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Pandemonium blog: What does an MMA promoter do between shows?

Pandemonium Fight Series promoter Craig Zimmerman with the Pandemonium Title. Photo courtesy of MEZSports.com

My last show was in late August and my next one won’t be until January and people ask me what I do in between shows and before I start booking the next show.

Surprisingly, in-between shows I work harder than any other time except for the week of a show.

The most important thing that I do is go over all of the details from the prior show.

Unlike many promoters, I take feedback from many sources, from the inspectors from the Athletic Commission, to the judges and referees who worked the fight, to the fighters and managers and fans who were at the fight.

For me, I want to make sure that the next show is better than the prior show. To do that, I need to know what the show experience was from different perspectives.

Were the ushers and security friendly but professional? Where the lines at the concessions too long? How was the flow of the show? And most importantly, how were the fights? Which fighters do people want to see again?

What is the number commented on item?

It isn’t the fight quality or ticket prices or even the price of a beer. The number one thing that I get comments on, whether I want them or not, are the ring girls.

No matter what, everyone has a thought about the ring girls. They are’t hot enough. Too many blondes. Not enough blondes. They had too many tattoos. Not enough tattoos. Too slutty. Not slutty enough. Too many ring girls (3). Not enough ring girls (3).

The go-go dancers, who dance between fights, were prettier. Why didnt’t the ring girls also dance? I have even had guys complain about the shoes that the ring girls wore… really??? Some of the other local promoters will comment that their ring girls are hotter but I remind them that their fights suck so they need some reason for the fans to stick around.

I will do another blog on matchmaking but after working through the details and reviews of the prior show, dealing with fighters and their managers is always the most time consuming. Regularly, managers will come up to me or text me during a fight asking if their fighter can fight one of the guys currently in the ring.

Usually they want to fight the guy who is getting pummelled in the ring and you can imagine how fast I set those match-ups. I love how lots of guys are looking for an easy fight. I once had a manager of a 165 pound boxer offer to fight a 135 pound guy who got knocked out in the first round. But that is another blog.

I do get asked if I can find opponents for fighters in other promotions or if I know of any fights with other promotions for certain fighters. Occasionally, I will help out. Just depends on who is asking and for what promotion. Some guys I am happy to help and others wont get a return call/text.

Right now, I am dealing with the three biggest topics in my promotion. We are talking to a couple of new venues, trying to finalize a broadcast deal, and talking to new sponsors. The sponsors want to know what venue we are using and when the broadcast deal is set.

Venues want to know what sponsors we are bringing in and when the broadcast deal is done, and the broadcaster wants to know who the sponsors are and what venue we are using. It is a nasty circle.

Thankfully, I have a great sponsorship team headed by Juan Sanchez of the Sanchez Media Group while Shawn Laska and his team at The Agency Advertising Group handle venues, broadcaster solicitation, and sponsorship.

I spend a lot of time on the phone or in meetings with Shawn and Juan but we have the same goal so it works out well. Things are close with several groups so I am excited about the future.

There is also one thing that I get to do about 3-4 weeks after each show that I truly look forward to. I finally get to see all of the fights. Usually during the show, I am running around and don’t get to see many of the fights so when Shawn sends me the raw footage of the fights, I finally get to see them and understand what people are talking about with certain fights.

If we have commentators calling the fight live, I usually call them and tell them to stop drinking during the show. LOL

It looks like I will set the date for the next couple of shows shortly and then start the matchmaking. I will save that for another blog. As always, if you have any questions or have a topic you want me write about, you can find me on FaceBook or at craig@mezsports.

The “Pandemonium blog” is a ProMMAnow.com blog series written by Craig Zimmerman, promoter for Southern California’s MEZ Sports Pandemonium Fight Series. Check out the Pandemonium Fight Series website at www.mezsports.com and follow Craig on Twitter (@MEZSports) and on Facebook.

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