Full Contact Fighter Database

Home

>

News

>

Article

Media

Saturday, Oct 07, 2000

10/8/2000

King Of The Cage 4 Video
Now Available in the FCF Shop…
King Of The Cage 4
Featuring:
Todd Medina vs. Daijiro Matsui
Roger Neff vs. Chris Franco
Fabiano Iha vs. Danny “Boy” Bennett
Tedd Williams vs. Bill Parker
Plus many more!
The card inculdes 3 Hawaiian SuperBrawl Champions, 1 BJJ Black Belt, 7 UFC Veterans, 1 Abu-Dhabi Champion, 1 Ext. Challenge Champion, 1 National Sambo Champion


King Of The Cage 4 Video
Now Available in the FCF Shop…
King Of The Cage 4
Featuring:
Todd Medina vs. Daijiro Matsui
Roger Neff vs. Chris Franco
Fabiano Iha vs. Danny “Boy” Bennett
Tedd Williams vs. Bill Parker
Plus many more!
The card inculdes 3 Hawaiian SuperBrawl Champions, 1 BJJ Black Belt, 7 UFC Veterans, 1 Abu-Dhabi Champion, 1 Ext. Challenge Champion, 1 National Sambo Champion


Interview With IFC Promoter Paul Smith
After IFC Battleground 2000

By Josh Gross

After years trying to establish Mixed Martial Arts as a legitimate sport in the eyes of state athletic commissions, Paul Smith finally tasted the fruits of his labor as the IFC promoted the first sanctioned event in the United States. I spoke with Paul, the IFC promoter, the morning after the event. As I walked through his hotel room door he was on his cell phone trying to iron out a problem some of the fighters were having with their plane tickets. He never stops working and is a major reason the IFC was in Atlantic City fully sanctioned by the Athletic Control Board.

FCF:  Paul, give me your thoughts on the evening.

Paul Smith:  The fights that [actually] came off, I thought were some really good ones. I was disappointed with the briefness of the show. Two-hour shows are a pretty short show for the fans on hand in the arena. Our shows usually run three to three-and-a-half hours for the people there live. We had a lot of obstacles and hoops to jump through being this was the first time in New Jersey and putting on such a historic event. I guess you have to take a little salt in the wound and get through it. The next one here should be even better.

FCF:  Was there anything specific in working with the New Jersey State Control board for the first time that caused problems on the card?
PS:    Yeah, a week out they threw some curveballs at us. There were some things that they said they were going to take care of, or that we didn’t have to do initially and then right before the show they sent out these packets saying we had to do things. Some of the things related to officials were given to us the day before the event for background checks and things like that. We put on a card where most of the undercard used a lot of local people, because we tried to help with the initial draw being a completely new region for the sport at this level. When you build a card and rely on a tournament format to come out of something like that, we ended up getting in a bind because five days out two guys got injured and one guy pulled out because he thought he wasn’t ready. What ended up happening was we ended up using alternates for the live show and scrambled to find backups for them. The commission requirements put everything in a tail-spin in terms of getting everything done. I literally spent three days running fighters back and forth from the airport.

FCF:  Since this was the first time most of the fighters dealt with a major state commission, or, in New Jersey’s case, a control board, how did they react to all of this?
PS:    Of course everyone thought it was a major pain in the rear because our fighters generally aren’t used to this level of scrutiny before they’re allowed to go in there and show their skills. Everyone bucked up the line and got through it. The end result was going to be a great thing and a historic event that we were going to try and pull off here. Some of the guys had a really good time hanging out. At one point, we had about 15 guys hanging around the lobby of the hospital in Melville. It was quite an entertaining place for several hours; the hospital staff really enjoyed us. Everyone tried to make light of what was a very stressful pre-fight event.

FCF:  Let’s talk about post-fight. After the Control Board had seen the event live, what were their impressions? Did they say anything to you?
PS:    Yes, about halfway into the event Mr. Larry Hazzard came up to me and was really, really impressed. He was particularly happy with one of the referee’s stoppages for a DQ because of head butts. The crowd was quite upset and the fighter’s corner asked for one more chance but we really leaned towards the side of caution for this event. Mr. Hazzard really appreciated that. He thought it was a great call and was happy with our referees in the ring. Our matchmaking, although we had to scramble the past week, didn’t have any lopsided fights. I’m pretty sure that the one thing that will change for the January show will be a knee delivered to the head of a downed fighter. Gan McGee vs. Brad GabrielThey didn’t like when Gan McGee kneed Brad Gabriel [pictured] from side-control against the fence.
California didn’t allow for Muay Thai, so they didn’t think legally they could allow it for us, but New Jersey didn’t stop that for this show. Mr. Hazzard was six feet away from Gan when he rained down those knees and opened a really nice cut on the face of Brad Gabriel and he said that we needed to talk about knees to the head on the ground before the next show. If that’s a concession we need to give to continue to do sanctioned shows in New Jersey and to help move this sport forward, that’s something that IFC and myself are willing to give into as we did in California.

FCF:  How did the fighters react to the drug testing done by the Control Board before their fights?
PS:    We weren’t informed that they were going to do it. I wasn’t surprised, I know in boxing that they show up and do it regularly. I don’t know if they test for kickboxing because they’re controlled under a different agency. All the fighters know that they can be tested. It’s in our rules and in their contracts. From what I saw last night there was at least one commissioner for every single fighter. They followed the fighters everywhere, from the locker room to the cage, back to the locker room. They kept a very close scrutinizing eye on it and from what Mr. Hazzard told me he was very happy with it he had some good things to say when he talked with the governor this week.

FCF:  What’s the future for the IFC in New Jersey?
PS:    We received permission from the Control Board Friday afternoon to announce our next date of January 19th. Tomorrow we will start the ball rolling and try to get everything together for the January show at the Tropicana.

FCF:  Now that you have gone through this process with the Control Board, do you feel the second time around it will go smoothly?
PS:    Much more smoothly. I’m also going to build a card double the size I need and get double the people cleared through everything they need to do and jump through every hoop they need to clear for licensing of the officials.

FCF:  Finally, on a scale of one to ten, how would you rank the overall show?
PS:    I don’t know, I guess I’d call it a seven. I was really impressed with the championship fights. Vernon and Da Silva was great up until the very end. Marcos ran out of steam but he was giving Vernon all he could handle. It was kind of surprising when he ran out of gas. I don’t know if it was his energy or Vernon kneeing him twice after they stood up the first time that took a toll on him. He was pretty out of it an hour and a half, two hours after the fight. But you know what? He recovered and made it out with us for the famous IFC post fight party.

FCF:  Thanks Paul.
PS:    You bet.



Click here to check out pictures from
the IFC Battleground 200 show



From the event’s promoter:

STEVE BERGER
(Is he the "Next Big Thing"?)


After an incredible Match of the Year-style fight against Aaron Riley in HOOKnSHOOT, Steve Berger propelled into clearly one of the most improved and hottest fighters going under 175lbs.

Thus far, Berger was one of the VERY few fighters to stand with Riley and answer back with heavy shots of his own. Although, Riley was the winner by close decision, Berger became a HUGE commodity overnight. Calling Berger the loser of this particular fight would be a travesty! Berger easily silenced the critics who predicted a KO in Riley’s favor inside of two rounds.

On October 6, 2000 in Belleville, IL, Berger had the chance to face a tough field of eight men in REALITY SUBMISSION FIGHTING’s debut event and came out ready and scoring an armbar in less than 1:30 of the first round of his first fight.

After defeating Shone Carter at last years IRONHEART CROWN, the naysayers said "Berger was lucky" or "he didn’t really win the decision". Well, on October 6, Berger silenced nearly all the critics once again as he dominated Carter with vicious combinations and some of the hardest shots Berger has ever thrown. Berger got the tap with a rear-naked choke in just 2:41.

Looking at a tape of Berger even from earlier this year and comparing it to now is like night and day. A fighter that used to be called "straight Brasilian Jiu Jitsu" is now a solid ground fighter with some of the heaviest hands in the business! Ask anyone Berger has fought in the last 4 months!

Berger faces one of the toughest fighters in the world as he faces Jutaro Nakao, the man who choked Pat Miletich unconscious, on November 18, 2000 at HOOKnSHOOT "FUSION". Look for more info next week as the card is finalized.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
Have a comment about this story? Please share with us by filling out the fields below.

Comments are closed.