Leah Letson Fights Liz Phillips at Invicta FC 21 on Three-Days Notice
Late Tuesday evening, Leah “Nidas” Letson (3-1) received the call to step inside the cage at Invicta FC 21 against UFC veteran, Elizabeth Phillips (5-4). Invicta FC 21 will be Leah Letson and Elizabeth Phillips’ first bout within the organization. The fight will take place at featherweight for the two regularly 135-pounders due to a three-day notice. Invicta FC 21: Anderson vs. Tweet takes place this Saturday, Jan. 14 from the historic Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo. and streams live and exclusively via UFC FIGHT PASS at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Letson trains out of Pura Vida BJJ/MMA in Milwaukee, Wi. under head coach Jake Klipp, assistant coaches Nick Trost and UFC fighter Zak Ottow. Letson is currently on a three-fight win streak with two finishes via TKO and a unanimous decision. The Pura Vida BJJ/MMA bantamweight was scheduled to headline Pure FC 6 at the Milwaukee Theater on January 27, 2017.
Receiving the call to fight on the Invicta FC 21 card worked out perfectly for the No. 2 ranked bantamweight in Illinois and U.S. Northeast (according to Tapology.com), since her opponent for Pure FC 6 pulled out of the fight two weeks ago, leaving her opponent less.
“It was super exciting news that I got the opportunity,” Letson told My MMA News. Letson and Phillips agreed on fighting at 145-pounds, which is a weight class above their normal competition. Making weight at 135-pounds would have most likely been difficult for both fighters to reach on a three-day notice, but Letson informed My MMA News that featherweight wouldn’t be a problem for her to cut to. “An opportunity I’ve been waiting for for a while.”
Letson just returned in December from training out in California at Alliance MMA with “Alpha” Cat Zingano and former UFC bantamweight champion, Dominic Cruz. While training out in the Golden State, Letson had the opportunity to learn a great amount from these high caliber fighters, as well as being able to test her abilities of where she’s at.
“I feel ready, I mean I was just training with a bunch of high-level fighters out there (California). I have some high-level coaches in my gym and since I’m always staying ready to fight and always training, the whole UFC vet thing doesn’t scare me,” Leah Letson said.
Letson falling off the Pure FC card wasn’t a problem since they were already searching for a new opponent. Plus, Letson’s coaches, Jake Klipp and Zak Ottow are the promoters for Pure Fighting Championship. Letson doesn’t feel she is losing anything from training since she technically has lost 2 weeks from her originally scheduled fight date, January 27. She only feels that she will miss on the little bit of extra cardio, but she was training for a five-round bout and informed My MMA News that two weeks isn’t that significant to her.
Letson’s manager and coach, Jake Klipp, informed My MMA News that the Pura Vida BJJ/MMA bantamweight signed a multiple fight contract with the all-professional female mixed martial arts organization.
“I can promise you it will be an exciting fight. I feel really strong – just about everywhere,” Leah Letson said. “I have a taekwondo background, so I have a pretty good striking game, but I feel confident in my wrestling and jiu-jitsu as well, so I promise to put on an exciting fight no matter where the fight goes,”
The Wisconsin native doesn’t feel the weight on her shoulders to finish Phillips. Phillips fought four times in the UFC, taking away one victory and falling to defeat in the other three bouts. In all four of Phillips UFC fights, she went the distance.
However, Letson, 24 years-old, is confident in her abilities to finish opponents and very confident in her cardio for a fifteen-minute war. She doesn’t feel any pressure to “have to” finish her opponent and plans to take anything her six year-elder presents to her.
“I’m willing to fight anyone they give me,” Letson mentioned when discussing what’s next after this bout. The humble young fighter just hopes to fight again with Invicta FC, especially if she wins her Invicta FC debut. “I think it would be pretty exciting to keep fighting for Invicta and fighting high-level girls, so I’ll take anyone they give me.”
Team Letson is driving the nine-hour trip to Kansas City, Mo. today (Wednesday) for Invicta FC 21, and doesn’t expect the long drive to affect her performance in manner. She has fought previously in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, which are both much longer trips from Wisconsin.
Below is a photo Letson posted on Facebook of her Signing the Invicta FC contract.
Invicta FC 21: Anderson vs. Tweet takes place this Saturday, Jan. 14 from the historic Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo. and streams live and exclusively via UFC FIGHT PASS at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Kyle Carroll is a Long Island, N.Y. native and avid MMA and amateur wrestling fan. He has been a part of the wrestling community for nearly 20 years. Carroll has six years of experience coaching high school wrestling. His father coached high school wrestling over 35 years, passing on his strong knowledge. Carroll has been reporting MMA news since January 2011. The former wrestler’s coverage includes the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, 2013 & 2016 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championship, and numerous MMA events (Bellator MMA, King of the Cage, North American Fighting Championship, and Glory).