Invicta FC 30’s Felicia Spencer on the State of the Featherweight Division

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Felicia Spencer, Invicta FC
Felicia Spencer. Credit: Scott Hirano, Invicta FC

With dreams of making the UFC, Felicia Spencer returns to action Saturday at Invicta FC 30, where this promising featherweight is looking for a statement finish.

Invicta FC featherweight Felica Spencer returns to action this weekend, putting her perfect 4-0 record on the line against Helena ‘Pretty’ Kolesnyk at Invicta FC 30. The bout comes at a key time for the featherweight division: the Invicta 145lb title has been vacant for a year. The UFC is finally investing (maybe) in women’s featherweight, and over at Bellator, 145lb women’s champ Julia Budd just defended her title for the second time.

Change is in the air, in other words. And though Spencer is young in the sport, she’s brimming with potential. We spoke to the ‘Feenom’ ahead of this Saturday’s bout in Kansas City, where she’ll make her fifth appearance for Invicta FC.

When it comes to the title picture, “nothing really specific” has been said on the matter, Spencer told us. Previous champ Cris Cyborg jumped to the UFC; interim champ Megan Anderson (who was promoted to Invicta’s undisputed featherweight champ) soon followed. Yet as a rising undefeated star, with another win or two, you’d have to imagine Spencer will be in the running. “It’s kind of on the horizon,” she allowed. “I understand my record isn’t as long as what a typical champ would have had. I’m only five fights in. I’m also not stressing it.”

In short, Spencer recognizes that there’s plenty of time, and with that, hopefully a title shot or opportunity to step up to the UFC will come. Meanwhile, she’s “excited for whatever comes up next.”

“I think a lot of bantamweights have been cutting a lot of weight. Maybe it’s good that some of them are going up.”

The UFC possibility seems more likely than ever before, given the addition of women’s featherweight to The Ultimate Figther 28, possibly the final season of the show. Yet criticism of the show’s casting has been pointed: veterans like Pam Sorenson didn’t make it. A number of fighters better known as bantamweights did.

“You can draw a lot of different conclusions, good or bad from that,” Spencer told us on the TUF 28 topic. “I think a lot of bantamweights have been cutting a lot of weight. Maybe it’s good that some of them are going up. It’s not necessarily a bad thing,” she continued. “They might actually fight better. We just saw DC come up in weight, and he felt more comfortable at that weight.”

The other possibility is that “maybe [the UFC] are just looking to sign them directly,” Spencer suggested. She’s certainly hoping that’s the case, as she opted not to try out for the show. Her thinking was that, if she were able to get some fights in while the show was filming, “my record could get built up a little bit, then I could just get my shot without having to go through the whole show drama and everything like that, that I’m not that interested in.”

Time will tell, though there’s a “sky’s the limit” feeling about the bright young prospect. First, however, there’s Helena Kolesnyk to contend with. On how she sees the pairing, Spencer said that “I think I match up really well. I do expect the best version of Helena to show up, and I’m not looking at her last appearance to give the whole picture.” Kolesnyk’s last fight came at Invicta FC 24, where she lost to the aforementioned Sorenson. It was Kolesnyk’s first loss as a pro. “I didn’t know of her before, but I also know that she is a tough fighter. She was 5-0 for a reason.”

Spencer admits that her upcoming foe is well rounded. Yet she feels that “everything that she does, I can meet or do better.” The key to success will be to “work my game plan, and not let her work hers.”

“I feel really excited to either keep it standing, or take it to the ground,” she told us. “I feel like where ever I see an opening, I can capitalize on it. And show something hopefully exciting in the process.”

Expecting to finish in the first round, Felicia Spencer is looking to make a statement. “I always want to make a statement,” she said. “Winning is great, a decision is great, but it’s not really what I want. It’s not what fans want to see all the time, even if they are exciting. It’s always better to finish. I always want to be in and out of the cage as fast as I can.”

“I feel like I can get the first round finish this time,” she continued. “And hopefully do it in a really exciting way to bring more eyes to the division, and to myself, to prop myself up a little bit.”

And were the call to the UFC to come before an Invicta title shot? Spencer was a little torn. “The title’s always awesome, but also, you’re heard it, it’s every fighter’s dream to be in the UFC at some point,” she confessed. “I feel like it’ll be there eventually. I’m not really sure.”

“If it was offered to go into the UFC, that’d be awesome. But I’m not really expecting either of those things to happen after this next fight,” the ‘Feenom’ said. “I’m just hoping to see what comes, and I’m excited just to be 5-0 hopefully.”

Catch our full interview with Invicta FC 30’s Felicia Spencer above, where we also cover her career as a math teacher, more on the featherweight division, and her goal for the remainder of the year! Invicta FC 30 takes place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, MO on July 21. The card airs exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

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