233,580. That was the number released by Invicta Fighting Championships for how many unique views they had for their inaugural show in April.
The all-women promotion had their second show take place in July with high expectations, with word that show had over 300,000 unique views.
Now with even higher expectations, their third show takes place tonight from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. The card starts at 7 p.m. ET with the event’s six-bout preliminary card and continue with the eight-bout main card. You can watch the live stream of the card, which is free on InvictaFC.com.
People were wondering why Invicta didn't release their numbers from the second show, and their President Shannon Knapp doesn't understand what the big fuss was about in not releasing those numbers.
Knapp told Bleacher Report:
What I plan on is validation. What I don't plan on is telling anyone how many (people watched Invicta 2). It seems that everybody is so focused on those numbers, which means nothing to everybody else. It takes away from the athletes and their performances. I believe on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday after this Saturday, the only thing people should be talking about is, 'Wow, what a show. Those were amazing fights.'
It's insane that other people that have no dog in the fight are concerned more about the numbers than I am. Sadly, I did release the numbers from the first show and it absolutely 100 percent took away from the fights. When the focus should have been about the athletes and their performances, the promotion and the barriers we are breaking down everyday.
A lot of promotions have come and gone with a third show never happening. Promotions like Affliction and the return of Pro Elite have not done a third event. Expectations are high for Invicta, but Knapp says she doesn't have any heading into tonight:
I always think the third show is the most significant show. One reason is there are a lot of promotions that haven't made it to a third show. I think when you get to a third show, it's that statement that you make and you're saying, 'yes we are and we are staying.'
I think this is the one that proves a lot of things. It proves that second show always proves that you're not a one-hit wonder on the first show. The third one shows stability of what the first shows did. I don't really have expectations. I just want to put out the most amazing product out there and platform for the female athletes. I'm going to promise you these women, when they step into the cage, they're going to take care of the rest.
The main event of tonight's show will crown Invicta's first champion, as Jessica Penne will square off against Naho Sugiyama for atomweight title, which is contested at 105 pounds. Knapp feels that Invicta will have champions in every division by the end of 2013:
I believe that in early 2013, I look for us to do maybe two championship fights on the next card. The 125-pound title fight will be on the next card for sure. The next card will be taking place at the end of January or early February as we wait to see when other promotions get their dates locked in, as we always respectfully don't want to schedule shows on the same day. I think we will have a champion in every division by the end of 2013.
When you talk about Invicta, people bring up how they air their shows for free on their website. Knapp feels a television deal can happen in 2013, but she's not going to just take any deal and will do what is best for the promotion.
I think it's (a TV deal) going to happen in 2013. I want to get on the other side of the show. It's always been our plan. It is exactly what we mapped out for the first year to be where we are at right at this moment. I have had offers. We're not saying no to those offers. We just want to get the on the other side of this event before we really start the process to see what works out best for the promotion and the athletes.
For us, it is about getting the product out there, but it's also about finding a good home for the athletes as well. We just want to take our time. It's more important for us to have a good partner and a partnership that works for them and us. We aren't greedy. We're not those kind of people that impose our will on them. We just want it to be a partnership that works for both parties and makes a difference.
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