Invicta FC 43 loses main event due to COVID-19 precautions, Kayla Harrison debut moved to headliner

    Invicta FC 43 has gone from two title fights to none.

    Emily Ducote and Montserrat Ruiz were scheduled to fight in tonight’s main event for a vacant strawweight championship, but the promotion announced Friday morning that the bout has been postponed due to “enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols.” The release does not indicate whether there was an issue specifically with Ducote or Ruiz, or a member of their respective teams, or if it is unrelated to either fighter.

    Earlier this month, Invicta FC 43 also lost its originally scheduled main event when Pearl Gonzalez was forced to withdraw from a vacant flyweight championship bout opposite Erin Blanchfield after testing positive for COVID-19.

    A featherweight bout between debuting Professional Fighters League star Kayla Harrison and Courtney King will now serve as the Invicta FC 43 headliner.

    Harrison (7-0) was the champion of the PFL’s inaugural women’s lightweight season and has dominated her first seven pro bouts thus far. Friday’s show marks Harrison’s first fight at 145 pound and she successfully hit the mark at Thursday’s weigh-ins, stepping onto the scale at 145.9 pounds.

    Prior to transitioning to MMA, Harrison, 30, established herself as a dominant force in the judo world. At the 2012 London Olympics, she became the first American to win a gold medal in judo, then she captured gold again four years later in Rio de Janeiro.

    Harrison is expected to return to the PFL when the league resumes activity in April 2021. The league canceled its 2020 season in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

    King (4-1) returns to Invicta on a three-fight winning streak. After losing to Yaya Rincon at Invicta FC 25 three years ago, King rebounded with a win over Holli Salazar at Invicta FC 34 before scoring two more wins on the regional scene in 2019.

    Invicta FC 43 airs Friday evening from Kansas City, Kan., on UFC Fight Pass at 8 p.m. ET.

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