Steve Lawhorn of Superior Combative Championship set down with TSR to answer 5 questions.
“If a person is promoting only for the money, he will soon find he is in the wrong business.”-Steve Lawhorn
What is something that is very important about a promoter that many people wouldn’t know?
A promoter in combative sports handles the financial responsibilities, match making, ticket sales, and all aspects of setting up a show. What people might not know is that once the show has started, it’s the actual state, The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation called TDLR, who actually runs the show and has control over the event. They have the authority to start or stop the fights at any time and rules are very much enforced.
How difficult is it to be a promoter in combat sports?
Being a promoter in combative sports can be extremely trying. It begins with an interview process and then becoming bonded by a bonding company. From then on, every production problem becomes your problem and without proper staff to help, it can be really stressful. Events themselves are very expensive and I think people have a strong misconception.
Many people will see a thousand people at an event and think with average ticket prices of $40.00,naturally assume a promoter is walking away with a very good payday. but they never factor in costs. You have rent, insurance,lights, sound, music, tables, barriers, etc.
Often a promoter barely breaks even or tries to budget so as not to lose too much money on an event. If a person is promoting only for the money, he will soon find he is in the wrong business.
Have you noticed a change in MMA in Texas? DO you think it’s growing?
The sport is definitely growing. I have seen new promotions, fight gyms, and MMA related businesses pop up all over. There are efforts taking place now to make even more changes for the better. As we grow and the sport evolves, we automatically learn how to do things better and in a more efficient way. Safety is always our number one concern.
Why did you get into promoting MMA?
I was living in Galveston and began training with a lot of fighters south of Beltway 8. They all watch the UFC, and as they started to seriously train, they naturally developed the desire to compete. What they were wanting was a place to get to fight in a safe sanctioned event. Unfortunately, because of time constraints, costs, etc., there is a maximum of 15 bouts on a fight card. Additionally, it takes about 3-4 months to put together and promote an event. At the time, there were only two legitimate promotions in the area producing amateur MMA shows, which were Legacy and Garcia Promotions. Their events were virtually full, with people waiting in line asking for a place on one of the cards. It was next to impossible to get guys from South of Beltway on a card.
As these fighters began talking to me, I took the necessary steps to become a promoter to provide this group a promotion and venue for competition. Thus the birth of SCC, known as Superior Combative Championships, came about.
If you could change one thing about the MMA industry what would it be?
I would like to see more attention placed on limiting the number of licenses in certain areas. For example, since Galveston didn’t have a licensed promoter in 2012, I started a promotion that year. Since that time the State has issued two more promoters’ licenses in Galveston. In my opinion, it simply isn’t a large enough area to support that many. The other two pr
omotions have since failed, but a failure of this kind does damage to the reputation of the sport as a whole. A fan may associate a bad experience with one production and project that dissatisfaction onto the entire sport in Galveston rather than the one promotion. If one MMA promoter does something shady, then rumors can fly through a town as small as Galveston leaving the perception bad for everyone.
SCC has a show In Galveston at the Convention Center Friday Nov 21st Pending TDLR Approval. Find more of SCC at their website
photo courtesy of www.txmma.com