Armageddon Prez Throws Weight Around
After a successful 2010, Armageddon Fighting Championship seems to be taking on the MMA world in 2011. Last year, the Victoria-based promotion held three successful events that consisted of well-matched fights primarily featuring British Columbia fighters with a sprinkling of outsiders like Robert Drysdale brought in for good measure. The result was fan attendance that rivaled all other Canadian promotions.
With four financially successful cards under his belt, AFC President Darren Owen seems to have made a New Year’s resolution to not take a back seat to any promotion in Canada in 2011. With an appearance on the highly rated CBC television’s Dragon’s Den already in the can, the AFC then got their hair up when the Battlefield Fight League entered the AFC market by announcing a professional card in Nanaimo. The BFL announced an April 2nd date in Nanaimo, about one and half hours away from Victoria, and started contacting AFC fighters to appear on the BFL card. The AFC had two tentative dates booked for their fifth card, March 12 and March 26, but then flexed their muscles and moved AFC 5 to the same April 2 date.
Top MMA News asked Darren Owen why move the show to the same date as Battlefield Fight League’s date. Owen responded,
“We had two dates in March that conflicted with UFC dates. March 12 was going to be a UFC Abu Dhabi show so we moved it to March 26. The UFC then scheduled a Seattle show on the 26th, our venue had already booked the 12th, and the only date open was April 2nd. Quite frankly, the AFC would lose more fans to a Seattle, Washington UFC event on March 26th than to any other local event on the same night.”
Owen has the finger on the pulse of his market and has locked up some of the best fighters who call the island home, so who would argue with this logic?
However, one may wonder why Owen then took on Mark Pavelich with his next move. Pavelich, the outspoken king of Canadian MMA shows, frequently spouts off on the internet about all shows being inferior to his Maximum Fighting Championship and this weekend Darren Owen snapped back. Owen first responded to Pavelich via his Twitter account by saying “@MaximumFighting listen to advise on eyeliner? Absolutely. On running a show? Maybe when one of your crowds reaches our average size.” After poking Pavelich about his smaller MFC crowds, Owen then followed up with, “Tired of all of the talk coming from a circus tent. If you’re the biggest show in Canada, the venue shouldn’t be deflatable.” Then the two promoters get into a war of tweets over the size of their audience, live TV, and sponsorships.
So why did Owen take on the MFC? The Armageddon FC president told Top MMA News,
“I am just tired. Tired of Mark putting himself ahead of the athletes. Tired of him putting himself ahead of Canadian MMA and tired of the way he talks about every other promotion in Canada. The reality is he is one argument away from losing HDnet and going back to booking male strippers.”
Strong words from the AFC promoter! Let’s see if Owen and Armageddon Fighting Championship can back up the tough talk with another successful year of shows from Victoria and, possibly, other locales. It all will start at AFC 5 on April 2nd with top Canadian fighters like Nick Hinchliffe and Diego Wilson as well as up and comers like Justin Shaw and David Perron battling in the Armageddon cage.