An injury to Claudia Gadelha has forced her from her upcoming Invicta Fighting Championships strawweight title fight against Carla Esparza. Promotion officials recently announced the news, revealing that Bec Hyatt will step in for the injured “Claudinha” to face Esparza for the vacant belt at Invicta FC 4.
The Jan. 5 event takes place at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., and streams live via online pay-per-view at InvictaFC.com. The show will also see top bantamweight talents Shayna Baszler and Alexis Davis collide in the co-main event, while the hard-punching Amanda Nunes locks horns with Sarah D’Alelio.
Hyatt had initially been booked to face unbeaten Joanne Calderwood that night, but Calderwood will now meet one-fight pro Livia Von Plettenberg instead. Just 23 years old, Hyatt has not lost since dropping her pro debut 14 months ago, rattling off four straight wins since suffering her head kick knockout at the hands of Rhiannon Thompson. Hyatt’s scrap with Esparza marks the first time “Rowdy” will compete on North American soil, as Hyatt has previously fought exclusively on her home continent of Australia.
Esparza, 25, began her MMA career in 2010, notching three straight wins before falling to top-ranked competitor Megumi Fujii in Bellator’s 115-pound tournament. Five wins in Esparza’s next six fights would follow, and the “Cookie Monster” has been perfect in 2012 thus far, notching technical knockouts over Sarah Schneider and Lynn Alvarez inside the Invicta cage.