Amber Brown vs. Kikuyo Ishikawa
Amber “The Bully” Brown (5-1 MMA, 2-0 Invicta) has been on a roll since she came to Invicta Fighting Championships a year ago. She defeated veteran Liz McCarthy via split-decision in her first foray in the Invicta cage at Invicta FC 9. She also played spoiler to Irish competitor Catherine Costigan at Invicta FC 13, submitting the fighter the media dubbed “the female Conor McGregor” with a rear-naked choke in the first round.
Many folks, including myself, thought Brown was on her way to a cage date with current Invicta lightweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki, who won the belt from Herica Tburcio the same night The Bully submitted Costigan. Although she’s not getting a title bout, Brown will step into the cage against her toughest challenge yet.
In an interview on the MMA Hour, Invicta president announced several bouts for Invicta FC 15, which will take place in January 2016, including Brown taking on UFC veteran Lisa Ellis (15-10, 0-1) in an atomweight contest.
What we have here is the classic combat sports scenario of the hungry prospect – in this case Brown – going up against the seasoned veteran, Ellis.
Comparing fight resumes, Ellis has the edge in experience, with almost five times as many fights as Brown, and has faced a who’s who of women’s MMA competitors including a win over Aisling Daly in the first round of the Bellator women’s 115-pound tournament in 2010. She also has a dangerous grappling game with 11 submission wins.
Ellis has lost five of her last six fights, including going 0-2 in the UFC, so she’ll be looking to make a statement. This won’t be Ellis’ first time in the Invicta cage. She lost to Jessica Penne via TKO at Invicta FC 1 back in 2012.
But don’t count out Brown just yet. She’s got an ever-evolving MMA game and a lot of momentum going into this fight. Brown made her professional mixed martial arts debut in 2012, winning three of her first four fights, including a submission victory over Kikuyo Ishikawa at Pancrase 250.
If Brown wins, there’s little reason not to give her a shot at Hamasaki’s title.