Author Archive

What To Do When Your Show Gets Cancelled

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Education

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In light of the recent cancelation of an mma event, I have decided to pen the proper way to handle such a thing should it ever happen in the future. By no means is this a be-all-end-all must do list, but it will take a very bad situation, minimize the damage, and help secure your future instead of making a big scene about the situation, maximize the damage, and really hurt any future cards you may put on.

So you find out that you have to cancel your event. This could be due to any number of valid reasons to you. The reasons themselves, DO NOT MATTER. The point is they are valid enough for you to cancel your event.

The first thing you want to do is draft a press release stating your event is cancelled and give a reason for it. While giving that reason, take accountability for it 100%. It doesn’t matter if the state athletic commission screwed you over, your main event fighter pulled out with an injury, no matter what the reason is, take accountability for it. Have this press release ready to go public in a moments notice.

The next thing you need to do is call ALL of your fighters that were fighting on the card. Explain to them that the card is cancelled, but that you are going to be trying to find them a new fight in the near future, while also wanting to keep them on your rescheduled card. Then explain to them to not leak the info that the card is cancelled as you want to PERSONALLY call every fighter and explain the situation and after you have called every single fighter you will release a press release. If a fighter doesn’t understand this concept, just ask them if they were happy that you called them personally or would have preferred to have heard it from a random person on the internet.

After calling all of your fighters, send out your press release. After doing so, start calling all the reporters you can to get your apology out there first. This is important. Again, it doesn’t matter what the reason was, so long as you take responsibility for it and are out in front of the situation, you will be fine.

If your next event is within the next four weeks, put the fighters on that card. If it is more than four weeks, look to your competitors. Explain that you had to cancel your show and offer them fights. EVEN IF THEY WERE YOUR TITLE FIGHT. Doing this shows good will for the fighters, the fans, and other promoters. If you called a promoter because you had to cancel an event and put three fights on their card, who do you think they will call first when they have to cancel one of their own?

Finally, offer everyone who purchased a ticket to get a full refund AND a discount for the next show. Yes this cuts into your profits, but the moment a fan hears that a show was cancelled before, they are going to be much less likely to purchase a ticket to future events. If you give them a reason, other than the fights, they will go.

While it is easy to point out the things to do, and they seem like common sense, that isn’t always the case. Just so there is some clarification on this, below is a bullet list of things NOT to do.

  • Delay getting your story out there. Every second matters
  • Ignore fighter calls, emails, and texts about a cancelation rumor
  • Point the blame at someone else, ultimately it is your show
  • Publicly call out other promotions who try to help the fighters still get a fight
  • Insult anyone related in the business, fighters, managers, refs, media, etc…

Episode 2: MMARecap Weekly Recap

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in RecapRadio

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This week’s Weekly Recap starts out with results from Legacy FC 20, Cage Warriors 55, Colosseum Combat and Hoosier Fight Club. News includes changes made to TUF, UFC 160 salaries and suspensions, new signings to several promotions and more. Fight announcements include several UFC cards, a change to Bellator 96, and Nick Diaz Promotions. We end with listener feedback, including Ask MMARecap.


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Episode 1: MMARecap Weekly Recap

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in RecapRadio

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MMARecap is back with a brand new weekly podcast. This is the only incarnation that makes sense for bringing back MMARecap so look for a new podcast on Sunday night or Monday morning of each week. Please leave feedback below and it could be read on the next week’s show. This week’s topics include results from UFC 160, CFA 11, Fightcard Massacre 2013, and Praetorian Fighting Championships 1. Then the news of the week covers fighters retiring, being signed, and involved in lawsuits. The show then goes on to talk about fight announcements and is finished with listener feedback. Sit back and enjoy.


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Brent Todd – MMARecap’s Long Goodbye

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Media

It is a funny thing, saying goodbye to someone or to something. There is part of you that is happy it is over, part of you that is sad that it is ending, and then another part that still wants to try to keep it for the fear of what lies next. It is those later two reasons, that it has taken me nearly three weeks to pen this and actually publish it. The what if’s in life can make a person go crazy, but so can peddling in place.

I started this sport of as a fan of the sport; debating who was best at the time and sitting on pins and needles waiting for the next show. Back then we were lucky if we had double digit UFC shows in a year; now we have thirty plus. The sport was growing, and I wanted to become part of the media that covered it. So I jumped in feet first, not knowing what I was doing. In the five plus years of being a journalist I have seen some of the best compete, sometimes just feet away from me at cageside.

For the longest time I was excited by the prospect of each show. It didn’t matter if it was a big UFC event or a small local amateur show held in front of two hundred people. I was amazed by the talent, skill and heart that was on display at each show. Over the years I changed. The excitement of each show started to fade, even when sitting close enough to the action to get bled on. I cannot sit back and let the reason I got into the sport disappear while I just chug on writing word after word. Realizing what was happening to my view of mixed martial arts, a decision had to be made and thus, I need to walk away from writing about it.

I want to thank all of the former writers and staff members at MMARecap. Adam Dicker was the first person to come on board and help write, and quickly transitioned it to a judging position. Andrew Gladstone is another write whom the site wouldn’t be where it is without him. He went on to write for the likes of Sherdog and MMAWeekly. Big thanks to Mike Finch who has consistently done a fantastic job with his interviews, sometimes on minutes notice with little time to prepare.

My co-host of RecapRadio over the course of nearly two years, John Petit is a fantastic guy who is one of the most knowledgable in the sport. If you aren’t following him on twitter, do it now @scream13. His work can now be found at fighters.com and other Rebellion Media sites.

Other people who have sacrificed time, energy, and in some cases money, to help out that I need to thank include Matt Clarmont, Karly Bernard, Matt Faler, Kyle Conroy, Kevin Tate, Greggy Harrison, Andrew Cyders, Petey Ridings, Brandon Ruiz and TJ Chmielewski.

I need to thank Joey Hill for all the time he spent trying to help build MMARecap to be the best site in the Chicago area. Without his help, it likely would have died a slow and horrible death. While things did not work out between us as business partners, he is a big reason for where MMARecap was able to go. Make sure you check out his photos at Royal Divide.

I want to thank other members of the media, who not only helped me at times, but pushed me to be better at my job. Hector Quintero, Stan Balazia, Matthew C. Scaro, both Tony’s from Chi-Town MMAniacs, Brian Hemminger, Steve Muehlhausen, Tom Barnes, Ray Flores, Ed Waltz and so many others over the years.

I want to thank every promoter who let me into their show to cover it. Dan Lardy, Mike Davis, Nilo Soto, Brian Angelo, Jeff and Joe Albin, Mark Slater, Paul and Danielle Vale, the entire team behind Ruckus, and the countless other shows I have attended over the years. Additionally the teams behind the scenes who help at each of these events are just as important. Clay Goodman, Rob Madrigal, Dr. Hertz, and all the other refs, judges, doctors, and EMTs I have met throughout the years.

The fighters will always have a special place for what they put themselves through to not only test their physical limitations, but also to entertain the fans. It has been an honor seeing the likes of veterans like Jeff Curran, Jens Pulver, Chase Beebe, and others fight while at the same time watching careers explode from fighters like Carson Beebe, Dustin Neace and Will Brooks. There are fighters on the cusp of making it to a big show, and I cannot wait to be able to say that I was able to see nearly all of their early fights.

Finally, I want to thank all of the fans of the sport, both the good and the bad. Negative comments are more frequent now, but the intelligent comments are worth sifting through all the stupid ones. Without the fans, there wouldn’t be a need for me to do what I do.

I know I probably forget a name or two on here, so please know that if you are a fighter, a promoter, a brand, or just a fan of the sport and interacted with either the website or myself, I thank you.

What is next for me, I am not certain. I know I will still enjoy the sport I love, I just won’t be writing about it in the same capacity anymore. Many have said that I can only stay away for a little while and that this is just going to be a break. They could be right, I am not sure. I will be leaving this website up along with our facebook, twitter, and youtube for historical purposes. Maybe one day I will become that fan again and want to write about it, but who knows. With that I wish everyone the best in each of their endeavors and once again, thank you.

The Man Behind The Lens – Tom Barnes

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Media

tom-barnesSitting cage-side at almost any boxing or MMA event in the Chicagoland area you are bound to see one person; Tom Barnes. He’s the hired photographer who goes about his business quietly and produces some of the most memorable photos in the sport. We see his pictures fly across facebook, being shared and tagged and commented on, all with a little gold watermark of his company, Tomba Images somewhere on the picture.

It is rare to see Barnes get miffed even in the slightest, but it is easy to see him light up when he reminisces about some of the pictures he has taken. He also has a sense of when a fight is going to be larger than life, even if it is at a smaller stage, and you can see him go into his zone.

They say that it doesn’t matter what the equipment is, you have to have an artistic eye in order to truly capture the best moments. Sure the top of the line camera and lens will help, but like the fighter who has been inside the cage for twenty some odd fights, there isn’t much that Barnes isn’t aware of.

His story for shooting combat sports starts over a decade ago, but Barnes has been shooting photography for much longer. He was always a freelance photographer, shooting the odd job here, the wedding there, but one day he got tired of shooting people. He just didn’t see people with an artistic eye anymore.

So he moved on and decided to focus on architectural photography. Buildings are things of beauty, but given the right framing, angle, and focus, they shine. Barnes grew up on the west side of Chicago, and decided to shoot both the exterior and the interiors of buildings.

One day, he entered the Garfield Park Fieldhouse, a place he had been before. He went from room to room, shooting his subject with both large and medium format film. He thought he knew the building pretty well until he found a room he had never been in before. Inside the windows were all covered up, there was an American flag hung up, and also a boxing ring. The ring fascinated Barnes so much so that he went back the next day. And the next. And the next.

He struck up a conversation with George Hernandez, one of the top boxing trainers in the Chicagoland area. That lead to Barnes going to other boxing gyms such as the old Windy City Gym and Jab Gym. That lead to him shooting at the Golden Gloves, and back to shooting people again.

The transition from boxing to MMA was an easy one as there has been a lot of crossover between the sports. And while there are technical issues to shooting a boxing match or a cage fight, it is all the same for Barnes who enjoys them both.

What was harder for him was switching from film to digital. The speed of the sports world and the now of today forced him to change. But back in the early days, he was a film guy through and through. He developed his own film, worked in the traditional dark room, and printed all of his own stuff be it color or black and white. He wanted nothing to do with digital photography.

His wife Deb, whom at the time wasn’t his wife, was a photographer as well. Though she was of the digital variety instead of film. Barnes stated that he tried to shoot boxing with traditional film but it was kind of tough. He tried out her camera and then quickly upgraded to have better digital equipment.

Equipment it seems is the crux of any photographer. It seems like every week there is a new piece of equipment that can help. But it isn’t cheap. In the early goings, Barnes recalls that cost and how there isn’t an easy answer for how to purchase $30,000 worth of equipment. And ironically enough, that equipment is needed for the smaller shows, the ones in front of hundreds, not thousands of people. These shows tend to be poorly lit and require the power of the equipment. The larger shows are televised and have a lot of light, making it much easier to shoot.

And while he has had some thoughts of moving on from combat sports, he has never lost his passion or been tired of the shooting the sport. His interests are expanding, wanting to shoot other action sports such as watersports, but likely he won’t move on completely.

Why would he? He has so many memorable moments. From shooting any of the UFC, Strikeforce or Bellator events that he has been to, to the local events, there is always something for him to shoot. Being able to turn around and see the thousands of fans at these events, all cheering and screaming, it excites him.

When you ask him what his most memorable shoots were in the industry, two come to mind. The first deals in the little known studio side of the sport. These photos are rarely seen with his logo on it as they are commissioned pieces that then sometimes get enhanced. It could be a weigh-in or a promo piece, but these are the candid shots of the fighters.

felice-rosieHis favorite of these was seeing a concept from inception to completion. Felice Herrig, a fan favorite and one of the voices of women’s MMA, was the subject. The idea seemed simple at the time, shoot her as the famous Rosie the Riveter. The night before he was running around, buying clothes and trying to figure out how to make a bandana. The entire day was spent shooting to get one shot, but it quickly became famous.

Of course if you ask him what event was most memorable to him, he lights up like a kid waking up at Christmas to find a room full of presents. The event was Manny Pacquiao taking on David Diaz in Las Vegas in 2008. That night as he says, is burned into his head.

For more information on Tom Barnes, find him on Facebook under Tomba Images Photography or at http://www.tomba-images.com/

The Right Ways Of Trying To Get Sponsorships

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Education

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The first article in this series was about the wrong ways of getting a sponsorship from a company. But it wouldn’t be fair to just point out the wrong without pointing out the right. With that said, this is not a be all end all list of obtaining sponsorships correctly. What it is, is proven methods that others have used and have been successful with.

We first mentioned the random contacting of sponsors bragging about how good you are and that it should be honor for them to work with you. While that method will likely fail every single time, tweaking it, makes it work. What’s the tweak?

First you need to be humble in your communications to the company. You cannot brag or boast. No one likes someone who flaunts things in others faces, even if it is justifiably so.

Taking the example of the “best non-signed UFC fighter” let’s say you are an 8-0 fighter as a pro. A communication line would be to point out how you have remained undefeated while facing tougher and tougher competition. Explain why your competition increased in difficulty and at the same time explain why your work ethic has helped you in victory. It is ok to be honest about how good you are, but not to brag about it.

Continuing on with this same example, instead of just telling them where to mail a check to, ask who you should talk to about possibly entertaining the idea of becoming a local sponsor for them. Once you set up the meeting, again, be humble and honest. Here you need to lay the ground work for what they will get in return for sponsoring you. A two-inch patch on your shorts isn’t going to do squat for them. And once you say you are going to do something, do it.

Make sure that you go above and beyond for the company. If you show that you are interested in their product, they will in turn show interest in you. They are sponsoring you so that you can do your job better and at the same time they are sponsoring you to help them do their job better.

Another example is don’t be afraid to negotiate for product or service only in return. My favorite example of this was a fighter that went to a chiropractor after having a rough day in the gym. The chiropractor adjusted him for a modest fee and sent the fighter home not knowing who he was. The next day, the fighter called him up and was amazed at how well he felt. He then talked to the chiropractor and worked out getting adjusted at no cost as part of his sponsorship package. The fighter then referred other fighters to the chiropractor and everyone was happy.

We mentioned in the last article, and it is worth repeating. Be aware of your presence on social media. Personally, I like the rule of, if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, or to your parents, you shouldn’t say it. You could have a fantastic relationship with a sponsor, but then go off on a rant about something and they drop you.

Finally, get a good manager. There are thousands of managers out there and more will spring up by the time you have read this article. Make sure that the management company you hire to represent you falls in line with your same values and has your best interests at heart. Include an out clause for you to get out in case you don’t like something that happened so you can get out quickly. But a good manager, even if it is just for procuring sponsorships can mean the difference from getting $100 a fight to earning $1,000 a month.

Float On Sensory – A Secret Weapon Of Fighters

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Brands

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A couple of years ago, Joe Rogan posted a youtube video talking about sensory deprivation tanks.  The idea is that you float in a tank that is devoid of light, sound and the water is warm so that you are just floating.  What this does is help one visualize any number of things, be it an outcome for a sporting event, a drawing, writing a novel or anything else.

Quinn Zepeda saw this video and immediately had to try it out for himself.  Knowing that he was about to move up to Portland, he gathered some friends and they went to Float Lab.  He stayed int he tank for over two hours, barely experiencing any of the side effects that have been reported while inside the tank.  But when he got out of the tank, everything was different for Zepeda.

“I got out and immediately I was taken aback by how good I felt, how sharp the world was.  My sense of smell was increased and I remember how good the soap smelled when I got in the shower.  It awakened all kinds of senses that I’m not super tied into most of the time.”

Shortly after he moved up to Portland while drinking some beers with his best friend Graham, the two got to talking about the experience.  They scoured around Portland for a place to float and were amazed that there weren’t more of them in the area.  Graham had opened two businesses prior, and Quinn had saved up a good chunk of change before making the move.  The two sat down and really figured out numbers and decided they could open their own floating business.

In just over 150 days, the business went from concept to opening.  Everything for the most part lined up for them from getting the first location they applied for to dealing with issues they weren’t expecting to getting the permits for everything.  Their passion drove them forward and they didn’t look back.

Just days after opening, the business was operating at above daily costs.  Nothing to pay down any of the debts they took on, but it was making money.  It was then that they knew it was going to be a success.  That first week, they issued a Groupon and immediately over 2,000 were sold.  That meant that the tanks were in full capacity nearly from the get go.  And that was one of the best marketing tools they had as Zepeda says, “The best way to do anything is to get people in there, and they’ll talk about it.  They will go be your promoter.”

The only issue that they had was informing people of not just what floating was, but the benefits of it.  So the team came up with a two-page pdf that they have handed out time and time again.  To this day, over 40,000 copies of that pdf have been handed out, all in the name of informing the public what was so great about floating.

As for them getting into the MMA industry, it was much like their approach for just getting anyone in; word of mouth.

“It started with Matt Lindland coming into our spot and we comped him because I knew who he was.  He bought a gift certificate for his son after and then he spread the word at Team Quest.  Ryan Healy came in first and again, we comped him a float.  Then he brought Pat in and Pat started floating with us.  Then more guys from Team Quest and from MMA Lab came in.  And the response has been great.  I remember Pat saying his first fight after he started floating just the jitters weren’t there in a way that they always were.  He felt real calm and confident.  Some of the guys even tell us to stop getting bigger as they might lose their secret weapon.”

They haven’t worked yet with the UFC, due to UFC’s sponsorship tax, but it is something they are looking into.  For now, they are still just a local sponsor for their fighters, and they seem to be enjoying the benefits tremendously.  For more information on Float On, visit their website at www.floathq.com

Audie Attar – This is a Team Effort

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Management

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Paradigm Sports has been around since 2009 and has reached a level of success within management companies that few are able to obtain.  Some would point to the amount of experience that president Audie Attar was able to bring with him before starting the firm, others would say it was his hard work.  But Attar credits it to something different; his philosophy that it is a team effort.

Attar started in the sports management industry with a large NFL firm.  He worked his way up the ranks inside the agency representing some of the best athletes in the NFL.  He continued his quest for knowledge of the sport and went to grad school.  When it was done, Attar had decided that it was time to move on, and try to make his own impact in the industry.  But as he tells it, sports in general were a major influence on his life.

“Sports have blessed me beyond belief.  It really saved my life in so many ways.  It created an opportunity for me to gain an education and meet some wonderful people.  Then after I was done participating as an athlete, it gave me a career.”

Being an athlete through out high school and college, Attar was able to learn how to be successful from his coaches both on and off the field.  This mentality, a coach’s mentality, is how he attacks being a manager of fighters.

“Everyone has their own opinion on how to handle their clients.  We may not be the right fit for certain athletes, but this is a team effort.  They aren’t hiring you to be your best friend.  They want a certain leader to help them achieve their goals.  So you have to have the type of relationship, open and honest, where you can communicate back and forth.  You have to be able to tell them something they don’t want to hear.  You can’t be the yes man.  At the same time they have to believe that you bust your butt and your intentions are always to maximize their potential in whatever manner that is.  It is a team effort.  A professional athlete hires a coach and he’s working for that athlete, but at the same time, the athlete wants that direction from the coach.”

Transitioning from football players to fighters was all about timing for Attar.  The sport is still young and new, yet he brings with him the years of experience of managing athletes before the sport took off.  Some things are easier to deal with when it comes to fighters, others more difficult.  The biggest difference between managing the two types of athletes is pay.

An undrafted NFL player that makes the practice squad will make $90,000 a year and if you do make the 53 man roster, they make $400,000 for the year.  A fighter who signs with the UFC for the first time will be earning $8,000 to show and additional $8,000 if he wins per fight.  Typically a new signee to the UFC will only fight 2-3 times a year, so the pay is vastly different.  That difference though is what attracted Attar to managing fighters.  How a fighter manages to hold down a second job, train, stay respectful, and show the drive and discipline to push forward to be the best, is remarkable for Attar.

One thing that Attar mentions time and time again is the level of professionalism that he is able to bring to the table compared to some other companies.  His years managing football players and watching the top agents do their job, some for 30-40 years, all was brought with him to Paradigm.

And it is something that he stresses with his clients.  His focus isn’t just about the singular next fight that could be coming, rather a stress on how to best maximize their clients’ potential as an athlete.  What can they do to help them grow as businessmen?  There’s a life after sports as Attar is well aware of, and part of his job is ensuring that his athletes are able to have one when they hang up the gloves.

Some fighters that Attar manages, such as Michael Bisping, have started adopting this new way of thinking.  He’s very aware of not only his actions on social media, but also when it comes to press conferences.  It is not uncommon to see Bisping show up in a suit, while his opponent is in a t-shirt.  Of course some fighters are contractually bound to wear the t-shirt and Attar is aware of that.  Sometimes that means he pushes a little, even if it means shaking up how things were done in the company previously.

The hardest part for Attar and his team is showing fighters the path that they are going to be on and take.  Even in discussing this topic, Attar makes it sound like it is almost easy.

“I think with any athlete you have to manage expectations keep their drive and that energy controlled so we’re channeling it effectively towards their progression.  Sometimes an athlete wants to be now now now.  They wouldn’t be where they were if they didn’t have that drive.  I am the same way.  It’s a Type A personality.  As you get older, you learn to control that so you become more effective in whatever you are doing.”

As Attar stated, it is a team effort.  Even if the outcomes aren’t the ideal ones or the envisioned ones, everyone has to give their all for each other.

“They’re training their ass off three times a day.  They leave everything they got in that gym.  I better leave everything I’ve got in what I am doing.  That way, if the end result isn’t what we wanted, it is still the honest one.  I know that I can look them in the eyes and say here’s the best we could do.”

Paradigm Sports manages the likes of Michael Bisping, Christian M’Pumbu, Court McGee, Jake Shields, Ben Saunders, Mike Pierce and many more high level fighters in the UFC and Bellator.  For more information on Paradigm visit them at www.paradigmsm.com

Mark Slater – Colosseum Combat is Family First

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Promotions

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Stories surround many promotions in the state of Indiana. Some good, some bad. Many promotions have come and gone quickly, others took their time and either died a slow death or have managed to thrive. Mark Slater who owns Colosseum Combat was doing well enough that it was worth his time and energy.

All looked well for Slater after putting on twelve shows but then after the twelfth show, the building he rented to put on Colosseum Combat was no longer available to him. The president of Ivy Tech who oversaw the outside use of the building had decided that MMA was no longer something he wanted associated with his school.

And it was no surprise that after Slater got the news that he felt like he had done enough and considered walking away. The story quickly became a hot topic amongst the Indiana MMA community forums and was propelled to the national stage with interviews on Inside MMA.

The numbers were obvious, the show was of serious value to the small town of Kokomo, Indiana. Without the venue, the question was could the show go on or not? And if not, what happened to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were being brought in from not just across the state, but out of state as well?

It was the community that then rallied behind Slater to get him to continue putting on shows. It was because of their faith and trust in what Slater was doing that they got behind him and convinced him to carry on.

So what lead to the community to come together to help Slater out and have him put on his thirteenth show? Well one has to go back to the beginning, when Slater first took over the promotion.

In 2009 Slater had been sponsoring some local fighters for various promotions and even had a fight under his belt. He was contemplating a second bout but saw a lot of the shady side of the business. At the time MMA was still unsanctioned and the wrongs were clearly defeating the rights in the business.

So Slater contacted Jay Martin who owned Colosseum Combat at the time and said he was only going to fight for his promotion as he felt they were the only ones doing the right thing. Martin then convinced Slater that he should purchase the promotion from him and do something with it that he wasn’t able to do.

Just two months later, and sanctioning coming to the state of Indiana, Slater put on his first show at the National Guard Armory in Kokomo, Indiana. The show featured a very un-intimidating crowd of just over 250 fans. And the show he learned a valuable lesson about MMA in the state.

“I tried to hire a couple of match makers for the first show I did. It was kind of the good old boys. They gave me a lessoned learned of who to trust and who not to. After that, I opted to be my own matchmaker and put my own cards together. I would drive to each of the gyms, meet with the guys and have them sign a contract in person. It was better than faxing because it made it easier to figure out who to trust and who not to. Without that welcome to the industry on my first show, I doubt I would have the success I have now.”

Slater pressed forward, wearing all the hats possible for an owner of a promotion. He was the matchmaker, marketer, sales, sponsor seeker and more. He moved the show to the Ivy Tech Events Center which was still in Kokomo. For Slater it was a no-brainer to stay in Kokomo. After all he grew up there and as he tells it, there isn’t much there.

“Chicago and Indianapolis you can see professional sports and any kind of entertainment on every weekend. If I’m not doing a show every 2-3 months, there isn’t a whole lot as far as entertainment that comes through here. Part of it is giving back to the community.”

And that community is something he brought together. After the show that had 250 fans in attendance, he knew he needed sponsors to help bring in the talent that he wanted, while still showcasing local fighters. So instead of looking at the big national sponsors, he went local. Looking at any poster for a Colosseum Combat, the poster is filled with sponsor after sponsor, all local to Kokomo.

The economical impact that he had on them was astounding. When word got out that he was considering shutting things down, the numbers started to come out. Quality Inn which has played a major role for the promotion has stated that without the Colosseum Combat show, they would be out over $25,000 a year.

But it wasn’t like Slater just said “Hey I am putting on a local show, give me some cash to help do it.” He had to prove his show was worth investing in. For him, it is that he runs a good, clean show that fans and fighters want to see. He’s had very few fighters get out of line either before or after their fight and several of the high profile professionals that have fought for him didn’t just fight a single fight and leave, they fought multiple times.

That level of respect that he treats his fighters with, he expects in return. And it trickles out to the crowd in attendance at an event. If you took a snapshot of the crowd at a Colosseum Combat event, you would notice something different about it versus other shows. Kids. And lots of them. The show caters to families, and not the rowdy beer guzzling obnoxious fans. The reason for that is simple, Slater has his family at every show.

“My parents are at every event as are my children. I don’t want to put anything out there that would embarrass my folks or anything I wouldn’t want my kids to see. I think that locally people have seen that. Even our DJ is aware of this, and while every now and then a song gets by him, if he knows there is a curse word in the song, he pulls the radio edit version.”

So because of the family first and the respect Slater treats everyone involved, it was no surprise to see the rest of Kokomo get behind him. While the Ivy Tech Events Center was able to house upwards of 1,000 fans, the Armory where he did his first show is only able to hold 700. They are maximizing the number of seats available, but for a show that has routinely sold 1,000-1,200 tickets, something had to give.

Thankfully, the local sponsors that Slater had gone to time and time again, were willing to step up and do more. They realized the impact his show had and together they have increased their sponsorship level to help offset the costs from the lost ticket sales.

And while the Armory doesn’t have the capacity, it does have one distinct advantage; get on the approved list at one Armory, you are approved for others. That means being able to put on a show in front of 2,000 fans in Indianapolis at the historic Tyndall Armory which has played home to the Golden Gloves.

Slater in the past has sacrificed expanding his show to a larger venue to keep the show in Kokomo, but now the focus seems to be on using a larger show to promote Kokomo. Slater says that he will put on 2-3 smaller shows in Kokomo, while promoting a large show in Indianapolis. But the fighters who fight on that big card? Likely to be the same ones from Kokomo.

Anyone who talks to Slater knows that he is a family first guy and it clearly shows. It is this mentality that has helped him not only be successful, but also get people to rally behind him when he was at his lowest point and thought about tossing in the towel.

Ask MMA Recap Reminder, Win A Free Art By JMC Print

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

Jose Aldo - drawn by Justin McAllister

Jose Aldo – drawn by Justin McAllister


Last week, David from New York asked about the UFC adopting UFC rankings and won a free Art By JMC print. What will the question be this week that wins another print from famous Sharpie Artist Justin McAllister? The prints include some of the best UFC fighters including GSP, Anderson Silva, the Diaz brothers, Cain Velasquez and more.

To enter, simply post a comment either here or on our facebook page with your MMA related question. It could be about a specific fight and why it was signed, or it could be about who the top contenders are in the divisions or even what strategies to use in forming a promotion.

The deadline for the submission is every Friday at 10pm and the chosen questions will be posted on Sunday.