While larger promotions such as the UFC and Bellator were able to get back up and running just a few months after the onset of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, for many smaller promotions the opportunity to host events again had to wait until 2021, among them Shamrock FC.
Following a year off, Shamrock FC will return to hosting shows with a special two-night doubleheader of events featuring some of the promotion’s top talent on June 25 and 26. For Shamrock FC’s founder and president, Jesse Finney, the return comes after a year that presented difficulties, but also opportunities.
“Some people looked at it like a real negative, downer of a year, but for my company and also personally it was actually a good year,” Finney told MMAWeekly.com. “We got a chance to go back and go through our library and kind of retool a lot of things. I think we grew a lot as a company overall for the long run.
“On a personal level, we were running so hard for so many years that I think it was a nice pause. I got a chance to spend a lot of time with my family. It’s been great on a personal level.”
As for what made now the time for Shamrock FC to once again begin hosting shows, Finney wanted to return when not only would they be able to put on a safe event, but not skimp on the promotion’s production and presentation by not being able to host as many fans as they could.
“We truly did not want to do anything to jeopardize the fighters, the fans, or the staff, so we had to make sure it was the right time for everybody,” said Finney. “But there was one thing I wasn’t going to do, and that was compromise the brand, the show itself, the fights themselves, and make sure we weren’t going to do it until it’s done right.
“I wanted to make sure we were at 100% capacity and we were safe. When the casinos said we were going to be at 100% capacity I said we were in.”
Finney explained why the company is hosting two shows, on June 25 and 26, in St. Charles, Missouri, was due to the overwhelming response to the original June 25 show and to accommodate the athletes that have been waiting to return to fighting for a year.
“We had a Saturday show lined up and we sold like 70% of the tickets in the first 10 to 12 days, we didn’t realize what kind of demand was going to be there, so that was crazy; and then on top of that we had so many fighters we had commitments to that we wanted to take care of them as well,” Finney said.
“We didn’t want to put 26 fighters on one card on Saturday night. We’ve had so many fighters who have been good to us, and so many venders who have been good to us, so we’re going to do two shows on Friday night and Saturday night in the same venue.”
Now that the company is back to putting on events, Finney foresees multiple events happening prior to the end of this year and more to come in 2022.
“In the second half of the year for the company I think we’re going to go back to St. Charles in September,” said Finney. “Then in October we’re probably going to Kansas City, then possibly St. Louis in November, then back in St. Charles in December.
“We’re going to roll in to 2022 and probably do something between eight and 13 fights.”