The Business of MMA in Austin

MMA promoter explains why Austin is ready for combat sports.

When it comes to combat sports, fighters always worry the promoter will take off with the purse. But since King of Kombat CEO Ron Hernandez has also run a payroll company, the money for this weekend's event at the Crockett Center may be a bit more secure. For the start-up entrepreneur, bringing an MMA promotion made sense – business sense. "Dallas has a league, Houston has a league, but there's a lot of fans here and some good gyms."

Even with a 90% sell-out for their first event, back in September, Hernandez has tweaked the product. With three bouts less than the monster 13-fight debut card, Hernandez said he'd learned a lot about pacing the night. "It's organization. We learned about security, about what worked with the fights. We missed out by not interviewing the winners, which we're changing, so they can thank their parents, thank their sponsors. We're putting a bit more emphasis on the fighters, rather than having them going one after another."

What hasn't changed is the ethos of designing the card, because the hard-hitting style worked so well for the fighters and the audiences. "The biggest thing that people talked about was the explosiveness of the fighters. There were seven knock-outs, which is a lot for one card. There was nobody just walking around each other, because we picked the fighters for that."

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