Dana White has suggested in the past that the UFC Apex could play host to other promotions, and it looks like Invicta FC is in the mix.
Las Vegas, NV — Another season of the Contender Series is officially over. Season three saw UFC President Dana White open the floodgates in terms of handing out contracts, and this Tuesday was no different. Week ten had three winners in T.J. Brown, Peter Barrett, and Dusko Todorovic. Ben Sosoli is being given another look on top of that, on Dana White’s Lookin’ for a Fight, White revealed post-fight.
And White was singing the praises of Impa Kasanganay, who was simply too green to give a deal to, but who White expects to be back on the UFC’s radar at some point. Maybe even in the UFC Apex again.
Speaking of the UFC Apex, White told Cageside Press post-fight that more events would be coming to the facility soon.
“The Ultimate Fighter, I’m still working on the deal for The Ultimate Fighter. Then in October, stuff’s going to start ramping up here,” said White. “We’re re-launching Fight Pass in October, and I’ll announce Zuffa boxing in October too.”
Later, he’d add another new wrinkle, when it was mentioned that Shannon Knapp had been spotted at the facility. “Shannon wants to bring Invicta to Vegas and wants to do the fights here at the Apex,” revealed White. “I told her we’ll figure it out.”
The idea would be to sort of piggy back with UFC events. Invicta FC airs exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. To White, the idea “makes a lot of sense. Which I love too. Because I’ll go to the fights. I’m sure all you guys, too.”
“Imagine if we had all the Invicta fights here Friday leading up to the fights on Saturday,” he finished. Invicta has turned into a primary source of talent for the UFC when it comes to female fighters, with everyone from Amanda Nunes to Cris Cyborg to Michelle Waterson and more having fought for the promotion.
As for The Ultimate Fighter, White still believes it has its place. “Imagine this kid tonight [Impa Kasanganay] that I said is too young, imagine this kid doing a stint on the Ultimate Fighter. Five, six weeks here under a really good team that we build, and having to fight, make weight, and everything else,” outlined White. “The Ultimate Fighter, if you look throughout history, and I know media and hardcore fans have talked sh*t about the Ultimate Fighter for years and whatever — say what you want, there’s nothing better than taking young, talented guys, bringing them in here, and having them deal with all the pressure that they have to deal with on The Ultimate Fighter.”
“These guys go on to become legends, man. And world champions,” White added. “People who are built to last in the UFC for a long time.”
A time frame for the return of the reality fighting show isn’t set, however. “ASAP. We’re working on it right now. I’m working on a new TV deal for it.”
On the subject of the Contender Series itself, well, White said frankly that “I’m going to be bummed out on Tuesday, next Tuesday. Everybody is. Everybody around here loves it.” And while a second season in 2019 was floated, it’s not happening. “I was talking about a second season, it doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to pull off a second season.” Simply put, it’s too difficult to fill out that many cards. “A hundred fights, it’s tough to find that many guys again.”
In other news, White confirmed both Darren Till vs. Kelvin Gastelum, and Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington, the latter of which will take place at UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden.
Watch the full Contender Series 2019 Week 10 press scrum with Dana White above!