So I am back from a refreshing trip in Las Vegas to watch the UFC. It was an amazing time to watch the best organization in the world! I ran into some great fighters and leaders in the MMA game. The weekend was full of fights fights fights. It started with the UFC Fan expo where there were a bunch of great booths. It was PACKED. We sat for a Dana White question and answer session which was the highlight of my trip. It was interested to see Dana interact with the crowd. He is not that bad after all! He was very humble. It put in to perspective what kind of President he really was. He took time to take photos answer questions and seem to really relate with the fans and give the fans what fights they wanted to see. I waited in line for 20 min just to ask him one simple questions. A guy comes up and offers me $20.00 bucks for my place in line. I thought to myself this is a once and a lifetime chance to talk to a man who I rank up there with the President of the United States. No way buddy………
Archive for Mixed Martial Arts
AFC 69 “Proving Ground” TUESDAY, March 9th 7:30 @ Sullivan Arena
Main Event 5- 3min Rounds
Light Heavyweight Championship
Stephen “The Incredible Hulk” Waalkes vs. Jesus “The Truth” Rivera 2:19 4th RD RNC
Great fight both gave it all they had. All they had though will not be good enough for the up and comers that want that Light- Heavyweight Belt. I have been contacted by Ricky Shivers and Brian Ryan already stating they want to take a jab at Waalkes. Stay tune on this to see who Waalkes will face first. Both fighters in this fight looked gassed after the 2nd round. AFC will be moving all upper end fights to 5 min rounds in the start of 2010 so these guys both have a lot of cardio work to do if they want to stay in the ranking! Props to Waalkes for pulling it out!!! Jesus gave it all he had and is also a true warrior. I have tons of respect for both of these guys and hope that it was a wake up call for them and they can go back and learn what they need to work on!! I wish Jesus a speedy recovery and want to thank everyone in the locker room who assisted Jesus to get him the proper medical treatment. I was right along side Jesus when he was taken to the hospital and Anchorage Fire Department did a great job taking care of him!
So the fights are tonight! I know I know if feels like yesterday it was AFC 68…. Well snow or no snow the show must go on! Weigh ins went well last night with only 1 fighter being 1 lb over weight. A few laps around the block and he made weight.
The anticipated match up with Waalkes and Rivera will for sure be the fight to watch. I am the most excited about seeing the debut fighters on this card because you never know what to expect from them. We have quite a few on this card so it calls for a great night!
Also the fight to watch is Jesse Cruz vs Josh Clark expect fire works out of this one as they are both fighting for a shot at the first ever 135 championship belt. Continue reading
Just thought this was an interesting perspective coming from a mother of a fighter. I can not imagine what the Mom’s go through when their boy’s get in there. Its great to see such a supportive mom!!! Thanks to Peter for this write up!
Teri Hendricks is the proud mother of two professional MMA fighters. “Tim Hendricks (7-2) is my oldest son and two years older than Dustin.” Dustin Hendricks (3-0, 2-0 AFC) will enter the cage this time around at AFC 69 against Harry Coddle making his professional debut in the Middleweight division. I asked her if she gets nervous watching her boys fight. “I am a well-seasoned mom and don’t get nervous at all when they fight. All three of my boys have grown up with wrestling and mixed martial arts. They train hard and know what they are doing.” I asked her about the worst part of being a fighter’s mom. “Definitely the WEIGHT CUTTING INSANITY before a fight. It is hard to see what they put themselves through to cut weight but I also know that they are strong willed kids and will do whatever they have to do. There is nothing I can do but give them my support.” Teri says she will be attending AFC 69 with her youngest son Cody. “Cody and I will be there and you will hear me from the bleachers! Cody will also tell me to be quiet many times throughout the evening. My boys have nicknamed me ‘psycho mom’ cause I love MMA and am their biggest supporter! They always hear me wherever they are.” Does Cody plan on following in the footsteps of his brothers? “I wouldn’t be surprised if Cody also became a fighter. He has wrestled since he was 4 yrs. old and also loves fighting.” And the outcome of her son’s fight? “I would love to see Dustin take his opponent out by TKO! A win of any kind would be fine but I will be proud of him regardless of the outcome.”
So here are my thought on the AFC 68 results. This is a place for me as the promoter to express my true feelings about the results with out the political unbiased BS……… so here it goes.
What will be a night to remember, AFC 68 was action packed with 3000 + fans in attendance. See below for official results!
Main Event 3- 5 min Rounds
Welterweight Super Fight 3-5 min Rounds
Rob “The Monster” Yundt vs. Julio “The Dominican Demon” Paulino TKO 2:26 2nd round
(Great fight was really not sure on which way this fight would go. If I was a betting woman…. this would defiantly not be the fight I would have bet on. I respect both fighters so much and was very happy to see both of them show class in the locker room when the fight was finally over. I think Julio was the better fighter that night. That is all there is to it)
What would be an amazing night of fights with 3000 + fans in attendance was all shot down by one fight that ended in controversy. The wind was out of my sail and it was time to find a solution to the problem. For once in the last 3 months the controversy did not involve Yundt or Paulino. What a surprise right? This controversy surrounded the Caros Fodor vs. Nate Hannah fight. The coach said that the tap was after the bell at the time the fight was called by the ref. There was nothing AFC could have done at that time. The fights must go on. I went to the back after the event and reviewed the tape. The tap was AT the bell and began after the bell had begun to sound. So whats next…… do we over turn the refs call and call it a no contest. Do we leave the call stand with the refs decision. This was the most morally challenged I have EVER been in my 3 years running the AFC. I felt pressure from both sides to make the right decision. I then spent the next 2 days deciding what to do. People here locally were all over the board and riding both sides of the fence. I concluded that I needed outside help from a non biased party. Conclusion………. stick with the refs call. You can not go and overturn the refs decision in the cage. Every fight could be question if that was the fact. I admit it was a very very very close call and the fight should have made it to the 3rd round. The fact is, it didn’t. Nate Hannah is the winner and I look to see a rematch as soon as possible. Caros was an amazing sport and accepted the loss. I know I will continue to get pressure indirectly from Caros Camp. I just have to keep moving along. You can not let some one bully you into making your decision. You have to make the decision based on what is right or wrong. This has been a huge learning experience for me and exposed peoples true colors.
I would like to bring up the fact that AFC is not alone in this situation. HDNET televised a KING OF THE CAGE live from New Mexico this past weekend. The main event, a heavyweight title fight, a knockout occurred by a punch that started being thrown as the bell was sounding or just after the bell ending the second round. The one fighter could not continue. They awarded the victory to the puncher. I bring this point up to stress that there are unique situations in the world of sports and this is just one example of that.
According to espn.com here are the top 3 worse calls in sports
1. Denkinger calls Orta safe
In arguably the most controversial call in World Series history, Don Denkinger calls the Royals’ Jorge Orta safe at first base in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 Series against the Cardinals. TV replays show that St. Louis pitcher Todd Worrell had clearly beaten Orta to the bag, but Denkinger’s call sets the stage for a two-run Royals rally in a critical 2-1 victory. Kansas City goes on to win the Series in seven games.
2. Colorado’s fifth down
Colorado comes from behind to beat Missouri 33-31 in 1990, scoring the game-winning touchdown on “fifth down.” Officials fail to count a down when the Buffs spike the ball to stop the clock and mistakenly give CU five cracks at the end zone. Colorado’s score comes on the final play of the game.
3. Soviets get extra time in 1972 Olympic hoops
The U.S. men’s basketball team suffers its first loss in Olympic history when officials put time back on the clock twice in the final seconds, allowing the Soviet Union to score a basket at the buzzer and win the gold medal with a 50-49 victory in the final of the 1972 Games.
Officials are human there is no doubt about that! Hopefully we can move on from this and continue to put on a great show!
Thanks for your support! Till next time!
An article that was emailed to me about fighters getting sponsorships. It is interesting to me how MMA is the worlds fastest growing sport yet these fighters are barley making it financially! There are very valid points against MMA vs. other large sports organizations. Hope you enjoy!
To sponsor something is to support it. In our sport (MMA) we are talking about athletes, events, and possibly gyms. Since the down turn of the economy you have seen more and more of the main MMA sponsors disappear or change their sponsorship terms.
What is happening today is brands are calling themselves sponsors to Ambush a particular event. We are hearing more and more that sponsor dollars are tied to TV exposure and if a fighter is not on a televised card there is no money available for him or her. Yet the fighters have no control over televising the fight or not. They control the training, the preparation and of course the execution of the fight,
It takes the average top level cycling team about 8-14 million dollars to have riders qualified enough to place at the top of the biggest races in the World. These sponsors invest in equipment, training, physical wellness, and coaches to help their athletes reach the top. Yet only one rider can win the Yellow Jersey. There is no guarantee that the team they assemble will win, challenge or even make it to the top. It is a risk and the reward could be your Team Winning the Tour De France.
NASCAR Teams usually take on a few exclusive brand sponsors that again agree to pay for tires, testing, best pit crew money can buy, engine and aerodynamic science to go faster and win some races. Being in the top 10 is often a goal because the owners and sponsors know that is who the crowd gets behind and that that where the TV Cameras are going to be. These Teams can cost sponsors upwards of 2-5 million per race and no guarantees of TV time, exposure etc.
I can give example after example but this is combat sports and that means most everything is pay for play. Fighters, trainers, training partners live in a Pay for Play world. If they can reach the biggest stage they can then trade placement on their shorts for money. If they get hurt while training for the “bigger stage” they make nothing. If their opponent gets injured and a fight can’t be rescheduled they make no money. If they end up on the un-televised portion of the biggest stage they make less or no money.
There is no support system for building better fighters. Imagine if NASCAR still used 1970 Monte Carlos and never evolved to the speed rockets they have today. What if Coke told its top racer we will give you 8 million if you win and nothing if you don’t make it on TV.
That is what is going on in MMA. You can’t call yourself a sponsor or a supporter of the sport if you are buying patches on fighters that are televised. To be a true sponsor you have to support the fighters through training, through winning and losing. It is an investment in the fighter’s future and your brands future. If you are just paying when he or she has a televised fight then are you not just stealing exposure from the promoter? The fighter does not own that television time paying them for it and not the sacrifices made by him, his trainers and training partners is a disservice to the sport.
If you’re a sponsor rep and your trading televised spots for money, are you really doing your client any favors? What happens when all organizations charge a sponsor tax? What about when the sponsors refuse to pay because the promotion decided to bump the fight from televised to dark?
Many fighters show up to fight for the money, the show money and the sponsor money. Then they have to collect AFTER they perform. No credit for the training, no credit for the training injuries and the sacrifices in the gym that helped the fighter reach this spot.
Sponsors are not the problem they are operating in a world created by others. Brand X wants to be affiliated with this fighter because this fighter will be on TV. As Managers, Agents, fighters etc we need to look for ways to give the sponsor more than a patch next to their competitor. We need to develop marketing solutions that include activating the brand into the sport and marketing platforms that allow the sponsor to have exposure points when the fighter is not on SOMEONE’s TV show. The fights and ambush branding should be secondary to the overall campaign.
Developing marketing platforms that involve the fighters and brands. Help the brands reach the fans of the sport and stop relying on the UFC or some other organization to build your fighters name and thus allow you to do more sponsoring dollars.
We have been bringing in over $250,000 a year in sponsorship money as a result we have increased sales for companies and opportunities for fighters. We don’t treat the fighter like a commodity that creates opportunity for us. We work for the fighter and the brand. We help them determine goals and build a program that helps them reach those goals. Marketing in this new economy is about delivering results. If you get a brand on the UFC other agents will call that brand, but have you reached or touched the consumer? Converting sales and reaching a measurable return on investment is what brands want. If sponsor reps really believed that merely putting your logo on the ass of a fighter will spur sales wouldn’t they be putting their company’s logo and not Tapouts.
As a fighter invest in yourself and your coaches. Build a brand for you. Only fighters and trainers know how hard they work to get to the fight, I think MMA fighters train harder than any other athlete in the world. The Ultimate Fighter tells you that lots of people are interested in seeing no name fighters train and live the fighter lifestyle on that road to greatness. Don’t wait until some promoter or MMA news site say’s you are great, make yourself great and brand yourself like you are the next Fedror. Act as if.
As a sponsor, get involved with your fighters. Make them a part of your brand. Look at Moto for a great example of how to harness the athletes and fans into a billion dollar industry. You won’t see riders wearing Yamaha Jerseys riding a Suzuki. You see brands trying to connect with the consumer they want by supporting and developing the future leaders of the sport. Fighters have no control as to when they will be on TV but if you help build the best fighter in the World you will be on every media outlet you could ever had dreamed for,