With the recent news of Ronda Rousey being the first female to ever be signed by the UFC, speculation has been rampant about who her first opponent will be. Miesha Tate, who has avidly lobbied for a rematch, took immediately to Twitter and implied that she was already signed by the organization, yet no official statement has been made by any of the Zuffa brass. She was among the names mentioned in the TMZ article that broke the news, but Dana White has made no secret that he'd like to make a Cris Cyborg/Ronda Rousey match.
White made a comment a few weeks ago, and said that there would definitely be a women's division in the UFC, so many have raised the question if Invicta could be the supplier of the talent. Shannon Knapp, president of the promotion, has made great strides with Invicta this year, and could be the most viable solution to stocking fight cards with athletes. I had the opportunity to speak with her last night to get her overall thoughts on the possibilities that Rousey's UFC signing could present.
It's not something that I've sat down and discussed, but it wouldn't really be any different than what we're doing right now with Strikeforce. We already have an open, working relationship with them, and Zuffa owns them anyway, so I don't see things being any different than they are now. If you're asking me if I'm willing to work with them in that same capacity, I am, absolutely.
I've said all along that our objective, here at Invicta, is to continue to help move the sport forward for the female athletes. I think this is a huge deal, and I have great respect for Ronda Rousey. It's a great thing and I congratulate her. I commend the UFC for embracing the women in this sport. It's a win for everybody. I will continue to work with them just as I have been already.
One thing that several media members and fans have actively conversed about, is whether Zuffa will make an offer to purchase Invicta outright, and if Shannon would be willing to part with it. Here's what she had to say on it:
It's not anything I've actually thought about. I see a growing trend in the promotion business. People are coming into this space, trying to build promotions that Zuffa might come in and buy. That's not my mindset, though. My mindset is to do the best that I can to help grow this side of the sport. If there are alignments that come down the pipe in the future that aren't the way I set out to do it, and it's more beneficial to the female athletes, then I would definitely look at it in a different light, but I didn't build this promotion with the sole aspiration for Zuffa to come in and buy it.
I respect them. They respect me. At the end of the day, and I've said this all along, it really comes down to what is best for the female athletes. That's why I do this. If it was about making money, I would be doing something else [laughs]. I just want to do what's best for the sport. Whatever that ends up being down the road, I don't know. I'm never going to say never, but at this moment, I'm not going to say it's going to happen, because right now, my objective is to continue to grow Invicta, under our guidance.
You can follow Shannon via her Twitter account, @ShanKnapp