Jillian DeCoursey (L) vs. Jessica Delboni (Dave Mandel/Invicta FC)

Invicta FC 53: DeCoursey vs. Dos Santos Preview and Predictions

On Wednesday, May 3, Invicta FC returns to action with Invicta FC 53: DeCoursey vs. Dos Santos. The headlining affair will be an atomweight title fight between champion Jillian DeCoursey and challenger Rayanne dos Santos. The 38-year-old titleholder will look to defend her belt for the first time after picking it up in her last bout when she submitted Jessica Delboni. This is dos Santos’s second appearance in Invicta FC, after notching a unanimous decision victory in her debut. She looks to claim gold in her twentieth professional fight at just 27 years old.

The co-main event is a bantamweight showdown between Olga Rubin and Claire Guthrie. Rubin comes into the clash off a victory over Serena DeJesus at Invicta FC 51 and looks to improve her winning percentage with Invicta above .500. Her opponent, Claire Guthrie, hasn’t lost a professional contest since her second pro bout, and she holds a previous win over UFC veteran Juliana Miller.

Also on the main card is former UFC fighter Danielle Taylor. She has struggled as of late, faltering in her last three bouts. She takes on recent title challenger Jessica Delboni with the fate of her career perhaps hanging in the balance. Delboni will look to improve her record to 13-4 and stake her claim at another crack at the atomweight belt.


The event airs live from Reelworks Denver in Denver, Colo. on AXS TV and YouTube starting at 8:30 p.m. ET. Let’s take a look at the preview and predictions.

Jillian DeCoursey claimed the atomweight title in her last fight; does the champion make a successful first defense against Rayanne dos Santos?

Yes, but it won’t be an easy task. DeCoursey is taking on a much younger, yet more experienced, fighter in her first attempt at defending the atomweight belt she claimed back at Invicta FC 49. DeCoursey is a very well-rounded fighter, but she will find her success by keeping this fight on the feet. Dos Santos has notched eight of her 13 wins by submission and only two by knockout. The Brazilian challenger will look to turn this into a grappling match early and often. That is where DeCoursey will be able to capitalize. Expect a sprawl-and-brawl style from DeCoursey, catching dos Santos as she changes levels and as the two fighters break from the clinch.

With all that being said, the future is bright for dos Santos. She is just 27 years old and already has 19 professional fights. While she may come up short this week, this is not the last time she will challenge for the atomweight title. I don’t think it is going out on a limb to say that, before she leaves the promotion, she will wear gold. At five-feet-two-inches tall, dos Santos might end up being slightly undersized for the strawweight division, but, should she decide to make the move up in weight class, she could have a future in the UFC.

Olga Rubin has split her fights since joining Invicta; does she get a win to improve her promotional record to 2-1?

No, she does not, but that’s because I think very highly of her opponent Claire Guthrie. Guthrie has notched back-to-back wins since rejoining Invicta FC after losing to Juliana Miller on The Ultimate Fighter 30. Miller is a fighter who she previously defeated in Invicta FC back in 2021. This is a step-up for Guthrie in terms of experience, as Rubin has 11 pro fights, whereas her last three opponents had a combined record of 7-2 at the time of their fights.

The younger fighter, Guthrie, will successfully handle the veteran wherever the fight takes place. She will be able to outpoint Rubin on the feet with her superior speed, and then, if it gets into the grappling realm, Guthrie will find herself controlling the positional battle. This one will go the distance, but the scorecards won’t be close with Guthrie getting the clean sweep on the scorecards across the board.

Danielle Taylor has lost three fights in a row; can she pick up her first win since 2020?

Probably not. Not only has she lost three straight fights, but she stands a mere 2-6 over her last eight bouts. Being back at atomweight should have been what she needed to change her career trajectory, because she was undersized at strawweight, but it hasn’t really helped. She does have some pop in her hands, but her striking has shown that it is a notch or two below elite. Jessica Delboni comes into this fight on the heels of a title loss to this week’s headliner Jillian DeCoursey, and she is going to want badly to get that sour taste out of her mouth. I expect her to come out and be sharper than Taylor from the outset and kind of pick her apart for the entire 15 minutes.

Which fight is the sleeper match-up on this card?

Elisandra Ferreira vs. Flor Hernandez. Ferreira picked up a split-decision victory in her Invicta FC debut to improve her overall record to 5-2. She faces a tough test in her sophomore outing in newcomer Flor Hernandez. Hernandez is an unbeaten upstart who made her debut just over 12 months ago. She is making her fifth pro walk in just less than 15 months and already has TKO and submission victories. Keep an eye on Hernandez as she begins to make her way up the ladder in the atomweight division.

Fight Pick
Main Card (AXS TV/Invicta FC YouTube page, 8:30 p.m. ET)
AtomW Championship: Jillian DeCoursey (-175) vs. Rayanne dos Santos (+145) DeCoursey
BW: Olga Rubin (+165) vs. Claire Guthrie (-210) Rubin
StrawW: Jessica Delboni (-500) vs. Danielle Taylor (+350) Delboni
AtomW: Monique Adriane (-230) vs. Nicole Geraldo (+180) Geraldo
FlyW: Liana Pirosin (-200) vs. Elise Pone (+160) Pick
AtomW: Elisandra Ferreira (-180) vs. Flor Hernandez (+150) Hernandez
FlyW: Ky Bennett (+110) vs. Kendal Holowell (-140) Bennett