With so many adjustments to fight cards these days, fighters need to be ready to fight sooner than they are used to. And for Invicta FC atomweight, Alesha “Half Pint” Zapitella (7-2), two weeks was timeframe she had to wait from her last fight in July letting her know that she would be the main event of Invicta FC 42 fighting for the vacant atomweight title against Ashley Cummins (7-5). “This is my second time fighting since the whole shut down,” said Zapitella. “I’m so excited that Invicta has chosen me to be on two of these cards already.”
This is Zapitella’s first shot at the title and Cummins’ second. And interestingly enough, Zapitella was on the same card where Cummins’ fell short at her first attempt at the title losing in a split decision to then champion Jinh Yu Frey at Invicta FC 39 in February. “I think Ashley was definitely on my radar,” explained Zapitella. “I’ve been wanting to fight for the title for a while and it was in the talks of Ashley and me to fight as a title contention fight. But since Jinh moved up to 115 in June to the UFC, I actually ended up fighting Lindsay VanZandt for the contention fight and now I’m fighting Ashley Cummins for the title fight.”
After rebounding from the first two losses in her career to end off 2019, Zapitella feels confident that she has all the tools needed to beat Cummins next Thursday night to become the new atomweight champion. “I was on a five-fight winning streak, and last year I had two hard loses and it made me reevaluate everything,” said Zapitella. “My life, my team, and just approach fighting at different angles. It made me find the love for fighting again.”
That newfound love along with being able to watch Cummins’ last fight live may be just what Zapitella needs to be successful in the fight. “I do not normally watch and study my opponents at all,” said Zapitella. “I watch a couple of fights and let my coaches do the rest but like I said , I watched Ashley Cummins fight in person and I was able to evaluate that fight and what I thought of it. I saw a lot of areas that I will be able to expose weaknesses in Ashley Cummins’ game.”
This will be Zapitella’s sixth fight under the Invicta FC banner, and all of those fights have ended in a decision both good and bad for her. For this twenty-year wrestling veteran, Zapitella wants this fight to be the one that is not left in the judge’s hands but in her own. “I want to go out go and have such a dominant performance for people that hate watching wrestlers fight and for the fans that love wrestling and love the sport because of how dominating it is and how fun I can make it,” said Zapitella. “I want to go out and show the person that I am and show twenty years of work coming into fruition all in one.”
Alesha Zapitella and Ashley Cummins will face off in the main event of Invicta FC 42: Cummins vs. Zapitella on Thursday, September 17th live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 8pm CT.
Photo credit: Dave Mandel/Invicta FC.