KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Invicta Fighting Championships – the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion – announced today it has been acquired by Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc, a globally integrated media company creating content for passionate communities, whose properties include AXS TV, Fight Network, IMPACT Wrestling, and Game+ among others. Fans can look forward to a wide variety of Invicta events, including world championship fight nights, the popular Phoenix Series© tournaments, tentpole pay-per-view events plus behind the scenes shoulder programming.
Invicta FC was founded in 2012 by experienced combat sports executive Shannon Knapp. Over the last nine years, the promotion has changed the face of MMA. Knapp has promoted over 400 fights across Invicta’s 46 all-women events featuring – and often discovering – a who’s who of the greatest fighters of all time including Rose Namajunas, Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino and Amanda Nunes.
Knapp will join Anthem’s executive team as a senior member of the Sports Media Group, and will continue to spearhead Invicta FC as it moves into an exciting new era as part of the Anthem family.
She said: “This is a huge moment for Invicta and for women in the sport. Invicta FC was founded to give female mixed martial artists a platform where they could compete and prove the doubters wrong. Now, as part of the Anthem portfolio and with shows on national television for the first time, Invicta’s platform will be bigger than ever, and more people will have the opportunity to see the world’s elite female athletes compete. With Anthem’s backing, it’s going to be easier than ever for our fans to catch all the Invicta action and for new fans to find out exactly why Invicta is one of the world’s most exciting fight promotions.”
Ed Nordholm, the Chief Corporate Officer of Anthem Sports & Entertainment and the President of its Sports Media Group said: “We are very excited to acquire this uniquely positioned MMA promotion, adding a new content pillar to our combat sports portfolio as part of our overall strategy to transform Anthem into a leading global content company. What Shannon has accomplished with Invicta is one of the sport’s great success stories. She will play a vital role as a senior member on the Anthem executive team and as a shareholder in Anthem, and we look forward to helping her take Invicta to new heights.”
Invicta FC events will be broadcast live on the Anthem-owned AXS TV and Fight Network. Invicta FC 44 will take place Friday, May 21. It will feature a world championship fight and be broadcast live on AXS TV in the United States and on Fight Network in Canada. The event will be available digitally to Invicta’s many fans outside of North America including AXS’s digital property AXS TV NOW.
Frank Tanki, the General Manager of AXS TV, said: “AXS TV has a great legacy of supporting MMA under its AXS Fights brand and Invicta will be a centerpiece of our AXS Fights programming.”
As the world emerges from the pandemic, Anthem plans to steadily increase the number of Invicta FC shows across AXS TV, digital streaming platforms and standalone pay-per-view supercards. In addition to broadcasting live events featuring current Invicta headliners including Alesha Zappitella, Pam Sorenson and Pearl Gonzalez, Anthem will also celebrate Invicta’s rich legacy with regular programming showcasing Invicta’s historic fights and exclusive shoulder programming on fighters’ background and lifestyles.
The acquisition includes Invicta FC’s popular Phoenix Series© brand.
“The Phoenix Series is the fastest-paced format in MMA,” Knapp said. “For those who’ll be witnessing it for the first time, it is an intense rapid-fire event where eight athletes compete across one grueling night. The quarter and semifinal bouts consist of a single round – giving fighters no more than five minutes to either win and advance in the tournament or crash out in defeat. The two victorious semifinalists then go toe-to-toe that same night in a three, five-minute round finale match, with the winner being crowned tournament champion.”
Tanki added: “Invicta’s Phoenix Series is the perfect format for live television. It combines hard-hitting combat sport with the sort of compelling, fly-on-the-wall storytelling reminiscent of the best of live reality TV. I’m very excited a wider fanbase will get the chance to enjoy this innovative fight night for the first time on AXS.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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