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Invicta spurns cable broadcast overtures, will stream next card online

Invicta Fighting Championships co-owner Shannon Knapp said she had three cable broadcast offers on the table to telecast the promotion’s second event on Saturday, but she and partner Janet Martin opted to stream it for free online instead.

Invicta 2 will live stream its 14-fight, all-women’s card at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday from Kansas City, Kan., at invictafc.com, its official web site.

No doubt, Knapp and Martin are hoping for viewership as good as their first event’s stream numbers. According to figures shared with SI.com, Invicta 1 drew 233,580 unique visitors over its two-hour-plus, 11-fight free stream -- a staggering total when male-only events draw 12 times less as many viewers on average.

“We wanted to go out there and do one more right now to show people that we can,” said Knapp, a 10-year veteran of the MMA promotion business. “I think that’s crucial in building our brand and message and what we’re about.”

Knapp said the first event’s stream logged in viewers from Europe, Asia, and Canada, in addition to the U.S., and she wanted to make the second show just as available to the public. After the second event, Knapp said she’ll revisit broadcast opportunities.

On Saturday, Invicta will announce a double-championship headliner for its third event in October in the 105- and 135-pound weight divisions. The 135-pound weight class is the most followed division in the U.S. at the moment, due much in part to the meteoric rise of outspoken Strikeforce champion Ronda Rousey.

Invicta 2 features seven bantamweight bouts, including the main event featuring 2004 Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann (5-0) against submission-savvy veteran Shayna Baszler (14-6).

-- Loretta Hunt

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