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Praetorian Owner Speaks Out About Event Cancellation

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Praetorian Fighting Championships

“This is a shady, shady business in which I am learning all too well about. Everyone wants a piece of you — and they are not the ones doing the fighting.”


That’s a quote from Praetorian Fighting Championships owner Alex Martinez, who spoke to Chicago’s MMA about the cancellation of their upcoming event, which was postponed until August 24. Here’s a Q & A we did last night through email.

Chicago’s MMA: While the fights didn’t disappoint in your first event, it’s been a rough start for your promotion in other ways. The first event had a venue change just days before it was supposed to take place, and now you’ve canceled the second event just days out. How does something like this happen twice? And what is the official reason for the postponement?

Alex Martinez, PFC: Well not the start I envisioned that’s for sure. The first event, the venue was to be held in West Chicago at the Finish Strong Sportsplex and ownership there failed to know about a village ordinance that prevented contact sports to be held in facilities that had a liquor license. The Village Police Department did mention that an anonymous call was made to them about the event, pretty much starting the drama.

This time around again we were under the impression that all was in order since the Grand Sports Arena has hosted MMA events in the past. Well again the venue management failed to advise the Village of Hoffman Estates a 30-day special event notice and this is pretty much the cause of the cancellation. The Village also did mention that they also received a call from an anonymous person advising them about the event and question them if we had our paper work in order. Our official reason was posted on our website.

Chicago’s MMA: I’m getting some texts from fighters saying that this is ridiculous. Guys that aren’t even on the card are mad, because they know what it’s like to bust it for a 6-8 week training camp. Plus the guys on the card had to get all their medicals, told friends and family to get tickets, etc. What would you say to those fighters, or if you have spoken to them can you share what you told them?

Alex Martinez, PFC: I totally understand the fighters’ immediate reactions as I have walked in their shoes in the past. I know how it is when you spend the time, money and sacrifice and in the end you have nobody to fight. I’ve been there – I advised the fighters and managers early this morning as soon as I was able. To the fighter I say this – in the end I take full responsibility. It’s my job to make sure things get done and I failed you today. We will make improvements to make sure this never happens again.

Chicago’s MMA:  You’ve indicated that this time the event was canceled in part due to the promoters at Fight Card, but in the statement you put out it was a permit issue. Can you elaborate?

Alex Martinez, PFC: Officially yes, it was a permit issue, however – I am being advised that some fighters were being contacted about our event possibly being canceled. The calls to the fighters started a few days ago and also yesterday. Nobody, knew what was going on. All this was under wraps and not until (Tuesday) morning did I make the announcement. So I’m putting two and two together here.

(Ed. note: Fight Card has told me they will be making a statement later today and that they have no idea what Martinez is talking about. Martinez also named another promotion, but we’ve yet to receive a response from them so we did not print Martinez’ statement regarding that promoter.)

Chicago’s MMA: You told me you’re finding out it’s a shady business. Tell us why.

Alex Martinez, PFC: When I first started this promotion – I knew it would be a lot of work. There were going to be issues with the new state regulations, getting to know the gym owners, managers, younger fighters, etc… but what I am learning is that instead of the other promotions trying to better their own promotions or GOD forbid work with other promotions to create Super Fights or friendly rivalries, instead they trying to steal market share so to speak. In addition, come our first event Back in May, I was shocked at the amount of vampires looking for hand outs – money – because they are so called coaches, managers, refs, shoot even so-called sponsors bailed without paying or wanted to be compensated because they didnt sell enough t-shirts.

It was an eye opener for sure. Everyone wants a piece of you or the promotion without doing any work. If you ask me the ones earning anything are the fighters who go at it in the cage. Dana White said it best about anyone going into this business: ‘Welcome to the losing money business’. Personally I do not do it for the money. I have said many times that I am a fight fan, always have and always will be.

About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is a former TV producer who turned to new media in 2005, and he is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is also the play-by-play announcer for the XFO. His work has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided and more.

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