Invicta Fighting Championships completed their fourth event over the weekend. President Shannon Knapp and company decided this would be a good time to test the waters of pay-per-view.
Invicta FC would utilize the popular streaming website Ustream with a price of $7.95. It was a reasonable price point for the 13-fight event. So, how did it go?
As an event, one could say it was a moderate success. The organization delivered another fun evening of fights.
However, as a PPV, it was a complete failure.
Fans looking to purchase the event ran into problems. Many were unable to have their payments processed even prior to the event, and it was not fixed before the show started.
Looks like the ppv still isn't allowing us to buy it...I want to watch @invictafights right now!!!— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) January 6, 2013
Knapp went into damage control and acted swiftly. Invicta took the pay wall down and offered refunds on all payments. The “PPV” quickly turned into their fourth straight free stream, but even then things did not go smoothly.
@invictafights we are pulling the pay wall down and refunding all payments made due to difficulty in purchasing event. Enjoy the show!— Shannon Knapp (@shanknapp) January 6, 2013
The stream often buffered for many and made watching the event difficult. Those issues were fixed before the main card began and most fans were finally treated to the event they stayed in on a Saturday to see.
Those lucky enough to watch all 13 fights without an issue were treated to a solid event. Those who only got to see the main card without problems also cannot complain. They were able to see great fights for free.
Carla Esparza defeated Bec Hyatt to win the first ever Invicta FC strawweight championship by unanimous decision. The scores were 50-45 across the board.
However, it was the co-main event of the evening that stole the show. Third-ranked Alexis Davis took on sixth-ranked Shayna Baszler. The fight of the night did not make it the distance, as Davis choked Baszler unconscious with just a little over two minutes to go in the fight.
Invicta also had several other ladies step up and excite the card. Fans will look forward to seeing Leslie Smith, Joanne Calderwood and Tecia Torres at future events. Any time they can draw interest, it is a win for Invicta.
The fourth installment of Invicta FC was definitely a mixed bag for the promotion. The PPV was an utter failure. There is no way around that fact. Both Invicta and Ustream need to evaluate what went wrong and find a solution.
The fights themselves, however, delivered as usual. The quick decision to make the event free earned Knapp more trust and loyalty from the Invicta fanbase. That cannot be overlooked.
Invicta is still going through growing pains, but the company still continues to deliver a satisfying product to fans of the sport. That much is evident. If they attempt to make another run at running a PPV event, it will have to go off without a hitch. Fans forgive once, but not usually twice.
Invicta FC 5 is scheduled for April with two title bouts and the promotional debut of Sarah Kaufman.