Campbell McLaren, the co-creator of the UFC and CEO of Combate Americas, said on June 16 in an exclusive interview with Long Island MMA Examiner Eric Holden that he plans to add female fights to his new promotion's fight cards as soon as this fall. McLaren has seen the growth of women's MMA stemming from the UFC adding a female bantamweight division, and he plans to follow the trend with a female division of his own in Combate Americas.
Besides female fighting, McLaren opened up about a range of other topics, including the highly-anticipated next season of the Combate Americas reality show. Here's what he had to say:
Q. With so many MMA promotions popping up these days, how can Combate Americas set itself apart from the pack? Why should MMA fans watch your show?
McLaren: I think Combate Americas has very unique and compelling reasons to launch a new MMA franchise. As the co-creator of The UFC I'm very biased; I think everybody else is copying my baby! But Combate Americas is different than everyone including the UFC.
Combate Americas is based 100% on contemporary U.S. Hispanic culture including: the fighters, the style of fighting, the music, the celebs are and the round card girls are Latinas and have more curves! Combate Americas was created for Hispanic fans that aren't well served by other MMA franchises including my beloved UFC. But non-Hispanic fans will like it too. After all you don't have to be Hispanic to like exciting fights, Daddy Yankee or curvy Latinas.
Q. Do you feel like the PPV model is dying as far as MMA goes? Would you like Combate Americas to eventually try a PPV card, or that's not even being discussed?
McLaren: We are 100% interested in Pay Per View. I understand why WWE and The UFC are developing new platforms for their programming and their live events. But for us Pay Per View is the best classic medium for fight fans. We look forward to presenting great events at a reasonable price. You have to give the fans really strong reasons to pay their hard earned money for an event. We think we can bring in a whole new group to MMA who may already be buying boxing Pay Per View events.
Q. Since MMA is such a saturated market these days, was there ever any thought about doing something outrageous to set Combate Americas apart? As most MMA fans know by now, one of your original ideas was to put razor wire on top of the UFC Octagon for UFC 1.
McLaren: Well yes I did think about razor wire on the Octagon. It would have looked amazing. But that was 1993. This is a very different time. I think what we are offering is an entertaining and exciting new way to present MMA. We don't expect our fans to have a hard core MMA background. We want this to be a great introduction to a great sport.
Q. Any interest in doing female fights in Combate Americas, or will you be sticking to only male fights? If you do plan to add female fights, when will it be?
McLaren: Combate Americas is absolutely adding female fighters to our fall events. Wait until you see Las Mujeres de Combate Americas. That's the Women of Combate Americas. These MMA mujeres are awesome.