KOTC Fight Night and Expo
Los Angeles, California, USA
“Has the King Lost its Crown?”
A highly ambitious, but vastly under-sold event, plus public lack of interest…
made a recipe for disaster.
For years, the “King of the Cage” franchise has been best known for its long-standing run at a popular Casino located deep within the Inland Empire of Riverside County, which is over 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, here in Southern California. It is there that KOTC originally established its solid fan base in the Southland.
However, this time the KOTC promotional team and its various partners, decided to combine a large-scale martial arts expo where dozens of various training gear vendors and retailers could pay to rent themselves a booth with tables to sell their wares in a huge additional ballroom, alongside the scheduled cage-fighting matches.
This larger undertaking, within the nostalgic structure, proved to be somewhat of a disaster for the vendors and promoters alike. Not only was the entire event under-publicized, it seemed to be a bit disorganized from within too. Complaints about last minute changes without forewarning and previously agreed upon arrangements were heard, leading to confusion and frustration.
The Expo itself was a complete disappointment. Vendors wound up cutting their losses and packing up their goods early, leaving the spacious venue entirely, with a bad taste. It would seem that it may not be such a good idea for promoters to try to combine two separate specifics together on such a large scale? In evidence, it would appear that a majority of people that were there to see the fights were in no way interested or prepared to purchase and take home a myriad of martial arts training gear as well? Even though a fair amount of T-shirts and similar textiles were obviously sold, overall the expenses put forth did not extend far enough to pay for the expensive overhead.
Another clue towards the promoters’ obvious lack of insight was the fact that they’d scheduled this event on the same night as another very highly anticipated UFC event, deterring many from leaving the comfort of their own homes as they watched MMA superstars on PPV TV.
As a result, one crew member confessed, “There were dozens of unsold tickets left behind.”
Inside the venue, it also seemed like many of the smartly uniformed staff members at the Shrine Auditorium (Host of the Oscars) that night seemed to be acting a bit too uptight towards the noticeably sparse audience…and each other too.
Some ticket holders remarked that much of the seemingly tangible uneasiness felt there may have occurred because of the resentment felt by those having to drive such a long distance, all the way in from the Riverside areas, to attend a another KOTC event, but I personally feel that the apparent bad vibe derived from a combination of the aforementioned errors.
Fortunately, the “King of the Cage” organization must have the financial assets to recover from losses that might normally force a lesser established promotional company into bankruptcy.
Looking past any possible lack of organization or the need for proper advertising and promotion for this event, the fights themselves were decent. This helped the loyal fans let go any effects.
The Main Event featured Heavy-Weight fighters; Wade Hamilton against veteran Tony Lopez.
Also, Light Heavy-Weights; Hector Urbina faced Fernando Gonzales and Mike Robles fought Dominic Verdugo plus Chris Moore versus Mike Guymon all at 170lbs.
One of the more interesting bouts was fought by Steve Grody (No Limits Gym) against Buckley Acosta, where Grody finally won at 2:21 in the 3rd round, by a vicious “Ground and Pound” while in a secured mount atop his opponent.
Jesus Morales (170lbs.) quickly won against Bradley Moore at 2:52 in Round-1 by TKO. Fighter Jimmy Guyton (155lbs.) won his match against David Aguirre by judge’s decision. At 205lbs., Will Richiel beat Abner Apointe with a nice Rear-Choke.
Legendary Referee’s Cecil Peoples and Herb Dean resided over all the action inside of the cage.