(PRESS RELEASE) -- KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Sept. 17, 2012) – An injury has forced Sarah Kaufman to withdraw from her Invicta FC 3 bantamweight (135 pounds) Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) matchup with Kaitlin Young (7-6-1) of St. Louis Park, Minn. at Memorial Hall in Kansas City on Saturday, Oct. 6, setting up a highly-anticipated rematch between Young and Leslie Smith (3-2-1).of Pleasant Hill, Calif.
Promising upstart Raquel Pennington (3-1) of Colorado Springs, Colo. has been tapped to face Smith’s original Invicta FC 3 bantamweight opponent, professional boxer and undefeated MMA prospect Kim Connor-Hamby (4-0) of Stuttgart, Ark.
Both seasoned strikers, Young and Smith engaged in an all-out slugfest for three rounds at the inaugural Invicta FC event on April 28, before a majority draw was declared. Young and Smith were awarded “Fight of the Night” honors for their valiant efforts and the possibility of a rematch has since been a hot topic of discussion.
To date, the 27-year-old Young has earned six of her seven professional wins by KO. In her third start, she scored a memorable KO on former Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate with a head kick just 30 seconds into their matchup.
Smith, a 31-year-old product of the Cesar Gracie Academy, went unbeaten (3-0) as an amateur before turning pro on March 6, 2009 and scoring a third round (4:16) TKO on Louise Johnson with a series of punches.
The 31-year-old Connor-Hamby boasts a 10-2-2 (4 KO’s) record in professional boxing. In her MMA debut on June 27, 2009, Connor-Hamby needed just 20 seconds to stop Crystal Hamilton with a barrage of punches.
Connor-Hamby reeled off TKO victories in each of her next two starts and earned a split decision over Jessica Hilger in her last MMA bout on April 17, 2010.
Pennington’s start will be her second in the Invicta FC cage. The 24-year-old earned a unanimous decision over Sarah Moras at the last Invicta FC event on July 28 and, less than six weeks after that, returned to action in Honolulu, Hawaii where she submitted Raquel Pa’aluhi with a guillotine choke in the first round (3:52) of their meeting.
Before her professional debut in March when she scored a second round (2:25) TKO on Kim Couture with a series of knee strikes to the body, Pennington enjoyed a healthy amateur career that spanned three years and saw her amass a record of 7-1.
Tickets for Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama, priced from $25, are on sale and can be purchased at Memorial Hall box office (913) 549-4853), online at Ticketmaster.com and InvictaFC.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.
In the Invicta FC 3 main event, superstar Jessica Penne (9-1) of Laguna Hills, Calif. will face off with undefeated phenom Naho Sugiyama (8-0) of Kyoto, Japan at atomweight (105 pounds) in the first-ever Invicta FC women’s world title bout.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt Shayna Baszler (14-7) of Sioux Falls, S.D. will return to action in the bantamweight co-main event and take on Invicta FC 2 winner Sarah D’Alelio (6-2) of San Jose, Calif.
Another Invicta FC 2 victor, Barb Honchak (6-2) of Bettendorf, Iowa, will collide with rising star and furious finisher Aisling Daly (13-3) of Dublin, Ireland in a flyweight (125 pounds) contest.
Invicta FC will welcome one of the original pioneers of women’s MMA, submission expert Tara LaRosa (21-2) of Woodstown, N.J., who will lock horns at flyweight with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Vanessa Porto (14-5) of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Michelle Waterson (9-3) of Albuquerque, N.M. will also make her first start under the Invicta FC banner against Lacey Schuckman (7-5) of Lakewood, Colo. in an atomweight scrap.
In the leadoff main card bout, Julia Budd (3-2) of Port Moody, Canada will meet Elaina Maxwell (7-4) of San Jose, Calif. at featherweight (145 pounds).
The six-bout preliminary card will be topped by a strawweight (115 pounds) matchup between Carla Esparza (7-2) of Redondo Beach, Calif. and Lynn Alvarez (5-2) of Las Vegas, Nev.
Two undefeated prospects, Ashley Cummins (3-0) of St. Louis, MO. and Joanne Calderwood (3-0) of Glasgow, Scottland will collide at flyweight.
Amy Davis (3-3) of Idaho Falls, Idaho will face Stephanie Frausto (3-4) of Middletown, Ohio in an atomweight affair.
Fresh off her professional debut win at Invicta FC 2, Jessamyn Duke (1-0) of Richmond, Ky. will face unbeaten Marciea Allen (1-0) of Sioux Falls in a bantamweight battle.
Tecia Torres (0-0) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Kaiyana Rain (0-0) of Los Angeles, Calif. will make their respective professional debuts against each other at strawweight.
Unbeaten Xtreme Couture prospect Katalina Malungahu (2-0) of Las Vegas will battle Ediane Gomes (8-2) of Coconut Creek, Fla. via Sao Paulo, Brazil at featherweight.
About Invicta Fighting Championships: Invicta Fighting Championships (www.invictafc.com) is a world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight series dedicated to providing female athletes with a major platform to hone their skills on a consistent basis. Founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp and sports aficionado Janet Martin, Invicta is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible matchups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.