The Evolution of Evolution
A year ago, Top MMA News featured a story on a little known organization from Lloydminster that was packing in 3,500 locals into their venue. Evolution Fighting Championship was thriving in obscurity in a city with a population of 28,000 people.
One year later and EFC is no longer an unknown success story. The promotion – run by Mark Lindskog and his partner Travis Quesnel – is taking their show on the road in 2011 to other Alberta towns. Lindskog explains that the fighters are the impetus behind these moves to other towns.
“Our fighters from other cities were the ones that asked us to bring the show to their hometowns. We looked into it and its worked out good for us. It’s a little overwhelming how big this is getting but we are not going to back down. We are going to go with it.”
Overwhelming is right. Everywhere EFC is going is selling out.
- This weekend, EFC 7 will be running in Cold Lake and just shy of 2,000 fans will attend the event headlined by a Light-Heavyweight title fight.
- April 23rd, EFC 8 will be held in the Lloydminster hockey arena and 4,400 fans are expected to attend. The show will feature three title fights and an appearance by Josh Koscheck.
- May 14th, EFC 9 will be in Grande Prairie where half of the 4,560 tickets are already sold to a crowd eager to see Travis Briere fight in his hometown and meet former UFC Light-Heavyweight champ Rashad Evans.
Not only is EFC doing well in Alberta, they are expecting to expand outside the province in 2011. The promotion that started in a bar with a boxing event and three MMA fights on the undercard has really grown up. In fact, the promotion may hold nine events in 2011 and has tentative shows on the books for every month except July and August for the rest of the year.
What is the reason behind the success of his “hobby that is turning into a full time job”? Lindskog credits the fighters,
“We treat the fighters well. They like coming here, they like fighting for us and we are one of the top paying promotions in Canada. We also have good match-ups.”
Evolution also puts a lot of money into production. Lindskog believes that this is key to retaining his fan base.
“We spend a lot of money on each show and that gets the people coming back. We have 6-8 jumbo screens per show and each show we try to make a little better. More lights, more screens, better sounds.”
Fighters, match-ups, production, and picking mid-sized towns rabid for MMA seems to be the winning recipe for Evolution Fighting Championship. 2011 promises more growth and more exposure for the fast growing MMA brand. Make sure you check them out when they come to your area.