You may not have heard of them yet, but newly formed promotion Primal FC are set to take the growing world of MMA by storm. The promotion was set up by English entrepreneur Steven Wilson, who spoke to MMA Plus ahead of their first show Dark Moon Rising, and former UFC fighter Mike Swick. The promotion aims to deliver a mixed martial arts spectacle except with this show, there is a twist.
The majority of fight promotions are used to showcasing the best of their talent in arenas such as the MGM Grand or the O2 Arena. For Primal FC however, their base location truly is a far cry from the bright lights of New York and London with the promotion showcasing their debut event in Phuket, Thailand on the unique location of Paradise Beach.
The motto “No arena, no stadium, no problem” has been used as the promotions tagline and sums up their intentions exactly. The promotion are aiming to deliver a spectacle which not only showcases fighting talent but gives the fans a show and relaxed atmosphere, a different atmosphere, to the usual MMA shows.
It is believed that with the help of Swick, Primal FC can attract the biggest of names within the sport and Steven Wilson was emphatic in his praise for his business partner and how driven he was to make this succeed.
“Mike Swick is essential to Primal FC,” Wilson told MMA Plus.
“We were focused on putting on a show, we succeeded, but Mike Swick sums up the sentence ‘Go the extra mile’. That’s Mike Swick to a tee. He has taken things to the next level.”
Their debut on Friday, March 24 featured an attention grabbing headliner in the form of Sarah D’alelio vs. Nong Kim. “The Monster” D’alelio is a globally recognised fighter most known for her impressive win over current UFC champion Amanda Nunes and increased her four win streak to five after knocking out Kim in the second round at Dark Moon Rising.
The fight was streamed on YouTube via mikeswick.com and was free to watch. Wilson revealed the significance of this explaining “It opens the floodgates for fans around the world. The fact that it’s through mikeswick.com is brilliant. It’s exposure. Free exposure.”
The Dark Moon Rising card featured a mixture of named fighters against local unranked fighters within Thailand, showcasing experience as well as the future and local fighters for the crowd to get behind.
The Middlesborough entrepreneur was delighted with the card and claims it is the best MMA show Thailand has seen.
“Some of the guys that have the lesser records have so much heart. Eddey Kalai made his debut, amateur record of 10-4 and we reached out to him. He said I really want to make my debut.
“We went through six different opponents and he accepted every single one. He was going to move up two weight classes. Even the guys with little or no experience have hearts the size of giants.”
Another interesting inclusion on the card was that of Rafael Fiziev (1-0) who is most famous for his “Matrix” dodge, miraculously evading a roundhouse head kick.
“The guy that did ‘The Matrix’ bend-back. Fantastic. He trains at Phuket Top Team which is 100 metres down the road,” revealed the Primal FC owner.
“He is only 1-0 in MMA but he has a great Muay Thai record. We got told to sign Rafael because he will be with the UFC, soon. We have talked to about five or six guys about fighting him and they said ‘No. He’s a savage’. 1-0 but his talent is unreal.”
Despite the vast amount of newcomers on the card, Wilson was eager to point out that desperation wasn’t the reason.
“We want the talent”, Wilson insisted.
“We’re surrounded by it and we want it. We don’t want the UFC to come in and take them. With Mike Swick here, he is putting us on to guys in Russia, in Japan, who have got these talented guys overseas but can’t get a breakthrough so we will look at them and if they’re good enough, put them on our card.”
With the introduction of Primal FC, we could well see a revolution in MMA as Steven Wilson and Mike “Quick” Swick look to combine entertainment and fighting in one of today’s hotbeds of the sport.
“We are putting on a show. We aren’t just putting on a fight. We’re selling the location, selling the paradise, the sun, the beach, the fights, the party. You can go to any p–spot show in Manchester or Shanghai but we’re putting on a show and selling the location also.”
In many sports, there are particular events where the show is put first with numerous efforts in place to make the show as appealing as possible. In boxing for example, we have Prizefighter, in cricket, we have the IPL, both having the intentions of entertaining.
Wilson believes he can follow in similar footsteps set out a decade before and revolutionise the world of MMA.
“Bodog did a watered down version of this 10-15 years ago. We are taking it to the next level,” expressed Wilson.
One problem for Wilson and his newly formed promotion is location. With Phuket having seasonal weather, fight nights can’t be held throughout the year. Wilson admitted that the next date isn’t decided yet but they’re working around the obstacles.
“When we’ve finished this show, we are going to re-assess, make sure we have a fantastic product. We are going to seek out major sponsorship,” declared Wilson.
“The next show could be in two months, it could be in six months. It’s whether we keep it in Thailand or take it overseas. You can expect a fantastic show. Whether it be a city, beach or desert, it’s all about location.”
The first event was a major success as hundreds flocked to Paradise Beach to see the promotions big debut. With the main event meeting all expectations, the co-main was also a thriller and resulted with Rafael Xavier proposing to his partner after the bout and a fireworks display was put on for the audience. Despite a patch of rain, the show went on regardless and delivered on the quality that was assured beforehand.
Now that the organisation has held it’s first event, Wilson is positive that Primal FC can change the game and contend with the top promotions.
“We are already competing with the major organisations,” Wilson revealed.
“We are going to be up there. Rizin have been around for just over 12 months and that’s probably the fourth biggest organisation in the world. There’s nothing stopping us from overtaking them in 12 months. We are here and we are here to stay.”
Primal FC: Dark Moon Rising results
Ulugbek Kokiev def. Benham Monjezi via Submission (Triangle) (Round 2 – 1:07)
Trevor Mckenzie def. Jaymes Schulte via Submission (Arm Triangle) (Round 2 – 4:09)
Lito Adiwang def. Eddey Kalai via Submission (Triangle) (Round 1 – 1:53)
Top Noi def. Jayson Margallo via Decision (Unanimous)
Hasan Yousefi def. Hirokazu Yokoyama via TKO (Round 1 – 0:25)
Fahsikram def. Uyen ha via decision (Unanimous)
Rafael Fiziev def. Suraj Bahadur via TKO (Round 1 – 1:42)
Adam Antolin def. Irfan Khan via Submission (Arm Triangle) (Round 1 – 2:20)
Zalimkhan Yusupov def. Sergio Rodriguez via Submission (Guillotine) (Round 2 – 4:55)
Shamil Akhmedov def. Rafael Xavier via Decision (Unanimous)
Sarah D’alelio def. Nong Kim via TKO (Round 2 – 1:38)