On July 10, Invicta FC made its debut in Las Vegas after three years of being an active promotion in MMA. The evening featured three title matches, with two new champions crowned, as well hosted some breakout performances by up-and-coming fighters on the roster.
Speaking to MMAWeekly.com following the event, Invicta president Shannon Knapp gave her thoughts on the show, and what is ahead for the promotion through the rest of 2015.
MMAWeekly.com: Firstly, Shannon, what are your thoughts overall on the July 10 Invicta event?
Shannon Knapp: I thought the production quality was really good, I thought the venue was amazing, and the fights were great. There were some upsets, some interesting dynamics that took place in the fights that a lot of people weren’t expecting. Overall, it was a really good night of fights.
The media was great, the fans were great, we had great attendance for a Thursday night, and for a first time MMA show at (The Cosmopolitan), I have no complaints.
MMAWeekly.com: What was it like to hold your first event in Las Vegas?
Shannon Knapp: To be able to put on an event there, to go through licensing and that whole process was personally and professionally very gratifying. I think Vegas is the mecca, the hotbed of MMA, and so to put on a good show there and achieve that and accomplish that, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
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MMAWeekly.com: The show featured Cris “Cyborg” Justino defending her 145-pound title, along with two new champions being crowned in Ayaka Hamasaki at 105 pounds and Tonya Evinger at 135 pounds. What are your thoughts on those fights?
Shannon Knapp: Cris is incredibly talented, and it does become a struggle to find fights for her at that weight, but she’s just a dominating force in that division. I think the fight between Hamasaki and Herica (Tiburcio) ended up being very entertaining, and I’m happy to have either one as our champion. Tonya has really come full-circle; she’s been winning fights in dominating fashion and I think she’s doing a phenomenal job.
MMAWeekly.com: Thank you for your time, Shannon. In closing, tell us what you’re looking forward to in the second half of 2015 for Invicta.
Shannon Knapp: We’re doing three more shows to close out the year with more title matches. And we’re looking forward to doing more shows in conjunction with the UFC and helping Cris make her transition down in weight.
We’re continuing our commitment to add depth to our divisions and provide opportunities for fighters. There is a lot of up-and-coming talent out there, and just because you might not know their names, doesn’t mean they’re not worthy of your support. People are going to have to have the opportunity to see a lot of breakout stars coming up the ranks.