There is a primal urge inside humans to fight. We fight for our lives, our brothers, our country and for the thrill and adrenalin rush that the match up brings. We are compelled to fight by our nature and driven to fight by way of defense.
Watching a Mixed Martial Arts fight can arouse your senses and bring your blood to a feverishly pumping pace. There is nothing like watching a good fight between trained and skilled fighters. We know just where to go to get that rush that surpasses all others. Atlas Fights has all the excitement and adrenalin surges that you need to get your ‘fight fix.’ This year marks the 4th season for Atlas here in Biloxi and promoter, Glenn Mattina, Jr. is ready to kick it into high gear.
The six fights of the year are already scheduled and locked in with Atlas’ 20th fight night, being held at the IP Casino on February 11, 2012, “Cage Rage 10.” This is the first year ever that Atlas has been able to confirm all the seasons fight so early in the year. IP Casino will host four fight nights and Hard Rock Casino will host two fight nights. The 2012 season will prove to offer some of the best fights ever on the coast.
Go To Places Monthly asked Mr. Mattina a few questions about Atlas, the future of the company and the sport he so dearly loves and gives complete respect to:
Q: Please tell us about the key players and business partners at Atlas.
A: Both the casinos work well with Atlas and I want to thank them and the Mississippi Athletic Commission for their unbelievable support. I am also grateful to F.E.B. Distributing Co. (Miller Lite)
Q: What does each of these bring to the table?
A: The coast casinos share the same vision as Atlas. We both want to continue to grow our brands. The IP is a different event in many ways. Fans attending must be 18 or older and it is a much larger venue with Professional Fighters on the fight card. The Hard Rock is an all age show. The venue allows Atlas Fights to give amateurs an opportunity to gain experience. The layouts for seating are consistent for ticket buyers but each venue brings a different element to every fight night. We have had to make adjustments through the years to create really great fight nights and we now have what I believe is a winning combination in both venues.
We have always enjoyed a great partnership with F.E.B. Distributing. From the very first fight that Atlas promoted they have been there with us.
Our Matchmaker, Paul Domench, is from Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He’s been a matchmaker for over ten years. Paul is the CEO and owner of MMA Global Solutions and also serves as the Atlas full-time Matchmaker. He is also with M1Global as their matchmaker. Paul is able to find quality fighters from other markets because of these contacts. Atlas has had fighters such as Meshia Tate, who is now the StrikeForce Bantam Weight World Female Champion. Another fighter that Atlas has promoted is Kenny Garner. Garner is now fighting for the M1 Global World Heavyweight Championship.
My wife, Dawn, is the Atlas Business Manager.
Mike Kommersmith is in charge of all of our production and he also creates our DVD’s.
I really want all of these partners to know just how grateful I am to each of them.
Q: Please tell us about the challenges and hard times along the way. Did you ever think of throwing in the towel?
A: I’ve never thought of throwing in the towel or quitting in any way at any time! It has been tough, especially the first two years. Those were the hardest times for us as with any new business. We were the new kids on the block and everybody let us know it! There were obstacles that we had to overcome. It was tougher than I thought it would be but I decided to take a ‘Gentlemen’s Way vs. Low Blows’ to deal with all the challenges that came my way. Early in 2009, another fight company decided to attack my character on a personal level. Their attacks only made me more relentless to produce the absolute best fight nights in the region.
We can’t control what others do or say but we can control how we respond to it. We are focusing on continuing to scout new fighters for this market and building the Atlas Fights brand.
Q: Please tell us about your audience.
A: Our fans are loyal to the sport. Our demographic is18 to 49 year olds with the majority being male. I was surprised to find that the audience is about 40% female! This is a sport to be enjoyed by all. MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world today. It’s a very exciting time to be a part of its development.
The UFC is the driving force behind the sport. They just signed a 7 year contract worth 7 million dollars with FOX Sports. This exposure will help catapult the sport into mainstream America.
Q: Have you ever thought of developing a mascot for Atlas?
A: No, it never crossed my mind. I think we might get The Cage Girls to join us in outside promotions. We love to support local charities, non-profits and the military. We may start to use The Cage Girls to help build our brand and promote a positive image in the sport. These representatives will be very visible. We will have very positive role models for our fans especially the youngsters.
Q: Tell us a little about your competition.
A: Well, after the third year it has somehow changed. We are promoting our 20th fight which is coming up in February of 2012. We don’t really feel that we’re competing with other fight companies in our market. We are competing with the entire coastal entertainment industry. Biloxi and the surrounding areas are full of nightlife, concerts, festivals and any number of things going on at once. We have to adjust our schedule to make sure that we aren’t competing too heavily with huge events that could pull fans away on the same night.
Atlas Fights is a fine brand that people can rally around. We pride ourselves on never cutting corners. We spend the money on the best fighters, lighting, sound and visual production. We also concentrate on marketing, promotion and advertising. This is something the other fight companies don’t do for their fight fans or fighters. We want our fans to be totally immersed in the whole experience. We do not want them walking away wondering what the announcer said or who threw the last punch! We will always give our fans a quality show because we plan to be here for a long time.
We will always offer as close to TV level production as we can. We continue to reinvest in and market our brand. We want to compete against any other form of entertainment that is in our market on a daily basis. We believe fight fans deserve the biggest “bang for their buck.”
Q: Are you pleased with how the business has developed and is it going according to plan?
A: I am so pleased with where we are today. The key is consistency and the ability to plan. We can now offer all fighters a plan. An amateur fighter has the opportunity to compete with the tough competition he needs in order to grow. We can also offer a pro fighter enough fights to help him become a champion.
Q: Is the business harder or easier than you thought and what is your ultimate goal for Atlas Fights?
A: I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I didn’t expect so much adversity from others. This business demands that you rise above adversity. I want people to know that I live by the code that ‘your word is your bond.’ I want the fighters and ticket buyers to know that we stick to our word at Atlas. We promise to give them the very best. The fighters in this business know that Atlas Fights has raised the bar and elevated the sport in this market.
This is a win for the fighters as well as the fans.