Invicta FC striving to put Women’s MMA in the spotlight
It didn’t take long for new MMA promotion Invicta FC, an all-female focused MMA competition, to gain popularity among fans when it held its first event in April.
Now looking ahead to its second card on July 28th in Kansas City, The Roar spoke to Invicta FC co-owner and match maker Janet Martin about the response to the first card, what to expect on July 28 and what lies ahead for women’s MMA.
While female MMA athletes such as Chris Cyborg, Gina Carano and Zoila Gurgel, through Bellator and Strikeforce, paved the way into the psyche of the MMA fan, Women’s MMA has really only now come into its own. Previously regarded as a novelty, women’s MMA is now considered a credible sport with hard working athletes.
“The success of our first All Professional Women’s MMA event, not only on a local level, but also at national and international level, has helped to generate recognition and credibility of female participation in the sport of MMA, by giving female fighters centre cage,” Martin said.
“(W)ith a platform solely dedicated to WMMA, fans of the sport can attend and watch events that showcase elite veteran talent, a new wave of hybrid female fighters, and young up and comers.”
While it can be seen as a gamble, the idea for Invicta FC and an all-female promotion came from the brains trust of Janet Martin and fellow co-owner Shannon Knapp. Janet describes it as “several months of research and planning, which (was) then launched as Invicta Fighting Championships.”
And what drives Invicta FC?
Janet describes the goal as “to organise and structure the women’s side of the sport, host premier WMMA events and generate a strong fan-base that not only taps into fans of MMA, but also reaches out to fans of female athletics.”
In order to generate a strong fan-base, Invicta FC provided a free Internet live stream of their first event, something that they are again doing for the July 28th card.
While it was rumoured that the initial card itself peaked at 100,000 viewers, Janet corrects this, saying: “the end numbers were over 233,000 unique views”. She is excited at the prospect of new fans logging onto the next event, “we invite everyone once again to just give WMMA a chance if you like female athletics, if you like MMA or if you do not, just give it a chance, try it you might just like it.”
The July 28 event sees Shayna Baszler taking on Sara McMann who are both renowned fighters in their respective elements. Baszler is a seasoned and well experienced fighter across multiple promotions and holds a brown belt in BJJ, while McMann is a 2004 Olympic silver medallist in wrestling.
When pressed for thought on this fight, Janet explains that “They (Baszler and McMann) will push each other in their areas of strengths and will challenge each other in their areas of weakness. We believe that their individual experience and fighting style will clash in the cage, in a main event fight to remember.”
With two events down, the future is bright for women’s MMA. Janet gives The Roar a hint of what’s to come. “We are planning three tentatively scheduled (fights) for October and we will be awarding first ever Invicta FC World Title(s)”.
“We look forward to hosting another a top notch premier WMMA event with the highest calibre of female fight talent available from around the world.”
Janet leaves with some advice for up-and-comers looking to enter the sport “The best advice I can give to female fighters is to be active in your own careers, whether it be amateur or professional. Work closely with your coaches, trainers and managers, to make decisions that will help you progress your career and reach your goals.”
Invicta FC 2 on July 28: free Internet live stream from the Invicta FC website: www.invictafc.com
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