HILITE - Building from the ground up
It's 1998 and a young man is just leaving school and is about to start his career. But what if, instead of living in the real world and having to go to work because he didn't have any money he lived in the Cornellverse and had just inherited $500,000. And what if instead of spending that money wisely he decided to upsticks and move to America and start an MMA Promotion. I am that young man and this is my what if.......(screen goes swirly and fades to a shabby office in a porta cabin somewhere in Arizona. A stikingly handsome man (hey it's my diary after all) is finishing a conversation on the phone.
"........so Atteveld is willing to sign up, that's great we need a big name for our first show and I'm hoping he'll get the punters through the door. I'l fax the contract across right now. Yeah cheers, pleasure doing business with you."
This is the story of how a man with no background in MMA moved to America with nothing more than a dream of creating the worlds biggest promotion and the small matter of $500,000 in his pocket. How will this dream pan out, you'll have to read on.
HILITE 1: Genesis
HILITE are the latest promotion to look to cash in on the growing sport of Mixed Martial Arts. With GAMMA the top dog in America and the already established XCC focusing on the light divisions HILITE decide to concentrate on the Middleweight Divisions upwards. Operating out of Arizona the company's first priority is to sign up some fighters and start to establish their divisions. Luckily a recent change in the Athletic Commission rulings allow Tournaments to be run in regulated states and as such HILITE's first event will be an eight man tournament to crown the HITLITE Heavyweight Champion.
Featuring young up and coming wrestlers from all over the States and beyond HILITE management are hoping this first event will start them on the long road to fame and fortune.
The pairings for the first round of the tournament are:
Fletcher Merman (7-2) v Chuck Dooley (3-0)
Fletcher Merman is the second highest ranked fighter in the tournament and seeing as his opponent is the lowest ranked fighter many consider him to be favourite. However those who follow the Canadian MMA scene are tipping Dooley to win not only this fight but also the tournament.
Harvey Loeb (6-3) v Gareth Grundy (6-3)
Both fighters come into the tournament with records of 6-3. Grundy probably has the advantage but it would be surprised to see either of these fighters win the tournament.
Julio Correa (6-0) v John Fitz Wallace (8-2)
Julio Correa is the highest ranked fighter in the tournament and one of two imports. With a record of 6-0 he is a man to be feared. He’ll be favourite in his first round match against Wrestler John Fitzwallace.
Wilson Franklyn (5-1) v Steve Mason (5-0)
Steve Mason is one of the better known fighters in the tournament but he faces a tough opener against street fighter Wilson Franklyn. This one will be a stand up war and should be a great opener.
In addition to the tournament HILITE are featuring a Middleweight clash between respected veteran and feared BJJ practitioner Greg Atteveld (37-14) against Toby Sorkin (3-0). Whilst Sorkin in relatively new to MMA he has an impressive background in Judo and this, combined with his red hot promos has ensured he is already a name on the MMA scene. Dropping to Middleweight for this clash he will be hoping to solidify his status with a win over the respected veteran.
The contracts are all signed and the fights are all set. HILITES inaugral event is due to take place in Arizona on the last Saturday in February 1998.
HILITE 1: Genesis
There is a feeling of excitment in the air at the Civic Centre in Snowflake, Arizona as the fighters prepare for HILITE 1: Genesis. Most of the 164 strong crowd are either MMA fans who are here to see legendary BJJ practitioner Greg Atteveld, or they are locals who have heard about MMA but never seen an event live. If crowds are going to increase and the promotion is going to thrive then it is vital that they go home happy.
HILITE HEAVYWEIGHT TOURNAMENT: FIRST ROUND
Wilson Franklyn v Steve Mason
After feeling each other out for the first 30 seconds or so both fighters step up and go toe to toe. This proves a fatal error for Mason as Franklyn catches him with a big right knocking him out cold.
Result: Wilson Franklyn defeats Steve Mason by KO at 1:32 of round 1 in a good fight
Julio Correa v John Fitzwallace
Both fighters start aggressively but both are missing more than they are hitting. However it turns out that one decent punch is all that is needed for Correa as he lands a hard uppercut putting Fitzwallace down and out in the first.
Result: Julio Correa defeats John Fitzwallace by KO at 3:14 of round 1 in a decent fight
Harvey Loeb v Gareth Grundy
Both fighters like to fight from on top and as such this becomes a battle of the takedown attempts. Grundy has the definite advantage here and scores a takedown in every round. He finally makes his dominance count when he gets behind Loeb and chokes him out in the 3rd.
Result Gareth Grundy defeats Harvey Loeb by submission at 4:12 of round 3 in a decent fight.
Fletcher Merman v Chuck Dooley
The bookies make Merman the strong favourite here which just shows how much they know, Dooley gets an early takedown, advance to mount and then pounds on Merman until the ref steps in. Impressive performance by Dooley.
Result: Chuck Dooley defeats Fletcher Merman by TKO at 3:59 of the first round in a great fight.
There is a short intermission which gives the fighters a chance to prepare for the next round and the fans a chance to get some beers and peruse the merchadise stand.
HILITE HEAVYWEIGHT TOURNAMENT: SEMI-FINALS
Julio Correa v Wilson Franklyn
As both fighters showed their power in their opening fights, no one expects this one to go the distance. However that’s exactly what it does with Correa snatching a victory despite a dominant last round from Franklyn. This could have gone either way and Franklyn will feel disappointed to be going home.
Result: Julio Correa defeats Wilson Franklyn by unanimous decision (29:28) in a poor fight.
Chuck Dooley v Gareth Grundy
Dooley finished his opponent in the first while Grundy had to go a gruelling three rounds in his. Will this be the deciding factor here? The bookies certainly think so as they make Dooley strong favourite. They are right to do so as Dooley takes another quick win, this time stuffing his opponents takedown with a front facelock before pounding him out for another quick win.
Result: Chuck Dooley defeats Gareth Grundy by TKO at 2:34 of the first round in a decent fight.
As well as providing a big name for the crowd this fight allows Dooley and Correa a chance to recover. Correa in particular needs a rest after going three rounds with Franklyn.
Gregg Atteveld v Toby Sorkin
Atteveld is a strong favourite with the bookies but that probably reflects the strong dislike that Sorkin engenders from most fans. He certainly won’t have won any of those fans over today as he beats Atteveld in a yawner of match. The fight never really got to go to the ground with both fighters showing great takedown defence. It descends into a dull fight up against the cage which Sorkin takes on points.
Result: Toby Sorkin defeats Greg Atteveld by unanimous decision (29:28) in an awful fight.
HILITE HEAVYWEIGHT TOURNAMENT: FINAL
Chuck Dooley v Julio Correa
The two non Americans who entered the tournament end of facing off in the final. Whoever wins this it is a rude awakening for American MMA, or perhaps all the real US talents are off fighting in GAMMA. Dooley had the easier route to the final but Correa has hopefully had a chance to recover during Atteveld v Sorkin, in fact, if he is anything like the fans he probably managed to catch some sleep.
Correa puts in a spirited performance but in the end he can’t stop Dooley’s takedowns. He spends much of the fight fighting off his back and eventually his defences crack. Dooley takes it by 3rd round ground and pound.
Result: Chuck Dooley defeats Julio Correa by TKO at 3:51 of the third round in a decent fight.
Dooley celebrates and picks up fight of the night as well as the Heavyweight Championship. The stats from this event are as follows.
Attendance: 164 for a gate of $4,100
Critical Success: Decent
Commercial Success: Decent
Fight of the Night: Dooley v Merman
KO of the Night: Franklyn
Submission of the Night: Gareth Grundy
Popularity Increase: 0.9% to 12.9%
Post Event Analysis
Well this is the first time I've tried to build a promotion from scratch so I have nothing to compare that to but I can't help but feel it would have been more of a success if it wasn't for the shocker of a co-main event. There isn't really any need to have it in there other than for the fact that I feel that it is fairer to give the winner of the second semi final at least a small rest before the final. I'll be booking another special attraction fight for HILITE 2 but it certainly won't feature either Sorkin or Atteveld.
Of the fighters on the card, obviously Dooley shone as the star and I get the feeling he will be a cornerstone of HILITE for as long as I can keep him around. Correa also impressed as I didn't expect him to reach the final. Sorkin hasn't done himself any favours despite the win and he'll need to improve in the future. At this point in time I would rather have exciting fighters than good ones.
Financially I lost $19,313 in January and $39,236 in February. While this included $21K of signing on fees I obviously can't afford to make this much of a loss for long. Hopefully attendences will start picking up, otherwise I'll have to look at reducing the number of fights on the card. I know I'm paying out more than I need to on fighters at the moment but I want to try and ensure that the early events build a legacy for the future. Whether that legacy is one of the promotion that became number 1 in the world or the one that shone brightly before disapearing into bankruptcy only time will tell.
HILITE announce HILITE 2: All Out Brawlfare
Following on from HILITE 1: Geneises, HILITE are proud to annouce their next event HILITE 2: All Out Brawlfare. The event will take place on the last Saturday in April and will feature a tournament to crown the promotions first ever Light Heavyweight Title. In addition the promotion have announced a special co-main event featuring veteran heavyweights Barry Strachan and Stan Blackheath. Whilst both fighters are past their primes they bring name value to the event and their brawling style should make for an exciting fight.
The card for the event is as follows:
Gustavo Spagnol (4-0) v Zane Wybock (4-1)
The first of two Brazilians in the tournament Spagnol has a vicious ground and pound attack, however he’ll need to e careful about taking it to the ground against Jiu Jitsu practitioner Wybock.
Marcos Maciel (5-0) v Terry Catt (5-0)
Brazilian Maciel will face his fellow countryman Spagnol is the semi-finals if they both advance in what could be an interesting clash of styles. Maciel is a pure striker and is very highly rated by the Brazilian media. However he’ll need to show good takedown defence as well as striking offence if he is to advance past wrestler Terry Catt.
Jerry Bogdonovich (5-0) v Pete Shilton (6-2)
Two brawlers face off in a match which could come down to who has the hardest chin. Shilton has more experience but given his style that probably just means he has been hit in the head more times.
Rupert Dreck (4-0) v Jon Silvers (6-0)
Dreck is a good wrestler who will cause Silvers serious issues if he gets in close. That’s a big if as Silver is a tall boxer who could cause Dreck problems.
Barry Strachan (24-15) v Stan Blackheath (20-9)
As previously announced the Co-Main event sees two old school brawlers face off against each other. Neither man really has the skills to compete in modern MMA but they have name value and their leave it all in the ring style will hopefully lead to a crowd pleaser.
Last edited by WCW Mark : 03-25-2012 at 04:17 AM.
HILITE 2: All Out Brawlfare
HILITE's return to Snowflak Arizona where 175 people will witness the crowning of the first ever HILITE Light Heavyweight Champion. The slight increase in attendance means people must be coming back and a few are bringing their friends. HILITE management have again focussed on young up and coming fighters from around the US and have also brought in two young Brazilians. This time the brackets have been set to ensure at least one American makes it to the finals.
HILITE LIGHTHEAVYWEIGHT TOURNAMENT: FIRST ROUND
Gustavo Spagnol v Zane Wybock
After a tentative opening Spagnol makes his move and scoops Wybock up before slamming him to the ground. Wybock is stunned and Spagnol takes advantage by taking his back and pounding him out.
Result: Gustavo Spagnol defeats Zane Wybock by TKO at 4:09 of round 1 in a good match.
Marcos Maciel v Terry Catt
The first two rounds are fairly even with each fighter landing some decent strikes and getting one takedown apiece. Catt finally takes control in the 3rd when he gets an early takedown. He manages to advance to mount and the ref has to end it as Maciel eats some big shots.
Result: Terry Catt defeats Marcos Maciel by TKO at 3:17 of round 3 in a good match.
Jerry Bogdonovich v Pete Shilton
A horrible first round is soon forgotten as Bogdonovich opens up in the second, he lands several hard strikes and puts Shilton down. Shilton manages to survive although the commentators think that was a 10-8 round. Bogdonovich keeps up the pace in the 3rd and the ref soon steps in.
Result: Jerry Bogdonovich defeats Pete Shilton by TKO at 0:47 of round 3 in a decent match.
Rupert Dreck v Jon Silvers
Silvers shows great footwork too avoid all 6 of Dreck’s takedown defence and that, combined with some crisp punches is enough to give him the points victory.
Result: Jon Silvers defeats Rupert Dreck by unanimous decision (30:27) in an average match.
HILITE LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TOURNAMENT: SEMI FINALS
Terry Catt v Gustavo Spagnol
Spagol gets a chance to avenge his countryman in this semi final match up. Both fighters have good ground and pound skills and this one could go to whoever gets the first takedown.
And it is Spagnol who manages to get the first successful takedown, it’s late on in the first round though and he doesn’t have much time. He lands several hard elbows and the ref steps in with 1 second to go. Catt is left wishing he could have held on a little longer.
Result: Gustavo Spagnol defeats Terry Catt by TKO at 4:59 of round 1 in a decent match.
Jon Silvers v Jerry Bogdonovich
Two strikers face off in the semi final but this is still a real contrast of styles. Silvers has a 6 inch reach advantage and he'll want to use it to keep his opponent at range, while the stocky Bogdonovich has a definite power advantage and will want to slug it out on the inside. The winner here will be which ever fighter can impose his game plan on the other.
Silvers spends the first round back pedalling trying to jab and move, the second round shows why he was keen to keep Bogdonovich at a distance. The Jersey native gets in close and unloads a mighty right hand which has Silvers out cold before he hit’s the floor.
Result: Jerry Bogdonovich defeats Jon Silvers by KO at 0:56 of round 2 in a fantastic match
Barry Strachan v Stan Blackheath
Both semi-final winners finished their opponents pretty quickly but I'm sure they'll be grateful of the rest. The crowd are pumped for what should be a slugfest between two well known veterans.
The fight starts at a frenetic pace and Strachan eats some hard shots, he shakes them off and the fight continues. Blackheath clearly took the first round though. Both fighters tire as the fight wears on but Strachan is landing more shots. It goes to the judges score cards and they render their verdict in favour of Strachan, 2 rounds to 1.
Result: Barry Strachan defeats Stan Blackheath by unanimous decision (29:28) in an average match
HILITE LIGHTHEAVYWEIGHT TOURNAMENT: FINAL
Jerry Bogdonovich v Gustavo Spagnol
Bogdonovich has shown great striking to get to the final but his takedown defence hasn’t really been tested. It certainly will be here as Spagol has taken down and beaten up both his opponents in the first round. The winner will be the first ever HILITE Light Heavyweight champion.
Bogdonovich decides the best defence is a good offence and Spagnol never gets the chance to go for a takedown as The Dockland Destroyer puts him down with a hard right before mounting him and beating him in the face until the ref steps in. Bogdonovich is the champion!
Result: Jerry Bogdonovich defeats Gustavo Spagnol by TKO at 1:03 of round 1 in a good match.
Attendance: 175 for $4,375
Critical Rating: Great
Commercial Rating: Decent
Fight of the Night: Bogdonovich v Silvers
KO of the Night: Bogdonovich
Popularity increase: 1.5% to 14.4%