Hard-hitting kickboxing stylist Julia Budd (4-2) will square off with upstart Mollie Estes (1-1) in a featherweight contest at the highly anticipated Invicta FC 5 women’s championship doubleheader event at Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City on Friday, April 5.
Estes’ original opponent, Veronica Rothenhausler, has withdrawn from the event due to injury.
The 29-year-old Budd, a protégé of former MMA star Lance Gibson known for her phenomenal conditioning, is looking for her third straight victory in the cage after reeling off back-to-back, first-round TKO wins – both by way of punches and elbow strikes – in Invicta FC competition. On July 28, 2012, she stopped Elina Nilsson at Invicta FC 2 and, on Oct. 6, 2012, she finished Danielle West at Invicta FC 3.
Budd’s only two career losses to date came at the hands of champion Ronda Rousey and top-ranked Amanda Nunes. In March 2005, Budd became the first fighter to defeat superstar Gina Carano by way of unanimous decision after they faced off in a Muay Thai rules bout.
The 37-year-old Estes will make her second start in the Invicta FC cage after taking on 2008 Olympic wrestling bronze medalist Randi Miller at the promotion’s inaugural event on April 28, 2011. Expected to be disposed of in the early going of the matchup against the world-class wrestler, Estes held her own and pushed Miller into the third and final scheduled round of the contest before being stopped with a barrage of punches from Miller.
Before turning pro with a three-round unanimous decision victory over Lacie Jackson on Oct. 1, 2011, Estes enjoyed a splendid, two-year stint as an amateur, compiling an overall record of 7-1, with all 7 of her wins coming by way of knockout or submission.
The timing couldn’t have been more fortuitous, as Budd had originally been slated to fight Fiona Muxlow on the Invicta FC 5 fight card. Muxlow, however, was bumped into a fight with Cris “Cyborg” Santos when Cyborg’s opponent, Ediane Gomes, fell off the card due to injury.
Budd was left searching for an opponent, and now gets the call to face Estes.
(Photo courtesy of Invicta FC)