Since purchasing Titan FC a couple of years ago, owner Jeff Aronson has seen the company grow from a strong Midwest regional base to a nationally recognized promotion. And with the recent announcement that Titan had signed a deal to be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass, the company’s reach is about to expand even further.
Speaking to MMAWeekly.com, Aronson discussed how the deal with the UFC came to be, what he expects from Titan being on Fight Pass, and the remainder of the company’s year, including their upcoming July 18 show.
MMAWeekly.com: Firstly, Jeff, tell us about how the deal with UFC Fight Pass came to be.
Jeff Aronson: Because of Alchemist Management, (Titan COO) Lex McMahon and I have had a very strong relationship with the Zuffa brass for years. When I bought Titan, the goal was to build an incredible organization for the fans and fighter, and keep growing, and the UFC took notice. We started getting into some talks, and after months of negotiations the deal was done.
MMAWeekly.com: What will the deal with Fight Pass do for TFC?
Jeff Aronson: I really think this is a game changer in the whole landscape of MMA. We’ve really closed the gap with this deal in terms of what we can do with the fighters to get them exposure. They’re now going to get worldwide distribution and will be watched by all the brass at the UFC.
I think for the company itself, it’s phenomenal because it opens up a whole new realm of sponsors. It’s just a great evolution. I think digital is absolutely the wave of the future. I’m not saying we won’t do national and international TV deals – we will – but I think that digital is extremely popular right now and is something to embrace.
MMAWeekly.com: How do you feel this year compares to last when it comes to growing Titan FC as a company?
Jeff Aronson: I think last year was a pretty big astronomical deal; buying Titan and building into it a national promotion, being recognized with what we’ve done with the fighters, for great production, having the deal with CBS Sports Network, but 2015 is turning into an even bigger year.
We got done with our Aerofest deal, and we were holding off on all other shows until that was done, and now we’ve signed the Fight Pass deal, have this show coming up on July 18, and we’ll be back at it right after that. This is a very pivotal moment for the history of this company.
MMAWeekly.com: Tell us a bit about the promotion’s upcoming July 18 show in Montreal.
Jeff Aronson: Firstly, we’ve got four title fights on this card. Mike Ricci is fighting Pat Healy for the lightweight title, Kurt Holobaugh is fighting Andre Harrison for the featherweight title, Brett Johns is fighting Anthony Gutierrez for the bantamweight title, and then Tim Elliot is fighting Illiard Santos for the flyweight title.
On top of that, Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons is returning to the U.S. for the first time in years. Pele will be fighting a really dangerous striker in Tyler Stinson. Super-prospect Phil Hawes will be on the card. And Cody Bollinger will be fighting Freddy Assuncao. This entire card is just stacked. It’s amazing.
MMAWeekly.com: Thanks for your time, Jeff. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
Jeff Aronson: Come the next couple weeks and months, there’s going to be a ton of more information about the (Fight Pass) deal. What was released was just the tip of the iceberg. I think fans of MMA are going to be thrilled at how we’ve positioned ourselves and how fighters will be positioned.
I just want to give a shout-out to all the fans, fighters and media for supporting us. Just be on the lookout for some amazing news from us.