11 March 2001
Monte Cox takes time out at the Millennium Brawl 2 event to talk to Carl Fisher
Nate Schroeder, Monte and CJ Fernandez
Carl : Thanks for taking time out to do the interview. How come you're over here?
Monte Cox : Well basically we want to see the sport succeed in all different places and a month ago I took my guys to Kuwait and we competed in the first ever Vale Tudo show in Kuwait and we also took the guys to Australia, we've competed in Russia, weve competed in Japan, we feel for the sport to grow that it has to grow everywhere not just in the USA and not just in Japan so this was an opportunity Andy Jardine called and said he was trying to build something and we wanted to be a part of it so we agreed to come over and check things out and hopefully help build the interest in the sport in the UK.
What else have you got going competition wise in America?
Monte Cox : Well right now, myself I can give you a little background; I've promoted 109 shows thats more really than anyone in the world has done, no one is close to that number actually. My next show is "Rings USA" which is on the 17th March, a televised and being shown on Wild Wild TV in Japan and it includes 13 UFC fighters, some pretty good names like Jeremy Horn and Jermain Andre, Bobby Hoffman, Matt Hughes - its a who's who around the US and the top fighters. So that comes next then hopefully we're working on a deal with Japan to do "Extreme Challenge Japan" which has never been done, there's never been an American show in Japan. They've brought UFCJ but the Japanese promoted that. Extreme Challenge Japan will be the first American show done in Japan so it'll be kind of interesting to see how that turns out. We also have an amateur circuit which is just getting started again and it's our fifth year, so what we do is we take fighters through the amateurs as they start winning in the amateurs then we put them in our smaller pro-shows, they work their way up through the Extreme Challenge and by the time they are Extreme Challenge champions then I move them to UFC, Rings Japan, Millennium Brawl.
So have you got any British fighters to enter the amateur side?
Monte Cox : Well the thing I'm here for really is to take a look at some of the fighters, see how it's progressing, see what the level is and I'm not as concerned at bringing UK fighters to the US, we have plenty of fighters, our thing is that I'm more interested in building Vale Tudo in the UK so we're going to see what level the fighters are etc and then talk briefly about doing maybe an Extreme Challenge vs. Millennium Brawl type of situation where I can bring 7 or 8 guys over and we can try and build the interest by making it International and bring some marquee names, maybe Matt Hughes or somebody like that. I would like to see it succeed; every country that gets this going is another step in the right direction for the sport. In the US right now, New Jersey has legalised it so we're doing shows in Atlantic City and Nevada is going to legalise it soon and so that will open up all of Las Vegas, California is headed in the right direction so you know, we really have things going well right now and it looks like we're going to get back on television, back on cable in the US and this sports going to explode so right now Japan has the corner on the market, they draw between 30-50,000 people for Pride, Brazil still does OK but they haven't been that many shows there lately. Everyone wants to go to Japan because that's where all of the money is.
Would you go to Abu Dhabi?
Monte Cox : Yeah, you know Abu Dhabi is OK, I think its a neat way for fighters to make money and stuff like that but the whole thing is run so screwy it's like you never know who's ahead or who's winning, I think it's good to have because it's good for the fighters but for me, I've been invited but I won't go, I don't want to watch that. I just don't like the way it's done so that you don't know who's ahead and who's winning and you don't know the rules.
Have you got anything set up in Europe, any promotions?
Monte Cox : No this is the first time like I said that I've come here. We've been invited to compete in June, I think the 15th, I've got Bobby Hoffman going to Amsterdam for a Rings Holland show with Bob Schreijber but other than that nothing really here this is our first time.
Who are the fighters to watch out for this year, who have you got coming through the ranks?
Monte Cox : We've got some really good young fighters that people are going to hear about really soon, there's Danny Rich Franklin who's from Cincinnati 220lbs really very good and he's going to be coming into the UFC, he's going to be a top fighter. There's a guy from Canada from Winnipeg named Joe Doerkson who was going to come here, he was really close to coming here and Joe is 12 + 2 and he's another young Canadian fighter who's going to be something real soon. You keep seeing better and better fighters more well-rounded fighters coming up all of the time so you know they are definitely out there and you'll see change so much now everyone is getting a chance so it'll be interesting and it's just growing and growing.
More exciting times ahead then?
Monte Cox : Oh yeah, it's a lot better than when you struggle to find a venue to do a show and now I'm struggling to decide where to do a show, I have so many places to go that it's different to 4 years ago when I couldn't go anywhere.
Thanks for the interview Monte
Monte Cox : A pleasure
Carl Fisher - "The European voice of MMA News "
Submitted 8 May 2001
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