“We don’t take the easy way out”
I feel like a big rig truck just crashed into our fight card this week.
We’ve already gone through three injuries in less than 10 days. But like I always say, in these times you will find out what you’re made of. Well I didn’t say it first, but I’ve adopted it.
One of the great local fights I was looking forward to was between Visalia’s Darren Crisp and Lemoore’s Anthony Avila. Personally, as a fan, I was interested to see what Crisp had to offer at 145 and I was excited to have Avila come back to his hometown to fight.
Unfortunately, Avila was injured in a fight last Saturday. We quickly found a replacement in Sergio Quinones, who trains on a local fight team and has always come through for Tachi Palace Fights, so it was nice to be able to give him another opportunity.
Just one day later, I hear that Crisp might have injured his hand in a fight he had two weeks earlier. Crisp later confirmed the break and after looking for a bit we settled on Jesse Bowen.
A few months back we had actually discussed Quinones and Bowen fighting on this card, but it just didn’t work out. But now it appears the stars have aligned and we get to see another great local showdown.
The toughest pill to swallow came just two days ago when Poppies Martinez informed me that he had sustained an injury in training and would not be able to compete. It’s been a tough year for Martinez, who is a member of the Tachi Yokut tribe and one of the fan-favorites for all of our MMA shows at the Palace.
Martinez has had to endure several injuries over the last year and a half and I was really looking forward to him making his return 155 pounds against another game opponent making his return after a long layoff… Savant Young.
We have compiled a few names that can replace Martinez for the bout, but can you really replace a guy like that? I don’t think so. The casino is one block from the reservation and you will be hard pressed to find another fighter as beloved by a crowd.
I suppose the easy answer would have been to cut the fight, since Young won’t have the drawing power that Martinez has and we could probably pick up another local that’s not on the card and help salvage some of what we will be missing with Martinez gone.
But again what has always set us apart from other promotions is that we are a fighter friendly organization. In my opinion, the right thing to do is keep Young on the show and then work hard to find a replacement for Martinez that can help bolster the show.
Richard Goodman and I will have our work cut out.
The good thing about our team is for the most part we never make decisions without thinking things through and taking our time.
Don’t get me wrong, Richard and I definitely do not see eye to eye all the time. But we always listen to each other’s opinions and always take some time to soak it in and do what’s best for both the fighters and promotion.
You can’t always just take the easy way out.
The easy way would have been cutting Young from the show, finding another big local name to fill in for Martinez and creating that fight.
We have a reputation that’s been built since the Reed Harris and Scott Adams days of the WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting) and survived and bolstered through Christian Printup’s PFC (Palace Fighting Championship).
Fighters enjoy fighting for us and that’s something I’m proud of.
“The Project Files” by Jeremy Luchau is a weekly blog series here at ProMMAnow.com which gives readers an inside look into the life of an MMA promoter. It is part of our ongoing series of exclusive content written by individuals involved in the mixed martial arts industry.