Look Out For The Monkey Wrench! When Taking an "Easy" Fight Goes Wrong!
Imagine yourself as an MMA Fight promoter. You just paid a grand to some kid to make flyers and promote the fight. You're about 2 months out. You got the hottest MMA fighter in the region fighting with the hottest fighter over the state lines. Money in the Bank! Phone rings, it's the out of state fighter, he's pulling out of the fight, said he got hurt in training. Damn! You just got the tickets printed and the guy's face is on all of the tickets. Oh well, off to fight finder to get another fighter. This happens for all of your 7 fights except 2 and now no one knows who is fighting. Your fighters want to know who they are meeting. You still got a main event fight to fill so you pay for a hotel for a guy to come in from a couple hundred miles away with a winning record, but you have no idea what type of fighter he is, you just know he has his med clearance. Time to Pray!
Well, when it is all said and done, the promoter is ok. He doesn't have to deal with this no name opponent that no one has tape on. The main event is on and the favorite is brutally KO'd by the kid from a couple hundred miles away. Maybe you find out the guy's fight record was not accurate or maybe it was and he just is a beast. These are my recollections of a recap a promoter gave me a couple of years ago. It was these thoughts going through my head when watching Strikeforce Challengers: Stockton last weekend when we got to the Lorenz Larkin vs. Scott Lighty fight.
I have met Lorenz Larkin several times and have seen quite a bit of his fights. I know this guy is an absolute Killer. He should have been on a challengers card some time ago by my estimation. The bell rings and from the first laser left thrown you realize that Lighty is outclassed, outmatched and outgunned. This is not going to end well for Lighty. Prior to Larkin gassing in the 2nd round Lighty barely lands a punch. Total shutout for Lorenz who ends the fight with a Brutal Left uppercut, hook and then the ref jumps in to save the day.
You know what? I'm sure Lighty was looking at his camp and going, who told me this was a good fight for me again?
In subsequent interviews Lorenz says that since his fight record wasn't being updated online it gave the appearance he hadn't fought since september. Lighty probably didn't think Lorenz had fought since 9.11.10 and had no footage on Lorenz and just hearing he was a striker. Lighty never stood a chance. There's no lost irony in that Lighty was the favorite on this kid Lorenz who was making a HUGE step up in competition. That's what's up with MMA right now. It's large enough to sell out huge arenas, but small enough where a televised card can have a guy drop in from out of nowhere and steal the show.
Promoters and fighters are subjected to a perpetual cat and mouse game. You want exciting fights, but you don't want fighters to get ambushed and you want to have competitive fights. You don't see a lot of this with MMA's distant cousin, professional boxing. Fighters are always presented with tape on their opponent, for the most part. Promoters and Managers try to protect their fighters. As MMA continues it's exponential growth these dilemmas will be long forgotten, but until then you better be ready for anything!
Last edited by RaiderFunk; 4/07/2011 11:51pm at .