While there’s no UFC event this weekend, UFC Fight Pass will still be showing live MMA, as Invicta FC makes its second appearance on the streaming platform. The card features a flyweight title bout, as Barb Honchak looks to add her second title defense and ninth consecutive win to her resume. Her style has proven very difficult for opponents to deal with, as neither Vanessa Porto nor Leslie Smith could get much offense going against her across 25 minutes. Her opponent this time around will be Japanese veteran Takayo Hashi. Hashi started her career 13-1, but then dropped three in a row to Sarah Kaufman, Tara LaRosa, and Cat Zingano back in 2010 and 2011. Following a two year layoff, she’s gone 1-0-1 prior to getting this title shot. Perhaps the best bout on the card is between strawweights Mizuki Inoue and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. There’s really no reason that both of these women shouldn’t be in the UFC already, as many consider Inoue one of the top 10 female strawweights in the world, and Kowalkiewicz isn’t far behind. On paper this looks like it should be a dynamic grappling battle, which means we could very well be in store for a kickboxing match between these two women. Regardless, the winner should find themselves in the UFC immediately, and the loser shouldn’t be too far behind. A bout that most expect will be a striking battle is at 145, as Kaitlin Young squares off with Raquel Pa’aluhi. Eight of their combined ten career wins have come by TKO, and each has shown some serious deficiencies on the ground in the past, which should make them hesitant to take this down. While this fight should be “fun” it’s also hard to ignore that the third bout on an Invicta card features two fighters with sub .500 records. Jodie Esquibel returns to the Invicta cage on a short turnaround, as she was in a very competitive bout at Invicta 8 against Jinh Yu Frey. She takes on a fighter in Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc who has not competed since July 2013, and has dropped three of her past four bouts. A win for Esquibel could put her in the running for a shot at current atomweight champion Michelle Waterson, as the more notable atomweight bout between Ayaka Hamasaki and Herica Tiburcio was cancelled just days prior to the event. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for the top four bouts at Invicta FC 9 today at Several Bookmakers. Here they are: ——————– MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 9pm ET) Invicta Flyweight Title Barb Honchak -750 Takayo Hashi +450 Mizuki Inoue -210 Karolina Kowalkiewicz +160 Kaitlin Young -175 Raquel Pa’aluhi +135 Jodie Esquibel -400 Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc +280 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: I’ll keep it brief, as I don’t do as much research for Invicta as most other promotions. Barb Honchak and Jodie Esquibel should roll here. Honchak because Invicta just keeps bringing in overmatched veterans of the Japanese scene to make their champions look good (and it’s worked). She may even get a finish through an accumulation of strikes against a fighter who is primarily a grappler. This is very similar to Waterson’s bout at the last card against Tamada. Esquibel is up against a fighter who hasn’t competed in a year and a half, and to be frank, wasn’t that great when she was stepping out there regularly. Esquibel will have the better wrestling and submission games, and I see her putting them to good use. The other two fights are much closer. I consider Inoue/Kowalkiewicz nearly a coinflip, but I feel like Inoue will end up overvalued in betting lines because she’s got quite a bit of hype. Kowalkiewicz can give her an extremely stern test, is sneaky good with her own submission game, and may have a slight edge on the feet. If I can get anywhere near +200 on her, it’s worth a play (probably just in a round robin for me, since I’ll keep any bets small on this card). I’m a bit more confident in Pa’aluhi, but not tremendously so. The difference in this bout to me is chin more than anything. Pa’aluhi can absorb shots better than Young, and these two are extremely likely to trade strikes. Although I made a quip about their records earlier, the losses each fighter has aren’t particularly bad, and their records are more a product of female fighters not getting time to develop before being thrown in against solid competition.