Invicta FC 45 no grudge match, belt is more important


For Jessica Delboni, Wednesday’s rematch with Alesha Zappitella is a bargain, but she admits it wasn’t initially.

“At first, of course, I was very upset with the outcome of the fight because I was sure I won this fight,” Delboni told MMA Junkie. “I even told my coach that I didn’t want to fight anymore and needed a break, but God had different plans for me.”

Delboni contested Invicta FC’s atomic weight title last May, failing in a very fine split call for decision. Delboni’s frustration was evident in the cage, and she continued as she stepped out.

But Delboni soon received an offer that changed her mind. Come back three weeks later and take part in an overnight eight-woman tournament for a second chance for the title.

“My trainer said to me, ‘Let’s go. You have just won against the current champion. They just didn’t give you the win, ”Delboni said. “I accepted, and that’s it.”

Delboni (11-3) beat three opponents in the tournament, securing a second victory over champion Zappitella (9-2). The two now meet in Wednesday’s headliner Invicta FC 45, which is broadcast live on MMA Junkie from Kansas City, Kan.

The tension is high the second time around, with Delboni openly stating that she thinks she’s already the deserving champion, and Zappitella takes issue with that claim.

“It’s a business, but it’s also personal for me, because I have to prove that I am the champion,” said Delboni. “I am the real champion. I think I won this fight, but now I have to prove it, and I want my belt.

Julie Kedzie breaks Invicta FC 45 and atomic weight title fight over MMA Junkie

Video: Watch the latest episode of Invicta FC’s behind-the-scenes video series, ‘Immersed’

For his part, Zappitella has promised big changes despite winning the first time, switching sides ahead of the rematch. Delboni isn’t so sure if it will matter, gaining confidence in stopping his opponent’s wrestling attacks in the first clash.

“I changed a few things for this fight, and she has said several times on social media that she will put me down,” Delboni said. “I responded by saying, ‘Like the last time? Because she tried to knock me down 13 times without success. I don’t think I will be shot down, but if it does, it’s okay. I’m ready, and I’m going to get up, and I’m going to knock him out.

As the rematch draws closer, talks between the two intensified, adding flavor to an already significant clash at 105 pounds. But the 28-year-old Brazilian is hoping Zappitella doesn’t think it’s just fun and games to beat a fight.

“It’s no joke to me,” Delboni said. “I’m not here to play with her, to talk. I come here to show people what I’m capable of, so I hope she’s ready or else she will have a nasty surprise.

It’s a rematch with emotions involved, of course, but Delboni doesn’t think that’s the real story of the fight. Of course, she hopes to send Delboni a message, but that’s not the main focus of the night.

“The belt is more important to me,” said Delboni. “She talks a lot about certain things. I do not care. She likes to talk nonsense. She said a lot of nonsense on social media. I do not care. It doesn’t change my goal. The fight will be inside the cage, and that’s where we’ll see who’s the best.

“I’m not going to knock him out or finish him off. I no longer want to leave this decision in the hands of the judge. If I can’t do it, know that I will try all five rounds.

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