Sorry fellas, the ladies are no longer free of charge.
After a scorching 2012 that saw the debut of the all-female mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion Invicta Fighting Championships, the promotion is ready to start cashing in.
All three of Invicta FC's first events were made available for free via the promotion's website, including the first Invicta FC championship bout which was won by Jessica Penne at 105 pounds (atomweight).
Shannon Knapp, the promoter of Invicta FC, broke the news earlier today (via MMA Fight Corner).
"As we go into 2013...this next event is going to be pay-per-view. In 2012, we went in and we gave our product away all year long, the shows that we did. We built the brand and now we're in the process, we'll start with the first [in 2013] which will be a pay-per-view. We'll see how that goes. But we're prepared to use the internet. I mean the internet has done what it has for us for now.
I know that it's not the conventional way of promoting, people think it's always about the race, ‘Get that television deal. Get that.' But you know what, the internet has been good to us too. So, I think that we just don't want to get into that position where you're making bad choices because you're desperate, or because you think that's the route. Because at the end of the day, if you put us on a station, or a channel, or something that's not accessible by a lot of people, that really doesn't help the athlete to monetize as well to put sponsorship dollars in their pockets. We just want to be conscious of everything moving forward."
The move from free to pay-per-view is quite a big risk considering the relative youth of the promotion, but Knapp feels the opportunity is worth it:
"It's a gamble and it has been since I sat down and formulated it. The first year out, we far exceeded any of the expectations that I had using it the way we did. You know, coming out and marketing it and doing it the way we did, we were very successful. This next year, now we move into phase two which is we look at the monetizing of the brand, and the product, and that kind of thing - you know, knock on wood - being blessed that it continues to grow, and just keep putting on a better product, and doing better things, and continuing to walk the walk and hopefully we get to where we want to go."
So what do you think, Maniacs?
The ladies of Invicta put on some of the most entertaining top-to-bottom fight card of 2012. Do you think MMA fans will be willing to pay to see them perform? Would you be willing to buy in?