Not many people were surprised when the UFC started gobbling up most of the top female fighters signed to Invicta FC’s roster earlier this year.
With the creation of the bantamweight division in the UFC, the promotion needed to form a roster quickly. Fighters such as Sarah Kaufman and Amanda Nunes were booked for Saturday’s Invicta FC 5 event, but also signed deals with the UFC.
Kaufman is still competing this weekend, while Nunes was forced out with an injury. Shannon Knapp, president of the all-female promotion, recently talked with BloodyElbow about the deal between Invicta FC and the UFC.
It’s not really co-promotion so much as it is a good working relationship. Our goal, as I stated from the beginning, was to come in here, build a platform, increase the awareness, break down the barriers and give the athletes their opportunity. I think since the UFC ventured into adding females to their cards, we’ve become an asset to each other. I feel good about the relationship moving forward and it will be beneficial to all. The girls can go back and forth between the two entities. We have Sarah Kaufman, and we would have had Amanda Nunes, but she had an injury. But yeah, the relationship is still intact, so if we can be of service, or vice versa, I’m sure that we’ll continue to work together moving forward. I’ve agreed to let my 135 pounders try out for The Ultimate Fighter. They have one weight division, and we have five. I don’t mind helping them out, because it just continues to create opportunities and it is beneficial to both of us. It’s all coming together and I just couldn’t be happier.
The 18th season of TUF will begin later this year, with Ronda Rousey already signed on as one of the coaches. She will compete opposite either Miesha Tate or Cat Zingano.
Photo credit: Invicta FC