Gone are the days of subtle hints and quiet notions for fighters and fights in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), the animosity fuels the fans, and more or less help put butts in the seats for any events. Social media has become a key aspect in getting notoriety from the masses for mixed martial artists; which helps lining up and gaining the attention of certain venues; and when it comes down to it, the focus rears it head towards making a living inside the cage. In the early stages of a career, turning down a fight could possibly cost a fighter periods of time and money spent on training, which leaves them no other option in some cases. In the UFC, even though most camps do not want to admit it, or the comradery among teammates is too strong to ever single one person out, fights do get turned down. It’s a black area that is never really discussed, and sometimes downright avoided, when the subject is brought about. No matter the social media impact, or type of personality a fighter carries; Titan Fighting Championship (Titan FC) CEO Jeff Aronson quite frankly does not care, he wants fighters who fight.
Jeff Aronson has been quite the busy man since December of 2013, purchasing a majority stake in the company and has taken this company on the road to Cedar Park, Texas then working his way around the U.S. Mr. Aronson was nice enough to answer a few questions from the MMA Spotlight; all recent topics were brought to surface which includes the domestic violence debacle that has cast a dark shadow over the NFL and two light heavyweights from the UFC. One that sparked the most intrigue during the interview was the conversation about the impact of a social media on a fighter’s status with certain cards or venues. The Titan FC CEO made no bones about it, and used welterweight, Richie Martinez, as an example when getting his point across.
“ Fighters that want to fight get my attention. Richie Martinez has been asking me for three Titan shows to sign him, and I would not sign him. He was actually cornering Walel Watson two fights ago, and I sat down with him and finally spoke with him and I wound up signing him a few weeks later. Dude just wants to fight, he was hitting me up on social media telling me how much he wanted to fight, and telling me the same in person. I told him I usually do not take fighters who are only 3-0 or 4-0 and offer them long-term deals, but I think you have what it takes to offer you a long-term deal, and let’s see how this plays out.”
Personality does not always sell a MMA fighter to a promotion, it may for a fan base, but production always outweighs the latter. Drive and perseverance defines most fighters that make it to the big show, even the men and women that run them, and Jeff Aronson is no exception to it. Since the moment he first started, changes created by the new Titan FC CEO has created new-found optimism and aspirations that surround the revamped organization. The surge has not been a walk in the park though, as Titan FC has dealt with a few injury ridden cards, along with working out a lucrative deal with CBS. As many have already formed an opinion and thoughts on Jeff Aronson, why not ask the man himself about how he feels his personality sells to the outside world? As there are many comparable names to mention like a Dana White or Scott Coker, Aronson defines himself as a somewhat of a mixture, but let the man speak for himself.
” I guess it depends on more less who you are talking to right? (laughs). I say I would fall somewhere in the middle between the two (Dana White/Scott Coker), I definitely tell people how I really feel, I do not need to bash people in a social or professional atmosphere, it is not really my style. Not that I do not think there is anything wrong with speaking your mind, I think you should, you can handle your business behind the scenes too. They both are great promoters, and you cannot argue the success Dana White has had for sure.”
Insert Austin, Texas; and bring on the Titan FC 30 card headlined by two former UFC fighters in Vinny Magalhaes and Jason Brilz. A home where veterans can fight their way back into legitimacy, and another for young up and comers vying for an opportunity to make a name for themselves. Some may say it is salvaging a career, a second chance, or a first shot at a new beginning. If an MMA fighter has the will, the talent, and the want to fight; there is no better place to be then in a Titan FC cage.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in Mixed Martial Arts