Invicta 2 was a huge success for Women’s MMA, not only did it’s numbers surpass the first Invicta, but the fights delivered. The event took place in Kansas City on July 28th. With all but four of the matches resulting in finishes, Invicta 2 resulted in an eventful night of fights. CEO Shannon Knapp joined us on MMA Fight Corner to talk about the show’s success and what the future holds for Invicta 3 and women’s MMA.
Though the CEO wouldn’t reveal the numbers, we were able to determine they were less than 600,000, but more than 300,000. Invicta 1 did about 237,000 views. Knapp tweeted this week that she had no plans of releasing the numbers to the public.
“One of the biggest things that I found unsettling with all it was immediately after those fights, you know, was that the topic immediately changed to those numbers,” Knapp said. Though she admitted that Invicta 2 did surpass what Invicta 1 did in numbers, she wanted the focus to stay on the fighters, and not the numbers. “I didn’t want to give those numbers because I didn’t want that to become the focus…I really wanted the focus to stay where it needed to stay.”
It’s probably taken longer than it should have for Women’s MMA to finally have a proper organization to compete in, complete with weight classes that they are used to competing in. Invicta 2 received press it deserves and it’s no doubt people are taking notice of the event. However, Knapp said she has no intention of running to get a TV deal to air the fights unless it’s done the right way.
“Until we get an alignment with a broadcast partner, and we do get a partnership with someone that has the same vision we do, and shares the same focused goals in how we want to represent these female athletes, we’ll just keep dreaming,” she said. “We’re successful at it. Our numbers are peaking all the time. Who knows? Heck, we might have had better numbers had we not had that trouble in the beginning with the streaming issues.”
Knapp’s keen sense for business and how to run an MMA event of such a massive scale, may be credited to her Ivy League education, or her experience with the IFL and Strikeforce, or maybe’s it’s from working with Dana White, who gave her her first job in MMA. Shannon said of the UFC President and his congratulatory words in recent interviews with the media that the two of them have a very “mutual respect for each other.” She added, “He’s a good guy. He’s always out there doing the best that he can to get support. I know a lot of people disagree with what he has to say about the females, but that being said, he’s still trying.”
Knapp also credited most of what she’s learned to Dana White and explained that he was her mentor and the one who showed her the ropes. Additionally, she believes Dana could bring women into the UFC eventually. But for now, she realizes that the women still need Invicta to grow. Without an organization like Invicta, how can we expect women to get to the same level as men if they don’t have somewhere to develop?
In a similar move to what White’s recently done with the UFC on FOX card, Shannon announced that she would also hold a title eliminator at bantamweight to determine who will fight Sara McMann for the title while McMann recovers from an injury suffered in her unanimous decision win over Shayna Baszler. Knapp added that McMann had an injury she was recovering from coming into Invicta 2 and said some extra time off can’t hurt.
Invicta 3 is expected to happen in October. Originally, it was announced that she would hold a bantamweight title fight. “What we may look to do is match up several of those females at that weight on the October card and see who shines the brightest for the run at Sara in January,” Knapp declared.
After MMA Fight Corner pointed out one of the judges score cards in the McMann-Baszler fight reflected a 30-27 with Shannon, she came up with an idea to make fans of Baszler happy. Right now, it seems she’s working on giving Shayna Baszler a fight against another woman that won on the Invicta 2 card. “How about this, you know, hypothetically…What if I put Baszler against somebody else to vie for that shot to go against Sara for the championship?” The panel agreed that sounded like a great idea.
Invicta 3 should bring the same caliber of talent that we’ve come used to. It most likely will take place in Kansas City, Kansas again.