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

Friday, January 04, 2013

“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.”

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

The full Invicta FC 4 card

MAIN CARD (invictafc.com)
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

PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised)
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