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Was The Time Right For Invicta To Enter The Pay-Per-View Market?
Invicta FC put on its sixth event last night, marking its first foray into the pay-per-view arena. Two former Strikeforce women’s champions faced off when Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos faced off with Marloes Coenen in the main event. When the dust settled, Santos had dominated Coenen in one of the most one-sided bouts we’ve ever seen make it to the fourth round.
The win gave word to those who believe that Rousey is without a doubt the women’s pound-for-pound queen. While “Rowdy” may be the UFC champ, Cyborg is probably the only woman with a shot at dethroning her. Santos has been notorious for her unwillingness to drop down to Rousey’s fighting weight of 135 lbs. But one would think that Dana White would eventually figure out a way to book the fight.
Beyond that, however, the card kind of failed to deliver. The main event was a showcase for Santos, but otherwise, it was rather uninspired and without drama. The card had 7 out of 11 fights end via decision, something that’s not going to extend the popularity of Invicta and WMMA as a whole too much. Personally I thought the card was a bit dragging at times, drawing itself out with a lack of emphatic finishes.
Perhaps I’m being a bit too harsh on the young promotion, and I’ll be the first to acknowledge that these women are no doubt highly talented. But without some of the excitement that makes fans tune into the UFC card after card, it may have been a bit of a premature entry into the PPV market. After all, if it were a UFC card that featured so many decisions and a lopsided, yet long-lasting main event, fans and media would be maligning the event with a vengeance as we speak.
I also know that with bouts at strawweight and atomweight, it’s tough to see too many hard-hitting knockouts. That’s one of the reasons that flyweight is unquestionably the least popular division in the UFC. Once again, take nothing away from the fighters, because they fought some incredibly tough bouts last night. I just think that in today’s rapidly evolving age of MMA, only the most hardcore fans will look past a litany of decisions to see the true technical wizardry taking place.
The technical prowess of the Invicta fighters is great, but ultimately a lack of dynamic finishes will hurt the promotion’s growth for obvious reasons. One of the reasons that Rousey has caught fire so quickly is that she has finished all of her opponents in brutal fashion via armbar. It could be argued that each and every one of her victories trumped any finish or fight presented at Invicta 6 last night.
So was it too early for Invicta to begin charging their followers to watch their events? It’s tough to say, but I do think they could have monitored the numbers for this event as a free stream one more time. After all, their 145 lb. title fight between Santos and Coenen was basically the most-high profile bout they could put together (at least on paper). Hindsight is always 20/20, but Invicta may need to ramp up the excitement before trying to draw big pay-per-view paydays. What do you see as their best course of action?