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Invicta FC may no longer air on Fight Pass, but it still boasts an extremely strong roster on this edition of “New Blood”, the series where fighters’ records regularly fail to tell a proper story. We see its strawweight queenpin, Emilie Ducote, tomorrow afternoon on Saturday. Jessica Penn and the UFC will make their Octagon debut against Long Island on July 16, 2022.

A split decision for UFC competitor, Kanako Murata

Ducote fell a few short in his first bid in Invicta Strawweight Gold. 2019 left a split decision for future UFC competitor, Kanako Murata. When Murata was called up for the big show, Ducote claimed the empty belt with a vicious knockout from Danielle Taylor. He then stopped Alisha Zapitella in his opening defense. That said, he struggled in the struggle against the accepted Murata. And given Zapitella time to take control, so that’s an area to work on.

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She steps in for Brianna Fortina on about six weeks’ notice

The punching ultra-crisp combination takes Ducote over the top, especially on her counters. Her right hand is a perfect piston she can open with zero hesitation or windup. As seen when she dropped Janissa Morandin and spaced Taylor for a light-out head kick behind her. She mixes her head and body attacks well. Will double or triple with a hand, and does a good job of catching your opponents in the middle combination.

His fight with the taller, Ranger Juliana Lima

Honestly, this is his biggest problem outside of his limited head movement and tendency to throw naked low kicks at punching range. That she is 5’2″ with a reach of 64 inches. The first round of her fight with tall, Ranger Juliana Lima saw her consistently throwing tight, precise combinations that each was about six inches shorter when taking the lead. So she could be linear with her blitz, and it wasn’t until Lima started sulking with her distance management, that Ducote was able to consistently lay hands on her.

Grappling-wise, he showed good timing

Grappling-wise, she showed good timing and finished with her double-leg takedown from a short distance away. However, he didn’t have the opportunity to use it in his recent endeavours. Invicta commentators raved about her ground-and-pound, and she’s wrapped behind-naked chokes in the past. Defensively, she dropped six of Murata’s over 20 shots. And got up quite early when Zapitella timed Ducote’s left hook and pulled it to the canvas.

Ducote is better than his record

Ducote is far better than his record and a worthy addition to the strawweight division of the UFC. I look forward to seeing how he strikes inside the octagon. Rival she squares off with revivalist Jessica Penney. Which isn’t a beat since its on the sidelines for a long time. I favor Ducote because he is a much better striker. And she’ll get the kind of close-quarters engagement she craves, but Penny is a living dog.

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