Invicta FC, the globally recognized women’s MMA promotion and current home of Cris Cyborg, is in a unique position.
The company has specialized in one area where UFC is starting to make a name for itself — that of female mixed martial arts competitors.
At one time, UFC President Dana White wouldn’t even entertain the idea of a women’s division until he saw dollar signs in the larger-than-life personality of Ronda Rousey.
Holm ended that at UFC 193 when she demolished Rousey at the start of Round 2.
This one fight created a unique opportunity for Invicta FC. While the promotion has done quite well at its specialty, it isn’t doing anything close to UFC numbers.
That’s to be expected since Ultimate Fighting Championship has the head start, the history, and the best male competitors in the business.
However, two things became apparent during the rise of Rousey that Invicta FC could possibly capitalize on.
One, “Rowdy” Ronda stole the big boys’ thunder. Largely regarded as one of the highest earning performers in the entire promotion, her fight with Holm at UFC 193 was a record-breaker in terms of live attendance and pay-per-view sales.
And while she established herself as the face of the sport, the reason women’s MMA has grown so much in popularity is because there is a different feel to most of the fights.
While men often err to caution (and self-preservation), women’s fights have a reputation for being more lively and competitive, something that started with Strikeforce and held up at UFC and Invicta FC.
In other words, when the women are in the cage, you know you’re about to see a fight. That’s not always the case with the guys.
And the sport still being in its infancy — at least on the women’s side — UFC really doesn’t have any more of an advantage talent-wise than Invicta FC. Case in point, Cris Cyborg is the face of the brand, and she is the most dominant fighter in the sport as women are concerned, Invicta FC, UFC, or otherwise.
With Holm not enthused about sitting on the shelf until a Ronda Rousey rematch, Invicta could make her an offer she couldn’t refuse to cross over and fight Cris Cyborg. By acquiescing most of the PPV buys to, say, a 40/40 Holm-Cyborg split, the company would see its biggest numbers and have an opportunity to steal the UFC’s best talent in one of its most profitable divisions.
Invicta would have to give up a lot to secure the pay-per-view, which would undoubtedly be the most successful in the company’s history and make Holm and Cyborg very rich ladies; but it could also grab a ton of eyeballs and give women fighters from the UFC more incentive to cross over.
Is it likely to happen?
No. Dana White didn’t get to where he is by playing nice, and the UFC can be downright ruthless when it comes to fighting for its brand. Just ask Randy Couture or any of the fighters/talents, who saw their incomes drop as a result of the Reebok deal.
The president and company’s fierce reputation on the business side is enough to scare away most players in the MMA world.
Besides, they probably locked Holm into a contract that would not allow for jumping ship when they signed her.
And Shannon Knapp, the full owner of Invicta according to this MMA Mania piece, does have a friendly and “respectful” arrangement with the promotion.
That said, contracts and agreements — especially sports contracts and agreements — were often made to be broken, and if anyone had the power and the incentive to do it at this point, it would be both Holly Holm and Invicta FC. But what do you think, readers?
Should Invicta FC extend that olive branch, and if they do, should Holly Holm accept it? Sound off in the comments section.
[Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images]