There’s Hope for Maritime MMA
From what we seen from the growth of mixed martial arts over the last several years, it is no surprise to see more shows pop up across the country and in rural areas. Hope Productions is the latest in the game as they get ready to bring Throwdown in Y-Town to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia June 25th at the Mariner Centre. The inspiration to get the show off the ground was a family affair.
“I have spent the last couple of years between Yarmouth and Edmonton to watch my brother (Allen Hope) fight,” says Ken Hope, co-promoter of the event. “We just figured from there why can’t we being an event like this to Yarmouth? We both talked about it before so we just put of our thoughts together.”
While the Hope brothers are the two faces of the company putting on the event, they have had their fair share of help. There have been people like Dave Adey and Sara Steinke working behind the scenes. With all the extra hands, they have been able to get over half the card ready well in advance. While Allen Hope has put together the card, this is the first time where he has been on the business side of sport. While he had little experience, it helps living in what is arguably the hot spot in the country for MMA.
While he has been able to get things done, Allen does have the added pressure of being in the main event against Mike Kent, who is ready to open a division of Titan’s gym in the Yarmouth area. While Hope is coming off knockout win over Paul Grandbois at Evolution Fighting Championship 8 to capture the Middleweight title, he did not want to fight in the event. He came in after Kent’s original opponent dropped out because he felt he would not make the weight cut. Both guys have amazing stand-up to make for some fireworks, although Kent has won most of his fights on the ground including a close fight against Alderic Keith at Elite One: High Voltage. While both guys have been busy with other projects, it did not stop them from doing some trash talk on the company’s Facebook page which did catch one person off guard.
“Living here in Edmonton we have the most promotions in Canada. Since this is pretty much my full time job, I am always around it,” says Allen Hope. “I am always at events, either fighting or with training partners, the last few years so I have a rough idea of what needs to be done. I also have a couple of friends who are promoters like Tim Hague and he gave me a rough idea on what to expect. All commissions are different though, but in all in all to run a show, it can’t be hard.”
“I was completely surprised by it,” says Ken Hope. “There is nothing wrong with some trash talk and it might help sell some more tickets but I don’t think we will have problems selling anyways.”
While the group is confident there will be a sell-out, they know there is a chance it can be a hard sell. The city has been through some tough times after the provincial NDP government shut down the ferry between the town and Portland, Maine in 2009. The tourist dollars took a hit last summer with local business having to close down shop. Since then, Statistics Canada has reported that the county’s unemployment rate is over 15%, the worst in two decades. In the end, Hope figures all the pieces should fall into place.
“Well I haven’t been too happy yet but I know how this town works,” says Ken Hope. “We have to wait until people get paid because there is not a whole a lot of money here, so they have to wait until they can afford it, plus the event is about two months away so no one is in a rush to get their tickets yet.”
While the event’s work may have been slow to start, things have been picking up with sponsors and the word spreading around the city. It also does not hurt when you have six local fighters on the card. Let’s hope that Hope Fight productions can be a brighter start to the town of Yarmouth and the growth of maritime MMA.
Throwdown in Y-Town Card