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Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp (center) holds up the promotion's inaugural strawweight title belt while contenders Carla Esparza (left) and Bec Hyatt (right) face off at the weigh-ins. Mandatory Photo Credit:

Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp: Real MMA Fans Can't Be Gender Biased

Invicta Fighting Championship is preparing to kick off their 2013 campaign on Saturday night at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Missouri. The promotion is the premiere women’s martial arts organization on the planet and they will be making their online pay-per view debut for the Invicta FC 4 event, which is headlined by a strawweight title bout between Carla Esparza and Bec Hyatt.

One of the challenges Invicta FC faces is the gender stereotypes about female fighters and whether or not they should be fighting. Quite frankly, the women give it their all every time they enter the cage and they provide the most entertaining, non-stop mixed martial arts action.

True MMA fans will notice that the women are deserving of their attention and Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp knows that the real fans do not care if it’s a male or female in the cage.

“If you’re truly a fan of mixed martial arts, you can’t be gender biased,” Knapp said. “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.”

Invicta provides the female mixed martial artists a great opportunity to showcase their talent and there is no better example than Liz Carmouche, who will be headlining UFC 157 as she challenges women’s champion Ronda Rousey for the UFC title.

Carmouche got her start in Invicta FC and Knapp hopes to provide these types of opportunities for more fighters in the future.

“(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,” Knapp said.

“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.”

Invicta FC 4 can be purchased on for $7.95. It’s a small price to pay for an action-packed fight card that is sure to entertain. But could the pay-per view model be the downfall of Invicta? Knapp is ready for the experiment and thinks it could be a success.

“Look, it’s not like we expect everyone who watched for free to tune in on Saturday, that’s just not how it works,” said Knapp. “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.”

I know I will be tuning in on Saturday night to watch the female martial artists work their magic and I encourage you all to do the same.

Tags: Invicta FC

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