The Title Guy
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Orange, California
National Boss Day Special: Top 10 bosses in MMA
Yesterday was National Boss Day here in the United States and for the occasion I thought I would take a break from the Halloween series to focus on the top MMA bosses who made their companies successful. So with that here we go on the top 10 bosses in Mixed Martial Arts today:
~ 10 ~
Scott Adams and Reed Harris
These men founded what was known as the longtime sister promotion of the UFC called World Extreme Cagefighting. Scott Adams and Reed Harris formed the WEC in 2001 and held most of their events at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino (on an Indian reservation) years before the state of California actually sanctioned MMA fights. They were so successful at their jobs that both men were retained by Zuffa when the company bought the promotion and they were partially responsible for running the promotion during its’ tenure on Versus (now NBC Sports).
The promotions’ legacy can definitely be felt in the UFC today because of the bantamweight and featherweight divisions that were developed under the WEC who’s championships lineages are directly traced to the WEC championships. Other legacies include the presence of Brittany Palmer as Octagon Girl who was originally in the WEC and the WEC crew that helped run the Zuffa operated Strikeforce.
~ 9 ~
Scott Coker was responsible for founding what was for a span of about four years the number two promotion worldwide. Coker’s original experience was as an action star but he moved into promoting kickboxing including early K-1 American events and the ISKA. He formed Strikeforce as a kickboxing promotion in 1985 and changed in into a MMA promotion in 2006 which had the distinction of the largest North American attendance record until UFC 129 but still has the record in California.
The promotion ran well as a regional promotion for three years then profited by the demise of EliteXC by buying out their assets and securing broadcast deals with Showtime and CBS. Coker was retained by Zuffa after it bout out Strikeforce until the promotion was folded earlier this year with his current status unknown.
~ 8 ~
Most people do not know who John Prisco is especially in the mainstream but his promotion is described by Yahoo Sports as “the best kept secret in the sport.” John Prisco is the founder of the Florida based Xtreme Fighting Championships promotion.
While it only broadcasts on AXS TV, it holds the attendance record for a MMA event in the state of Florida as well as being the first promotion to hold a sanctioned event in Tennessee. The promotion has also been a springboard for veterans and rising stars such as congenital amputee Nick Newell. The XFC can also be considered a likely candidate as the next MMA promotion on Showtime, though that has yet to be seen.
~ 7 ~
Once again if you were to ask someone in the mainstream who David Green is you probably would get several “I don’t knows” in there, however he runs probably the biggest MMA promotion in the United Kingdom. David Green is the CEO of the British Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts, which has put on thirteen events to date with a fourteenth one planned this December.
Like several second tire promotions, BAMMA has taken to establishing its’ own stars while depending on international veterans as well, such as Paul Daley, Frank Trigg, and Seth Petruzelli just to name a few. Of note is the fact that BAMMA rose out of the ashes of Cage Rage after the demise of ProElite. Something else that has defined BAMMA is their cooperation with promotions Cage Warriors and UCMMA along with the Centre of Health and Human Performance in the UK to establish SAFE MMA which is a medical database for fighters in the UK.
~ 6 ~
Most MMA fans who hear this name have one word that comes to mind, “shrewd.” Vadim Finkelchtein is the President of M-1 Global, the premier MMA promotion in Russia. The reason he can be considered shrewd is because of his work as Fedor Emelianenko‘s manager.
Knowing Emelianenko’s value as a fighter during his number one reign, Finkelchtein used it to his advantage trying to get the UFC to agree to deals that Dana White never agreed to, and also working co-promotion deals with Affliction and Strikeforce. However, he’s also established traits in the promotion that has defined it from all others such as the M-1 Challenge and M-1 Selection series.
~ 5 ~
Terry Trebilcock is probably one of the longest involved founders of a MMA promotion still running his promotion. Trebilcock is the longtime founder of the King of the Cage promotion which has had a long history of advancing the careers of up and coming fighters while still keeping veterans’ careers alive. However, Trebilcock has had experience not only dealing with good times but bad ones as well.
Trebilcock sold the promotion to ProElite in 2007 and ran the promotion under the parent companies ownership but kept it alive after the downfall and is once again at the helm. Since then he has ushered King of the Cage through some TV deals that didn’t work out but has it going steady for now.
~ 4 ~
The only woman on this list, Shannon Knapp also runs the only all women’s promotion in the United States. Knapp founded Invicta Fighting Championships in 2012 shortly after the Zuffa purchase of Strikeforce. Knapp and matchmaker Janet Martin along with several female fighters were worried about where the course of women’s MMA would go considering that at the time Dana White didn’t feel that women’s MMA had any marque value (something he has since admit he was wrong about).
Thus Knapp and Martin formed Invicta to help develop women’s MMA and has brought it from simple online fight cards to being available on TV PPV. Its’ now the front candidate to be signed by Showtime for a deal.
~ 3 ~
This man is responsible for establishing what is now the number two MMA promotion in the world. Bjorn Rebney established Bellator Fighting Championships (now Bellator MMA) in 2008 based on the original format of determining champions in tournaments. Rebney is responsible of ushering Bellator through the days on ESPN Deportes, Fox Sports Net, MTV2 and now on SpikeTV.
His work was done so well that when Viacom bought Bellator they retained Rebney as CEO. However, there have been hints that many of the recent actions of Bellator have not been Rebney’s decisions but Viacom’s.
~ 2 ~
This man took an idea and turned it into a really huge reality. Victor Cui founded ONE Fighting Championship in 2011 and since then has turned it into the largest MMA promotion in Asia. ONE FCs’ overnight success in the previously untapped South Eastern Asian market has turned it into arguably one of the top three MMA promotions in the world.
Its’ success can be attributed to their depending on local talent but including international talent and establishing legitimate contenders to their championships. Also with amateur events going on it looks like Cui’s little baby will only continue to grow and achieve success for the foreseeable future.
~ 1 ~
There is no one who deserves to be on top of this list more then Dana White. The longtime President of the UFC, White has learned through trial and error what it takes to be successful in this industry. White took over the promotion in 2001 after he approached childhood friends Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta about buying the floundering promotion from Semaphore Entertainment Group.
It wasn’t easy though because the promotion continued to struggle and it was only the last ditch effort of The Ultimate Fighter that finally started the wheels of success. Since then the UFC and has experienced success that cannot be explained in a short span of time but can be highlighted with record PPV numbers, buying out its’ competition, and securing a deal with Fox Sports that has made it the center of some of its’ sports programming.
Before I close out this article I would like to take the time to thank my boss, Gabriel Keith, for all that he does for the MMA writers of this website.
Anyone bosses that you feel were missed out? Please leave a comment!
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