(“Cris Cyborg is a roided-out, Wanderlei Silva in a dress-looking freak…who you can now watch compete for just $9.99 a month!”)
Of all the suggestions we made as to how the UFC could improve their Fight Pass programming, one obvious oversight we made was that of Invicta FC events. The UFC’s ties with the all-women’s fight promotion haven’t exactly been kept under wraps over the years, with the UFC recently pillaging Invicta’s strawweight division to fill the roster for The Ultimate Fighter 20. Considering Invicta’s past struggles with their website and iPPV process, it was only a matter of time before they partnered with
the best the second best digital subscription-based combat sports (entertainment) website out there, right?
Well I’ll be damned if my fictionalized, rhetorical version of you CP readers isn’t actually right for once. Earlier today, the two promotions announced “an historic multi-year, multi-event deal” (via MMAJunkie) that grants the UFC exclusive broadcast rights to all future Invicta events via their Fight Pass network in addition to the promotion’s entire library being made available in the FP archives.
Said Invicta FC president and co-founder Shannon Knapp about the deal:
This is a great day for my company. Since the start of Invicta, I’ve been committed to providing the biggest and best possible platform for women athletes, and with this distribution deal with UFC Fight Pass, Invicta will reach the most passionate MMA fans, wherever they are in the world.
I may knock Fight Pass for being a frustrating, malfunctioning, transparent money grab piece of sh*t waste of time as much as the next guy, but even in my bitter cynicism, I simply cannot claim that this is anything but a brilliant move on the UFC’s part. It not only raises the value of a Fight Pass subscription tenfold, but will help expose entirely new legions of MMA fans to the idea that, yes, there *are* other women’s divisions out there than Rouseyweight. Who knew, amiright?
The only complaint that could really be made about Invicta — a promotion that, with just 7 events under their belt, is still largely in its infancy — was its faulty methods of content delivery, but even that could often be attributed to their unexpected popularity/growth in such a short timespan. A mutual relationship with Fight Pass is a win-win for both parties involved but especially Invicta, who is currently “targeting a late-summer event, headlined by a world title fight” for their first Fight Pass card.
“This is an historic event for myself, the company and my athletes,” said Knapp, “and every one of them is going to want to be on this first card.”
The UFC’s chief content officer for Fight Pass, Marshall Zelaznik (who I’m going to assume is literally the man pictured here), was equally elated about the deal, stating:
When we launched UFC Fight Pass last Christmas, we said that we would never rest in bringing the best value to our subscribers. The addition of live and archived Invicta programming is going to be of enormous interest to our existing subscribers and bring in new subscribers, too.
Plus, the Invicta/Fight Pass merger will provide us media types umpteen more opportunities to discuss the possibility of Cris Cyborg vs. Ronda Rousey down to the very last detail, and that’s always fun. Yeah, fun…