The Fight Game – How to get Signed by a Major Fight Promotion
It is one of the key aims of any aspiring fighter to best understand how to get signed by a major fight promotion and compete regularly at the highest level in front of a global audience. Each particular combat sport or discipline has its big players. The incumbents of which are seen as the elite level of competitors and can demand the highest possible salaries when within the top 5 of their particular division.
Like any sport though, you don’t simply just get picked up off the street and signed to this level of promotion without a lot of work, some clever planning and a certain degree of luck.
MTK Global MMA Head of Operations, Kieran Keddle shares some tips on how to make it in the biz:
What do you look for in fighters to put on MTK MMA?
I look for entertainment. Can a fighter bring excitement to an audience, can he/she create new fans by the way they fight? I’ll always remember working with ‘It’s Showtime’ where there were fighters such as Gago Drago and El Hadj. Now they didn’t always win but had incredible video promos made, ring entrances getting the crowd behind them, and of course, gave 110 percent every time they fought.
How did you find out about those currently on your roster?
I’m a fan and also a fight scout so I follow the game closely. I also have friends on the circuit who recommend me talent. Most have come about as a result of one of these threads.
What would be your best advice for someone looking to get signed and fight on one of your promotions?
Give it everything. Show me you enjoy fighting and be willing to take risks.
Is it all about talent or are there other deciding factors i.e. social media following, life story, country of origin, ticket sales/ROI etc?
Ticket sales can go far in a fight business of course, but eventually if the fighter isn’t very good they will get found out. Social media is a key weapon in marketing although I’m still a massive believer in word of mouth ha ha.
Drama will always be a key part and if a fighter gets to a recognisable level it’s nice if they have a story to tell instead of the usual “I train twice a day, it’s my dream”. The fighting world is so vast now, all races and religions compete. It’s true to say that every gym I know has a wide variety of world beliefs on a single mat space.
But one thing they all agree on is training hard and making friends for life.
Can you give me an example of how one of your top level fighters got signed?
I’ll do a few!
I saw on instagram a video clip of a young kid hitting pads with Liam Harrison. I was like “wow” who’s that? As I enquired I found out that he was 5-0 in MMA and had over 60 Muay Thai fights as a junior.
When I was originally appointed MTK MMA head of operations Louis Lee Scott, the young man in question, was the first person I signed. That’s a real example of the power of social media!
I have a great friend in Newcastle called Richie Knox. He told me when I was appointed about a kid called Joe Calboutin. He showed me videos of him training. The kid was a freak. A product of a new generation. One that can cross train and be high level in every range.
On Richie’s word I would have signed him anyway. So that’s the power scouts and recommendations can have in these instances.
Then there was the case of when I signed Charlie Peters who has yet to have a MMA fight. Why? Well, I believe he’ll achieve great things in MMA. He’s an achiever and a true athlete. He lives it. On the business side, signing a multiple Muay Thai world champion fighter with a big following is an obvious added bonus.
Original article here: http://www.warriorcollective.co.uk/2018/07/get-signed-major-fight-promotion/.