On Thursday, in what can only be described as the biggest move in women's mixed martial arts since Ronda Rousey first entered octagon, the UFC officially announced it has inked a distribution deal with Invicta FC, the world's leading all women MMA promotion.
The new deal gives the UFC the exclusive rights to distribute all of Invicta FC's content, including airing every live event and all past content from their previous seven shows, on the digital UFC Fight Pass.
"We've never done this with a company before unless we've bought them," said UFC Chief Content Officer Marshall Zelaznik. "We're not buying [Invicta]. We're truly a distributor. It's pretty historical in the way UFC has operated."
"UFC Fight Pass already has subscribers in over 155 countries, which is a huge platform for the Invicta athletes," added UFC Fight Pass chief content officer Mashall Zelaznik. "Invicta fighters are now sharing the same stage as elite UFC fighters like Alexander Gustafson, Conor McGregor, Cung Le and Michael Bisping. For any UFC fans that haven't seen these women compete before - I guarantee they will be blown away when they see what Invicta is all about."
The North Carolina based promotion has only aired two live events in the last 12 months, with the last one being Dec. 7. But according to Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp, this new deal will not only allow them book fights more frequently, but also put on more live shows than ever before.
"Now that we have a stable foundation, we're going to increase the number of events," said Knapp. "We want to see how things go, and look at the frequency (of live shows). Those are things we're still ironing out. We're capable of doing more events and we're looking to ramp things up. We can put on cards as often as they want. I think it's going to be a great thing.
"This is a great day for my company. Since the start of Invicta, I've been committed to providing the biggest and best possible platform for women athletes, and with this distribution deal with UFC Fight Pass, Invicta will reach the most passionate MMA fans, wherever they are in the world."
The first live show is currently scheduled for late summer but no fights have officially been added.