Since the UFC boom in 2005 when The Ultimate Fighter put MMA on the map, we’ve seen plenty of MMA organizations go by the wayside. International Fight League, EliteXC, Affliction, PRIDE, World Fighting Alliance, Bodog Fight, Kick-Ass Fighting Championships.
Ok, so I made that last one up. The point is, plenty of companies have tried but ultimately failed to capitalize on the fastest growing sport on the world.
In 2012, a new company will try their hand, but they’re not your typical single organization who will pay big money for fighters, only run in one area of the country, or try to run on PPV with no TV backing.
In fact, they’re not a single organization at all.
Takedown MMA is something of a “housing organization,” a brand name that will promote single organizations on television for a season of MMA events. Think of it like HDNet or GoFightLive.com, both of whom promote and showcase multiple MMA organizations, with the difference being that Takedown MMA will be running a set schedule and looking to establish their brand name.
To better explain things, Five Ounces of Pain spoke to MMA fighter Matt Lindland and notable MMA agent Ken Pavia, both of whom are very involved in trying to get Takedown MMA off the ground and in front of your eyes.
“It’s basically a content aggregation company. We’re taping 32 shows annually, in North America and international and in affect we aggregate content. The biggest problem with a promotion getting a television deal is consistency,” said Pavia. “I think a lot of networks want MMA but they don’t want to do six shows a year, they want a consistent season. They want consistent week in and week out programming that they can commit to and I think Takedown satisfies that need. I think you’ll see Takedown presents this promotion one week from one country and then Takedown presents this promotion another week from another country.”
Over 50 fight promotions from all around the world have signed a letter of intent with Takedown with the goal to produce a 32-week season . Both Lindland and Pavia explained it as, “kind of like Friday Night Fights” with a different promotion being showcased every week.
That’s right, Takedown is looking to jump right into television, and they’ve already talked to different broadcast companies about getting on television. Pavia stated, “We’ve had significant dialogue with a number of different broadcast mediums. The answer has been a resounding, ‘we’re very interested, show us you can do it. Show us you can pull this off. Show us some proof of content.’ I think everybody wants MMA programming and it hits the target demographic. It’s a great advertisers demographics and it’s the fastest growing sport of our lifetime and I think everyone is starving for MMA content and as long as we can deliver it, there is definitely a market for it.”
To show broadcast companies that they could “do it” and “pull it off,” Takedown shot a pilot using Lindland’s Sport Fight promotion, which has been around since 2001 and has held events that have included fighters like Chael Sonnen, Chris Leben, Jeremy Horn, and other MMA stars.
Lindland was very happy with the footage, saying, “We just shot our first pilot. We’re going to edit it together, put it to post, the footage is incredible. It’s shot differently, the way we shot it and light it, it’s different than people have seen before. It’s really incredible.”
But what if Takedown can’t secure a television deal? While taking things online is an option, Pavia said, “If the right opportunity comes with television then great but if it doesn’t then we may wait. We’re not going to make a bad deal. We’ve had discussion with a couple different online site to stream shows. I think you’ll see selected online broadcasts in certain countries until the television deals are consummated.”
The thing that Takedown really wants to establish is consistency with their broadcasts. “We want to do things first rate,” said Pavia. “You’re not going to see single and double A promotions with horrible commentators. You’re going to see professional commentators and phenomenal graphics and a much more professional look that is much more marketable.”
Trying to establish a new promotion isn’t easy. Trying to establish a MMA Aggregation Company and getting on television seems nearly impossible. Both men know it’s going to take a lot of work but they’re ready to put the time in.
“I believe the timing is critical. If you’re gonna catch a guy in a triangle, a lot of that is timing. Right now I think the timing couldn’t be at a better time,” said Lindland. “UFC just signed with FOX and they left some other networks in the dust. What’s going to happen is that they’re going to bring in a whole new audience of MMA fans and those fans are only going to know one brand. You’re gonna see other networks who want that same audience. I think there’s going to be a huge demand. I think the timing is right with this concept. We’re not a competitor, we’re just another option.”
Pavia finished with, “I joined because I think they have a great product and they need a little help getting to the next level and I think with my help we can attain that. I allowed them my contacts, which enabled them to talk to other promotions. Luck is when preparation and oppruntity meets. They were prepared and I’m giving them some opportunities. So I guess we’re all lucky in this situation.”
PHOTO CREDIT – TAKEDOWN MEDIA