For the next Tachi Palace Fights titled “Second Coming” I’ve really had to catch my second wind in the sport.
After the December show I went through a few weeks, maybe a month, where I just didn’t want to do anything MMA related. The show really took the wind out of my sails.
Like just about everyone in all different walks of life, in 2012 we were forced to make some budget cuts. Without getting into too much detail, though, I think we’ve worked out some solutions to help us to continue to put out a top flight MMA promotion.
I know, I know the hardcore fans probably stopped reading already… “NO NOT TACHI”!!!!!
But when I talk about budget cuts, I’m not talking about just dramatically changing what we are doing. Rather, hopefully we can make some subtle changes that won’t drastically affect our product, but help us drastically on the bottom line.
We’ve adjusted a few things and this year we should have a new look and feel to our shows production wise. I imagine things will be a lot cleaner, moving in the HD direction as well as upgrading our streaming capabilities. That’s the plan anyways…
With the economy down, the focus has been to scale back in certain areas, but not lose the integrity of the show and what we’ve always been known for at Tachi – great fights.
We are going to adapt the Pro/Am style of show on March 9th and see how things work. We put together eight pro fights and seven amateurs.
The reasoning behind this was not solely made because of dollars and cents, but more because a lot of the local talent in Central California has been fighting at the amateur level. We’ve had a bit of difficulty filling the lower half of our fight cards with local fighters and now this gives us an opportunity to do so and still spend on quality for the top half of the fight card.
The focus this year will still be on the lighter weight classes and while the UFC takes aim at adding the flyweight division we will be prepared to ship guys off like Ian McCall, Jussier da Silva, Darrell Montague, Mamoru Yamaguchi and Ulysses Gomez.
March 9th’s show will be highlighted by the return of Fresno’s Casey Olson, who is one of the top up-and-coming featherweights in the country. Olson took over a year off and has now refocused on MMA and moved down to bantamweight.
It’s a pleasure to have Olson on the card, in large part because he and I have a pretty close bond. When I first got involved in MMA as a sports reporter at the Hanford Sentinel newspaper, I did a feature on Olson following him around the entire day of a fight.
It was my first real inside look at what a fighter goes through on fight day and it was something that I did to help me with my “Writer to Fighter” series before I made my jump into the cage. A lot of the lessons I learned that day I still apply in life today.
Olson and I have always kept in touch and I couldn’t think of a better role model for the kids in our area to look up to.
The fight card is pretty much finished and locked in… I should knock on wood I suppose.
This last week I was able to deliver all the tickets, posters and paperwork to fighters. Over the next two weeks I will tie up all the loose ends and make sure all the fighters are getting medicals done on time, etc.
We will make a strong push with social media and advertising as well.
The biggest adjustment this show will be working with CAMO and the amateurs. This is something we’ve never utilized in the past.
I caught a lot of flak from people about making the move to utilize some amateurs. Not just because they feel it’s a lower caliber of fighting, but also because we are utilizing a commission rather than fighting them unsanctioned.
One thing I want to make sure we do is protect fighters and we can only do that by utilizing a commission in order to regulate the sport and fighters. This is one of my top priorities.
Fighters and fans have always come first to me and I will continue to strive to help Tachi Palace Fights turn out a great product in 2012. I’m looking forward to another fun and challenging year, just without as many fight card changes as we had in December.
“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.