. Maiju Suotama via unanimous decision (29-27, 28-27, 28-26)
Lisa Verzosa def. Kerri Kenneson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Auttumn Norton def. Shaianna Rincon via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Taneisha Tennant def. Serena DeJesus via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Invicta FC 38 Preview – Pair of Title Fights Headline Card

It’s time for an Invicta FC 38 Preview. Here’s what to expect in Kansas City.

Invicta FC 38 will go down Friday night in Kansas City. The card is headlined by a pair of title fights that should be very interesting. In the feature bout, Vanessa Porto will defend her Flyweight title against challenger Karina Rodriquez. We previewed Invicta FC 37 and that was a great event as well.

Vanessa Porto vs. Karina Rodriguez

Vanessa Porto is currently the Invicta FC flyweight champion. She won the title back at Invicta FC 34 after the fight was stopped in the fourth round following an illegal eye-poke that forced an early end to festivities. They went to the cards and Vanessa Porto won a clear decision over Pearl Gonzalez.

Porto brings to the cage a wealth of experience and enters this fight having won three in a row, two via stoppage. She possesses a well-rounded game and has victories over respected fighters like Milana Dudieva, Zoila Frausto, Tara LaRosa, and Jennifer Maia among others.

Karina Rodriquez has a giant opportunity here to leave Kansas City the champion of the world. She earned her way into this fight by winning five of her last six, including her last two consecutive fights in an elimination tournament. At Invicta FC 35 she bested DeAnna Bennett and that moved her into this title fight.

Heading into this fight Vanessa Porto is the favorite, and rightfully so. She’s the more technical and experienced fighter. That being said, Rodriguez is craft and she brings a lot of skills to the cage. In the end, expect this fight to go all five rounds, and in the end, Vanessa Porto should hold onto her belt via unanimous decision.

Kanako Murata vs. Emily Ducote

This fight is for the vacant strawweight championship, a title left vacated after Brianna Van Buren handed the belt she won in the Phoenix series tournament back to Shannon Knapp for an opportunity to compete in the UFC.

Kanako Murata (10-1) enters this fight having won six consecutive fights. She won her debut in Invicta FC over Liana Pirosin via Rear Naked Choke. Before that, she won three straight fights for Invicta. She’s a very talented wrestler and brings a strong grappling game to the cage.

Emily Ducote came over to Invicta FC after a run in Bellator that saw her compete against Ilima-Lei Macfarlane for the flyweight title. It was the first of three consecutive losses in Bellator before being released. She made her promotional debut with Invicta FC in great fashion earning a first-round stoppage victory over Janaisa Morandin.

This should be a good fight, but expect Kanako Murata to bring too much wrestling to the table for Ducate. In the end, Murata will likely leave as the new strawweight champion following a stoppage.

The Rest of the Card

Mallory Martin vs. Cynthia Arceo – Mallory Martin should win here. She’s a Contender Series veteran and a talented fighter. Areco is also a talented KOTC veteran. It should be a fun fight, perhaps FOTN material. 

Shanna Young vs. Maiju Suotama – Shanning Young probably comes out victorious here, although neither of these fighters have looked great in their Phoenix series tournament fights.

Lisa Verzosa vs. Kerri Kenneson – Lisa Verzosa has a ton of potential and comes into this fight undefeated in her career. 

Shaianna Rincón vs. Auttumn Norton – This could be fun, but Rincon likely pulls this off,  as she has a lot of stoppage victories in her young career and has more experience than Norton. 

Serena DeJesus vs. Taneisha Tennant – There is not much information available on either of these fighters, as they are each making their second professional MMA appearance and their Invicta FC debuts. 


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Invicta FC 38 Weigh-in Results and Video Replay

Tomorrow, Nov. 1, Invicta Fighting Championships will host its 38th event from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.

In the night’s main event, Japan’s Kanako Murata (10-1) battles veteran Emily Ducote (8-5) for the vacant strawweight championship. Murata submitted Liana Pirosin in her promotional debut at Invicta FC 35. Oklahoma’s Ducote impressed in her first Invicta appearance, stopping former title challenger Janaisa Morandin in the first round.

The co-main event pits flyweight champion Vanessa Porto (21-8) against contender tournament winner Karina Rodríguez (8-3) in a three-round, non-title affair, after Rodríguez failed to make weight for the scheduled title bout. The Brazilian Porto captured gold at Invicta FC 34, defeating UFC veteran Pearl Gonzalez. Mexico’s Rodriguez most recently earned a hard-fought decision victory over UFC alum DeAnna Bennett at Invicta FC 36.

The event will stream live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. CT.


Strawweight Title: Kanako Murata (114.9) vs. Emily Ducote (114.2)
Flyweight: Vanessa Porto (124.2) vs. Karina Rodríguez (126.1)*
Strawweight: Mallory Martin (115.8) vs. Cynthia Arceo (116)
Flyweight: Shanna Young (125.7) vs. Maiju Suotama (124.2)
Bantamweight: Lisa Verzosa (135.5) vs. Kerri Kenneson (135.6)
Featherweight: Shaianna Rincón (143.8) vs. Auttumn Norton (146)
Bantamweight: Serena DeJesus (135.7) vs. Taneisha Tennant (135.9)

* – Rodríguez missed the flyweight championship limit of 125 pounds and was fined 25 percent of her fight purse. Her bout against Porto is now a three-round, non-title bout.

Complete sense: Invicta’s Serena DeJesus aims to break autism stereotypes

Serena DeJesus loves fighting, but she’s not your typical fighter. After years of trying to figure out what was “wrong” with her, she was diagnosed with autism at age 13. She realized as she got older that training kept her calm, and it’s paid off. Now, at age 27, she’s set for her Invicta FC debut on Friday and hopes not just to win in the cage, but make a difference outside of it.


LAS VEGAS – Most fighters dream of competing under the bright lights of a major promotion and hearing the roar of the crowd descend upon the cage. Serena DeJesus doesn’t.

It’s not that DeJesus isn’t interested in competing at MMA’s highest levels. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s just that DeJesus’ autism means that she is incredibly sensitive to things like heat, light and noise, making the cage on fight night a major challenge.

“It’s like overwhelming your computer with 5,000 different commands,” DeJesus told MMA Junkie. “Your computer is like, ‘(Expletive), what do I do?’”

DeJesus, 27, was born and raised in Philadelphia. Early in her childhood, her mother knew something was amiss, with Serena non-verbal until she was almost 6 and painfully shy, often distracted and disappearing into her own world. Unfortunately, understanding of the autism spectrum disorder back then was quite distant from where it stands today, and DeJesus was subjected to one psychotropic drug after another following a seemingly never-ending series of misdiagnoses such as attention-deficit disorder and ADHD.

DeJesus remembers it as a very frustrating time.

“I didn’t get some of the social issues,” DeJesus said. “Like, why does it have to be this way? Why is the way I want not acceptable? Why do I have to go play outside? Why can’t I just chill with myself and enjoy playing with my Legos? Why can’t I just chill and enjoy a book, you know? Why is it I have to be playing with a whole bunch of kids all the time in order to be perceived as ‘normal’?”

‘I didn’t even need any damn fixing to begin with’

The drugs only served to exacerbate her symptoms, making her more prone to distraction and – when provoked – more violent. That came to a head at age 13, when DeJesus was confronted by a bully and admittedly snapped, throwing the girl off the top of a 16-foot jungle gym.

DeJesus was kicked out of school, and her mother and stepfather were again left searching for answers.

Fortunately, a brief stay at Philadelphia’s SeaShore House, a top children’s hospital, led doctors to take her off all medications in hopes of a more accurate assessment.

That’s when she was diagnosed with autism.

“When I was diagnosed with autism, it was like, ‘Oh, I didn’t even need any damn fixing to begin with. That was a total waste of my time, energy, emotions, and it hurt me a lot,’” DeJesus recalled.

With the help of a caseworker, DeJesus spent the next seven years learning coping skills and integrating herself better into the world around her. Then, while attending Montgomery County Community College, she found an opportunity to train Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay Thai, and she jumped at the chance.

MMA and the struggle to make it work

“I watched UFC with my dad on VHS because my reward for doing well in school was to take me to the video store,” DeJesus said. “I got a whole bunch of anime, and my dad got UFC, but I also loved fighting video games, like ‘Street Fighter’ and Tekken. I still have the original ‘Tekken’ on PS1. That’s how much I love it. So I came downstairs one day, and I’m seeing Gary Goodridge in that infamous crucifix, bashing Paul Herrera to death. I thought, ‘Holy crap!’ The whole transition looked like something out of Tekken, like when you execute a grab combo on somebody, so I’m like, ‘This is so cool.’

“When I was a kid, my parents also had me in taekwondo. And training in general, they found, kind of mellows me out. So everything just fit in place. I had no athletic activities in high school, so I jumped right into muay Thai and jiu-jitsu and all that, and it worked. My stimming – I didn’t shake as much, I didn’t feel as overwhelmed. I didn’t have too many outbursts from sensory stuff, so it just worked for me.”

DeJesus was hooked, and she eventually left school to pursue her dream of building a career around her new passions. She made her amateur MMA debut in 2013, eventually building a 5-2 record, even as the lights and noise of fight night wreaked havoc with her sensory overload. Still, she found that once the fight started, she was completely in her element.

“There are extra little things that I have to do,” DeJesus said of her fight night experience. “I have a lot more CBD oil in my system than normal just to help me with the sensory issues. I keep my hat on. I keep my headphones on pretty much until I walk out. I keep my glasses on until it’s time to actually step in the cage.

“I’m very big on routines, so I just try to stay as close to my routine as possible, and I just go out and try to do my thing, just execute everything I’ve learned in training, and try and keep my nerves down – the same nerves that everybody gets – and that’s it.”

Leaving everything behind for a dream realized

As DeJesus continued her training, she became a fan of Roxanne Modafferi – identifying with, in her own words, an athlete who “was someone like me, a fighter, but also a nerd who was into Japanese anime.” DeJesus reached out to Modafferi via Facebook, asking if she could come out to Las Vegas to train alongside “The Happy Warrior,” who was, at the time, competing under the Invicta banner.

The two quickly formed a bond.

“Between our love of anime and nerdy things and fighting, we just became best friends,” DeJesus said.

DeJesus eventually moved to Las Vegas to train full time alongside Modafferi at Syndicate MMA.

“With my mom’s blessing, I left everything behind in Philadelphia,” DeJesus said. “I had two giant duffle bags to my name at first, and I made it work.”

The investment paid off.

On Friday, DeJesus (1-0) takes on fellow women’s bantamweight Taneisha Tennant (1-0) at Invicta FC 38, which streams live on UFC Fight Pass from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.

Bigger than fighting

It’s a huge moment for DeJesus’ professional career, fighting for one of the sport’s premier organizations. But “The Southpaw Outlaw” readily admits she doesn’t just view fighting as a selfish endeavor.

“I just really want to be that good, influential figure that’s like, ‘Hey, she’s autistic, and she’s doing things,’” DeJesus said. “I’m hoping for other people to be like, ‘Just because I have this going on with me doesn’t mean I’m limited to one side of life.’

“We live in a society now where we know what autism is. It’s different than when I first got diagnosed. Back then, nobody knew what it was. But I want to show that autism is not portrayed by the stereotypes – that you’re either a savant, like you see on television, or you’re a kid or adult banging your head against the wall. That’s the kind of stuff I’m trying to show people – everyday people like our neurotypical peers, meaning people without autism, but I also want to show other people who may be discouraged because of said stereotypes and other things that they can do what they want, too.

“Everybody’s story on the spectrum is different. I’m not saying that every autist is going to be a fighter or every autist is going to do this, but I would hope that me being here means it would not be so terrible for all.”

The bright lights will be on. The cameras will be rolling. The roar of the crowd will certainly be heard, especially if DeJesus is able to put on the “banger of a fight” she’s expecting.

For DeJesus, every one of those elements presents a special challenge, but it’s one she takes on with a purpose in mind. She hopes that, through fighting, she can continue to advocate for others on the spectrum. But she also wants to prove that she simply belongs.

“I just want to show that I’ve earned my spot here,” DeJesus said. “I’ve trained. I’ve worked a lot, and I just want to prove that I belong there and make a general statement that I’m finally here.

“A lot of people have been looking forward to me being in Invicta, so I need to not let them down.”

Invicta FC 38 features two title fights, including champ Vanessa Porto vs. Karina Rodriguez

Invicta FC flyweight champion Vanessa Porto (21-6) looks to defend her belt for the first time when she takes on contender tournament winner Karina Rodriguez (8-3).

Promotion officials recently announced the contest will headline Invicta FC 38, which takes place Nov. 1 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The full card streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

Additionally, Kanako Murata (10-1) meets Emily Ducote (8-5) in the night’s co-feature with the promotion’s vacant strawweight belt on the line.

Brazil’s Porto currently boasts a three-fight winning streak, a run that includes a technical decision win over Pearl Gonzalez in February to claim a then-vacant belt. She now faces Rodriguez, who picked up decision wins over Milan Dudieva in February and DeAnna Bennett in June to claim a flyweight tournament win and earn a shot at the belt.

The Invicta FC 38 lineup currently includes:

MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Vanessa Porto vs. Karina Rodriguez – for flyweight title
  • Kanako Murata vs. Emily Ducote – for vacant strawweight title
  • Cynthia Arceo vs. Mallory Martin
  • Maiju Suotama vs. Shanna Young
  • Kerri Kenneson vs. Lisa Verzosa
  • Shaianna Rincon vs. opponent TBA
  • Serena DeJesus vs. Taneisha Tennant