By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
What do hanging horseshoes, unbroken mirrors, and charms that ward off superstitious beliefs have in common? Absolutely nothing when it comes to Shamrock Fighting Championships (Shamrock FC). Shamrock FC’s CEO, Jesse Finney, checked in with MMA Mayhem Radio and verified his efforts, in conjunction with his team, to build a top-rated MMA organization had nothing to do with luck, and the same work ethic has been manufactured to provide a thrilling card on September 11, 2015 at the River City Casino and Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri for Shamrock FC: Fuel.
— The Lateral Press (@LateralPressPod) September 3, 2015
Finney began on the side of the rainbow void of any gold,
“We’ve been around for seventeen years, and we are putting out a product that, I feel, is first class all the way around.”
As Roman philosopher Seneca (4 BC-65 AD) stated: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” and Finney recognizes the opportune fortune cookie Shamrock FC offers its athletes and fans,
“We’re here to build stars, but, listen, we are here to build stars for the UFC and Bellator. I get that. We are, I feel, a top five organization in the United States of America, and I feel like the people who come to our shows: It’s not just about the show; it’s about an experience they have when they come to the shows. It’s not just about the fights, but the experience…and the after-party afterwards.”
Playing the role of a customer pleasing, casino pit-boss, Finney took notice that you just missed the jackpot after feeding the machine credit after credit; therefore, he sauntered over and comped a trip through the buffet,
“I feel like some people get shortchanged; I really do. They are going to go to a fight and see their buddy fight, and see just a fight. Man, it’s really not about that; it’s about an experience. You can see some of the fights we put on. The fights, in general, are great, and we are going to put on a damn good show on September 11.”
Instead of circumventing any ladders, Finney and Shamrock FC continue to climb them:
“Right now, I get to sit here with you ten days out, and if you said, ‘Jesse, I need tickets,’ I can’t get you tickets. It’s completely sold out, except for some standing room only. I think that says something about our brand. We’ve been doing it so long, and people are very loyal to our brand. Their expectations are high, so they are going to expect a great show; hopefully, we’ll put that on for them.”
Finney’s description of the organization doesn’t read like the fine print on the back of a lottery ticket, and he scratched out Shamrock FC’s very successful model,
“I say this on a pretty consistent basis: Our stars are going to come and go. I can’t provide a career for millions of dollars for these fighters to go out and make their money. I hope in the future we can, but, for right now, I know we can’t do it. So what we try to do is put together a product for the fans that are there because they are going to know that at a Shamrock show: This is what I’ve come to expect, and this is what I’m going to get. I want these guys to move on to the UFC; I want these guys to move on to Bellator. I want these guys to make millions of dollars, and we’ve helped probably forty or fifty of them throughout our seventeen years of business.”
If every fight promoter hangs a rabbit’s foot on the rearview mirror of their vehicle, what makes Finney’s so special,
“If you are going to do it, do it right. If you are going to put one fight-show together; if you are going to put fifty fight-shows together, just do it right. Do it first class. Don’t try to chince and just try to save money here or save money there. I feel like, long-term, if you don’t reinvest in your product, it’s not going to sustain longevity. I feel like you can’t let your ego get in the way of your pocketbook.”
On a proverbial stroll with Finney, those held fast to their speakers, like a stem to a four-leaf clover’s petals, learn some ins and outs of the prerequisite mindset to operating a well-followed promotion. You get the sense that only white cats were crossing your path. The black ones are there, but Finney staved them off, protecting your vantage from any ill-willed perceptions:
“I hear people all the time, ‘Ah, I want to be on TV; I want to be on TV,’ with a lot of these promotions. You’ve seen hundreds of guys throughout the years; they’re going to be the next big thing for that night. You’re going to be the next big thing for the next couple of shows. But then, all of the sudden, you’re going to be broke and hiding from everybody.”
A promoter’s excitement for a card only fuels fans’ interest to click ‘Buy Now’ because rarely do these highly anticipated events fall short. If, by chance, a particularly pumped-up pay-per-view proved to be a pancake, the thud was muffled in comparison to the heavily publicized event on November 2, 2001, UFC 34: High Voltage. Chronicled in “Big” John McCarthy’s autobiography Are You Ready? Let’s Get It On! (2011), the UFC, under the freshly formed Zuffa banner staged their third event, which was also the UFC’s return to pay-per-view since previously owned by SEG (Semaphore Entertainment Group). McCarthy captured the aftermath when the event extended beyond its time limit and entertainment expectations were not met,
Despite their best efforts, Zuffa had repeated the mistake SEG had made at UFC 4 in 1994. Many customers asked for refunds, and the event was considered a financial disaster. The fights weren’t considered particularly interesting either. Of the eight bouts offered, six went to anticlimactic decisions. (p. 301)
Finney’s hype for Shamrock FC’s appearance in St. Louis on September 11 fuels my hope that my online purchase of the event, shamrockfightingchampionships.com/watch-live/, will find me to be the one-millionth customer. Finney stated,
“I’m so excited for this card that I had my wife get a sitter. We are staying the night at the casino because I’m jacked for the card. This is a don’t miss card. Actions speak louder than words; I mean, don’t listen to my words, but I’d say this is just an incredible job putting these fights together. This card is just straight kick ass from the top to the bottom.”
You don’t want to miss Shamrock FC: Fuel; it’ll be magically delicious!
— Shamrock FC (@Shamrock_FC) September 5, 2015
Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”
MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.
Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.
Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?
I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.
Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?
I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened. They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.
Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?
I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.
It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 15, 2017
Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?
I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 16, 2017
I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.
Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!
2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures
After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.
Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.
Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.
At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.
For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.
Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.
Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:
- Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan 125 lbs
- Anna Astvik vs. Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
- Chamia Chabbi vs. Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
- C. McCrudden vs. Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
- Gase Sanita vs. Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
- Yernaz Mussabek vs. Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
- Gamzat Magomedov vs. O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
- Joel Arolainen vs. Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
- V. Andruhovich vs. Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
- Sola Axel vs. Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
- B. Haraldsson vs. Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
- Pavel Pahomenko vs. Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
- Irman Smajic vs. Lev Vins 265 lbs
- Atanas Krastanov vs. Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate
Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.
But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.
After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.
The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.
Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.
He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.
In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.
Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.
It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.
Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.
The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.
Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.
Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.
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