Alchemist Chairman Jeff Aronson Proposes a Small Wager on the BJ Penn-Rory MacDonald Fight
For all intents and purposes Alchemist Management is a very good friend to me and BJPenn.Com Radio. Led by CEO MC Hammer, Chairman and partner Jeff Aronson, President Lex McMahon and partners Charles McCarthy and Nima Safapour, the members of Alchemist have provided us unlimited access to their ever growing stable of great fighters.
One of their top draws is UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald and this Saturday in Seattle he will square off against two-division UFC champion BJ Penn on the main card of UFC on Fox 5. Aronson and I have had a lot of fun bantering back and forth on Facebook about who is going to win. We recently had Aronson on as a guest and the stakes got pretty high.
“I think I had the best answer out of all the options,” Aronson told BJPenn.Com Radio. “I know you’re a little nervous and we should let all of your listeners know this has been back and forth banter about what we’re going to do about this bet with Rory against BJ. I think my idea is the best one and that is if Rory wins you change the name of the radio show to RoryMacDonald.Com Radio for a month. If BJ wins we will change the name of Alchemist to BJ Penn Management for a month.”
When I pressed Aronson for some clarity on how things would work, such as how his personnel would answer the phones at his offices, he was quick to answer. We also discussed some other options such as sending Aronson, a former Brooklyn native, some food from some of his favorite restaurants in the borough.
“If BJ wins I will have everyone answer the phones BJ Penn Management for one month,” said Aronson. “You guys figure out and get back to me, but I’m in. You could overnight me something from L & B Spumoni Gardens and Roll-N-Roaster and I could overnight you some fresh swordfish, whatever it is you like. We’ll send you some Alchemist shirts and a Rory MacDonald walkout shirt!”
Only in MMA can you have the sort of friendly back and forth bickering without being concerned that it will be taken too seriously. Aronson is a fan first and foremost and enjoys spending time with his kids while watching his fighters compete. His children also have had the opportunity to train alongside some of his clients at a new facility they recently opened in Florida.
“I have an 8 year old son, a 10 year old son and a 12 year old daughter,” Aronson stated. “They’re all into MMA and we go to the fights all the time together. I have both of my boys training and I have my purple belt from Renzo Gracie, they have been training at the Alchemist Pro Center. This gym is strictly for Alchemist fighters and my little guys will come over and train and not realize until they watch it on television that they were training with one of the top 10 fighters in the world. It’s really been a lot of fun.”
While most MMA fans know of Alchemist’s top guys including MacDonald, Brendan Schaub, Nate Matquardt and Stefan Struve, they are also loaded with some of the top young talent in the sport. One such fighter trains alongside Charles McCarthy and many believe he is going to take the sport by storm sooner rather than later. Alchemist sent him to train alongside another young fighter in their stable at the family gym and the results were incredible.
“Charles Rosa is great and until you see him in person my words can not do any justice,” admitted Aronson. “Rosa was down in South Carolina with another one of our top prospects, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson for a few weeks. The two of them were really going at it together. The Thompsons truly live a martial arts lifestyle, from the the school to their family, I believe everyone of their kids started training at 3. It’s unbelievable and they are just the nicest family. Back to Rosa, he trains with guys who are much bigger than him and he holds his own. He was recently training with Costa Philippou, a man 40lbs. heavier and he gave him all he could handle!”
Tune in Saturday night as Penn and MacDonald battle for welterweight supremacy and to find out if I earn bragging rights over Aronson.