On July 10, it was announced that Invicta Fighting Championships and the UFC Fight Pass network had reached a deal to broadcast Invicta events on the Fight Pass network. This was significant because it is the first time that the UFC has shown a willingness to help promote an organization’s events that weren’t Zuffa owned. However, this is not surprising considering that since the UFC added a women’s division, it has maintained a working relationship with the all-women’s promotion. There are several other reasons as to why this partnership is relevant for women’s MMA. They can be listed off in three basic categories:
Exposure for Women’s MMA
Women’s MMA has been breaking into the mainstream with the addition of the women’s bantamweight and straw weight divisions in the UFC. However, that’s really only scratching the surface with divisions like the atom weights, flyweights and featherweights left out. This deal will allow fighters who compete in these three weight classes for various reasons to gain exposure for subscribers of the online network. It will also allow up and comers in the two weight classes already in the UFC to gain exposure. Eventually it would allow a case for said fighters to eventually make it into the UFC or in the case of the featherweights to Bellator.
Exposure for big name fighters
The three champions of the above mentioned non-UFC weight classes currently have no way of gaining mainstream exposure. The first of those champions who will get a chance to display her talents is atom weight champion Michelle Waterson at Invicta FC 8 this Saturday. Another champion who would benefit from such exposure would be flyweight champion Barb Honchak. However, the woman who would benefit the most would be featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. She would benefit from exposure for a possible title shot with Ronda Rousey.
Eventual TV Deal Possibility
For the time being this is a way for Invicta to get women’s MMA into the mainstream but it will not be enough in the long term. If anything this could and should be considered as a short term solution. The long term goal should and probably is an eventual television network deal. In the meantime both Invicta and the UFC should make the best of this deal to help promote both their brands and women’s MMA. Promoting women’s MMA will only help MMA in the long run which benefits both promotions overall.