A New Era in Fight Sports and Entertainment.

By James Baker, Paul Smith and Sandra Nunez Feb 3, 2005
Terry Treibcock & Ted Williams have played a vital part in the promotions for full contact sports. During this interview, as a group project, we had no idea what to expect from this up coming discussion. What came out of this was a well-earned respect for the hard work, preparation, and determination to make dreams come true.

Terry graduated from Claremont High School in Southern California, and enrolled in Cal. State Fullerton taking business classes. He has had his hand in different business venues, but one particular business caught his eye about 10 years ago.

Terry is the owner of an entertainment-sporting event called King of the Cage. The event is a mixture of several different martial arts, which pits one person’s martial arts style versus another. It is a full contact sport, which is slowly but surely making its way to the mainstream public, and most importantly into our living rooms everyday.

This paper was to be written, as a class/group project on entrepunearship, but what we found was a man, a team, and an organization that is leading the next wave of sports entertainment into our lives.

King of the Cage started back in 1998, when there was no understanding of the mixed martial arts world, and what 21st. century martial life was like. This promotion is based out of Fontana, Ca. but the events are held all over the United States.

King of the Cage was started due to Terry’s vision after watching other mixed martial arts events on T.V. To get an understanding of what exactly was taking place inside the ring; He enrolled himself in a few different martial arts schools, as well as purchasing an instructional series by a MMA legend named Royce Gracie.

As he began to pick up on the different techniques and styles that were being used to defeat opponents that were bigger, faster, and more athletic then he was, Terry began to teach at a Health Club called Cardio Fit in the Inland Empire.

Once he gasped the concept of what was taking place between the fighters inside the ring, he began to branch out and teach in different areas of Southern California. As the way Terry tells it, an unknown man walked into his class one day, and without warning began throwing not only himself but also the rest of the class around the mat room. That person is named Ted Williams. Ted and Terry formed a friendship from that day on, and it continued into an entrepreneur partnership now known as King of the Cage.

Terry took some time out of his 20 hour work day, to talk about how he is masterminding King of the Cage into one of the biggest sports entertainment venues of the 21st. century.

What makes K.O.T.C. work, and would you have done differently while starting out with this business?

TT: Making any business work, you must have the finances to overcome the obstacles you will face along the way. You must have a strong / loyal support team to help carry some of the burden of the stresses of running shows all over the country. When I started K.O.T.C. I thought it was going to be easy, I learned very fast that I was going to have my hands full. Luckily I had the 100% support of my wife Julie. She keeps me organized, and slows me down when I am going 200 miles an hour getting shows together. I have a real solid team behind me in ensuring that not only does the business & show succeed, but I succeed also. I have a right hand man in Ted Williams he handles the daily operations and takes the stresses off me a little; I have my attorney Howard, my accountant Mike. Without those four people in my life, King of the Cage would not be as successful as it is today.

What is the single most important thing in becoming a successful entrepreneur / businessman?

TT: I started this business because I fell in love with Mixed Martial Arts. The first time I saw an event that featured Royce Gracie Vs. Dan Severn, and observed how the crowd was reacting to the back and forth battle inside the octagon, I knew from that day on, this was something I wanted to get involved with. You have to love what you are doing and 100% commit in making sure your business flourishes. Not just gets by, or is doing O.K., push it, set goals, and see them through. One of the main goals I set for King of the Cage was to get it on Cable T.V. We completed a deal with In-Demand pay-per-view, and on November 21st 2004, every single household in America was able to watch an event called Revenge. I am continuing to push this sport to be the best. King of the Cage is being talked about on Fox, ESPN, local channels like UPN 13, Fox 11, etc. We want to bring entertainment into everyone’s living room, that’s why guys like Charles “Crazy Horse” Bennett, are good for the sport. He brings excitement with slams, flips off the fence; he does whatever it takes to bring the thousands of fans to their feet.

McDonalds has Burger King, ESPN has FOX Sports Net, who is King of the Cages biggest competition in the entertainment world of MMA?

TT: Gladiator Challenge is my biggest competition, without a doubt! The guy who runs that event is an animal. (Ted Williams.) Everyone wants to be involved in the fight game, but what makes it succeed is a business mind behind it. The competition I face is the guys who are illegally holding nightclub run type fights that are bringing in 1000 or so people. They make a quick lump sum of cash, and disappear before the local authorities can put a stop to it. This has been an uphill battle for K.O.T.C., so I would have to say people who are holding Illegal events are the biggest competition.

Since you own / operate a sporting event that is yours. Have you ever sat back to watch a match, and said to yourself; “Wow, this is a great fight or great event I put together!”?

TT: Oh yeah, lets see… Dean Lister vs. Jeremy Horn, Charlie Kohler vs. Takumi, every fight of Paul Benutellos. My last Pay View View event called Revenge was my favorite event to watch. It had great matches, and it was my way of letting other events out there know that King of the Cage is having their Revenge by being broadcasted in every home in America and all over the world on Pay per View.

Are there any types of crowds or fighters for that matter, who you look for to recruit & participate in your events?

TT: I go out of my way to recruit the professional type of crowds. All it takes is a few bad dummies to make a first time fan watching it live, to never want to come back to an event. I have personally gone up into the stands with the authorities, and have had a few people removed who was out of control. I go out of my way in recruiting the professional type fan, to come out and enjoy our shows. As for fighters, I look at their personality, are they a good person, or are they dishonest. If they are a dishonest person, I can usually see it pretty quickly and I will not ask them to participate in another event. I have a few guys, which have helped in the recruitment of the professional crowd, and with the personality based fighters. Guys like Dans custom fishing rods, Ernie Perea who is an MMA fighter / Law Enforcement Officer in the Inland Empire, these guys as well as a few others, bring a large fan base with them to KOTC shows. They have showed their loyalty and support in the growth of the business, they will always be part of K.O.T.C. alumni.

As a full contact sport, some see the business side of MMA leaning in the direction of how things are in boxing. How are boxing / MMA different/the same?

TT: MMA today is what boxing was like 100 years ago. Fighters now are fighting for pride, and a small purse. Boxing used to be the same back when it first started. In the Mixed Martial Arts world, who fights will soon be determined by money, instead of skill, just like it is right now in boxing. As a sport, we are not to that point yet, but it will be soon enough. Speaking of fighting for pride, instead of money. Go down to your local public hockey rink, watch those guys play for the fun of it. I have been asked in the past, if I would ever compete in an MMA event like Ted has, Larry Landless, and a few others, my answer to that is, I am an hockey player first and that’s where I do my fighting. Hockey is all about grit, determination, and toughness, a very tough sport. I compete in hockey games about 3 times a month, and I am always getting into some kind of scuffle with an opponent, mainly cops! Those guys like to fight and get into your face. Ernie Perea should like that!

Hockey is a toughmans sport and very entertaining also. What was the up and coming period for you like? Was there anything particular that got you where, you are today with King of the Cage?

TT: The fact that there were numerous jealous, hating people in the mixed martial arts industry. I fought back and most important in any business venture, I never ever gave up. Putting together an event such as King of the Cage was definitely the biggest challenge in anything I have ever done. At the same time from an entrepreneur standpoint, it has become the most accomplished / satisfying thing I have ever done also. Don’t get me wrong; Ted and I are definitely not done yet. We have a few marketing secrets I can’t let out of the bag just yet, that is going to take my event, King of the Cage, to the next level. A whole new era in fight sports and entertainment is about to be unleashed upon the public mainstream and King of the Cage will continue not only to succeed, but to be the best!
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