Interview conducted by Scott Petersen, Article compiled by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
With the first show in the books, WFA CEO Jeremy Lappen is looking forward to putting on the promotion’s second event, hopefully building on the success the company is riding after a solid debut. While no one expected huge numbers from the first show, having big names like Quinton Jackson and Bas Rutten helped build word of mouth outside of the hardcore MMA fans and the company is now focusing on bringing in talent for their next show, most likely later this year.
“It will be October or November. We’re talking to venues right now,” said Lappen. “Once we set the venue that will have a lot to do with the card. You’ll see a lot of the same names that you saw on the first card, the same winners will be back fighting different people. There will also be new opponents that we’re going to bring in as well. We’re constantly looking to bring in new talent and established talent. We’re going to continue to sign top level fighters and superstars in the making.”
Rumors started to fly recently when a Croatian newspaper was quoted stating that current Pride superstar Mirko CroCop had received an offer from a prominent MMA organization in America to come fight in the states, but unfortunately Lappen has now officially denied that the WFA was that promotion.
“We have actually not made an offer to CroCop, but obviously a guy of that level and that talent, I would ecstatic to have him fight for our organization,” Lappen commented.
While no official times, dates or names have been announced, the executives at the WFA are hard at work to put on another show, while Lappen continues to look for a television deal to broadcast their product. The organization had a preview show featured on Showtime prior to their first event, “King of the Streets” and there is a chance the cable station could end up being the home of the WFA in the future.
“We’re in discussions with them right now,” said Lappen speaking about the Showtime negotiations. “We’re actually in discussions with a number of companies about television. I think to make this a big business you have to be on non-pay-per-view television. You have to have exposure on basic or pay cable. The sport was growing already but the huge boom came when the UFC got on Spike. You need that exposure, you need that dedicated time slot, and that’s the way we’ll really build our company.”
The WFA executives are prepared for the long haul understanding that much like the UFC felt for such a extended stretch, they will invest more than they will make in the beginning, but with the sport growing at exponential rates in America and all over the world, they are committed to bring in the very best fighters to put on a top notch show.
“The WFA’s goal is to bring the best fighters in the world into America and fight for the fans here. And the most marketable guys, the guys with the most dynamic personalities who are fun to watch and are characters that you can build upon and are interested in and put on great exciting fights,” Lappen said.
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly for more details in the coming weeks when more is announced about the WFA’s next show.