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Could Invicta FC Be Headed to Showtime? Short Answer: Probably


(Well, that’s *one* way to hype a marquee WMMA fight, we guess.) 

When Showtime ended their relationship with Strikeforce this past January, they left behind a massive void in the MMA world that has been tirelessly documented in the time since by…next to no one, quite honestly. Sure, we all loved Strikeforce when it wasn’t moments away from descending into utter chaos (and even when it was), but with the UFC holding an event on 1 of its 14 channels every other week and Bellator quietly putting on smaller-level shows in between, it seems as if we’ve quickly forgotten about Showtime’s once quintessential role in MMA broadcasting.

Well, it appears as if all that could change in the near future, as Showtime Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinoza recently told FOX News Latino that the network was interested in a return to the MMA world and specifically, a partnership with Invicta FC. This statement did not come without a bit of hesitance, though:

The hesitation right now is really we’re investigating the market. The real question is … given the TV landscape as it stands now, the MMA landscape, is there a demand for more MMA on television? I have my doubts because there’s quite a few hours already being programmed.

(Invicta) knows how to make noise and do good-sized events on a budget. It would be interesting to see what they can do on a bigger platform. 

A move to Showtime would be the perfect move for Invicta to say the least. The promotion has rapidly gained popularity over the course of their first handful of events to the point that the Invicta 4 online stream crashed due to overcrowding.

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[UPDATE] MMA Manager Brett Atchley Banned from Attending Invicta FC Events

One week ago today, Invicta FC CEO Shannon Knapp posted a Facebook message warning fighters and fans about the predatory, deceitful and manipulative tactics of MMA manager Brett Atchley, causing numerous other fighters to come forward and describe in great detail what a rotten individual he apparently is. Now, Knapp has revealed that Atchley will no longer be allowed to attend future Invicta FC events. Via Inside MMA:

“In light of the documented information that has come to us – and this is via text messages from Mr. Atchley, along with email and things of that nature – with the misuse of our company name, my name [and] also in light of the fact that some of these sexual misconduct allegations have taken place at our events, we’re going to stand firm in saying Mr. Atchley will not be welcome at our events.”

Couldn’t have happened to a[n allegedly] nicer guy.

In his defense, Atchley offered the following statement:

I am stunned and deeply saddened that my reputation as a hard-working manager can be torn apart by a few unfounded malicious attacks against me and my character. I categorically deny all of the false allegations that have been made and look forward to an opportunity to clear my name.”

If it were only “a few” allegations, Atchley probably wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. In reality, there are multiple reports here and here covering the things that he’s been accused of doing – all of it very serious, heavy stuff.

It didn’t exactly help his cause that he would supposedly do all of it while falsely representing Invicta FC, either. Invicta unsurprisingly wants to distance themselves as much as possible from him, and banning him from events sends a strong message that his actions do not represent the promotion.

We’ll keep you up-to-date as this continues to unfold.

@SethFalvo

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With Her Original Opponent Injured, Cris Cyborg to Smash Fiona Muxlow at Invicta FC 5


(“Oh hey, didn’t see you there. When my doctor first informed me that I would be getting murdered by Cris Cyborg this April, I had lots of questions; Is there anything I can do to prevent getting murdered? Would bringing a friend to the fight help my chances? Why me, God, WHYYYY?!“) 

It has recently been announced that Cris Cyborg’s originally scheduled opponent for her Invicta FC debut on April 5th, Ediane Gomes, has been forced to withdraw from their Invicta FC 5 bout with a rib injury. It’s a real shame, because as someone who used to beat up dudes on the Brazilian underground fight circuit (Fallon Fox’s doppelganger, if you will.*fires invisible pistols*), Gomes was being given more than a snowball’s chance in Hell against Cyborg, a privilege few of her opponents have been able to enjoy.

But now, stepping in on short notice against the former Strikeforce women’s featherweight champ will be Fiona Muxlow, a 6-2 grappling specialist out of Queensland, Australia. Originally scheduled to face Julia Budd at the event (who is now awaiting a replacement opponent as of this write up), Muxlow has not competed since dropping a first round armbar to Marloes Coenen at DREAM 18 on New Year’s Eve last year, snapping a three fight win streak in the process.

Although Muxlow is coming off a loss — one she was utterly dominated in at that — and lacks any notable victories, one should look beyond the numbers to see what this woman is truly capable of. For starters, she began her MMA career by submitting three straight opponents in a one night tournament, so we know she’s a finisher and has cardio for days to boot. Secondly, Muxlow has a poker face that will burn a hole right through your soul. That HAS to count for something in this topsy-turvy world, dammit.

Now that Invicta will be implementing “random” drug tests in the near future, does anyone give Muxlow a decent chance against Cyborg, or should we just start prepping the hospital bed?

-J. Jones

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Invicta FC to Implement Random Drug Testing in Future Events, Cris Cyborg Totally Not Worried About It


(Santos might have had stanozolol coursing through her veins that night, but it was nothing compared to the elevated levels of fabulousness found in Gus Johnson’s post-fight sample. Photo via Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

If English is your first or even second language, then chances are you had some trouble deciphering Tito Ortiz’s recent press conference in regards to client Cris “Santos” Cyborg’s decision to leave the UFC. The basic gist: Cyborg fighting at 135 is “impossible for her to happen,” and Invicta FC will serve as her feeding grounds for the time being. We just hope the folks over at Invicta know that the Cyborg doesn’t want to be fed, she wants to hunt.

But in a somewhat ironic turn of events, Invicta FC has announced that it will be implementing random drug tests at all future events just two days after signing Cyborg. Via MMAJunkie:

For the first time in its short history, Invicta FC will utilize random drug testing for its upcoming fifth event on April 5. Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp confirmed the news on Sunday evening. Fighters who will be competing in April were informed of the new policy in late January. An independent agency in conjunction with the Missouri Office of Athletics will handle the testing.

The new anti-PED policy will extend to all future Invicta FC events. The promotion is currently fielding offers from a number of independent testing agencies and hopes to confirm its new testing partner later this week. 

So…regretting turning down a spot on Pink Fight MMA’s inaugural card yet, Cristiane?

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Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Santos Signs With Invicta FC, Will Debut Against Ediane Gomes


Oh, this? It’s just a video of Gomes beating up some random Brazilian guy, no big deal.

Just one week after Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Santos asked to be released from her UFC contract, the feared Brazilian striker has already found a new home. There was never any doubt as to where Santos would go once leaving the UFC, but yesterday it was announced that Cyborg has officially signed with Invicta FC.

Cyborg will be making her promotional debut at Invicta FC 5 on April 5. Her opponent will be the other scary Brazilian featherweight, Ediane Gomes, who was originally booked to beat the tar out of Julia Budd. Here’s what you need to know about Gomes: She is 10-2 overall, she is riding a four fight win streak, she most recently beat up Hiroko Yamakana in January, and her last loss came by armbar against Ronda Rousey. Oh yeah, and she once beat up a guy in Rio Heroes, yet none of his friends made fun of him for it (see above).

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Invicta FC 5 Announced With Two Title Fights, Zoila Gurgel and Sarah Kaufman’s Debuts, And the Return of Bec Hyatt and Veronica Rothenhausler


(Thai glamour shot via Michelle Waterson’s Facebook page.)

Not that we don’t appreciate the UFC’s generous one-female-fight-every-couple-months schedule, but in terms of competitive matchups and depth of talent, Invicta FC is still the premiere promotion for women’s MMA. And as long as they can avoid more technical foul-ups this time, Invicta’s fifth card looks like a real corker.

As announced yesterday via press-release, Invicta FC 5 will go down Friday, April 5th at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, featuring two title fights and 12 more bouts featuring a deep roster of well-known contenders. Check out some of the matchup highlights below, and the full event lineup at the end of this post…

Jessica Penne (10-1) vs. Michelle Waterson (10-3), for atomweight championship: Penne won Invicta’s inaugural 105-pound title last October at Invicta 3 with her submission victory over Naho Sugiyama. The Karate Hottie won her Invicta debut at the same event, defeating Lacey Schuckman by split-decision and increasing her total win streak to four.

Barb Honchak (7-2) vs. Vanessa Porto (13-5), for inaugural flyweight championship: Honchak is on a roll with six straight wins — including a decision over Felice Herrig and a submission of Roxanne Modafferi — and has gone 2-0 under the Invicta banner. Porto is coming off her decision win over Tara LaRosa at Invicta FC 3, which followed a loss to Sarah D’Alelio.

Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-2) vs. Jennifer Maia (6-2): With her Bellator career now in the rear-view mirror, Zoila Gurgel will make her Invicta FC debut in a flyweight bout against Chute Boxe-bred newcomer Jennifer Maia.

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Silver Lining Alert: Invicta’s PPV Stream Was a Fiasco Because It Was *Too* Popular


(She was a strawweight. He was a heavyweight. She was nasty on the ground. He was once choked out by Mirko Cro Cop, of all people. Life is not the amount of leg kicks you take, it’s the leg kicks that take your breath away. ‘You’ve Got Wrist-Locks 2‘, coming this fall. / Photo by Esther Lin for Invicta.)

As Marlo Stanfield might say, this sounds like one of them good problems.

We already know that Invicta’s first attempt at selling an Internet pay-per-view blew up in their faces over the weekend. But what exactly went down that night? In an interview with MMAJunkie Radio, Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable took full responsibility for the fiasco, and credited the unprecedented popularity of Invicta’s broadcast for the technical difficulties:

First off, let me just say how apologetic and sorry we are for what happened for the fans. I’m a big MMA fan. I’ve been in the community for years, and I don’t like it when any of our broadcasters have issues, let alone a sport that I love and am passionate about. I take it especially serious, especially in this case.

Unfortunately what happened was —and the issue was on Ustream’s end, it was not on Invicta’s end — was that believe it or not, our payment system, which is in sort of a beta program at the moment, got overloaded.

There were too many tickets being sold. We’ve done lots of pay-per-views over the last year, from the UFC to the Rugby World Cup to working with World Cup-qualifying soccer matches. The load of tickets being sold, we just hadn’t seen a level of that to date, and that’s ultimately what happened.

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Invicta FC 3 Recap and Videos: Penne Becomes Inaugural Atomweight Champ, Baszler Thrashes D’Alelio


(Joanne Calderwood vs. Ashley Cummins. Fight starts at the 1:35 mark. Someone nearly shits their pants around the 4:45 mark.)

Over the past several months, we’ve heard a lot of hoopla regarding the plight of women’s MMA and the lighter weight classes in general. According to some self-proclaimed experts, these fighters stand next to no chance of providing exciting finishes because of their “frail bones” and their “cabbage fingers” and their “lady parts that prevent them from committing gruesome acts of beautiful violence.” And while it should be noted that I normally obtain most of this expert testimony during my weekly NO MA’AM meetings, I must admit that the ladies of Invicta Fighting Championships are pretty much shattering every pre-conceived notion that one could have when approaching women’s MMA or the lighter weight classes. Last weekend’s Invicta FC 3 event did not stray far from the pattern established by the first two events, which is to say, it delivered exciting fights and brutal finishes from top to bottom.

In the evening’s main event, submission specialist and general hottie Jessica Penne made history by becoming the promotion’s first champion in the atomweight class, controlling the previously number one ranked atomweight Naho Sugiyama easily before submitting her midway through the second round with a slick triangle choke. Penne improved to 10-1 as a professional with the win and likely set up a showdown between herself and “The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson, who picked up a hard fought split-decision win over Lacey Schuckman earlier in the evening, down the line. I’m not saying I will be watching that fight with ulterior motives, but I am saying that I will be watching it alone. With the curtains closed. With no pants on.

After the jump: A boatload of fight videos from the event, including Shayna Baszler’s domination of Sarah D’Alelio, Stephanie Frausto’s lightning quick submission over Amy Davis, and Julia Budd’s brutal beatdown of Danielle West.

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Invicta FC Sends Undefeated 135′er Sara McMann To Strikeforce


(“Great to have you aboard, Sara! Now what size latex bodysuit do you wear?”)

By George Shunick

In a press release distributed yesterday, upstart women’s MMA promotion Invicta FC announced that they were sending bantamweight contender Sara McMann to Strikeforce. McMann is a perfect 6-0 in MMA — including wins over Shayna Baszler, Hitomi Akano, and Tonya Evinger — and won a silver medal in women’s freestyle wrestling at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. McMann was originally slated to fight for Invicta’s bantamweight title in her next appearance, but now that she is in Strikeforce, a title shot against Ronda Rousey seems quite plausible if she can make it through her first fight. Neither the date nor opponent for McMann’s Strikeforce debut have been announced yet.

It’s not every day that a fight promotion willingly sends one of its top contenders and budding stars to a competing promotion. However, according to President Shannon Knapp, Invicta’s goals aren’t based on hanging on to specific fighters:

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[VIDEO] Bad Ass Women on The March: McMann, Davis, Carmouche & More Win at Invicta FC 2

2004 Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Shayna Baszler after three rounds at last night’s all-women Invicta FC 2 event. Baszler rocked McMann with a left hook late in the fight but McMann had evidently gotten far enough ahead on the judges’ scorecards to get the win. Check out the full fight video above.

Scores were 29-28 (twice) and 30-27 for McMann. “That was by far the toughest and most skilled fighter I have ever fought,” McMann said post-fight of Baszler.

With the win, McMann improves her MMA record to 6-0. Baszler dipped to 14-7.

Full results via MMAFighting, as well as video of Liz Carmouche‘s submission win over Kaitlin Young, are after the jump.

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