Shannon Knapp: Real MMA fans can't be gender biased


"If you're truly a fan of mixed martial arts, you can't be gender biased," Invicta Fighting Championship president Shannon Knapp said in a recent telephone interview. "If MMA is about fighters competing in actual weight divisions and having competitive fights, that's what we have. If you don't like that, you're not a true fan of the sport. You can't be gender biased and be a true fan."

"(The UFC is) only going with one division. We've got an entire roster of fighters in five weight classes. Even with the one division where we overlap, I mean, look at it like this: look where Liz was in her career a year ago. She lost to Coenen and Kaufman back-to-back. Then she came here, she looked good in winning her fights, and she started to assert herself and market herself. I'm not going to take the credit for it because it's all on Liz, but she had the opportunity here and she took it. That's the sort of thing we can still help with."

"Look, it's not like we expect everyone who watched for free to tune in on Saturday, that's just not how it works. But we've proven in our first three shows that we give MMA fans a quality product and it's not like the price is going to break the bank. ... We haven't set a benchmark on how many buys we're expecting, we'll see on Saturday night."

Read entire article...

Invicta FC 4
Memorial Hall
Kansas City, Kan.
Saturday, Jan 5
7:00 PM ET
Available as an online pay-per-view at

The full Invicta FC 4 card

Carla Esparza vs. Bec Hyatt - for inaugural strawweight title
Shayna Baszler vs. Alexis Davis
Raquel Pennington vs. Leslie Smith
Sarah D'Alelio vs. Amanda Nunes
Ediane Gomes vs. Hiroko Yamanaka
Joanne Calderwood vs. Livia von Plettenberg

Katalina Malungahu vs. Veronica Rothenhausler
Stephanie Frausto vs. Cassie Rodish
Amanda Bell vs. Tamikka Brents
Jodie Esquibel vs. Liz McCarthy
Emily Kagan vs. Rose Namajunas
Tecia Torres vs. Paige VanZant

MMA gear now available at the UG Store


TapouT Ankle Bar Athletic Socks (3 Pack)

TapouT Ankle Bar Athletic Socks (3 Pack)

$14.99 $5.99

Tatami Multi Flex NO GI Fight Shorts

Tatami Multi Flex NO GI Fight Shorts

Only $55.99


Recent Comments »

Tubarao site profile image  

2/20/13 11:42 AM by Tubarao


per site profile image  

1/7/13 6:29 PM by per

I happen to be a huge fan of WMMA as well as what we are used to seeing. I think Invicta has really showed that there are tons of women that can put on good fights and Ronda barging into the UFC is awesome in my mind. There are enough weight classes for the males anyway so a female class is great for making the product more diverse and appeal to more people.That being said.... It annoys the hell out of me when somebody tells me what I can or can't do or what I can or can't be. I am a true MMA fan because I love the sport and you just have to deal with it. Like 14-year-old girls who will rant about how other girls can't call themselves fans of a band because they didn't discover their first record or whatever. Have some dignity, miss Knapp.... You are not 14 anymore.

JeffersonDArcyChoke site profile image  

1/7/13 3:21 PM by JeffersonDArcyChoke

Most sports fans are straight males. Most of them don't want to watch women beating each other up or playing a sport that isn't pillow fighting or pudding wrestling. Let me know if Buffalo Wild Wings will be packed to support Team LizBo or Rousey. One is a lesbian who fights. The other is reasonably attractive and straight but has a mouth and is arrogant. Most men aren't fans of women who are as domineering or aggressive. Forcing WMMA on this fanbase is like telling NBA fans to watch WNBA. It doesn't happen and it hasn't worked yet.

nick diaz nut hugger site profile image  

1/7/13 12:39 PM by nick diaz nut hugger

It was a joke for fuck's sake. Lighten up and get a sense of humor, bro

Van Terminator site profile image  

1/7/13 8:18 AM by Van Terminator

Exactly. A promoter's livelihood is based on an ability to be disingenuous. I'm amazed that anyone here takes what any of them say seriously.

sparkuri site profile image  

1/7/13 4:14 AM by sparkuri

The only problem with WMMA is see is the same problem for MMA, and sports in general. Steroids. The last thing I personally want to see is a bunch of bull dykes banging it out, at least as far as WMMA progression is concerned. When the Fujii reirement announcement was made it was saddening. Womens MMA is fine with me, but under the Zuffa monopoly, it has already crushed, and will continue to "choke out" and redefine WMMA according to it's interests.. As per the man vs. woman argument, any decently trained 115 lb. man would KTFO of Ronda Rousey.

Ryan Black site profile image  

1/6/13 1:45 PM by Ryan Black

I have no problem with WMMA. I hope it succeeds in the UFC. However, I am equipped with enough common sense to know that WMMA will not catch on with everyone. Remember when GSP was questioned about his views on women competing in MMA? His opinion was something like "de girls... I do not like to see da women fights. I believe dey 're equal, but ehh, it's just how I was brought up, you know- I do not like to watch de woman get beat up."I can understand his sentiment. I can also understand that his point of view is shared by several other men who watch and/or train in MMA. Hell, there are probably some guys who took martial arts or boxing classes of some sort specifically so they could defend a female from an attacker. If you have a younger sister, this is almost automatically your natural instinct.I was brought-up & told never to hit a female, and I will not stand for a male hitting a female in my presence. And that will never change. But to me, women's MMA is the same competition as a fight between two males. The rules are the same. It is two females fighting & engaging in combat under the same identical set of rules and regulations as two males would. I can understand how some men with proper upbringings may have a problem watching girls fight. But, as far as I'm concerned, I'm cool with WMMA. The only time I have ever one-punch, on-the-button KO'd a guy was when I saw a guy hit his girlfriend in the face during an argument in front of a convenience store. And I have a feeling if I were to ever witness another similar event I would be swinging for the same outcome. But I have never broken up a fight between two girls just as I've never broken up a fight between two dudes. Just my two cents.

Michai site profile image  

1/6/13 11:06 AM by Michai

My wife holds a 2nd degree in shotocan karate (spell check that) and I'm a long time system and Krav maga practitioner. Obvouisly not mma but She watches all the events with me. We have other female friends who also appreciate mma so I personally Don't see the gender bias as large as It's proclaimed. The op is right women or men mma is a gender bridging art.

doubleRistretto site profile image  

1/6/13 10:46 AM by doubleRistretto

No, we certainly can be biased.I live in Australia and the local football & basketball is shit compared to the USA. The reason being is that the guys in the USA are so much better athletes, that the athletes we have here don't compare.How can you compare men & women as athletes? Women in general don't have the athleticism of men. If I don't like watching local men who can't compare to the elite athletes in the USA, why would I want to watch women?Sorry, it's a simple biological fact. I have no interest in watching women generally.

solidsnake site profile image  

1/6/13 9:51 AM by solidsnake

I agree with Helwig. Been a fan since the early UFC's and Pride FC's among others. We were training wherever people would have us or make our own make shift gyms and fight clubs. We were watching dubbed VHS copies of Pride FC that happened several months prior. Don't tell me what I should like because I probably know more about mma history than you do LOL. The path to MMA going mainstream was hard fought and difficult at times for fans to support and follow.With that said, It's great that female fighters are making their way into the sport, but it's a long road of work ahead. Among being accepted, there are going to be battles for pay scale, envy for those who get the spotlight, sponsors, and don't let internet chat forums get to you. These were all things that the men had to fight through in the early and dark days and still do today.It was the fans and a few gambling investors that got UFC and MMA through the dark days into mainstream. So my advice to up and coming women fighters is focus on great performances again and again and you will get the fans attention. Don't tell the fans what they should like, they're all you got in the end. Be a good ambassador for the sport, last thing we want to hear is you complaining or bashing the fighters and fans that have made this sport so great.