According to a Feb. 15 report fromMMA Junkie, Invicta FC has replenished its roster with a surprising number of fighters from outside the United States.
Invicta FC officials replaced 11 of their top strawweight stars by securing the services of Brazilian striker Herica Tiburcio, 115-pound submission ace Livia Renata Souza, Florida standout Delaney Owen, North Carolina striker Ashley "Doll Face" Greenway and atomweight phenom Amber Brown, along with heavy-handed superstars Irena Aldana and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Additionally, Invicta FC officials announced the signings of TUF 18 alums Peggy "The Daywalker" Morgan, Valerie Letourneau and Roxanne Modafferi.
The promotion also welcomed Faith Van Duin and Rachel Ostovich.
“Invicta has always endeavored to balance delivering the athletes fans know and love, with an eye toward building the next generation of female MMA stars,” Invicta FC President Shannon Knappstated. “Women’s MMA is truly a global sport, and at Invicta we have scoured the globe in order to bring the best talent to our fans. There is talent all around the globe, and our goal at Invicta has been to provide athletes with a worldwide platform to display their talent.”
New Invicta FC matchmaker Julie Kedzie is also pleased with the next wave of talent to enter the Invicta fold.
“This new class provides me with added depth to put together matchups that we believe the fans want to see,” Kedzie stated.
The new Invicta FC signings are certainly fantastic, but the promotion took some heat from fight fans for signing so many international fighters and not enough local talent.
Here's a look at five reasons why Invicta FC might have passed on top local talent.
TUF 20 tryouts
Invicta FC knows full well that many of the top U.S.-based strawweights will be trying out for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Invicta officials could have legitimately made a run at signing the likes of Jordan Nicole Gaza and Heather Jo Clark, but they know there's a good chance those ladies will end up on the reality show.
Keeping the TUF 20 tryouts in mind, Invicta FC officials likely avoided signing the strawweights who will be vying for the final five spots on the show.
The strawweights who don't end up making the cut for the show could be signed by Invicta at a later date, but it wouldn't make sense for them to be signed right before the tryouts.
Invicta FC officials want the top female fighters in the world, but it's difficult to get all the best under one roof when there's so many high-quality promotions out there trying to do the same thing.
Invicta FC would love to sign local talent such as Holly Holm, Justine Kish and Stephanie Eggink, but all three are wrapped up in contracts with rival promotions.
Symbiotic relationship with UFC
Invicta FC officials haven't officially declared the promotion to be a UFC feeder league, but that's essentially what it became when the UFC signed away 11 of their top strawweights two months ago.
Since Invicta FC has a strong relationship with the UFC, the promotions could work together to develop top talent from across the globe.
The UFC is trying to break into new markets all over the world, so it's important to have marketable stars from the new countries they tap into.
Sticking To Original Plan
Invicta FC has always been committed to pioneering the future growth of women’s MMA by promoting the best possible match-ups between female competitors and identifying and developing future superstars of the sport.
That was the goal and plan from day one, so they deserve props for sticking to it.
They Aren't Done
Invicta FC bolstered their roster with 15 fighters from across the globe, including stars from Brazil, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.
However, Shannon Knapp isn't resting on her laurels. The promotion isn't done signing fighters, so fight fans should have some patience.
Invicta FC will continue to sign top talent from across the globe, but they aren't finished scooping up high-level fighters from within the United States.