Over the course of its brief four-event history, Invicta Fighting Championships and its president, Shannon Knapp, have exhibited a smart business sense and a willingness to adapt to an evolving market for women’s MMA.

First came its relationship with the soon-to-be-defunct Strikeforce organization. Invicta was open to sharing fighters like Sara McMann and Cat Zingano without missing a beat, even after all signs pointed to McMann competing for the promotion’s inaugural 135-pound bantamweight championship following a win at Invicta FC 2.

Yet, two events later—after crowning its atomweight and strawweight champions—the promotion does not have immediate plans for a bantamweight title fight. Why, you might ask?

“We still have to get a feel for the landscape,” said Knapp in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner after the conclusion of the promotion’s fourth event in Kansas City, Kan., on Jan. 5.

“[The division] is going to stay [in flux] until we shake out a few cobwebs.”

Knapp’s current position on the division comes after Zuffa decided to close the doors on Strikeforce and create the UFC’s first women’s division at 135 pounds.

Although the biggest star signed by the UFC, Ronda Rousey, has never stepped foot into the Invicta cage, her first opponent, Liz Carmouche, has twice fought for the organization. And while the UFC has revealed just those two fighters for the division thus far, there have been reports of more Invicta veterans signing (or on the verge of signing), including the aforementioned McMann and Zingano.

“We’ve got a lot of girls filtering through right now,” explained Knapp, hinting at a wait-and-see approach to what has become the deepest division for the women’s side of the sport.

With Invicta announcing that its fifth event will talk place in April, the uncertainty surrounding the weight class may make things difficult for Knapp and the promotion in terms of matchmaking and marketing fighters competing in the division. Yet, she does have her eyes on a match-up between a three-time Invicta combatant and a former Strikeforce champion who has yet to officially sign with the UFC.

“I’d love to see Leslie Smith take on Sarah Kaufman,” said Knapp with a bit of reservation in her voice regarding the potential fight.

“There’s just a lot of stuff that’s unsettling [right now].”

Knapp may not have all the answers on the state of the division at this time, but based on the fact that nearly 40 percent of the young promotion’s fights have taken place at 135 pounds, it’s easy to see why she’s anxious for the dust to settle.

The UFC’s decision to hold women’s fights will undoubtedly benefit the fighters in the long run, but for now, those competing under the Invicta banner will have no choice but to play things by ear.

Photo: Bantamweight Alexis Davis (top) battles Shayna Baszler at Invicta FC 4 (Jeff Vulgamore/The MMA Corner)

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