The void left by the departure of Tonya
Evinger will soon be filled.
Kunitskaya will take on Raquel
Pa'aluhi for the vacant
Invicta Fighting Championships bantamweight title in the
Invicta 25 headliner on Aug. 31 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and
Casino in Lemoore, California. The event will stream to UFC Fight
Pass in its entirety at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, with the winner
replacing the UFC-contracted Evinger on the 135-pound throne.
Kunitskaya was briefly in possession of the Invicta bantamweight
championship, but a November submission victory against Evinger was
overturned due to an officiating error. The 27-year-old Russian
lost the rematch four months later, as she succumbed to a
second-round rear-naked choke. An accomplished muay Thai
practitioner and taekwondo stylist, Kunitskaya started her
professional career with eight wins in her first nine appearances
-- a run that included a 34-second stoppage of Cindy
Dandois in 2010.
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt under 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club
Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Robert
Drysdale, Pa’aluhi has hit her stride. The 27-year-old Hawaiian
lost four of her first six bouts but had a difficult row to hoe, as
those four losses came to Sarah D’Alelio, Sara McMann,
Nunes and Raquel
Pennington. Pa’aluhi has since gone 4-1. She last appeared at
Invicta 21 on Jan. 14, when she submitted Pannie
Kianzad with a first-round rear-naked choke.
Kunitskaya-Pa’aluhi is but one under-the-radar clash worth catching
during the month of August. Here are nine more.