LOS ANGELES (February 28, 2022) – Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc., a global multi-platform media company, is proud to announce that Anthem senior executive Shannon Knapp—founder of top global all-women MMA promotion Invicta Fighting Championships—has been selected for induction into the International Sports Hall Of Fame, located inside the Stark Center For Physical Culture And Sports at the University Of Texas in Austin. The 11TH Annual Induction Ceremony highlights influential figures in the field of Combative Martial Arts, with 2022 honorees joining the Hall Of Fame’s prestigious ranks in a special invite-only event on Saturday, March 5 in Columbus, OH.
Fueled by her deep love and respect for the sport and its competitors, Knapp created Invicta FC in 2012 after more than two decades working in the MMA landscape with top organizations such as IFL, Strikeforce, UFC, and King Of The Cage, among many others. Under her leadership, Invicta has completely revolutionized the industry—emerging as the premier destination for all-female combat sports action, where seasoned veterans and promising up-and-comers, alike, can access invaluable resources, hone their craft, and put their skills to the test against the world’s best female competitors. During her tenure, Knapp has promoted more than 400 contests, boasting some of the sport’s greatest female athletes including Rose Namajunas, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino, Amanda Nunes, and many more. Her advocate spirit sets the promotion apart, guided by her honest approach, genuine business operations, and a family environment that extends from the cage to the front office. She continues to inspire and empower women from all walks of life, helping them train and prepare to be the absolute best in their sport.
It is because of this incredible drive and dedication that the International Sports Hall Of Fame is proud to include her among their 2022 inductees, which also includes Combative Martial Arts pioneers such as Grandmaster Ron Van Clief, five-time World Martial Arts Champion and actor; five-time World Boxing Champion Vinny Paz; Boxing and MMA coordinator and manager Burt Watson; former UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock; martial artist and humanitarian Prince Gharios; and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic.
The International Sports Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony is held in conjunction with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famed Arnold Sports Festival, also taking place that weekend in Columbus, OH. Anthem’s own legendary professional wrestling promotion, IMPACT Wrestling, will be on hand with a booth where attendees can meet top talent from the flagship IMPACT! series from March 4 through March 5. Then, on March 6, IMPACT Wrestling invites aspiring athletes to its “GutCheck” talent search conducted by legendary wrestler and coach Lance Storm to find the next generation of IMPACT Wrestling icons.
“It is a sincere honor to be inducted into the International Sports Hall Of Fame, and even more so as part of this class full of iconic figures who have been influential in the world of Combative Martial Arts,” Knapp said. “MMA means so much to me, and I have always had a passion for the gifted athletes who give this sport their all. It has been my privilege to play a role in the development of these world-class female athletes, especially, providing them with a platform to showcase their immense skills through Invicta Fighting Championships. I am grateful to Dr. Robert Goldman and the International Sports Hall Of Fame for this humbling recognition, and I look forward to joining my fellow inductees at the ceremony on March 5.”
“Shannon Knapp is a truly inspiring woman who has been vital in providing a major platform for female athletes in the male-dominated MMA scene,” said Fairfax Hackley, SVP of the International Sports Hall Of Fame. “Not only does she empower these incredible athletes who come to her organization to forge their own legacies as top athletes in MMA, but she also sets an important example for others to follow. She’s bold and determined, and unafraid to roll up her sleeves and go to battle for these competitors. I cannot think of anyone who is doing more for women in the MMA than Shannon Knapp is doing right now, and we are so proud to be able to induct her in the International Sports Hall Of Fame.”
“Shannon is an invaluable part of Anthem’s executive team, and it is so inspiring to see her honored by the International Sports Hall Of Fame for the same strong leadership qualities that we are privileged to witness in action every single day,” said Leonard Asper, founder and CEO of Anthem. “Anthem has long been a proponent of MMA, highlighting the best athletes and top promotions from all around the world across our most popular networks, and having Shannon onboard has only strengthened our commitment to the sport. She is a strong voice in MMA, providing these gifted female athletes with everything they need to achieve success both in and out of the ring. We could not be prouder of her induction into the International Sports Hall Of Fame, and we are excited to see what the future has in store for both her and Invicta.”
About International Sports Hall of Fame and Dr. Robert M. Goldman
International Sports Hall of Fame is a 501(c) non-profit foundation established by Dr. Robert M. Goldman to honor the world’s greatest athlete legends in all sports. This global organization believes recognition of remarkable sports people should endure and be recognized long after their careers have ended. Just as important is what Hall of Fame candidates do later in life, in giving back to others and society, with charity work, and mentoring young people. The induction ceremonies are held annually every March at the Arnold Sports Festival, which is the world’s largest annual sports weekend, hosting 20,000+ athletes competing in 60+ sports and events.
Robert M. Goldman MD, PhD, DO, FAASP is a 7th degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and 7th degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. He’s also a Chinese weapons expert and a world champion athlete with over 20 world strength records. Goldman is Co-Founder & Chairman of the Board-A4M, Founder & Chairman-International Sports Hall of Fame, President Emeritus-National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), Chairman-U.S. Sports Academy’s Board of Visitors. Full bio.
About Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a global multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City, Cleveland and Toronto. Anthem's portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; global film distribution company Gravitas Ventures; Fight Network, the world's premier combat sports channel; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world's leading wrestling organizations specializing in original programming and live events; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion; Game+, the leader in Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.