by R.C. Samo
Invicta Fighting Championship, the all women’s promotion will be hosting their inaugural card, Saturday, April 28, 2012 at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS. Jessica Penne, who will be fighting in the co-main event, sat down with FanboyNation Magazine at Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, CA to discuss what it is like trying to find competition at the 105 lb weight class, what Invicta means to Women’s Mixed Martial Arts (WMMA) and how even on a jog in the park turns into a competition.
Penne, holds an 8-1-0 record and had moved up to the 115 lb weight class, finishing off her last opponent, Amy Davis, 4:12 min. into the first round by rear naked choke while fighting for The Cage Inc. promotion.
Not allowed to wrestle in high school, Penne was drawn to sports like swimming, where it was a team effort but an individual competition, leading her to find another outlet.
“Rather than pushing my way into an avenue where I wasn’t wanted, I found Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai,” said Penne, in between one of her three daily training sessions.
The petite powerhouse has been kicked out of the gym, her trainers feared that she would over exert herself making her prone to injury. Penne, who like a shark, refuses to stop moving refuses to rest on her laurels feeling that if she ever stops, she will stop evolving as a fighter, which she refuses to do.
“I feel I owe so much to those who support me that it makes me want to be a better person. I want show them my appreciation through my dedication and hard work,” declared Penne, in the musky gym.
The Invicta card, promoted by Janet Martin and Shannon Knapp are pushing for the recognition WMMA deserves; proving that it is not just a novelty between the men’s bouts or being relegated to the under card. Martin and Knapp hope to create a multiple weight class promotion giving women a platform to fight without having to compete at a catch weight.
“We aren’t competing for a pay check, we aren’t competing to pay our bills. We are competing because we love it. That’s why we have girls who are ranked in three different weight classes, they do it just to get fights,” groaned Penne, who has been disenfranchised with trying to find fights in the 105 lb weight class, that Invicta has been able to provide for her.
Fighting isn’t the only way outlet Penne has for her athletic endeavors. She cannot turn off the warrior spirit, confessing, that even going for a run in the park she will pick someone at random to race against, unbeknownst to them.
The issue of being a female fighter is often overshadowed by sexual exploitation and the the use of femininity versus talent. “Sure, I want to get dressed up and be pretty, but I don’t want that to determine me getting a fight,” said Penne, wide eyed and hungry for competition.
Follow Jessica Penne on twitter @JessicaPenne and her facebook group Jessica Penne, Invicta on Twitter @InvictaFights