Your weekend of MMA action starts just a little early this week, and on Wednesday night, the women will be the focus. Invicta FC, a little more than two months removed from being the focus of the lone major sporting event the night after the MLB All-Star Game, will return to its traditional Wednesday night timeslot for its penultimate show of the year.
This week, Invicta FC travels to Oklahoma, specifically Hinton for Invicta FC 49 from Sugar Creek Casino. Live coverage of Invicta FC 49 will again be streamed worldwide (and free) on the promotion’s Facebook and YouTube pages beginning at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT.
As was the case with Invicta FC 48 back in July, Wednesday’s card will also be broadcast on linear television. AXS TV will televise the event from Hinton, OK. Check your local listings for the channel number in your area.
Being doubted is the best thing to be
I CAN!! pic.twitter.com/gBBcqSwvCq
— Jillian DeCoursey (@lionheartjill) September 27, 2022
Invicta FC Atomweight Championship on the Line Wednesday in Invicta FC 49 Main Event
All told, Invicta FC 49 will feature (as of Monday afternoon) seven fights on Wednesday, highlighted by the battle for the promotion’s atomweight championship in the Invicta FC 49 main event. Incumbent champion Jessica Delboni (12-3 MMA, 4-2 Invicta FC) puts her 105-lb. strap at risk when she battles challenger Jillian DeCoursey (5-3 MMA, 4-3 Invicta FC.)
Like all championship fights in MMA, the Invicta FC 49 main event will be an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.
Invicta FC 49 Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the Invicta FC 49 main event on Wednesday, challenger Jillian DeCoursey stands as the taller contender at 5-foot-2, compared to the 5-foot-1 frame of champion Jessica Delboni. Additionally, DeCoursey owns a one-inch reach advantage (63 inches to 62 inches) over Delboni ahead of this fight
Could Jessica Delboni Head to UFC After Invicta FC 49 Main Event?
Champion Jessica Delboni enters the Invicta FC 49 main event on Wednesday night having gone 3-2 in her last five MMA appearances (not counting exhibition bouts staged in previous Invicta tournaments). Last time out, she exacted revenge against Alesha Zappitella (9-4, 1 NC MMA, 6-2 Invicta FC) by scoring a unanimous decision victory on Jan. 12 during Invicta FC 45’s main event.
Zappitella and Delboni previously fought one another in May of 2021 during Invicta FC’s first card on AXS TV. That night, the former won the title via split decision.
Although the champion currently fights in the atomweight division in Invicta FC, MMA’s top promotion, the UFC, has no 105-lb. weight class, with the strawweight division (115 lbs.) being the lowest class offered. Delboni, who has experience fighting at strawweight, has aspirations to join the UFC in the future.
In March, she was interviewed by MMAFighting.com, where she discussed her ultimate career goal in detail.
“If I had to sign with the UFC, which is my dream, since it’s the world’s biggest organization and pays the best purses and brings more eyeballs and sponsors, I could do it at 115,” Delboni said. “I believe I’ll enter [the UFC] this year. I’ve always had to fight bigger girls so that’s not a problem for me. I know I’ll be a great athlete in the UFC.”
With Invicta FC being a feeder promotion to top MMA organizations like the UFC, Jessica Delboni’s goal is certainly attainable, but she needs to take her mission one fight at a time. It begins on Wednesday with the Invicta FC 49 main event.
Jillian DeCoursey Embracing Underdog Role in Invicta FC 49 Main Event
In the other corner, challenger Jillian DeCoursey has posted a record of 3-2 over her last five fights. Last time out, she scored a first-round knockout of Lindsey VanZandt (7-6 MMA, 2-2 Invicta FC) on the night of May 11 during the telecast of Invicta FC 47.
The challenger knows she’ll be facing some long odds on Wednesday night against Delboni, something that’s added fuel to the fire in recent weeks. On Aug. 8, DeCoursey took to her Twitter page, letting her fans know that she won’t settle for anything less than the atomweight championship.
The part that stands out the most is DeCoursey’s last line: “As always, I’ll be the underdog, but I tend to do good as the underdog. I CAN!!!!”
Jillian DeCoursey is a woman who’s hungry to take the atomweight championship with a victory in the Invicta FC 49 main event. Will she be able to wrest the title away from Jessica Delboni? Tune in Wednesday and find out.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the Invicta FC 49 main event looks to favor champion Jessica Delboni, who owns a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a black belt in taekwondo, compared to Jillian DeCoursey’s background as a jiu-jitsu fighter.
Watch For Jessica Delboni’s Ground Game
One aspect of Jessica Delboni’s fight game that shows itself on video is her ability to take the fight to the mat. This strategy led her to victory in her 2021 Phoenix Series quarterfinal vs. Tabitha Watkins.
As this was a Phoenix Series quarterfinal, the contest was just a single five-minute period, but Jessica Delboni was able to make the most of those five minutes. During the one and only round of the fight, Delboni took Watkins to the ground and immediately secured top position.
While Watkins attempted to secure an armbar submission, Delboni clasped her arms together to halt the effort from her opponent and rack up ground control time in her column. Even when Watkins tried to create offense for herself, Delboni was able to extend her head as a means of stifling Watkins.
Watkins’ steadfast effort to try and lock in an armbar proved to be her undoing that night, as Delboni just continued to apply defense while sprinkling in knee strikes to Watkins’ body and ground and pound shots. Jessica Delboni took the quarterfinal by decision, picking up two more decision wins later in the night to win the tournament.
When Jessica Delboni is able to dump her opponent on the ground, it’s her world. If she is able to secure takedowns in the Invicta FC 49 main event, it could be the opening she needs to retain the title.
Jillian DeCoursey Can End Things Quickly
In the other corner, challenger Jillian DeCoursey is hoping to end the Invicta FC 49 main event as quickly as she ended her most recent fight in Invicta FC 47 vs. Lindsey VanZandt. Even though the fight was slated to have been a three-round affair at five minutes apiece, DeCoursey needed just over a minute to finish the job.
VanZandt started out the fight by piecing DeCoursey up with punches, with both fighters biding their time, waiting to land the next punch. Although VanZandt was able to counterpunch DeCoursey, it was the latter who smelled blood in the water.
DeCoursey landed a crisp right hook to knock VanZandt down, followed by a brief flurry of ground and pound shots before the referee intervened. Total time of the fight: One minute and one second.
If Jillian DeCoursey lands as little as one punch, the Invicta FC 49 main event could be hers on Wednesday night.
Wednesday night is normally an evening reserved for AEW Dynamite on cable’s TBS. This week, you’ve got an appointment to watch the Invicta FC 49 main event on AXS TV. It’s the only MMA show on this Wednesday, so you might as well take advantage of it, and this could be an amazing fight.
Prediction: Jessica Delboni by Unanimous Decision.