GAMMA World Gold medallist, Zoe Nowicki, earned a clear unanimous decision victory at Invicta Fighting Championships 55 in Kansas City on Friday, in her professional debut. Her win came against another amateur MMA world champion and multi-medallist, Josiane Oliveira of Brazil, also competing for her first time at pro.

Nowicki was one of two GAMMA USA athletes to be making their professional debuts at Invicta FC ahead of travelling down to Argentina this week to compete in the 2024 GAMMA Pan American Championships, from 5 to 7 July, with national team coach James David Gray in their corner.

Teammate Fallon Johnson was less fortunate, losing by TKO (punches) to solid opposition in Violeta Mendoza, who has accrued notable experience on the international amateur circuit.

Nowicki and Johnson both form part of an impressive USA team line-up that includes GAMMA and World Combat Games medallists, national wrestling champions and team representatives, and Olympic contenders.

Nowicki, herself, holds a string of accolades. In wrestling, these include two-time NCAA and WCWA Women’s National Champion, five-time NCAA/WCWA Women’s Wrestling All-American and U.S. Open Wrestling All-American. She has represented her nation twice in the discipline as U23 National Team Member and was a 2021 Olympic Team Trials Qualifier. With a 7-0 amateur record in MMA and the title of Lights Out Amateur Flyweight Champion, Nowicki is now professionally contracted to Invicta FC.

We spoke with Nowicki fresh off her professional victory in the run up to the GAMMA Pan Ams.

“I am feeling ecstatic and confident after my professional debut for Invicta. Trusting my stand-up game against a high-level striker was something I needed. I proved to myself that I am a well-rounded fighter, who will continue to improve their game.”

Talking about the resonance of the Invicta result and what it means to her, the GAMMA World Champion told us: “This result means I have another fight under my belt. It was special in my heart because it was my professional debut. I gained so much experience through this fight and fight camp. I am already excited to evaluate the fight with my team, make adjustments and get back to work. I hope to fight again [at Invicta] around September.”

Intensified by the tight turnaround, we wondered how the experience will affect Nowicki’s approach to the upcoming Pan Ams.

“This does not change my approach to the Pan Ams too much. I am confident going in, as I was before. I feel GAMMA’s tournament style helps my nerves since it is similar to my background in wrestling. I feel having this fight for Invicta beforehand will make the Pan Ams seem even more fun.”

We’re impressed, though. How how did Nowicki train for the back-to-back events of Invicta FC followed by the Pan Ams?

“I have trained the same. Around a six-week camp for Invicta and just leading into the Pan Ams. I am staying sharp and keeping rested this week when we’ll be travelling to Argentina. Luckily, the wear I took in my fight for Invicta was minimal and I am able to compete at my best.”

So, what does this week look like in terms of training?

“Prep between the events looks like resting and doing light drills and pad work to keep a sweat rolling. Invicta was a high energy experience. I travelled to from Detroit to Kansas City, back to Detroit, and now I’m off to Argentina. Sleep, resting, stretching are my best friends. I have all the skills and I work very hard at my cardio on a very regular basis. I am ready for whatever the Pan Ams brings.”

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