When MFC president Mark Pavelich looks over his promotion’s year in 2012, he sees a company that has continued to be one of the most successful in all of MMA, but also a promotion in the midst of change.
“We’re ‘hovering’ right now, that’s the word I’d use,” said Pavelich.
“We’re being very aggressive, but at the same time there’s no secret that we want to go to other markets because I believe we have one of the top three or four brands of MMA in the world, but I’m not going to go into those marketplaces to go broke, like other shows.”
Pavelich continued, “Our ticket price is very high in Canada, and I’m pretty sure we can’t maintain that ticket price in the United States, and I know I’m going to have to come down on that price. Having said that, I see us coming to the United States not at an independent venue, but at a casino.”
Pavelich not only sees the type of change that comes from growth, but a change in the style of fights the promotion is putting on thanks to an influx of new, exciting fighters to the company’s ranks.
“We get calls from guys all the time who are like 19-4, but their last eight fights have all been decisions, and that’s not what we’re looking for,” he said. “We’re looking for guys who are finishers, guys who are exciting, whether standing or on the ground. It’s going in the right direction, because the shows are getting better (because of it).”
It’s the growth of the promotion and those new fighters that Pavelich told MMAWeekly.com most stands out to him this past year.
“I think it is Elvis Mutapcic and the middleweight belt being finally won by somebody,” said Pavelich. “I was impressed with him from to top to bottom; from the way he fights to the way he acts outside the ring; the whole combination of it.
“We’ve also taken things to another level with corporate sponsorship, but at the same time we still have more opportunity for growth in that area as well.”
Pavelich feels that along with Mutapcic, another fighter that had a standout year for the promotion will make a big breakthrough in 2013.
“I think Mukai Maromo is going to be the guy who is going to plant his feet in the ground and say that he’s going to be the guy that people should be watching in the MFC,” said Pavelich.
When asked what he hopes people will think of the MFC in the coming year, Pavelich wants to remind them that there are plenty of options for high-quality MMA available to the public.
“I want them to understand that there’s more than one brand of MMA out there,” he said. “The UFC is the number one brand in the world, and probably always will be, and I accept that. At the same time, I’m not going to bow down to them.
“I want to make sure that people understand that I’ve scraped and crawled and pleaded and redefined the word ‘grind’ because we’ve gone our own way, our own path and have never tried to be like anybody else at the MFC. We are something different and we’re proud to be that way.”