With Invicta FC featherweight champion Megan Anderson headed to the Octagon to meet Cris “Cyborg” Justino for the UFC featherweight championship, Invicta FC bantamweight titleholder Tonya Evinger will make the move to featherweight for the first time.
Evinger (19-5, 1NC) will make her featherweight debut by stepping in for Anderson to face Ukranian Helena Kolesnyk (5-0, 1NC) at Invicta FC 24 on July 15 in Kansas City, Mo. The bout will no longer carry championship credentials, but will instead be a three-round, non-title affair.
Anderson was originally booked to headline Invicta FC 24, putting her belt on the line against Kolesnyk, but was released from her Invicta FC contract to fight Cyborg for the vacant belt at UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif.
Undefeated since 2011, Evinger moves up for this featherweight debut after dominating at 135 pounds, including five finishes and seven total victories while competing in Invicta’s bantamweight division.
Kolesnyk, who trains out of Moscow, has finished all five of her professional wins, including three first-round knockouts and a first-round submission due to punches. She is an experienced Muay Thai practitioner, taking bronze at the IFMA World Muaythai Championships in 2015.
“We’re not making it easy for Helena over here,” joked Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp. “ She’s gone from one champion [in Anderson] to another now with Tonya.
“I’m thankful that our athletes – and especially Tonya Evinger – are always ready and willing to accept a challenge. I have the utmost respect for both these main event fighters and I’m expecting a great fight on July 15.”
The fight card for Invicta FC 24: Evinger vs Kolesnyk:
Featherweight: Tonya Evinger vs. Helena Kolesnyk
Flyweight: Milana Dudieva vs. Mara Romero Borella
Bantamweight: Raquel Pa’aluhi vs. Yana Kunitskaya
Atomweight: Jinh Yu Frey vs. Ashley Cummins
Flyweight: Karina Rodríguez vs. Bárbara Acioly
Strawweight: Sunna Rannveig Davidsdottir vs. Kelly D’Angelo
Strawweight: Mallory Martin vs. Tiffany Masters
Featherweight: Felicia Spencer vs. Amy Coleman
Invicta FC 24: Evinger vs Kolesnyk streams live and exclusively via UFC FIGHT PASS on Saturday, July 15 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.