Shannon Knapp talks Invicta FC 6 “Cyborg vs. Coenen 2”


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MMA DIRT’s Darren Barcomb got together with Invicta FC Co-Founder and President Shannon Knapp today and discussed the upcoming fight card for Invicta FC 6, the beginnings of the promotion, and the future that she envisions. Knapp is no stranger to the fight game; over the past 13 years she worked for the UFC, IFL, Strikeforce, King of the Cage, and World Fighting Alliance, and she is very dedicated to the success of her brain-child, Invicta FC. Knapp stated that she’s gotten the opportunity to do what she loves and we here at MMA DIRT certainly love what she has done. Read below as MMA DIRT gets the scoop from Knapp and get ready for a night of excitement at Invicta FC 6…..

On how Invicta FC came to be:

“It all started pretty much when I was the matchmaker at Strikeforce. With the UFC acquisition, there was a lot of panic with the female athletes because everyone was under the assumption that the UFC wouldn’t allow female fighters, so yea panic set in and because I was one of the matchmakers at Strikeforce, they started calling me. I took the time to reflect on what I was going to do, and started to look at the landscape for the female athletes. There comes a point when you start to get a little burnt out and think if you build it, it gets sold; if you build it, it goes bankrupt. Then when I quickly identified what was going on with the female athletes, I realized that this was a fight where I could get in there and fight. I could defiantly identify with the needs of the female athletes. So that’s where it all started, then of course my business partner at the time (Janet Martin) and I went to dinner, came up with a name, put the fight card together; and when we came out, we came out swinging. We’re not just a company, we’re an all female company. We said we have a 14 fight card on this date at this location and I think that made a statement. I think a lot of people come out and say they’re going to start a new promotion and then you wait. We came out strong with “we are here”.”

On Invicta FC’s broadcasting:

“We’re working on some other things. Were just not sure if we’re going to be able to get those going by the July 13th show. When we came out in 2012, the first show, we decided that we’d give the product away for free and let everybody have the opportunity to see it. These are amazing athletes, they’re not just females, they are great athletes. So, in 2012 it was all free programming, and then in 2013, we started trying to monetize it. It was supposed to be PPV in January, and we crashed all the pay servers at USTREAM. So, we tried and were unsuccessful, and we gave it away for free again. So our last fight (Invicta FC 5) was the first USTREAM event that actually worked, and we were successful in breaking their viewership record. You figure out what you did wrong, and then what you need to do better.”

 

On the Invicta FC 6 Fight Card:

“This fight card is probably going to be one of my favorites. I always wanted to see a rematch between Coenen and Cris Cyborg, which is our main event on this card. This is the one rematch out of all the fights out there, without gender bias, that I’ve always wanted to see. I couldn’t be more excited about that one. We did have an injury that we just announced today with Carla Esparza that was our co-main event, so we are maneuvering within the card, so we’ve moved Claudia Gadelha to go up against Ayaka Hamasaki. This card is stacked top to bottom. As I look at it, there’s not a fight on here that I don’t thinks not going to 100% deliver.”

On the future of Invicta FC:

“I definitely think that at some point we will venture outside of Kansas City. The biggest thing is that working for all of those other promotions, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work, where people have failed, or could have done something different, or better. One of things that I have noticed is that when people are starting to build a foundation and create a brand name, you start incurring a lot of costs that really aren’t necessary in the first steps of the business. So, that’s what’s kept us here in the mid-west, having a very solid foundation to build upon before we start moving the show around. Let’s face it; we picked the hardest thing in this sport at that moment in time. The girls weren’t in the UFC at that time and Strikeforce got bought out. There was all kinds of stuff going on and we said ok, we’re coming in here to make a difference. With that being said, we knew that we were not going to make money and that we were going to have to invest money. Any smart business person tries to minimize those losses and one of those being that if you stay put, and you continue to build your brand, you know what your costs are going to be. Then you’re able to start looking at where you can start shaving and cutting and making differences that really don’t impact the presentation of your product.”

 

Invicta FC 6 is set to rock the house on July 13th at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, MO.

The fight Card:

Main Card (Online PPV, 10 PM ET)

Marloes Coenen vs. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (For inaugural featherweight title)

Claudia Gadelha vs. Ayaka Hamasaki

Sarah D’alelio vs. Lauren Taylor

Jennifer Maia vs. Leslie Smith

Jessica Penne vs. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc

Joanne Calderwood vs. TBA

Julia Budd vs. Ediane Gomes

Bec Hyatt vs. Mizuki Inoue

Miriam Nakamoto vs. Duda Yankovich

Preliminary Card (Online PPV, 8 PM ET)

Rose Namajunas vs. Tecia Torres

Ashley Cummins vs. Emily Kagan

Mollie Estes vs. Veronica Rothenhausler

Cassie Robb vs. Liva Von Plettenberg

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