Strikeforce Signs Olympic Wrestling Silver Medalist Sara McMann

Photo of Sara McMann by Esther Lin

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Sept.4, 2012) - One week after it announced the signing of former Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight (135 pounds) Champion Sarah Kaufman to fight on its upcoming event on Saturday, Oct. 6, world championship women's Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion Invicta Fighting Championships has announced that it is sending 2004 Olympic Wrestling Silver Medalist Sara McMann to compete in Strikeforce.

"Since we established Invicta FC at the beginning of this year, our goal has been to produce the best possible matchups between women mixed martial artists and, to achieve this, we sometimes need to import talent like Sarah Kaufman from elsewhere as well as to send talent like Sara McMann to a place like Strikeforce where there is a healthy amount of championship level professional women's MMA competition just like there is on our roster," said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp who, last week, sent another undefeated prospect, Cat Zingano, to fight under the Strikeforce banner.

"I am saddened not to be fighting in the first Invicta FC bantamweight title fight," said McMann. "I am not sure how long my MMA career will last and, with the time I have left in the sport, I need to take every opportunity that comes my way to fight the best competition out there, so this move is part of a bigger picture for me.

"Since Invicta FC and Strikeforce work closely together," continued McMann, "I hope I will have another opportunity to fight for Invicta FC. Shannon Knapp and Janet Martin (Invicta FC Matchmaker) have treated the other fighters and me better than any other promotion I have ever worked with and I am grateful to them for helping me with this opportunity in Strikeforce.

"I think the exposure Sara received headlining the last Invicta FC card played a major role in her landing the Strikeforce contract," said McMann's manager, Monte Cox. "I appreciate the professional way Invicta FC treats all the fighters and hope they continue to have success."

McMann (6-0), the first American woman to win a silver medal in the Olympic Games, notched her latest victory, a unanimous decision over Shayna Baszler, in the main event of the Invicta FC card at Memorial Hall in Kansas City on July 28. Zingano's last start came on May 14, 2011 when she KO'd Takayo Hashi with a slam in the third round (4:42) of their matchup.

Invicta FC is preparing to roll out its third live event at Memorial Hall. Headlining the 13-bout professional card will be an atomweight (105 pounds) world championship showdown between superstars Jessica Penne (9-1) of Laguna Hills, Calif. and Naho "Sugi Rock" Sugiyama (8-0) of Kyoto, Japan

Kaufman (15-2) of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada will look to return to her winning ways when she faces off with prolific striker Kaitlin Young (7-6-1) of St. Louis Park, Minn. at bantamweight.

Tickets for Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama, priced from $25, are on sale and can be purchased at Memorial Hall box office (913) 549-4853), online at Ticketmaster.com and InvictaFC.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.

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