Through three rounds at Invicta FC 35, Kelly D’Angelo was simply too much for ‘Lionheart’ Jillian DeCoursey.
Invicta FC 35 had a scheduled three atomweight contests Friday night in Kansas City, Kansas — more than any other weight class on the card. Of course, two of those atomweight fighters missing weight took a bit of a shine off, at a crucial time for the division. There’s a belief that atomweight could be the next weight class to be featured in the major promotions, either the UFC or Bellator. However, misses like the one by Kelly D’Angelo for Invicta FC 35 doesn’t help that case.
In any event, D’Angelo’s fight with Jillian DeCoursey remained on the card Friday. D’Angelo entered the night 3-2, and 1-1 under the Invicta FC banner. Last time out, she’d claimed a decision win over Lindsey VanZandt, in a fight VanZandt had actually been the favorite in.
DeCoursey, meanwhile, was 2-1, having spent the entirety of her pro career in Invicta FC. She had not competed in MMA since July of 2018, when she lost to Alesha Zappitella (coincidentally fighting in the co-main event of Invicta FC 35).
Jillian DeCoursey opened the bout on the outside, but soon had her back to the fence and ate a leg kick. D’Angelo was firing off combinations, using her reach advantage well. DeCoursey would respond with an overhand leading to a takedown attempt. She stayed on it, as D’Angelo scrambled and worked her way back up — but not before eating another blow for her troubles. Back on the feet, D’Angelo was picking her opponent apart, forcing another takedown by DeCoursey, who looked rocked at one point. After a bit of time on the ground by the fence, D’Angelo would make her way up, looking for control only for DeCoursey to reverse position. D’Angelo would fire off one last volley of strikes in the final thirty seconds of round one, before ‘Lionheart’ scored a final takedown.
Kelly D’Angelo opened the second firing once again, but DeCoursey shot in for a quick takedown. She was nearly swept by D’Angelo, but regained top position. However moments later they were stood up, perhaps a little too soon. That gave the edge back to D’Angelo. DeCoursey would find a home for her right hand as the pair traded; D’Angelo would fire a leg kick, and move in and out at angles.
Round three opened with an early takedown by DeCoursey, who had D’Angelo against the fence. D’Angelo fought her way up, eating a knee or two in the process, then throwing one of her own once she was up. DeCoursey continued to grind her opponent into the fence, only to be reversed and taken down herself. A scramble later, and D’Angelo had another takedown, and was well on her way to winning the fight. DeCoursey, however, would reverse in the final minute and look for a heel hook. A fence grab or three later, and D’Angelo was still alive, with DeCoursey switching to a toe-hold, but coming up short.
Kelly D’Angelo def. Jillian DeCoursey by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)