Before UFC Fight Night 95 goes down in Brazil on Saturday, UFC Fight Pass will play host to Invicta FC 19 on Friday night. The card is headlined by a pair of title bouts, as Jennifer Maia puts her interim flyweight belt on the line against Roxanne Modafferi, while Ayaki Hamasaki’s atomweight title is up for grabs against Jihn Yu. After an interim belt was suggested by flyweight champ Barb Honchak (who is still yet to set a date for her return), Maia defeated Vanessa Porto by unanimous decision at Invicta FC 16 to capture the title. She was the underdog heading into that bout, due to a previous submission loss to Porto, but looked much improved in the rematch. Another underdog on that same card was Maia’s upcoming opponent Roxanne Modafferi, who bested DeAnna Bennett. Modafferi has been the underdog in four of her five bouts since her stint on TUF, and has come through on three of those occasions. The move to Syndiate MMA in Las Vegas has resulted in massive improvements in Modafferi’s game, and has turned her struggles from 2010 to 2012 into a distant memory. Atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki has suffered just one career loss. Back in 2013 she faced Claudia Gadelha at strawweight and lost via third round TKO. Since then she has won each of her four fights to capture (and retain) the Invicta 105lb title. Aside from the much bigger, stronger Gadelha, nobody has been able to handle Hamasaki’s grappling game. Challenger Jihn Yu possesses a very different style, as she is perhaps the most dangerous striker at 105lbs. Since she suffered a close split decision loss in her Invicta debut, Yu has won three straight fights to earn a title shot, most recently shutting down former champion Herica Tiburcio’s grappling, which is something she’ll have to replicate to capture the title. The other notable bouts on Invicta FC 19 include: Bantamweights Irene Aldana and Faith Van Duin will both be looking to extend their winning ways to two straight fights; Undefeated Indian fighter Manjit Kolekar making her North American debut against Kaline Medeiros; and the MMA debut of kickboxing star Tiffany Van Soest against undefeated amateur Kalyn Schwartz. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for the top five bouts on Invicta FC 19 today at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 8pm ET) Flyweight Title Fight: Roxanne Modafferi +170 Jennifer Maia -230 Atomweight Title Fight: Jinh Yu Frey +160 Ayaka Hamasaki -210 Faith Van Duin +190 Irene Aldana -270 Manjit Kolekar +145 Kaline Medeiros -185 Kalyn Schwartz +200 Tiffany Van Soest -280 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: I think I’m done doubting Roxanne Modafferi. Sure, she’s at a fairly large technical striking disadvantage in this fight, but she seems to be able to overcome that with volume against most opponents. Also, her positional game on the ground is far more solid than it was early in her career. Those two factors could allow her to wrest the title away from Jennifer Maia, although you clearly have to favor Maia in this spot. If the number gets up over +200, I may have to take a stab at Modafferi though. Jihn Yu has been able to stop most opponents from getting their wrestling going against her (Jodie Esquibel had a bit of success), but Ayaka Hamasaki is the best grappler she’s faced. Hamasaki isn’t a powerhouse wrestler though, so I could see several rounds in this fight where she struggles to get it down against the longer, more varied, more technical, and more dangerous striker. The problem here is that we’ve seen so little of Yu on the ground that even one takedown from Hamasaki might be enough for her to score a submission and retain. We just don’t know. Irene Aldana has a more well-rounded game than Faith Van Duin, but she can be susceptible late in fights if pushed. Both of her losses have come in the third round or later. Van Duin is the type of fighter who might be able to stick around against Aldana, but I don’t think she’ll push her like Larissa Pacheco did early in her career, or Tonya Evinger did recently. Van Duin was successful on the Australian/New Zealand regional scene, but there’s a big jump between that and fighting top quality competition in Invicta. I have no idea what to expect out of Manjit Kolekar against a good opponent. All of her fights so far have been in India (Supa! Fight! Leeeeeg!) against opponents with no more than 3 previous bouts (and more commonly zero or 1 fights). Now she’s facing Kaline Medeiros, who has some experience against decent fighters, and has put her own four-fight win streak together. Maybe Kolekar’s success transfers over, but the Indian MMA scene is behind China and even South Africa, so I’m guessing it won’t. Tiffany Van Soest making her MMA debut will be interesting, but I feel like Invicta could have found a safer opponent for her. Sure, Kalyn Schwartz hasn’t competed as a pro, but she went 4-0 as an amateur and faced some decent opponents. While Van Soest has a monumental striking advantage, who knows what her grappling game is like, and Schwartz has no problem going to her wrestling. Schwartz has also competed as high as bantamweight in the past, and this fight will be at strawweight. It would be really hard to bet against Van Soest here, but sometimes bettors pile on favorites in women’s fights to an unreasonable degree.