It’s an hour before the weigh-ins at the ShoWare Center in Kent, WA for Alliance Fight’s second ever event, CounterStrike. A nervous energy fills the room as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, trainers and corner men, promoters, press and Washington State Athletic Commissioners scurry in and out of the media room making sure everyone is checked in, paper work is finished and most importantly, the scales work. Some fighters are more anxious to weigh in so they can eat and drink something for the first time in twenty four hours rather then they are anxious about their fight that will occur in the next twenty four. Tomorrow night’s fights are sure to bring cheers and jeers from the crowd but what most people don’t know is that the majority of the fighting took place long before anyone put on a pair of five ounce gloves and entered the cage.
Alliance Fights is a promotion venture made up of two distinct companies with a single goal, to further the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. To put on successful fights a company has to have two major components, business savvy and experience in the fight game. Alliance Fights has both with the partnership of 10th Village Media and West Coast Fight Team. It is only with the pairing of these two unique cultures that Alliance was able to produce their first show “Uprising.” This Professional Mixed Martial Arts event at the ShoWare Center in Kent Washington was a success on all levels, especially for the size and scope of the production. Alliance’s journey is much like the many other companies before them including MMA giants like the WEC, UFC and Strikeforce. They look to advance the sport by having great talent both inside and out of the cage.
Like I said before, the fight to put on these shows has been happening for months for both the promoters and participants alike. What you won’t see at the fight tomorrow night are the principles of Alliance Fight Promotions, Aaron, David and Shaun, out every day and night for the past two months handing out flyers, hunting down sponsors or spending countless hours on the phone with fighters and their managers putting these fights together. You probably won’t notice Ryan or any other of a number of key players hustling around town acting as the street team, setting up the cage, applying sponsor decals to the mat or staying till 3 AM the night of the fight after everyone has gone home to disassemble the cage so the next act can setup at the ShoWare. It is this crucial work that that often goes unnoticed, but without it, the show would never go on. These are just a few of the daily battles being fought outside the cage to make this new company and their goal a successful one.
On the other side of the cage you have the fighters themselves. They come from all walks of life, some have previous training and some don’t. Some are doing this for sport and some are hoping to feed their families with it. Some will even climb to the top and fight for an organization like the UFC one day. Either way, these guys put in countless hours of training on mats, in rings and in the weight room; learning Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Boxing, Muay Thai, Karate and a plethora of other disciplines’. Tonight, they will step into the Cage weave all of those disciplines’ together and give us their all. Just like the promotion putting these fights together; you won’t see the countless battles these athletes have been in, both on and off the mat.
I could take up another 5 pages describing to you the work put into a single show but that is four and a half more pages then my editor has allotted me for this article. Whether you are sitting at home watching the UFC, WEC, Strikeforce or the CounterStrike event on TV or you are in the stands of the next event sipping on a beer, please take a moment to reflect on the lights, the sound, the cage and the ad or flyer you saw that sparked your interest and got you to this place. Take an extra long look at both the fighter you are rooting for and the one you are rooting against. Think about their families and the dedication to their passion. In that moment consider what you haven’t read here like the years of fighting to get MMA licensed in that state, the bumps and bruises this sport has taken to reach the point of where it is today, or the fact that most everyone involved in this show, both fighters and promoters, will go back to their 9 to 5 on Monday just like you and I. MMA doesn’t deserve the back eye it usually gets in the main stream media but just like the fighter in the cage, that certainly won’t make this great sport tap out.
Support your local MMA fighters by supporting the events put on by companies such as Alliance Fight Promotions. If you have any questions about local fight promotions or how to get involved please contact David, Aaron or Shaun @ http://alliancefights.net/ or their facebook page.