PFC President Jamie Champion Brings MMA Back to Ontario
Exhausted from endless weeks of dealing with fighters, venues and vendors, Provincial Fighting Champion president Jamie Champion took a big sigh of relief after Saturday’s inaugural event.
“I’m ecstatic,” he commented. “Really tired, I haven’t had much sleep. The show was successful and I think everyone left happy.”
Marking just the third mixed martial arts card held on Ontario soil in 2013, PFC delivered a card filled with Ontario prospects, many of whom were making their pro debuts. In the co-main event, Toronto’s Michael Karkula upset hometown favourite Jesse Gross by split decision, and in the main event it was London’s own Chris Horodecki who brought the crowd to their feet with a unanimous decision victory over Frank Caraballo.
Nearly 2500 spectators filled London’s Agroplex for an event that can only be described as an overwhelming success. Champion said he’s been working on the show since March and, despite small problems along the way, the card went off without a hitch.
There were a lot of questions only a week out from the event as rumours spread that Horodecki`s original opponent, Jason Dent, was injured in training and would be unable to compete. Thankfully, Caraballo stepped in on a week’s notice for a fight that some thought was more competitive than the originally schedule main event.
“He (Jason Dent) blew his knee out. Alex Caporicci, my matchmaker, is the best in Canada. Frank Caraballo stepping up to the plate was huge, too. Imagine almost losing your main event a week before? I was stressed. But bang, Caporicci pulled it out. My hat’s off to him. I owe him huge. He did a great job for sure.”
The Ontario Athletic Commission (OAC) is often criticized for their pricing and seeming disinterest in helping mixed martial arts grow in the province, but Champion had nothing but kind words to say about working with the OAC.
“You can’t have a super good show without these guys orchestrating things behind the scenes. They make sure you do things by the book as it should be and I don’t disagree with it ever. The athletic commission was a dream to work with.”
Ontario fans can tell you the frustration they have faced as numerous promotions have come to the province for one and done shows. However, Champion says PFC is here to stay and will be putting on more shows in Ontario and have begun discussing a future event in Montreal.
“Definitely we’ll be doing it again. London is a fight mecca with Adrenaline here. There’s so much talent and it’s just about giving them a place to do it and now they have a place.”
No date was given for a follow up event, but Champion said he expects to return in early 2014.
“You’d be dreaming if you thought you were going to bang one off each month. I’ve been working on this since March. I’ve got a hell of a lot better idea how to do things now. We evolve as things go and just try to put on a good show.”