While the promotion has been around in one form or another for over 15 years, Shamrock FC is finally getting an opportunity to showcase itself on a bigger stage as it has begun streaming itself worldwide as part of a deal with GoFightLive.
The move to partner with GFL.tv comes as the promotion itself has begun to expand from doing a handful of events to now averaging over two a month.
Speaking with MMAWeekly.com, promoter and former Strikeforce fighter Jesse Finney discussed Shamrock FC’s origins, its recent growth and what to expect from their next event this Saturday.
MMAWeekly.com: Firstly, Jesse, for people who might not be familiar with Shamrock FC, can you tell us a bit about the company?
Jesse Finney: We started out in 1997 in kickboxing and moved into MMA in 1999. Everything we do, we try to do it first class all the way and just try to make it like a mini-UFC in terms of experience. In between the UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator we’ve put in 50 guys to those promotions. We went from doing eight shows three years ago to doing 24 shows across the country this year.
We have shows that range from 800 people to 2000. We’re actually moving these events to the Four Seasons attached to the theater that this show is in for July, if not by October, scaling things up a bit.
MMAWeekly.com: Just to clear up any confusion, does the promotion have anything to do with MMA legends Ken or Frank Shamrock?
Jesse Finney: No disrespect to Ken Shamrock or Frank Shamrock, they’re great fighters, but it’s a coincidence. It comes from my Irish heritage. We get that question asked a lot. We have full respect for those guys but it doesn’t have anything to do with the brothers.
MMAWeekly.com: Being a former fighter yourself, did that influence what you do with your promotion?
Jesse Finney: I’ve seen all the aspects of the game and once we started the promotion, I knew how the fighters wanted to be treated. As a fighter it was the small things that meant so much to me. Communication with the fighters, making sure they have water in the back, that they have mats, to shaking their hand after a fight. Every wants to be treated respectfully, so when I started a promotion, I wanted to make sure I did it right.
MMAWeekly.com: Do you ever get the urge to get back into the cage?
Jesse Finney: I’d be lying if I told I hadn’t thought about it a few times, but I’m 40-years-old, we’re doing all these shows this year, we have a big gym, so there’s just so much going on. At the end of the day, if you’re going to play in the big leagues, you need to treat it as a career, and I can’t do that, so there’s no chance of me getting back in there.
MMAWeekly.com: Tell us a bit about the upcoming SFC: Velocity show this Saturday night at the Lumiere Casino in St. Louis, Missouri.
Jesse Finney: We’re doing this deal with GFL.tv and it gives us a lot of reach around the world, so we’re excited about that. This is an up and coming card with eight welterweights on it, and after the UFC kind of cleaned out the division, we’re featuring the new breed of 170’s.
Aaron Highfill is coming back after an eight month layoff and I’m excited to see what he’s going to do. Jordan Dowdy is making his pro debut and is probably the best 170 in the Midwest that I know of. And if there’s a sleeper on there, it’s Jessie Geringer versus Raymond Grey.
Sometimes I’m not able to make it to all of the shows because of my schedule, but this is one that I made sure I was going to go to. With how competitive and exciting the matchups are, it’s going to be an awesome fight card.