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Road to Invicta FC 2: Barb Honchak vs. Bethany Marshall

The seven day countdown for Invicta FC 2 has officially begun which means that in just one week from today the ladies of MMA will prove once again that they can tear the roof off of any arena in the country with just as much ass-kicking force, if not more, than the men. This also means that I still have seven fights left to breakdown and that includes today’s analysis of the bout between Barb Honchak and Bethany Marshall.

Both of these flyweights are entering this match-up with a pretty significant amount of momentum. Honchak has won her last four fights and Marshall has yet to taste defeat in her professional career. One of these girls will continue to climb the ladder to the top of the division while the other will take a step down.

Barb Honchak (MMA Record: 5-2, Invicta FC Record: 0-0)

Who she is: Honchak is ranked third in the world for her division and with good reason. A product of the Miletich Fighting Systems, Honchak is riding a four-fight winning streak with significant victories over Felice Herrig and Roxanne Modafferi. She is dedicating this fight with Marshall to her close friend Ryan Stolcis who recently lost his battle with cancer.

Her Strengths: Well-rounded

Her Weaknesses: The only thing I can think of that might be a weakness for her heading into this fight would be her emotions. As I mentioned, she is dedicating this fight to a fallen friend and that might cause her to compete with more emotion than normal. However, this could also make her that much more effective as well. Other than that, Honchak does a very solid job of hiding her weaknesses.

Keys to victory: Honchak has the ability to hang with her opponent in all aspects of the game but it would be wise for her to avoid staying on the ground with Marshall for an extended period of time. Honchak is a solid grappler but Marshall’s submissions are not to be overlooked. Honchak should look to control the standup realm and mess Marshall up in the clinch.

Bethany Marshall (MMA Record: 4-0, Invicta FC Record: 0-0)

Who she is: Marshall has been pursuing and training in MMA since she was 16 years old. Training under Nick White and Giovanni Lemm at Modern American MMA in Yorktown VA, Marshall is now 24 years old and undefeated as a professional with three submission wins under her belt. She is also pretty damn good looking.

Her strengths: Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Her weaknesses: Considering she has yet to lose a fight, her weaknesses are not easy to compile. With any young fighter though there are always holes and a fighter the caliber of Honchak could certainly bring them out in the open.

Keys to victory: Marshall has a very difficult task in front of her. She is competing against a top ranked fighter that has never been finished in her career and a fighter that doesn’t seem to have any evident weak spots in her game. However, nothing is impossible in this sport and Marshall has all of the talent and ability in the world to pull it off. She will have to be the aggressor and not give Honchak any opportunity to impose her will. The second Honchak starts finding her rhythm, the harder it will be for Marshall to be effective. Ideally though, Marshall’s best chance at success would be bringing the fight to the ground and looking to set up her fourth consecutive submission.

The Final Verdict:

This is certainly an interesting pairing between a top contender and a young prospect. Honchak has made a lot of adjustments prior to this fight and whether or not those changes were for the best remains to be seen. She was on fire in 2011 with four straight wins but this will be her first fight since October of last year.

Marshall hasn’t exactly been super active either considering her last fight was a little over a year ago as well. The time away makes this matchup difficult to predict because a lot can change for a fighter in a year but the smart pick is Honchak. She should be able to get the better of the younger Marshall anywhere the fight ends up and put the first loss on her record.

Marshall has all the makings of a future champion but at this time I don’t see her overcoming a high caliber flyweight such as Honchak.

Barb Honchak def Bethany Marshall via Unanimous Decision