Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s largest, all-women’s mixed martial arts organization, began in 2012 as the vision of longtime industry veteran Shannon Knapp. It was clear to Knapp that the sport of MMA lacked a major platform for professional female fighters to compete on a consistent basis.

In April of 2012, the promotion hosted its first event from its base of Kansas City. The event streamed live and free on and proved to be a huge success. A second event followed in July of that year. The year ended with a major milestone as the first Invicta FC champion was crowned at Invicta FC 3 in the atomweight division.

After a successful first year of operations, the organization continued to grow exponentially in 2013. Invicta FC 4 kicked off the year as the first event to air via online pay-per-view and featured the promotion’s inaugural strawweight title bout. In the spring, a flyweight champion was crowned, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

The promotion’s sixth event moved to televised pay-per-view in the United States and Canada. In the main event, the inaugural featherweight belt was awarded. At Invicta FC 7 in late 2013, the promotion’s fifth and final title was handed out in the bantamweight division.

The growth of the promotion took another step forward in the second half of 2014, as the promotion held its first events outside of Kansas City. Invicta FC 9 ventured to Davenport, Iowa, while Invicta FC 10 emanated from Houston.

Things did not slow down in 2015, as the promotion kicked off the year with its first events in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The promotion later returned to both vicinities in 2016.

In 2017, champions from Russia and Australia were crowned and the promotion celebrated its historic 25th event in Northern California. The following year, Invicta ventured further, touching down in Salt Lake City and Oklahoma.

Knapp continued to change the game in 2019, announcing the Phoenix Series, a one-night tournament format that returned the sport back to its roots.

While there are still many chapters to be written, Invicta FC is committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups, as well as identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.


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President Shannon Knapp

Shannon Knapp is a trailblazer in combat sports, founding Invicta Fighting Championships, the top global all-women MMA promotion. As the only female executive leading a major combat sports organization, she also serves as a senior executive with Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. Since creating Invicta FC in 2012, Knapp has revolutionized women’s MMA, offering a major platform for professional female athletes. Under her leadership, Invicta has promoted over 400 contests featuring top athletes like Rose Namajunas, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino, and Amanda Nunes.

In 2024, Invicta secured an exclusive television rights deal with CBS Sports, expanding its global reach. The promotion was also featured in Halle Berry’s Netflix drama “Bruised,” highlighting Knapp’s influence beyond the octagon. Knapp continues to innovate, making Invicta the first major North American MMA organization to use open scoring and reintroducing one-night tournaments.

With over 25 years of experience, including roles with the UFC, Strikeforce, and others, Knapp’s impact on MMA was recognized with her induction into the International Sports Hall Of Fame in 2022. Her dedication and pioneering efforts continue to shape the future of women’s MMA.