Shannon Knapp adding depth to WMMA, by sharing fighters

by Matt Erickson | source:

UFC President Dana White has repeatedy said the his not against a women's division in the UFC, but that like the Superheavyweight division, there is not enough depth to the division to offer ongoing competitive match ups.

Shannon Knapp, president of the all female Invicta Fighting Championship, sees it a little differently, and has a plan to create depth through promoting female fighters across promotions.

"Depth, by definition, is there," Knapp recently told "There are tons of girls out there that want to fight. But the truth of the matter is, when you get into that upper echelon, to that top tier, it's pretty thin."

Invicta recently allowed Cat Zingano out of her Invicta FC 3 fight with Leslie Smith to sign with Strikeforce. And Strikeforce is allowing Sarah Kaufman to take a fight with Invicta. Knapp believes the talent share will pay off long term.

"I don't have a problem with Invicta working hand in hand and building those '35ers," Knapp said. "Sure, I know they aspire to go over and get their shot at Ronda – and I don't have a problem with that, or whoever's sitting at the top of the heap over there. I think that's what's going to improve the sport – and certainly improve the landscape for the female athlete."

"I think once you're hand in hand, in the sense of breaking down those old barriers that we have about, 'I'm a promoter and I'm greedy and I'm hanging on to what is mine,' that kind of thing – it's only going to help the sport. Especially the female athletes, from where we're at right now.

"… Old mentality would make you say no and hang on to everything you've got because that was the way it is. But that's not the mindset we have, obviously – we're doing everything different."

"If (Strikeforce) pulls from 135, I've got four other weight divisions. I've got my hands full, so it's really not a problem. Plus, it gives us an opportunity to help the sport further for the females by bringing in the new talent that's coming in in that division and getting them the exposure and building them."

"I've said it all along – I think this is one opportunity that you look to. I'm true to my word, and we're open to anything if there's a better opportunity that exists for the female athletes that we have and they aspire to be there."

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Recent Comments »

Nexuscrawlers site profile image  

9/2/12 10:07 PM by Nexuscrawlers


BigfootsChin site profile image  

9/2/12 6:50 PM by BigfootsChin

Nail on the head, i salute you

CowboyTookMyName site profile image  

9/2/12 6:47 PM by CowboyTookMyName

 Plus she brings 1/2 the internet to watch her live stream event.  Seriously though I could see Strikeforce taking in all those fighters and doing what above poster suggested becoming the female league of the UFC..

Nexuscrawlers site profile image  

9/2/12 6:40 PM by Nexuscrawlers


RyannVonDoom site profile image  

9/2/12 4:18 PM by RyannVonDoom


cupertrooper site profile image  

9/2/12 3:17 PM by cupertrooper

Shannon Knapp is doing a great job for women's MMA.

RyannVonDoom site profile image  

9/2/12 3:03 PM by RyannVonDoom

Cant wait for 3.. Invicta is the breathe of fresh air mma needed.

BaraoKix site profile image  

9/2/12 3:00 PM by BaraoKix

SF is going to turn into the WMMA-UFC, within a few years...

Strategy101 site profile image  

9/2/12 2:55 PM by Strategy101

In truth, some of this is probably out of necessity, given that I imagine signing fighters to exclusive contracts is difficult for all the non-Zuffa promotions. I'm sure most fighters are willing to sign for less money if they know there is contract flexibility that will allow them to take a fight in the UFC/Strikeforce/Bellator. Smart idea quite frankly, because its good for the fighters by keeping them active(not enough activity in the big 3) and providing more exposure, and for Invicta it allows them to capitalize on the void in womens MMA while still drawing some of the top female competitors. I personally cannot get enough MMA, and Invicta is another great outlet, and given time I think they can really help to create more popularity for the women and MMA in general. Thanks Invicta.