SHREVEPORT, LA, January 16, 2012 – When it comes to getting on fight cards, veteran fighters of MMA will often tell you that they have to travel far and wide to make things happen. As part of this lifestyle they have to deal with all kinds of unscrupulous and upstart fly-by-night promotions who are looking for the short-term dollar as opposed to building a sustainable long-term business.
We’ve all heard the horror stories.
From getting jilted on fighter pay to fight-time conditions that become tantamount to creating a medical liability, they’re out there looking to make a dollar in the world’s fastest growing sport.
Those situations and others make it even more important than ever for fighters to choose the right places to fight for the betterment of their long-term sporting futures.
Here at TXMMA we don’t claim to know the ins-and-outs of every show but one thing that is an inevitable truth when it comes to judging them is that track records make all the difference in the world. MMA is often a community that polices itself. The bad apples don’t last too long before spoiling.
The good part is that as bad reputations can become pervasive, so can good ones.
We recently spoke to Kim Cole Addison, CEO of Ascend Combat – a Shreveport, LA based promotion regarding her upcoming show this Saturday, January 21st at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium.
In the business running her promotion since 2008, she has grown Ascend to the point where they ran five shows in 2011. According to her, 50% of the fighters that have fought on those shows have come from the Lone Star State – including our 2011 TXMMA Amateur male and female fighters of the year, Stephen Banaszak and Jade De Hass of Chop Shop MMA.
With her first show of 2012 less than a week away and set to feature several Texans including Roxanne George, Chris Gutierrez, and Jose Quinonez, we thought we’d get more insight form Ms. Addison on her promotion and her own history in bringing in Texas fighters to fight in Louisiana.
Interview – Kim Cole Addison
First of all, tell us a little about yourself Kim so our readers can get to know more about you. Who are you above and beyond your role as a promoter for Ascend Combat?
I am a mother and a wife to an MMA fighter and firefighter. I teach Martial Arts and Kickboxing. I was a cocktail waitress for 10 years with my favorite job being at the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. It was great until Hurricane Katrina hit. I decided to move home to Shreveport and give up cocktailing and focus on MMA then.
What initially brought you to the sport?
I was attacked and I decided I needed to learn how to defend myself. MMA is a complex sport. The thing I love most is you can be good at one area (such as kickboxing) but you have to learn BJJ or ground and pound and be good at it if you want to beat your opponent.
How long have you been a promoter? Can you give us some insight on that experience?
I have been involved with promoting shows for 9 years but I decided to do it on my own in April of 2008. I had no idea what I was getting into. I think fighting was easier. This is a tough business and only the strong survive. You must be willing to invest all of your time and money into your promotion or it will show.
Tell us about your company – Ascend Combat. How would you describe your show to a first time fan?
Ascend Combat was created to bring MMA in Shreveport/Bossier to another level. I wanted to set the bar high to give the fans an experience that would make them leave wanting more. Our fans find themselves up on their feet screaming and cheering as if they were in the cage fighting themselves. Most of the time the guy/girl winning in the beginning ends up losing because the matchup is so unique that you never know what will happen or who will win.
Have you had many Texas fighters fight for you? Who among them stick out the most so far?
Yes we pull almost 50% of our fighters (on every show) from Texas because our fighters are some of the best and they want to fight the most skilled and talented fighters we can find.
We have had Derrick Krantz, Todd Moore, Adam Schindler, Kevin Aguliar, Booker Arthur, Jason Fisher, Alfredo Leija, Robert Rosenbaum, Stephen Banaszak and Ariel Jaurez fight for us in the past.
Your event on Jan 21, tell is about it.
On Jan 21st we will have 10 bouts total including 2 Ascend title matches (135 lb and 155lb) along with an amazing girl fight. Several of our amateur fighters are fighting one last time before they go pro.
Are there any matchups you’re looking forward to most on this upcoming card?
Taylor Ziegler (our youngest female fighter/18 yrs old) from Elite Combat Academy will be fighting Roxanne George from Fort Hood Fight House in Texas . Cole Nalley (7-3) our 125 and 135 Champ will be defending his 135 Ascend title against Texas fighter Chris Gutierrez (6-5), and Jeff Humphries (3-2) will be fighting Texas fighter Jose Quinonez (1-4) for our 155 title belt.
What are some of your goals for 2012 in MMA?
My main goal is to sign a multi-fight deal with some notable pros and to go live this year.
How can fighters that want to fight for you get on your shows?
Loyalty goes a long way with me. If you fight for us throughout your amateur career, you will most likely have first dibs on getting on our fight cards. With that being said, I am always in need of new talent to push our fighters to the limits.
Any last words for fans in the area or anyone else?
We are the #1 fight promotion in this area for a reason. We know what you want and we will deliver a night of exciting cage fights. Don’t blink because everything can change in a split second.
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