A cancer survivor who diagnosed her own illness – then beat it.

A deputy sheriff who lays her life on the line every working day.

An animal-lover who turned her home for abandoned and mistreated dogs.

Every fight has its own story – but few are as compelling as those which will write their next chapters under the watchful eye of former women’s UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate at INVICTA FC 44 this Friday, August 27.

Tate, one of the most accomplished female fighters in history, will be lead commentator for a pay-per-view event at which two new Invicta FC queens will be crowned: Danielle Taylor faces Emily Ducote for the vacant strawweight championship, while Lisa Verzosa collides with Taneisha Tennant for the vacant bantamweight belt.

“I’m very excited about this card. These women are so fun to watch but, even more than that, I love learning about them. The more I dive into the stories on this card, the more excited I am to be a part of it. These aren’t just fighters, they’re superwomen,” said Tate.

Taylor, a five-fight UFC veteran, is a full-time Deputy Sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. With three wins by way of knockout, she is extraordinarily powerful for her weight and her heavy hands are a threat for any fighter who chooses to stand with her.

Ducote, mother to a growing pack of rescued dogs who all accompany her to the gym every day, is a BJJ brown belt who combines prowess on the ground with the kicking game of a Taekwondo black belt.

Tate said: “Emily Ducote has got a deadly ground game and moves really well on her feet. She’s a high-level technician in all areas and she’s also very tough. Danielle Taylor is a UFC veteran, she’s got that high-level experience combined with crazy athleticism and a killer right hand.”

“So it’s a contrast between one fighter who is this incredible technician with a brilliant mind for the game and another fighter who is just an absolute powerhouse, exceptionally strong for the division. That’s going to be a hell of a fight.”

When it comes to the bantamweight fighters, Tate finds herself awestruck by Tennant’s self-steered journey from trainee nurse to cancer patient and, eventually, cancer survivor.

“Mental strength is a huge part of fighting. Taneisha Tennant was only 23 when she realized the disease she was studying was actually present in her own body. She went through an incredible ordeal, a year of chemotherapy. Surviving gave her a different outlook on life,” says Tate.

“I don’t know how you quantify that type of adversity but she’s been through something most people can’t even imagine and that makes a for a strong mind. That’s important – the mind guides the body, the body follows the mind. You know she’s not going to crack under pressure.

“Then you look at Lisa: she’s 5-1 in Invicta, she’s a BJJ purple belt. That means a lot in my eyes. Neither of those things are easy and so again, you’re looking at someone with a strong mind. She’s highly technical but she’s also coming for blood: she wants to be the best, she wants to be a champion.

“I think this one will be a battle of wills, but there’s no quit in either of them. The winner will be the one who wants it the most. That’s when you get the best fights. I expect this to be a good one.”

INVICTA 44: A NEW ERA takes place this Friday, August 27 in Kansas City, Kansas

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