By Jonathan Solomon
Only 16 days remain until the most dominant female striker in mixed martial arts returns to the cage and now, Cris Cyborg will have to prepare for a new opponent.
Invicta sent out a press release detailing Ediane Gomes’ rib injury suffered during training has forced her to withdraw from the April 5 show in Kansas City. Taking her spot will be Fiona Muxlow (6-2) out of Australia, who was previously scheduled to fight Julia Budd.
The promotion will announce a new opponent for Budd this week.
Muxlow is 35-years-old and was last seen losing by armbar submission to Marloes Coenen on New Year’s Eve in Japan at Dream 18. Prior to that, she had been on a three-fight winning streak with victories over Kyra Purcell, Deney Hayward and Leanne Reid.
The 27-year-old Cyborg, a Muay Thai specialist, has not fought since December 2011 when she was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission after testing positive for stanozolol, a banned anabolic steroid. Her win over Hiroko Yamanaka at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal was changed to a no contest and her featherweight championship was vacated.
Although her suspension ended in recent months and she became a free agent, her manager, Tito Ortiz was unable to reach an agreement with the UFC. Instead, Cyborg signed with Invicta and she will look to improve her 10-1 (1 NC) record in just over two weeks.
The Invicta FC 5 main event features atomweight champion Jessica Penne defending her gold against Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson. Plus, the vacant flyweight title will be decided in the co-main event between Vanessa Porto and Barb Honchak. Also, in her debut for the promotion, former Bellator champion Zoila Frausto Gurgel will fight Jennifer Maia while former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman debuts against Leslie Smith.
The entire 14-fight card will be available via internet pay-per-view in high definition for $9.95.
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