It was a major move for Shannon Knapp as her creation InvictaFC was sold to Anthem Sports and Entertainment.
Knapp told us in a phone interview she didn’t come into this decision lightly. Her biggest priority was seeing her athletes get a bigger stage. After a lot of research and negotiation, signing with Anthem was the best possible deal for all involved.
Anthem itself partly owns AXS-TV – Invicta’s new broadcast home. AEG, which is known for it’s event venues and live event productions is also a partner in AXS-TV as is billionaire Mark Cuban.
While Invicta is under the Anthem umbrella, the fans will be getting more of what they have come to love.
Knapp, who will retain her title as President of InvictaFC, is expecting at least a card a month, with more shows on the way including the return of the Phoenix series. A June card is already in the works after their AXS TV debut May 21. She also stated the card will be available on InvictaFC’s social media platforms and on the Fight Network in Canada. This will more than triple their viewing audience and give more countries access to their cards.
Also coming soon will be a docu-series as the company has partnered with award winning documentary filmmakers.
This on top of the upcoming Halle Berry movie “Bruised”, which featured Invicta heavily. Netflix has yet to announce an official release date but will happen in the next few months.
When the May 21 card does go down, you will hear the familiar voices of Julie Kedzie and TJ DeSantis behind the commentary desk. The card itself will feature two title bouts.
The main event features Karina Rodriguez taking on Daiana Torquato for the vacant flyweight title. (Previous champion Vanessa Porto vacated the belt before heading to Bellator).
The co-main event will feature Atomweight champ Alesha Zappitella defend her title against Jéssica Delboni.
Emily Ducote was in line for a strawweight title shot this past November but her opponent Montserrat Ruiz signed to the UFC. Knapp told us Ducote wanted to stay busy and with Liz Tracey dropping to strawweight, the match will be a barn burner and the winner will be in line for a title shot at 115.
When asked when we can expect to see crowds back, Knapp told us they are taking it day to day. They will stay in Kansas City for the time being but with Anthem’s connections though AEG in terms of sports venues, we won’t be surprised if Invicta will be back doing shows across the country once things open up.
While things are looking up now, many have been skeptical about the promotion as more and more of its talents are signing to other promotions. This is nothing new to Invicta as it is no coincidence the Phoenix is its symbol. Knapp has already been signing athletes to refill the roster, but was awaiting the deal to be done before any major signings were announced.
When asked about expansion in other combat sports, Knapp stated that would be a long term goal moving forward. She has always wanted to branch out into the women’s divisions of boxing to bring it similar success they have received from mma.
As much as things will stay status quo for the short term, the growth of Invicta should be meteoric in the coming year.