LAS VEGAS -- King of the Cage, one of the longest-running mixed martial arts promotions announced Tuesday its plans for a “groundbreaking” new amateur fighting event.
KOTC’s new World Amateur Championships is designed to unearth talented amateur fighters from across the globe in an effort to not only turn them into pros, but also get them the sort of TV exposure that is difficult to come by.
Throughout the years, KOTC has bred such MMA superstars as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Rashad Evans, Mac Danzig, Urijah Faber, Diego Sanchez and countless others.
“I’ve promoted hundreds of MMA shows over the years both pro and amateur,” said KOTC owner and CEO Terry Trebilcock at a press conference inside the Palms Hotel & Casino. “I promote about one pay-per-view event a month. But over the years I’ve realized how increasingly difficult it has become to start and develop a professional MMA career.
“We’ve had so many great, talented fighters over the years,” he added. “But there are so many other terrific fighters out there who never get the opportunity to make a real living by doing this when they could be superstars in MMA. Our new concept of the World Amateur Championship will give fighters a chance to not only be able to fight professionally, but to also be on TV and grow within the sport and our organization.”
The newfangled event is slotted to showcase a total of 40 amateur fighters from around the globe competing for five spots on KOTC’s professional roster. There will be one contract worth $100,000, two for $50,000, and two more for $25,000.
According to Trebilcock, the winners of the contracts will be determined by a combination of judges, live audience members and viewers via online voting/texting. But it’s not necessarily who wins their fights, though. Trebilcock also said that KOTC is looking for terrific fighters who have will leave it all on the line and give it their all every time out. And if a fighter has a marketable character as well, then that’s even better.
The first event for the promotion will be on Saturday, Oct.19 at the Pearl inside the Las Vegas Palms. But, Trebilcock said, that is just the beginning. Next year the company is planning on hosting various qualifying events in various locations throughout 2014, with another major World Amateur Championship event in the fall. This will hopefully lead into an annual “Star Search” type of promotion in an effort to help turn unknown commodities into household names.
“With boxing, there has always been a great amateur system where a young fighter makes it into the Olympics and when he turned pro, he automatically was on TV with a nice contract,” Trebilcock elaborated. “It’s not like that in MMA. But with our new concept, this gives talented amateur mixed martial athletes a chance to become a star and earn much more money right out of the amateurs. Nothing like this has ever happened in our sport, until now.”
Also on board with the idea of the World Amateur Championship is television network MAVTV, the American Real Network. The high-definition channel is already available to both Dish Network and DirecTV subscribers and Trebilcock expects the partnership to put KOTC’s new concept over the top.
“We are proud to be partnered with such a great network as MAVTV,” Trebilcock stated. “We’ve been on HDNet, we’ve done countless pay-per-view events, but I can honestly say that this is the best TV deal we’ve ever had as a company.”