Last Saturday, two MMA promotions were held at the same time within 100 miles of each other: Chad Mason's Saturday Night Fights in Sioux City, IA and Victory's VFC 5 in Council Bluffs, IA. I chose to attend VFC 5 (the veteran forum members probably could have figured that one out) while some friends of mine chose to save money by attending SNF. We got together on Sunday and exchanged details. Here are some differences that we noticed:
SNF's general admission - $10
VFC's general admission - $20
When the promoter charges twice as much for admission, it seems there's a huge difference in the class of people he will attract. Also, it makes it tough for him to pay out decent purses. Which brings me to the next group of differences:
Fights that broke out in SNF's audience - 6
Fights that broke out in VFC's audience - 0
SNF's card - Pro's fighting bums for a bum
VFC's card - Pro's fighting pro's for a pro
SNF's late stoppages - Too many to count
VFC's late stoppages - 0
Things SNF security guards asked one of my friends on the way to the restroom: "Have you had enough alcohol to fight yet?"
Things VFC security guards asked me on the way to the restroom: Nothing
The differences between these promotions affect MMA's acceptance, and the fighter's careers. How?
Politicians already consider MMA to be too brutal. As a promoter, when you've got a behemoth pro fighter pounding an unconscious little kid bloody before a referee who's just standing there laughing, how is that going to help change their minds? How about when the amateurs are drunk?
As a fighter, how "big" does it make you feel going from fighting a talented individual your size for $1000 to fighting three 18 year-old sacrificial lambs half your size a night for $300? More importantly, what will potential promoters think of you?
Rumor has it that Chad's been asking people where I can be found. The next time his event is held the same day as a VFC, take a wild guess. In the meantime, Chad, keep up the great work!