One of Vancouver’s best homegrown mixed martial arts’ talents will find her way back into the cage in a few short weeks. On April 5, Port Moody’s Julia Budd faces Mollie Estes at Invicta Fighting Championships 5 in Kansas City.
This trip to the cage continues a successful 12-month period for Budd, who fought twice in 2012, winning both in the first round and rising her world ranking to fourth for women’s Featherweights (145 lb). Estes had a quieter year comparatively. She fought just once in 2012, losing via third round TKO to debuting former U.S. Olympian Randi Miller.
The path taken to get to this fight has been a strange one. Budd was originally scheduled to fight Brazil’s Ediane Gomes to determine a co-number one contender (along with Coenen) for Invicta’s inaugural Featherweight Championship fight. However, when former world winner Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino signed with Invicta last month, Budd stepped aside to allow for her to fight Gomes and accepted a fight against Fiona Muxlow in the meantime. However, Gomes then sustained injury on March 19 and Muxlow agreed to fill the vacancy, leaving Budd without an opponent.
Estes was originally on the preliminary card against Veronica Rothenhausler. However, Rothenhausler withdrew because of an injury on March 25, setting this fight up. Now, the 37-year-old Estes will get the biggest opportunity of her career against the world ranked Budd, who will look to continue her perfect record under the Invicta banner.
Invicta Fighting Championships 5 culminates from Kansas City, Kansas on April 5, and will feature two championship fights. Atomweight (105 lb) champion Jessica Penne defends for the first time against Michelle Waterson, while Vanessa Porto and Barb Honchak meet to determine the inaugural Flyweight (125 lb) champion. The card also features recent UFC signee and Victoria native Sarah Kaufman against Leslie Smith.
Make note of the calendar date, which is a Friday – all previous Invicta events were held on a Saturday. In fact, the event was originally scheduled for April 13, however, it clashed with the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter Finale, which is the assumed reason for the switch. The event will be available through online pay-per-view at InvictaFC.com, at a cost of $9.95.
Please stay tuned to Vancity Buzz for an interview with Julia Budd prior to her fight on climbing the world rankings and her goals and aspirations for 2013.
PHOTO CREDIT: Esther Lin / InvictaFC.com
Written by Matt Paligaru. Connect with Matt on Twitter @paliontology