Women's MMA has been on a rapid rise in the United States over the last 12 months. The most significant reason is due to the upstart women's promotion, Invicta Fighting Championships. The promotion returns tonight, as Invicta FC 4 will be taking place from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The main event of the card is for the inaugural strawweight title between veteran Carla Esparza and Bec Hyatt.
"The meals are twice the size here, and we drive on the other side of the road, so we are starting to freak out driving around here," Hyatt told Bleacher Report. "There are some pretty crazy drivers. We thought we were going too slow for the speed limit, but everyone was just speeding around us."
"I actually started kickboxing to lose weight, and that's where I met my husband, who was na MMA fighter. He actually got me into the sport."
"The States has always been my goal, especially when Invicta came on the map. That was definitely my goal of getting to fight in Invicta, winning a few fights and then getting a title fight. It turns out, it is my debut fight for my title fight. It's all happening really quickly, and it is really exciting."
"It is definitely the most proudest moment and biggest achievement to be the first Australian woman to make out here fighting for Invicta. I have the whole Australian MMA scene behind me. I'm going to do us proud. It is nice to represent Australia."
"(Women's MMA) just skyrocketed in the last year. It is only going to be getting bigger and better. It is about time the women get the recognition. We are athletes and no different (than men). I always say we have breasts, and that's the only difference. We are knocking on the door, and you can't kick us out forever. I'm glad we finally got here. It is only bigger and better things to come."
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Invicta FC 4
Kansas City, Kan.
Saturday, Jan 5
7:00 PM ET
MAIN CARD (invictafc.com)
Carla Esparza vs. Bec Hyatt - for inaugural strawweight title
Shayna Baszler vs. Alexis Davis
Raquel Pennington vs. Leslie Smith
Sarah D'Alelio vs. Amanda Nunes
Ediane Gomes vs. Hiroko Yamanaka
Joanne Calderwood vs. Livia von Plettenberg
PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised)
Katalina Malungahu vs. Veronica Rothenhausler
Stephanie Frausto vs. Cassie Rodish
Amanda Bell vs. Tamikka Brents
Jodie Esquibel vs. Liz McCarthy
Emily Kagan vs. Rose Namajunas
Tecia Torres vs. Paige VanZant