AXS TV Fights CEO Andrew Simon calls out WSOF and Bellator MMA
If by chance Bellator MMA doesn’t have much interest in pitting their fighters up against anyone over at World Series of Fighting the guys at AXS TV Fights are more than willing to set something up.
“We would do it in a second,” said AXS TV Fights CEO Andrew Simon during his visit to MMAjunkie.com Radio. “I have guys from Pedro Munhoz to Holly Holm to Cris ‘Cyborg’ (Justino). I am very confident our network could put five fighters against all their champions, and we would come out very well in that fight.”
WSOF announced earlier this week that they were in the works to pit up their fighters against those from Bellator MMA in a “cross over” idea. Simon stated that he had gone to the execs at WSOF and pitched a similar idea and they basically blew him off.
“They said, ‘Oooh, crap,’” Simon said. “They know it, too. It’s not something they would jump at, but we would do it in a second. Everybody likes to puff, but we’ve been doing this for more than a decade. We put more fighters into the UFC than any other organizations. We put more fighters that are in the top 5 of all the weight divisions, from Daniel Cormier to Vitor Belfort to Benson Henderson. They’ve all fought on our network.”
According to a recent press release, AXS TV can currently be seen in over 42 million homes around the country. The channel broadcasts such promotions as Legacy FC, MFC and RFA, just to mention a few.
World Series of Fighting, who will be holding their eighth event in Hollywood, FL on January 18, is currently available in 80 million homes seeing as they air on NBC Sports Network.
However, Bellator MMA takes the cake in availability, airing on Spike TV, the promotion is available in around 100 million homes.
And though Simon admitted that AXS TV may not be the most widely known of the promotions he claims that they are the birthing ground for much of the talent we see in the bigger organizations today.
“Our network is where the stars are born,” he said. “These other guys, they take a lot of our fighters and put them over there (in WSOF), and our guys go back to the UFC.”
According to Simon, 19 fighters that have appeared on AXS TV were picked up by the UFC in 2013, 11 from Legacy FC and eight from RFA, making them the leading go to guys for the talent pool for the UFC.
“We’re grooming the next generation of fighters on AXS TV,” he said. “All these other organizations are running around about how great they are and challenging each other. I talked to the folks from the World Series (of Fighting on Wednesday), and I told them our fighters across our board can take any of their fighters.”
Simon suggested that instead of setting up a face off of the two promotions set up two separate events in which each promotion has three weight classes per event match up. One on NBC Sports Network and the other on AXS TV.
“It’s very easy to do,” Simon said. “The reality is everybody likes to think that the newest promotion should get the most press and that’s the greatest thing of all time, whereas you have promotions like Legacy FC, MFC and RFA making money that are building fighters. Everybody loves a promotion that comes out with a lot of marketing glitz and spends a lot of money. But it’s not a business. You can’t run a business that loses money in perpetuity. So we have built promotions that are built to last, and they’re building the best fighters in the world.
“I was starting to take insult that every other article I read on other websites is (saying), ‘Wow, they have a new deal with this network,’ and they start writing about fighters who were on my network a month ago, and they didn’t want to write about it. Some websites focus, I believe, on who pay them to advertised on their website. That’s just my opinion.”
AXS TV fights is planning to have their 250th event broadcasted this year according to Simon. The promotion has high hopes in spreading their viewership over seas.
Whether Simon is able to convince WSOF to set something up or not is of less importance to the organization than making sure that AXS TV is a household name for MMA fans around the world.
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