Pro Boxer and Undefeated MMA Fighter Kim Connor-Hamby Replaces Cat Zingano Against Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 3 on Oct. 16
American Top Team’s Ediane Gomes replaces injured Taylor Stratford against unbeaten Katalina Malungahu
By FCF Staff
Professional boxer and undefeated MMA upstart Kim Connor-Hamby (4-0) of Stuttgart, Ark. will collide in a bantamweight (135 pounds) bout with fellow prolific striker Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (3-2-1) of Pleasant Hill, Calif. at the highly-anticipated Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama, women’s world championship MMA event at Memorial Hall in Kansas City on Saturday, Oct. 6. Connor-Hamby will replace Cat Zingano, who signed with Strikeforce earlier this week.
In Invicta FC 3 preliminary card action, undefeated power puncher Katalina Malungahu (2-0) of Las Vegas, Nev. will face submission specialist Ediane Gomes (8-2) of Coconut Creek, Fla. via Sao Paulo, Brazil in a featherweight (145 pounds) bout, after Malungahu’s original opponent, Taylor Stratford, was forced to withdraw from the commitment due to a knee injury.
“I’m very excited to be fighting with all the big names that are on this Invicta FC card,” said the 31-year-old Connor-Hamby who, to date, has been lighting up her local MMA scene with her polished western boxing skills. “My hands are where it’s at. I want to show everyone what a woman can do with boxing inside the cage and I do not want to go to the ground at all in this fight.”
Since she began her pro career in the boxing ring in 2004, Connor-Hamby has registered a record of 10-2-2 (4 KO’s) in the sport, earning her 10th career victory in the sweet science with a 10-round unanimous decision over Nicole Woods on Aug. 25.
It was four years ago, shortly after giving birth, that Connor-Hamby took up MMA training as a means of getting back in shape, after learning about the sport’s rigorous conditioning routines from a work colleague of her husband. Realizing, soon after, that her boxing skills could be used as a weapon in MMA competition, Connor-Hamby decided to try her hand in the hybrid sport.
In her MMA debut on June 27, 2009, Connor-Hamby needed just 20 seconds to stop Crystal Hamilton with a barrage of punches. Connor-Hamby reeled off TKO victories in each of her next two starts and earned a split decision over Jessica Hilger in her last MMA bout on April 17, 2010.
The 31-year-old Smith is also a seasoned striker. On April 28, she brought fans to their feet at the inaugural Invicta FC event at Memorial Hall, exchanging flurry after flurry of strikes with Kaitlin Young in a matchup that was scored a majority draw by the judges. The bout was recognized as “Fight of the Night” by Invicta FC.
Smith, a product of the Cesar Gracie Academy, went unbeaten (3-0) as an amateur before turning pro on March 6, 2009 and scoring a third round (4:16) TKO on Louise Johnson with a series of punches.
Training at American Top Team, Gomes is looking to notch her third consecutive win. A submission specialist who has tapped out opponents in six of her eight-career victories, Gomes is a five-year veteran of pro MMA competition.
Since she stormed onto the competitive MMA scene in 2011, Malungahu has gained recognition for her furious punching abilities, stopping both of her professional opponents and all three of her amateur opponents inside of two rounds. She is coming off a 36 second KO (punches) victory over Ericka Newsome on July 28.
Updated Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama Fight Card
Main Event: Atomweight (105 pounds) Championship Bout (Vacant Title): Jessica Penne (9-1) vs. Naho Sugiyama (8-0)
Bantamweight: Shayna Baszler (14-7) vs. Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio (6-2)
Bantamweight: Sarah Kaufman (15-2) vs. Kaitlin Young (7-6-1)
Flyweight (125 pounds): Bar Honchak (6-2) vs. Aisling Daly (13-3)
Flyweight: Tara LaRosa (21-2) vs. Vanessa Porto (14-5)
Atomweight: Michelle Waterson (9-3) vs. Lacey Schuckman (7-5)
Featherweight: Julia Budd (3-2) vs. Elaina Maxwell (7-4)
Strawweight (115 pounds): Carla Esparza (7-2) vs. Lynn Alvarez (5-2)
Flyweight: Ashley Cummins (3-0) vs. Joanne Calderwood (3-0)
Atomweight: Stephanie Frausto (3-4) vs. Amy Davis (3-3)
Bantamweight: Marciea Allen (1-0) vs. Jessamyn Duke (1-0)
Strawweight: Tecia Torres (0-0) vs. Kaiyana Rain (0-0)