Fusion Fight League will make history April 1, with its first-ever all female fight card: Fusion-Ladies Fight Night, featuring former UFC talent and a bevy of amateur fighters sure to be competing on TV in the near future.
“Once we made the commitment to do this, we committed to doing it right,” said Fusion CEO Terrill Bracken. “We are bringing in the best professional and amateur talent from several states, including as far away as Florida, and even a woman from Brazil who has never fought on U.S. soil!”
The main event features former UFC and “The Ultimate Fighter” competitor Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi, who is coming off a split-decision loss for the Invicta title, competing for the Fusion 125-pound belt. She will be taking on Brazilian Priscila de Souza, who carries a 12-7 record and trains with top UFC strawweight Claudia Gadelha.
“This has the potential to be a fight the caliber of which Billings has never seen, especially for a women’s fight,” Bracken said. “You have a woman currently signed to Invicta, with the UFC on her resume, and a woman with a stellar record that probably gets a big promotion deal with a win.”
Despite an illustrious career that has taken her all over the world, Modaferri said this is her first fight in Big Sky Country.
“I have never fought in Montana before. I try not to focus on the location too much because I don’t want it to distract me from my job, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to visiting Billings!” Modaferri said. “I’m so excited for this fight. I feel in the best shape of my life and ready to show all the techniques I’ve been training every day.”
Though she typically fights on live TV and PPV, Modafferi said she couldn’t refuse the chance to compete on an all-female card for a top regional promotion — against a top opponent.
“Fusion Fight League is a great promotion,” she said. I am always eager to test my techniques and skills against other strong female fighters, and want to fight more often. I’m very grateful and enthusiastic about fighting in their cage
“My opponent Priscila seems very tough. From watching her video, she puts a lot of pressure on her opponents and tries to grapple,” Modafferi added. “However, I push the pace as well, and don’t slow down. I’m sure it’ll be a crazy fight, and I plan to come out on top in both the grappling world and striking.”
Other fights on the card include a 135-pound amateur title match between defending champion Courtney “The Lion” King, who is a familiar face for Billings fight fans, and newcomer to Montana, Serena DeJesus — a 4-1 teammate of Modafferi.
Montana women also make an impact on the card, as Kalispell’s own Jen Johnson, who is coming off a first-round TKO win by a devastating knee to the body in her Fusion debut, steps up to face Kelly Clayton of Yakima MMA in Washington state.
Another top-notch 135-pound fight is a number-one contender matchup between Jessica “The Black Widow” Borga of Lakeland, Fla. and Gillian “Valkyrie” Noll out of Couer d’Alene.
Other fighters slated to compete include Zaneta Sutherland of Havre, Leah Taylor of Kalispell and Jennifer Moderie of Missoula.
Modafferi said fans should expect fireworks when the ladies step into the cage.
“There are fewer opportunities for females to fight so we don’t’ waste any time trying to finish our opponents. Fans should expect to be riveted during every fight,” she said.
“MMA is a mix of sports, martial arts, and entertainment. We fighters can power up with the energy of the fans, just as we hope you enjoy and are excited by our fight. Thank you everybody for your support before, during, and after our fights!”
InvictaFC star Shannon Sinn will be there as a special guest.
Pro 125 title – Roxanne Modafferi (19-13; Las Vegas, Nevada) vs. Priscila de Souza (12-6; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Amateur 135 title – Serena De Jesus (4-1; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) vs. Courtney King (5-3; Fort Collins, Colorado)
135 – Gillian Noll (6-2; Couer d’Alene, Idaho) vs. Jessica Borga (6-2; Lakeland, Florida)
135 – Jordan Branstetter (1-2; Billings, Montana) vs. Zaneta Sutherland (2-3; Havre, Montana)
135 – Jen Johnson (2-1; Kalispell, Montana) vs. Kelly Clayton (4-3-1; Yakima, Washington
125 – Leann Alford (1-1; South Dakota) vs. Marnic Mann (1-0; Kalispell, Montana)
130 – Dayna Kelly (0-2; Lowell, Wyoming) vs Anne Kleeman (debut; Sheridan, Wyoming)
The fight takes place at MetraPark, 308 6th Ave. North Billings, MT 59101 with a 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST start time.
General admission tickets are $15 and are available through the Metra Box Office. VIP tables can be purchased by calling 406-697-0542.
You can order the pay-per-view and watch online here for just $14.99