There’s something to be said for a new promotion and their first show. Most times it seems like the people behind the show hit it out of the park, but then upon closer inspection lots of issues pop up. That wasn’t the case at all with Invicta Fighting Championships.
Maybe it was because the President Shannon Knapp and head of PR Mike Afromowitz used to work for Strikeforce before the merger, maybe it was because the fighters put it all on the line, or maybe it was because the concept to set themselves apart by having an all women’s card was the reasoning. No matter what ingredient one puts into the mix, it all worked and Invicta Fighting Championships delivered on Saturday, April 28th.
Hailing from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS, the show had the look and feel of a big time show, just in a smaller venue. While Memorial Hall has been featured on HDNet for Titan Fighting Championship and M-1 Fights, the size was considerably smaller than what appears on tv. The auditorium can play home to 3,500 fans, but that number wasn’t reached; a sad statement for what was quality mma that night.
However the fans that were in attendance, they knew what was going on. Surprisingly fight after fight, the fans had their favorites to root and cheer for. When Randi Miller came back from the beating she was receiving from Mollie Ashlers-Estes to win in the third round, the crowd went crazy. The audience continued to cheer when fighters like Amy Davis and Sarah Schneider locked on submissions and forced their opponents to tap. Even when Leslie Smith and Kaitlin Young finished a hard fought fifteen minutes in one of the most exciting fights of the night the crowd was not unhappy with the judges’s scorecards reading a draw.
Surprising even Marloes Coenen, the crowd erupted when she made her way to the cage. Even when asked directly about the fans support, she acknowledged that it was better in Kansas City than it was when she fought in Chicago.
The night couldn’t seem to go any better for everyone involved at Invicta, when the preliminary numbers came in for the live stream. Over 100,000 fans tuned in to the live stream to watch the inaugural event which likely far exceeded any goals Invicta had.
While the show had a big show feel to it, there were several things that did remind one that it was an upstart show. The number of media outlets in attendance at what was a special night was rather lackluster. Even with Afromowitz as head of the public relations, someone many members of the media built a relationship with while he was at Strikeforce, the number of media was not what I had expected.
Overall Invicta set the bar pretty high for themselves for their next show. During the broadcast they announced it would be taking place at the end of July, and several of the fighters who competed on Saturday night have already expressed their wishes to fight for the organization again.
Tags: Amy Davis, Ashleigh Curry, Ashley Cummins, Cassie Rodish, invicta FC, Jessica Penne, Kaitlin Young, kansas, kansas city, Leslie Smith, Lisa Ellis, Liz Carmuche, Marloes Coenen, Meghan Wright, Micdali Calanoc, Michele Gutierrez, Mollie Estes, Randi Miller, Romy Russen, Sally Krumdiack, Sarah Maloy, Sarah Schneider, Shara D'Alelio, Sofia Bagherdai, Vanessa Mariscal
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