Shannon Knapp – This Is Where We Make A Statement That We Are Legit

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Interviews

Invicta Fighting Championships Logo

Invicta Fighting Championships Logo

Invicta FC will be putting on their third show this weekend and it will be headlined by Jessica Pene taking on Naho Sugiyama for the first Invicta FC World Title. Shannon Knapp, CEO of Invicta, took time out of her busy day to talk to us about the upcoming show and how the issues that Invicta is running into aren’t that different than other organizations.

This is the dreaded third event. What’s your thoughts on that?
Everyone says its dreaded, I say its awesome. I say yay. Do you know how many promotions have not even made it to the third event. Look at Affliction, Pro Elite came back and did two more. There’s a lot of promotions that don’t make it to that third show. This is where we make a statement that we are legit and that we are here to stay.

Third event, we are crowning the first title.
Yeah this is history in the making for us. We are excited.

There’s been a few injuries that have happened to this card. How difficult has it been to fill the spots? Sometimes it seems easy and sometimes hard. Being that you are the largest women’s mma promotion, you must have women saying they want to fight for you all the time.
I think it is equally hard and easy as it is for anyone. Especially when someone like Elaina Maxwell got injured. Yeah there are 145lb athletes out there but are they close enough to make weight, are they training, there’s all these other things that people tend to forget. So sometimes it is a real struggle and sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes to get that same quality replacement it isn’t that easy.

That’s a fair statement. I look at the card with the changes and it still is a great card. It didn’t downgrade at all.
We are just blessed. There’s still a lot less female athletes than men. We struggled a bit to find a replacement to fight Julia Budd. If someone would have gotten injured between other fights we don’t know what would have happened. It is different if it is a girl who is making a pro debut or only has a couple of fights.

One of the other big things is that you have had fighters who fought for Strikeforce and Bellator before fighting for you. What’s the motivation for sharing instead of just saying these are mine?
The reason we came into this space is to provide opportunities and build a platform that creates and build depth in each weight division. The only way to do that is to cooperate with everyone who has female athletes and is a reputable organization. Depth by definition, there are a ton of female athletes until you get into that upper echelon. Unless we open up and be willing to share and break down the barriers we won’t be able to help make it grow.

Do you think it is a fair statement to say that Invicta could have the best female athletes for some divisions, but in others the UFC or Strikeforce would have the best?
It could be. I think it all comes down to what the athlete aspires to as well. It always sounds like rainbows, butterflies, and world peace. But you really want an organization where they want to fight for you. If you are in the business to build dreams, you cannot be in the business to smash them. Rhonda is sitting at the top of the hill and there are a lot of female athletes who want a shot at her. I am not going to stop them if that’s what they want. So sharing talent and being open for them to move over. To me it isn’t a statement that they are better than we are, or that they offer more. It’s just a personal choice.

There was a lot of talk about the streaming issues from the last show. I don’t know what it was because I was there live. I don’t need to know the numbers, but they have been big enough to cause problems. Have things been upgraded for this event?
They better be. We have upgraded and put some things in place. Example was last time it crashed because we had so many concurrent connections at once. So this time we also have a pre-show to make a smoother transition. Stuff like that. My streaming guy assures me that we won’t have that problem. I am only as good as my streaming guy.

Looking ahead, when can we expect more titles to be fought for?
I am going to go out on a limb and say this. I’m going to say that we are going to crown at least two champions on our next show. By the end of 2013 we will have a champion in every weight class.

Make sure you check out Invicta FC on Saturday, October 6 streaming live at www.invictafc.com

Tags: , , ,