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With Cris Cyborg’s Anti-Doping Violation, Invicta FC Set to Name Interim Champion

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Invicta Fighting Championships on Friday announced increased stakes for the main event of Invicta FC 21: Anderson vs. Tweet, taking place on Jan. 14 at the historic Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City.

The winner of a now five-round affair between headliners Megan Anderson (7-2) and Charmaine “Not So Sweet” Tweet (9-5) will walk away as Invicta FC interim featherweight champion.

The move came after current Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino was notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency of a potential UFC Anti-Doping Violation. Cyborg is under a special contract with the UFC that has allowed her to fight for both promotions simultaneously, so she fall under the USADA’s jurisdiction, since the agency administrates the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy.

Following news of the potential violation, Cyborg revealed that she tested positive for a substance called Spironolactone, which was part of a treatment administered by her doctor in an attempt to recover from a difficult weight cut for her September fight with Lina Lansberg.

With Cyborg sidelined to deal with the adjudication of the charges, Invicta decided to move the division forward and name an interim champion.

“I think this is a great move in the right direction for the Invicta featherweight division,” said Anderson. “It’s an exciting time for the 145-pound athletes and I’m looking forward to bringing my belt back to my team, my family and taking another step forward in my career.”

The 26-year-old featherweight earned her opportunity to capture Invicta gold by compiling an impressive three-fight winning streak, with all three coming by way of knockout. A native of Australia’s Gold Coast, Anderson now calls the Kansas City metro area home, training out of Glory MMA & Fitness in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Earlier this month, Anderson nabbed two Invicta FC 2016 Fan Choice Awards: “Fighter of the Year” and “Knockout of the Year” for her first round TKO against Amanda Bell at Invicta FC 17.

Tweet, a former featherweight title challenger, has also won three in a row, most recently knocking out then-undefeated Latoya Walker via spinning backfist in May.

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“I’m so excited that this has become an interim title fight. It gives us an even larger platform to showcase the amazing talent in the featherweight division,” said Tweet. “Not that I needed the added incentive of a title to bring the heat in this fight; it was always going to be a barn burner!”

Invicta FC veteran DeAnna Bennett has been forced from the strawweight co-main event at Invicta FC 21. In her place, undefeated newcomer Kali “Pop Tart” Robbins (4-0) will now face Jodie Esquibel (5-2) in a 120-pound catchweight bout.

Robbins, who hails from Milwaukee, has finished all four of her opponents since turning pro, including three wins inside the first round. Esquibel, fighting out of Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., headlined Invicta FC 18 against Alexa Grasso in July.

Invicta FC 21: Anderson vs. Tweet streams live and exclusively via UFC FIGHT PASS at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Saturday, Jan. 14.

The complete eight-fight card for Invicta FC 21: Anderson vs. Tweet can be found below:

  • Featherweight: Charmaine Tweet (9-5) vs. Megan Anderson (7-2)
  • Bantamweight: Pannie Kianzad (8-1) vs. Raquel Pa’aluhi (5-5)
  • Catchweight (120 lbs): Jodie Esquibel (5-2) vs. Kali Robbins (4-0)
  • Bantamweight: Sijara Eubanks (2-1) vs. Aspen Ladd (4-0)
  • Flyweight: Andrea Lee (4-2) vs. Jenny Liou (6-4)
  • Flyweight: Heather Hardy (0-0) vs. Brieta Carpenter (0-0)
  • Strawweight: Amy Montenegro (7-2) vs. Celine Haga (10-13)
  • Flyweight: Rachael Ostovich (3-2) vs. Christina Ferea (0-0)

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