Mizuki Inoue will not be making her return to Invicta FC this year after all.
Inoue had to withdraw from the Invicta 26 co-main event for undisclosed reasons and will be replaced by Kinberly Novaes against Janaisa Morandin, according to the promotion’s website. The bout will be in the strawweight division.
Novaes (9-3) is coming off a loss to Syuri Kondo under the Pancrase banner in May. The Brazilian fighter was on a three-fight winning streak prior to that bout. Novaes, 28, drew international headlines when she won a title in Brazil while 12 weeks pregnant in 2015.
Inoue (12-4) is on a four-fight winning streak, but has not competed since beating Lynn Alvarez at Invicta FC 18 in July 2016. The Japanese fighter injured her knee thereafter and needed surgery. Inoue, 23, is still thought to be one of the top prospects in the 115-pound division.
Morandin (9-1) had her undefeated streak snapped by former Invicta strawweight champion Livia Renata Souza in August. The Brazilian prospect won all of her fights in her native country before that. Morandin, 23, like Inoue, is thought to have her best years ahead of her.
Invicta FC 26 is headlined by a flyweight title fight between champion Jennifer Maia and challenger Agnieszka Niedwiedz. Also on the card, high-profile prospect Mackenzie Dern, one of the top Brazilian jiu-jitsu aces in the world, takes on Kaline Medeiros.