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INVICTA FC 46 Main Event Preview: Rodriguez vs. Souza

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March is Women’s History Month, so it’s only apropos that women’s MMA is back in action this Wednesday night as INVICTA Fighting Championships (INVICTA FC) returns for its second card of 2022.

Flyweight Championship At Stake in INVICTA FC 46 Main Event Wednesday Night

INVICTA FC 46 (Wednesday, 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT on the INVICTA FC YouTube channel) will feature a six-fight card, highlighted by a battle for supremacy at 125 lbs. in the INVICTA FC 46 main event.

Incumbent champion Karina Rodriguez (9-4 MMA, 5-2 INVICTA FC) will defend her flyweight strap for the first time as she takes on challenger Ketlen Souza (11-3 MMA, INVICTA FC debut) during the INVICTA FC 46 main event this Wednesday night.

As with all championship fights in MMA, the INVICTA FC 46 main event will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round.

Verdict MMA Teams with INVICTA FC For Wednesday’s Card

A universal storyline for all six INVICTA FC 46 fights on Wednesday evening, not just the INVICTA FC 46 main event, is the promotion’s new partnership, as INVICTA FC has teamed up with Verdict MMA to permit you, the viewer, to actively score the fights as they happen.

In revealing the news, INVICTA FC President and CEO Shannon Knapp said the following:

“I’m excited for INVICTA FC to work with Verdict MMA. It’s a great opportunity for our fans to engage in scoring alongside our open scoring with the Kansas Athletic Commission.

INVICTA FC 46 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Turning the attention back to the INVICTA FC 46 main event, incumbent champion Karina Rodriguez is the taller competitor, as she stands 5-foot-7, whereas Ketlen Souza counters with a 5-foot-3 frame.

Additionally, Karina Rodriguez owns a 67-inch reach, with no such information accessible for Ketlen Souza in advance of the INVICTA FC 46 main event on Wednesday night.

Karina Rodriguez Primed to Make First Defense of Flyweight Championship in INVICTA FC 46 Main Event

Champion Karina Rodriguez enters the INVICTA FC 46 main event on Wednesday night sporting a 3-2 record in her last five MMA appearances, most recently scoring a unanimous decision victory against Daiana Torquato almost 10 months ago during the INVICTA on AXS TV main event, giving her that evening’s Fight of the Night Award in the process.

After her victory, the champ was interviewed by Megan Anderson on the AXS TV broadcast.

“This is an amazing moment,” Rodriguez began. “I am very emotional right now, because I want this belt so much, for me, for my teammates, for my coaches, for Mexico because we were waiting to bring the first INVICTA belt to our country, so I’m very happy, and I’m very thankful for this title fight.”

Rodriguez hasn’t fought since that late spring evening last year, and by the time the cage door shuts on Wednesday night for the INVICTA FC 46 main event, it will have been over nine and a half months since her last appearance, so a key for the champion and her coaches will have been eliminating as much ring rust as possible in training camp.

Ketlen Souza Looks to Ride Momentum of Three-Fight Winning Streak Into INVICTA FC 46 Main Event

In the other corner, Ketlen Souza, who’s fought in three different weight classes throughout her MMA career, has posted a 3-2 record of her own heading into the INVICTA FC 46 main event on Wednesday night and enters her INVICTA FC debut on a three-fight winning streak.

Last time out, she scored a unanimous decision victory against Gisele Moreira in SFT 28′s co-main event for that promotion’s then-vacant women’s bantamweight championship.

The INVICTA FC 46 main event not only marks Souza’s debut in the promotion but also her return to the flyweight division, as a planned return to 125 lbs. during SFT 31versus Karoline Martins last October was scrubbed prior to the event taking place due to unspecified reasons.

In order for Souza to steal away the momentum of Karina Rodriguez and take the flyweight strap away from her in the INVICTA FC 46 main event on Wednesday night, she will have to land takedowns, as Rodriguez was predominantly on the feet in her last fight versus Torquato.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the INVICTA FC 46 main event looks to favor Karina Rodriguez, a blue-belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu who also has a balanced background, having previously honed her skills in jiu-jitsu and boxing, compared to Ketlen Souza’s background as a Luta Livre submission wrestler.

Look For Rodriguez to Land Knockdowns to Set Up a Knockout

One aspect of Karina Rodriguez’s fight game that stands out on film is her ability to score a knockdown to get the momentum in her column in a hurry, as seen during her first INVICTA FC fight versus Barbara Acioly almost five years ago.

Inside the first minute of the three-round fight’s opening stanza, Karina Rodriguez scored with a vicious right-handed punch to knock Acioly down.

From there, she immediately went to work, landing ground and pound shots and grappled with her in order to gain top position, landing more ground and pound shots to try and soften her up for a possible submission attempt, moving to a back clinch and scoring another takedown to try and keep her guessing.

Rodriguez quickly switched from back mount to top mount and landed a final burst of ground and pound shots on Acioly– forcing the referee to intervene.

If Karina Rodriguez is able to knock Ketlen Souza down as little as one time with the right hand, it could be the opening she needs to score a victory in the INVICTA FC 46 main event.

Ketlen Souza Can’t Walk Into a Knockout Loss

In the other corner, Ketlen Souza’s gameplan could be undone if she gets herself into a vulnerable position and absorbs too many shots, as she did versus Ariane Carnelossi in 2019 at strawweight

During the third and final round, after Souza was nearly finished with an extended combination of punches in round one, Carnelossi repeatedly teed off with strikes and had Souza on the ropes, leaving her precious little opportunity to try to respond with strikes of her own.

Late in that final round, Carnelossi landed a body kick on Ketlen Souza, causing her to fold like an accordion due to the accumulation of shots, ending the fight.

If Souza takes a beating, the INVICTA FC 46 main event is a wrap.

Final Thoughts

Wednesday night MMA is truly a rarity, so you might as well check out INVICTA FC 46.

It’s the only game in town, after all– plus, this looks like an appealing fight in the INVICTA FC 46 main event.

Prediction: Karina Rodriguez by Unanimous Decision.

Follow me on Twitter at @DrewZuhosky to see my latest work. Follow us on social media at @OTHeroicsMMA to stay tuned in with our content! Please visit our web page to keep up with everything MMA!

Featured image credit to Invicta FC

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about MMA since the spring of 2018. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew enjoys a good game and an even better fight. When he's not writing, you can find him playing video games and listening to music.