Shannon Knapp and the Invicta belt

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Founder of Invicta Shannon Knapp

By: Zach Heim, RCM MMA Correspondent

I had the honor of talking to the founder of Invicta FC, Shannon Knapp and like many of her fighters I have had the chance to work with she was a very nice person.  It was good to get her thoughts on things and learn more about the promotion and how it is run. InvictaFC is the largest female mma promotion in the world. Their website is www.invictafc.com.

RCM: I first asked Shannon what type of MMA experience she had before starting Invicta FC in 2012?

Shannon: Everything, I have worked with everyone from UFC to Elite XC, to Affliction, and Strikeforce. I have been in the sport for a long time and have done about everything.

RCM:What got you into the sport?

Shannon:The love. The love of the sport and back when I got into the sport it wasn’t really mainstream or close to mainstream like it is now and I thought I could make a difference.  I was a huge advocate for the sport and for the athlete so that’s what prompted me to get involved.

RCM:I asked her how much she looks at personality when she signs fighters, because everyone I have talked to for her organization has been very kind and helpful.

Shannon:I don’t go out there and look at someone’s personality and say O I want to sign that person. I see what kind of a talented athlete they are and then from there if they have a great personality or one that is very marketable then that is just an added bonus. For me its more about the talent, I think anybody can be marketable. There is always something people that make them interesting.  Its our job to find out what that is and show case it and highlight it.  I think that with any company whether it’s a sport or just a company that are selling goods and services, I think you want to surround yourself with good people.   I am pretty proud of the athletes that are signed with Invicta.

RCM:I then asked her about what her thoughts were on Cyborg v Rousey, or if anybody has talked to her about trying to get that fight done?

Shannon:It’s not something we talk about all the time.  I think fans could see Chris to drop down. I think there is a good possibility that she would make a run at 135 and see if she can make that weight, and of course compete at that weight and still be competitive at that weight.

RCM: When I got to chance to meet Cyborg in Evansville I didn’t think it would even be possible for her to drop down to 135.

Shannon:You and me both, but she carries a lot of muscle mass.  She is certainly going to have to give up muscle to get down to that weight.  Once again I think when I say she may give it a try that would be under the guidance of a nutritionist and her doctor.  It doesn’t matter to me if she tries or doesn’t. I think its something that is a question that she has, and she will definitely see where she is at with things.  I support her with whatever.  That’s a big fight.  There has been a lot of smack talk going on, and I don’t blame her if she wants that fight.

RCM:  It’s a fight I want to see and I don’t see Cyborg losing that fight.

Shannon:  I think everyone wants to see it.  I think Chris is an amazing athlete regardless of past things that people want to bring up and talk about.  She trains harder then probably most anybody I have ever seen and I have been in the business a long time.  I know other athletes train super hard and I’m not taking anything away from them, I’m just saying she is defiantly an athlete that I have worked with at Strikeforce and that she trains hard.  I always look at her as being cut from a different cloth.  She just trains with heart and soul and with all the smack talk with her and Rhonda, I’m sure that is a fight she would want.

RCM:I asked her about the “new” online store.

Shannon: No it’s not new I just re-launched it. We have always had an online store. A lot of changes have been going on in the company.  I am now the soul owner, I don’t have any partners. So we have just been revamping things.  I wasn’t the one who handled the store so it needed some changing and updating.  So that’s why it just came back recently.  It’s new as in we have a new website.  So I had pulled it down and we just now re-launched.

RCM:Since you are now the sole owner where do you see yourself taking the company in the next five or so years?  With the UFC adding women’s divisions does that hurt or help you?

Shannon:I always look at it this way. Life is about gratitude and perspective. For me I am grateful that in terms that they are opening their doors and helping us push this sport forward for the female athlete.  My perspective is that this is a great thing for the sport and I have a great relationship with them, and its good to have the biggest organization out there really supporting what I am doing and doing things on their own .  So I think it is a good relationship, business relationship for everybody.

RCM:You have been working on TV deals, have you made any yet?

Shannon:We are working on a lot of different things.  I never talk about something until its done 100%.  We are working on several different opportunities right now.

RCM: I think girl’s fights are much better and I think they go at it more.  What do you think?

Shannon: They are certainly more emotionally connected to what they are doing. Let’s face it they do have something to prove.  We continue to break down the barriers change peoples minds everyday.  They have a lot of weight on their shoulders and its good to see they have that passion because they are going to need it to continue moving forward.

With a new website, and Julie Kedzie as the matchmaker. I expect nothing but great from Invicta going into the future. Their pay per views are priced great for everyone and most of the female fights I have seen are better then 90% of the male fights I have seen.  So I look for great things to come and cannot wait until the next show.

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