Administrative changes might have cost Invicta FC the first half of 2014, but the promotion finished out the year strong with three events over four months and once again established itself as the premier MMA promotion for female athletes.
Undeterred by the reorganization process, Invicta president Shannon Knapp was able to forge ahead with her vision of the company and feels now they are in a strong position heading into 2015.
Speaking to MMAWeekly.com, Knapp talked about her thoughts on this past year and what she hopes to accomplish in the promotion’s upcoming fourth year.
MMAWeekly.com: Firstly, Shannon, during the promotion’s nine-month hiatus, did you ever get down about things or feel like Invicta might not be able to move forward?
Shannon Knapp: Actually, honestly, I never felt like we were down and out. We definitely needed some time. I’m always a firm believer that if you’re going to do business, you do good business. Good business to me is knowing your foundation is strong. I knew I needed to take the time to revamp things, reorganize, and get control back of the company, and make sure we were moving forward in a very healthy way.
Did I ever get down? No. To me the glass is always half full. I always knew I could take the struggles. Invicta is incredibly important to me on many levels. I knew it was something that was worth the fight. I don’t think I ever looked at it like we were down and out, but we needed the time to make sure as we moved forward that we were a healthy and viable company.
MMAWeekly.com: How did it feel to finally be able to put events together after so much time away?
Shannon Knapp: I think any time you make that big leap forward after preparing for it is gratifying on a lot of levels. We made sure to do the three shows before the end of the year to send the message that we are healthy, we are moving forward and are confident in the broadcast partnership we have with the UFC, and that we’re ready to make some noise in 2015. It was huge gratification to get that first show back going and start our partnership with the UFC.
MMAWeekly.com: After having worked with others behind the scenes prior to the reorganization, how does now being the promotion’s unequivocal leader affect you?
Shannon Knapp: I think as you come into a new year, you really start to reflect on a few things, and I will tell you this, if you are a person who genuinely cares for others, it is a lot of stress and worry. Instead of enjoying the holidays, I’m worried about all my athletes, what’s going to happen in 2015, and what I can do to continue to push this company forward and support female athletes.
It’s a whole different ballgame of being the employee of someone else having to steer the ship and make the right decisions because you’re responsible for a lot of people. It’s certainly something that I don’t take lightly.
I’m very motivated and “can’t” isn’t something that I’m willing to accept. If you tell me I can’t do something, I will do everything I can to get past it and show you that I can. There’s nothing better than proving to people that we’re stronger, smarter and will make it, no matter what someone else thinks.
MMAWeekly.com: Even with only three shows this year, was there a moment that stands out in your mind from inside the cage?
Shannon Knapp: My athletes always come through. They put on amazing performances. I can’t say we ever have a card that I’m disappointed in. There were some upsets and some new stars rose up quickly. The upset of Michelle Waterson by Herica Tiburcio at the end of the year (on Invicta FC 10) was pretty amazing. To have athletes who come in and give it their all and put on their great performances is something we’ve never had a shortage of.
MMAWeekly.com: What sort of goals does Invicta have for 2015?
Shannon Knapp: We want to continue to provide opportunities for athletes, and co-mingle that with opportunities for the fans and get better at what we do. We want to grow our partnerships and have signed on with the UFC for another year. We want to continue to move forward and make a difference.