Invicta FC CEO Shannon Knapp announced on MMA Fight Corner Tuesday night that the promotion is leaping into the New Year with its fourth all-women’s fight card that will live stream from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS on January 5, 2013 as a pay-per-view event. The stacked 13-bout fight card features some ladies making their MMA debuts, some stone cold veterans who will look to rise to the top of their divisions, and a title fight that promises to be a battle of wills.
“As I look at the fight card right now, it’s pretty much stacked top to bottom again,” Knapp said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of fights on this card that are going to surprise a lot of people. I’m hoping we’re going to set a good average again with the finishes. Most of these girls are pretty hungry and they’re coming to fight. I think it’s going to be an amazing card once again.”
As Invicta moves into 2013, Knapp’s goals with the promotion are to build the brand, crown a champion in each weight division this year and allow the fans to see some title defenses as well.
Ideally she plans “to raise the bar, just to continue doing what we’ve been doing, but getting better and better at it. We’ve committed to building these divisions, we’re off to a really good start – just to keep moving forward and making it better, and finding ways to monetize it, to continue to put more money in the athlete’s pockets…moving forward and putting out the best fights that we can.”
In 2012, Invicta live streamed three fight cards for free. The first show received 233,580 views and its viewership has only gone up in the subsequent shows. However, Knapp has taken a stand and chooses not to release statistics or number of views that the promotion’s live streams have accrued any further. Releasing those numbers is something Knapp believes takes away from the women getting the focus they deserve.
“The focus became all about those numbers and it really took away from the biggest factor – that we put on an amazing show, that we had athletes that went out there and killed it. But, everything started tripping and falling backwards to these numbers.”
“I think the show itself is – we’re continuing to build that momentum. The momentum is continuing to build the awareness of the brand. I think those are the things that are important. I think the consistency, the performance of the athletes, the quality of the event, I think those are the things that are going to matter in the long run,” Knapp explained.
Additionally, Knapp revealed that Invicta was offered several different opportunities to sign on with a television broadcast partner. However, as of now, Knapp isn’t planning to chose one until she’s sure the channel is the right fit. While she continues to evaluate the offers, Invicta has decided to continue live streaming their shows, but as online pay-per-views.
“As we go into 2013…this next event is going to be pay-per-view,” Knapp stated. “In 2012, we went in and we gave our product away all year long, the shows that we did. We built the brand and now we’re in the process, we’ll start with the first [in 2013] which will be a pay-per-view. We’ll see how that goes. But we’re prepared to use the internet. I mean the internet has done what it has for us for now.
“I know that it’s not the conventional way of promoting, people think it’s always about the race, ‘Get that television deal. Get that.’ But you know what, the internet has been good to us too. So, I think that we just don’t want to get into that position where you’re making bad choices because you’re desperate, or because you think that’s the route. Because at the end of the day, if you put us on a station, or a channel, or something that’s not accessible by a lot of people, that really doesn’t help the athlete to monetize as well to put sponsorship dollars in their pockets. We just want to be conscious of everything moving forward.”
Knapp further explained that in the end, everything Invicta is doing isn’t just to put the promotion on the map, but she also wants to ensure that the women who fight for the promotion can make better lives for themselves as well.
“It’s a gamble and it has been since I sat down and formulated it. The first year out, we far exceeded any of the expectations that I had using it the way we did. You know, coming out and marketing it and doing it the way we did, we were very successful. This next year, now we move into phase two which is we look at the monetizing of the brand, and the product, and that kind of thing – you know, knock on wood – being blessed that it continues to grow, and just keep putting on a better product, and doing better things, and continuing to walk the walk and hopefully we get to where we want to go.”
At Invicta 3, Jessica Penne was crowned the first ever champion in the promotion’s history by submitting Naho Sugiyama. At Invicta 4, a champion will be named from its strawweight division. Undefeated Brazilian Claudia Gadelha (9-0) will battle Carla Esparza (8-2) for the title in the main event of a 13-bout fight card. Invicta FC 4 takes place on January 5, 2013 at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS. Tickets are on sale now. Currently, there is no information on how much the live stream will cost to view the fights. Visit InvictaFC.com for more details and announcements for the upcoming fight card.
Below are all 13 fights:
Carla Esparza vs Claudia Gadelha
Shayna Baszler vs Alexis Davis
Leslie Smith vs Raquel Pennington
Amanda Nunes vs Sarah D’Alelio
Ediane Gomes vs Hiroko Yamanaka
Joanne Calderwood vs Bec Hyatt
Preliminary Fight Card:
Stephanie Frausto vs Cassie Rodish
Tamikka Brents vs Amanda Bell
Liz McCarthy vs Jodie Esquibel
Emily Kagan vs Rose Namajunas
Tecia Torres vs Paige Van Zant
Katalina Malungahu vs Veronica Rothenhausler
Laura Marcusse vs Cassie Robb