EXCLUSIVE | Lion Fight Promotions President Scott Kent talks to BJPENN.COM
There are many different disciplines involved in mixed martial arts. You have boxing, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo just to name a few. True mixed martial arts fans are the ones that can appreciate all aspects of the sport. Of course you will always have fans that are blood thirsty and looking for a vicious knockout.
For fans who are more interested in the stand-up aspect of MMA they have something to look forward to as Muay Thai is beginning to make a big splash in the United States. The sport has been around for some time now, but has never had anyone willing to invest the time or the effort that is necessary to bring it to the forefront of combat sports.
That has all changed and the man responsible for bringing attention to Muay Thai is Scott Kent who is the President of Lion Fight Promotions. He has made it his mission to show the fans just how exciting and entertaining the sport can be as well as introduce them to some of the biggest and brightest stars Muay Thai has to offer. Kent has the mind and the passion the sport needs to be successful.
“I’ve been in Vegas for some time and worked for Steve Wynn for five years at The Mirage,” Kent told BJPenn.Com. “I’ve always been a big fan of Muay Thai and decided that I wanted to create my own fight company and create an environment for the sport. In my opinion it hasn’t been promoted effectively and with the rise of MMA, fans understand that Muay Thai is an integral part of the sport so it makes perfect sense. I’ve gone old school with it by passing out flyers out of the trunk of my car, but it’s been a blast.”
Kent plans on utilizing all of his contacts that he has accrued while working in Las Vegas. He is a well respected executive with a strong resume. Having the trust of all the important people in the area will help Lion Fight break out and showcase a whole different aspect of fighting to combat sports fans all over the world.
“We will have the Presidents of three or four major strip casinos on hand to watch the fights,” said Kent. “We’re able to tap into not only the fact that we’re in the fight capital of the world, but with all of my contacts in the casinos. We are trying to get a whole new fresh set of eyes on the sport. Obviously it has some international implications because it has been traditionally an Asian & European sport, but we plan on making it an integral part of the city of Las Vegas.”
“Dana and a lot of the big UFC fighters have attended our events because they train Muay Thai or have some sort of personal connection to the sport. A lot of these guys are huge Muay Thai fans and I’ve seen how things work from both sides now that I am promoting. We are focused on promoting Muay Thai and helping to educate the American audience on how exciting it really is.”
Lion Fight has a huge event coming up and has really stacked the deck with both professional and amateur fighters. The main event will feature Joe Schilling of Los Angeles, CA. According to Kent this is one of the fighters they are looking to build the sport around.
“On October 13th we will be at The Joint at The Hard Rock and we will have five amateur fights followed by five professional fights,” Kent said. “Four of the five amateur bouts will be for titles; we are really trying to develop these fighters into big stars. Genesis Bravo is an excellent female fighter; we have Jason Andrada a Filipino fighter, who has a tremendous fan base. Anthony Castrejon will be fighting for a WBC national title; he’s a complete fighter with a huge upside.”
“Schilling is the 175lb. WBC interim Champion and this will be his third fight with us. His opponent is Eddie Walker who is fighting out of Atlanta, GA. Joe is truly one of the guys who will be a breakout star. He is very charismatic and fights very aggressively. People really gravitate towards him and he’s become a huge fan favorite. The fans love his story and he’s always involved in exciting fights.”
If Muay Thai is going to be successful they have to eventually land a television deal and showcase their talent in other areas besides Las Vegas. Kent is well on his way to making all of that happen and promises great things in the very near future.
“I’m negotiating with casinos in both California and Las Vegas regarding our 2013 schedule,” offered Kent. “Our goal is to host six to event fights next year and possibly do a few fights overseas. We’ve been recognized as the biggest Muay Thai promoter in the US so we’re getting a lot of attention nationally and internationally. A couple of casinos in the Midwest have also expressed a sincere interest in having us bring Lion Fight to their properties.”
“We are doing a live stream through Go Fight Live for our upcoming event. There are going to be a couple of different television organizations attending this event that are interested in producing some content which will get us out to a much larger audience. Go Fight Live has been a great partner up to this point and we’ve been really happy to work with them.”
The vision is clear and the framework is set. With so much to look forward to, fans of Muay Thai can count on Lion Fight to be around for a long time. Kent plans on keeping the fans happy and rewarding them for their support.
“I think in the very near future we will have some sort of television deal,” Kent stated. “Within the next four to six months we will have a big announcement on some additional shows in Las Vegas and a few other venues. Our mission is to expose people to Muay Thai; we’d like to promote the cultural aspects of it, but at the same time tinker with it to make it palatable to the American audience. We want to develop our own stars; fighters people can gravitate to and invest in.”
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I'm a married father of two and a lifelong Long Island resident.
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