Invicta FC is just months away from its sixth promotional fight card that features a battle for the Inaugural Invicta FC Featherweight Championship in a rematch three years in the making between Marloes Coenen and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. It’s also complete with Carla Esparza defending her strawweight title for the first time against Ayaka Hamasaki in the co-main event.
Considering that the promotion debuted its first fight card just a little over a year ago, it’s made leaps and bounds as an all-female MMA organization that offers various weight divisions for women to compete at and gives them a stage to shine. It’s CEO, Shannon Knapp, is a Brown University graduate who formerly worked as an executive with the UFC, Strikeforce, Affiliction, King of the Cage and more. She has been at the helm from Invicta’s inception navigating the progress of the organization and assuring that it’s directed onto the appropriate route.
Though Knapp wouldn’t disclose that a deal is in place, she did allude to a possible television deal being worked out in the coming months. With the Strikeforce promotion now dissolved, Showtime’s cable network is without an MMA promotion to air. Friday afternoon, Shannon Knapp said there is a possibility that Invicta may begin airing on Showtime on MMA Fight Corner.
“I love Showtime, I always have. I’ve worked with them with Strikeforce and I’ve worked with them with Afflicition. I can’t say enough positive things about them. Would we aspire to want to be there? Sure. I think that they’ve done amazing things and certainly have been big supporters with the females athletes on that side of the sport. So, I’m going to dance around, I’m just going to say that yeah, we love Showtime.”
“We’ll see. We’ve got a lot of stuff going on – a lot of stuff going on over here. Hopefully in the next month or two, we’ll be able to make some announcements that will surprise some people that will get some people excited about the future of Invicta.”
In response to allegations that Brett Atchley of Addison Sports Management and Media has been intimidating women into signing contracts with him under false pretenses and also sexually harassing them, Knapp responded:
“I’ve been watching this situation for awhile,” Knapp said, though she would not confirm the manager’s name. “I started seeing some things that were coming through, but it wasn’t all this sexual misconduct stuff. It was him using the organization, or my name, and basically black-balling people. And one example was him telling an athlete that he had just spoke to us and that we said we would work with their management and stuff like that.”
“So I went out and I posted warnings. Each time that it was brought to my attention, I would go out and I’d post these warnings, trying to help educate and give a sense of comfort in knowing that no one can get you in Invicta. No manager has that advantage…managers aren’t coming over to my house and hanging out. I don’t build those types of relationships because of this. But, you know, I sent out those warnings and to make sure that I felt like I was conveying enough, to make sure that they knew call me anytime. I’m easy to get a hold of, we’re here for you and just trying to educate them along the way.”
“I needed somebody to step up – make it public so that I had the ability to do something. And lo and behold, I had no idea of what was going to happen and what was going to be told. So, it’s been a tough week for me. I had to walk away for a little bit because I’m a hothead. I’m going to say this like this. To me, I take this so personally, I feel like someone came into my house and terrorized my family,” said the woman also known as “Bas’ Lil Sis”.