ICF 15 Changes Venue, Smith Talks About Talent Packed Card

Welch Courtesy Ryan Hall

Welch Courtesy Ryan Hall

Due to expectations of rain and wind, Intense Championship Fighting had to move their Friday event from Centene Stadium to the Four Seasons Arena.

ICF President Cory Smith made the announcement Tuesday on Facebook. Even though the weather changes the location, it isn’t dampening what will be an action packed card.

Smith talked to us about the change in venue, and the talent he has lined up for his 15th go-round.


MTCage: You have been doing Centene for years, but this is an obvious hassle to change things up….

Cory Smith: Centene is a fan favorite for sure, just stressful from a promoters stand point because we have to watch the weather like our lives depend on it. We had the Four Seasons Arena on hold in case the weather just didn’t look safe or doable. I personally am an Arena Atmoshphere kinda guy, but the Centene layout its just crazy amazing, under the lights with the Montana Sky above ya, its pretty epic whenever we do it there.

MTCage: After what was a crazy State Fair card a few weeks ago, how was it to have this card fall into place?

Smith: We have been planning this card since May, and after the Fair Show, I just really wanted to make sure everyone knew that the ICF isn’t going anywhere, so really stepped it up and made it the best fight card in our history.  It was a true privilege to be the first ever MMA promotion at the Montana State Fair, as hectic as it was, I really did enjoy working with the Cascade County staff, we had a lot of fun that week and we look forward to our positive relationship with them.

MTC: Tim Welch has trained a lot at the MMA Lab in Arizona, home of UFC’s Benson Henderson. Describe how he has changed as a fighter in your eyes.

C.S.: Every time I see Tim he has grown as a person and a fighter. He continues to blow me away on how he carries himself these days, just humble, and living, eating, sleeping, breathing the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. It doesnt hurt to have one of the pound for pound toughest fighters in the whole world at practice with you everyday, I think Benson has been an awesome influence on Tim, and all the other guys that have gone down to train.

MTC: We are seeing a trend of wrestlers making their way into the ICF cage, mainly from the University of Great Falls. How is it for you to have such a talented group of guys like Myles Mazurkiewicz available to sharpen their teeth in MMA?

C.S.: Caleb Shaffer, the head wrestling coach and I are buddies, we talk a lot about the talent that he is bringing in, it literally top notch from across the country. With our shows growing and the brand “Intense Championship Fighting” becoming more and more of a national brand, its cool to see our local college standouts get into the cage and compete at a high level, I credit the hard working coaches at UGF for making these wrestlers as tough as they are, everyone of them that has fought for us is just tough as sh*t with a work ethic like nothing I’ve ever seen.

MTC: Sean O’Malley and Ryan Ibsen are back in a rematch. What are you expecting the second time around?

C.S.: It was a quick fight last time, Ryan made a mistake and Sean capitalized. I get to watch Ryan train here in Great Falls since his home gym “Great Falls Kickboxing Academy”, home of Team Evolution trains here. Ryan is the nicest kid I’ve ever met, just polite and professional, and trains so hard, he has talent that hasn’t even been touched yet, so I think he is coming into this fight with a whole new mindset, and is going to impress the fans for sure, I expect him to bring a good war to Sean, this fight has fight of the night written all over it, I’m expecting them to stand and trade for sure. With Sean, he has been at the MMA Lab with Tim, living there the last few months, this kid a phenom, I have never in my life seen such just natural talent, and his performance in Seattle July 19th just solidified he is going to the top, and fast! I have become very very close with both the Ibsen and O’Malley families, just all around great people that believe in the sport of MMA and support their kids in everything they do,and support 221 Industries, ICF, and Myself. Outta all this I have gained a tough tough tough 135lb class, but on top of that I have met some awesome people, its Win Win for me, I hope they both win haha.

MTC: Anything you would like to add?

C.S.: Excited for this summer run to end, we did back to back to back to back shows/events/fundraisers, so it’ll be nice to shut it down for a minute. We will have 2 shows in the next few months, locations and main events to be announced soon!

Tickets are available at Alias Smith and Jones Pawn, Big Sky Harley Davidson, and the Four Seasons box office in Great Falls.

ICF 15 Promises Loaded Card at Centene Statium

10347494_760279490696835_7236064075441190043_nAfter debuting at the Montana State Fair, Intense Championship Fighting will make a quick turnaround August 22 as they will be under the lights of  Centene Stadium in Great Falls.

Coming off a win over Frank Ramsey, Spokane’s Ryan Mulvihill will take on undefeated Havre native and University of Great Falls wrestling alum  Myles Mazurkiewicz.

Bellator vet and local favorite Tim Welch will return to his home state to take on 34 fight veteran Ran Weathers.

Sean O’Malley and Ryan Ibsen will remacth for the amateur bantamweight title. O’Malley defeated Ibsen in April in their first outing.

Rounding out the main card, collegiate wrestling standout Ty Vinson will take on Washington’s Gian Surbella.

Also expected to fight are Glen Cislo, Matt Odegard,  Andrew Woodruff,  Brandon Killum, Cody Vukasin, and Kieth Lavendure.

Tickets are available at Alias Smith and Jones Pawn, Big Sky Harley Davidson, and the Centene Stadium box office.

Main Card 

  • Tim Welch VS Ran Weathers (155 pro)
  • Myles Mazurkiewicz VS Ryan Mulhvill (145 pro)
  • Chris Sowell VS Adam Saad (155 pro)
  • Sean O’Malley VS Ryan Ibsen (135 amateur title)
  • Ty Vinson VS Gian Surbella (170 ammy)

 

ICF at the Fair Results – Bercier Gets Meaningful Win

Bercier vs. Cook

Bercier vs. Cook

Intense Championship Fighting held their first ever card during the the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, MT Friday, in what was a crazy and action packed card.

Leo Bercier came back to ICF in what was a bittersweet homecoming, having just lost his father in June. This was only a few months after he lost his mother. Bercier dedicated his fight to his parents, and would get the win by TKO in the third round in the only pro MMA bout on the card.

Bercier (12-7-1; 1NC) faced a game Nate Cook in what was an 195 catchweight match. Bercier was more controlled than in his past fights, feeling out his opponent early on. Cook was aggressive in the first part of the round, bloodying Bercier’s nose. Cook would also land a knee to the body, which hurt Bercier, but also seemed to motivate him to start using his striking. Bercier would continue landing leg kicks and a nasty overhand right before the end of the first round.

The second saw Bercier continue where he left off, landing knees to Cook’s thighs, causing viable damage and Cook’s movement was effected. Bercier would try to box out Cook, but it was another leg strike that dropped Cook. Cook survived the round.

In round 3, Bercier finish what he started with leg strikes and a flurry of blows that made the ref call the fight right before Cook’s corner threw in the towel at 1:30.

Here are the complete results from card:

Pro MMA

  • Leo Bercier def. Nate Cook by TKO 1:30 round 3 (195 lbs.)

Ammy MMA

  • Andrew Woodruff def. Jay Langford by submission (rear naked choke) 1:33 round 1 (HWT)
  • Johnson Nasora def. Michael Ruit by TKO 2:15 round 2 (155 lbs.)
  • Brandon Caldwell def. Jared Berlinger by TKO (retirement) round 3 (135 lbs.)
  • Andy Castro def. Alex Anderson by TKO 0:38 round 1 (160lbs.)

Shoot Boxing

  • Kyle Lier def. Sam Atkins by unaimous decsion (155 lbs.)
  • Bryan Barber def. Anthony Nye by TKO round 3 (185 lbs.)

ICF Gears Up for Montana State Fair Debut; Talks Busy Summer

10422293_750106411714143_6673782923691351169_nThis has been a banner year for Intense Championship Fighting.

After three cards in Great Falls this past year, they didn’t slow down come summer as they did a motorcross event and then their debut in Washington State a few weeks ago.

We talk to owner and CEO Cory Smith about the busy year so far and his upcoming 5th card in Great Falls, which will be during the Montana State Fair.


MTCage: How was it to do a show in Washington for the first time?

Cory Smith: It was an experience that’s for sure. Working with another promotion has its positives and negatives, but it was good to see our boys go out there and compete. I met a lot of great people in the process of the show, and being out in Seattle was an awesome experience in itself. To bring my brand that I have created and put a lot of hard work into out to a market like Seattle was fun, and I look forward to branching into other markets very soon.

MTCage: You got a great sampling of northwest talent on that card. Are we going to expect more talent in the region to come to Montana to compete?

Smith: Our matchmaker is from the Seattle/Tacoma area, so we try to draw as much talent from over there as possible, those guys always show up on time, on weight, professional, and ready for war, in the near future we will bringing out 185lb champ Jared Torgenson back, and hoping to sign Matt Kovacs and Robert Canns very soon to come over and let them compete against our best in front of our fans.

MTC: You did the Motorcross event, then the Washington card, and now the State Fair card. This is a quick turnaround. How are you handling it?

C.S.:  Its been a blur, but that’s the nature of the beast I guest. I knew it coming in that this was going to be a challenge, but I’m kind of enjoying it. Going, going, going has made the summer fly by that’s for sure, but I have an awesome staff. They have been working their butt’s off when I am gone or busy so that’s making it easier. I’m gonna be happy when its all over, but for now, all I can say is “What a Ride!” haha.

MTC: You are doing this next card during the State Fair. How is it to do it during this event and have a possible bigger audience?

C.S.:  I am truly humbled that the Commissioners voted yes on my show. It is truly an honor! There is MMA promotions that have been doing shows in the state for 10+ years, one of which comes to Great Falls twice a year, and the State Fair wanted us.  Its nice that our presentation to the commissioners wasn’t us trying to talk ourselves up. I’m very firm believer in actions speak louder than words, so all we did was present out ticket sale number and a our beer sale numbers and that was enough to make people happy. I am so stoked to be the first ever MMA promotion at the Montana State Fair.

MTC: Leo Bercier and Nate Cook are set for the main event. Bercier seems always to be a crowd favorite. What are you expecting in the match?

C.S.:  It’s awesome to have Leo back under contract, he is a crowd favorite, and is putting in a great camp down in Missoula at the DogPound. If I am a fan in the stands, I would get your camera’s out because the “KO KING” in very hungry, and I chose Leo because he is a long time MMA and boxing fighter in Montana, and he deserves the first ever state fair spot.

MTC: Any other matches we need to look out for?

C.S.:  Sam Atkins looks to get back in the KO circle, and one of my favorite’s Brandon Caldwell makes his return to the ICF after a long lay off, Brandon is a good name in Great Falls, and is putting in the hard work. Team Evolution here in Great Falls is putting out some awesome talent right now, everyone will be very happy with their roster.

MTC: You keep up racking sponsors. Now Bai health drink has joined up with you guys. How has it been to get so much support from the business community, local, national, or otherwise?

C.S.:  It’s awesome, again I go back to “Actions Speak Louder than Words”, these sponsors come to us because of our brand and how professional we are. When I sit down in meetings with these sponsors and propose to team up with them, I am confident that we can promote that company or brand in a very professional way, and they usually see it that way as well. With our crowds continuing to grow and grow, its cool to look back at the sponsors that signed on at the beginning as well and see them still sitting front row 4 years later. The new sponsors are awesome, I am enjoying promoting their brands through my company, and its humbling knowing these big time companies and brands want to be associated with 221 Industries and the ICF.

MTC: We never really talk about all the hard work the 221 Industry girls do to help promote your events. How is it to have a group of ladies dedicated to the company?

C.S.:  These girls are awesome! They are all so professional a go getters. I tell them all the time that they are the face of the company, they are the ones out promoting our events and clothing line, and its so great that our sponsors utilize them for their promo events. I have the best promo girls in the world, Ill put them in a booth next to any company/brand in the world and watch our girls go head to head.

MTC: Anything you want to add/thank?

C.S.: Thank you Montana,  and our sponsors! You guys rock!


 

Tickets for ICF 14 in Great Falls are available at GoExpoPark.com and at the 4 Seasons box office.

Intense Championship Fighting Gains Pepsi Sponsorship; Announces Washington Date

20140309220503!PepsilogoAs expansion continues for Intense Championship Fighting, another solid sponsor has joined the promotion.

ICF announced their partnership with Pepsi last week. They are the latest national brand to  sign with the promotion.

Intense Championship Fighting is hoping to do three MMA events in six weeks starting with their debut at the Point Casino in Kinston, WA July 19th with their “Team Montana vs. Team Washington” card. Tickets available soon.

ICF’s parent company 221 Industries will also be a motocross event July 11 in Great Falls at the Stings Sport’s bar.  Nitro Circus vet Jeff Fehr will appear with a concert with Dust Alive. Tickets available at The Sting Sports Bar and Alias Smith and Jones Pawn.

221 Industries Expands to Washington; Gains Momentum After Female Card

cory smith 02

Courtesy Burnt Images/Ryan Hall

It has been a busy month of May for 221 Industries and Intense Championship Fighting.

With their all-female card a smash hit among fans and gaining new sponsors, ICF president Cory Smith has taken his first steps to expanding as he is planning his first show in Washington this summer. Smith also announced he will be a part of the Montana State Fair this year, which will bring tens of thousands of fair-goers to check out the ICF product.

We talked to Smith about the sudden popularity and growth of the company.


Wombat Sports: The All Female card recently got a lot of heads turning in the Montana MMA scene. What reactions have you been getting and how did you think it went?

Cory Smith: I have heard from everyone that the All Female card were the best fights we have ever had, I was so worried about it, besides the fact of injuries and freak accidents shorting the card, the VIP and ticket sales were slower than ever. The night ended up being awesome, an awesome crowd, and some all out brawls. We got a ton of national attention, so now we are going to add female fights to every ICF event, starting with August 22nd having 5 male fights and 5 female fights.

Wombat: You landed a major sponsor in Miller Lite. Can you tell us about the new relationship and what it means to have a solid national recognized sponsor on board?

Smith: We have been working with Miller for 4 years now, they have always treated us so well, but it came time to lock in a long term deal, we threw them a number, and they said yes! This is the most money any sponsor has every committed to, which shows Miller Lite’s confidence in us as a company that we will continue to provide great shows with big crowds. I am very excited to continue working with these guys and represent such an awesome brand.

W.S.: You recently announced an expansion into Washington. Can you tell us about how this came about and what we can expect?

C.S.: This is a huge huge deal for us, expanding into the Seattle market. We have been in on again and off again negations with the guys out there, with the talks breaking down, then firing up again. We flew out to the Point Casino the day after the all female card, and went to a show at the casino, we were treated like royalty, CWC gave us VIP, sat us cageside, and invited us to the VIP Cigar lounge after to talk.. We finally got an agreement down to see how the Seattle Casino MMA shows work, and we will do our first show, in conjunction with CWC on July 19th at the Point Casino, with a team format of Team Montana VS Team Washington. I am beyond excited to finally get to do this, the guys from CWC have been so awesome in the process, and im excited to see the ICF in Seattle, but make no mistake, Montana is still our home, and we will continue to do shows in the Big Sky State!

W.S.: You have landed your next card during the State Fair, which always draws huge crowds. Any ideas on how the card will progress?

C.S.: I have gotten phone calls from ALOT of fighters wanting on this card, I am going to be picky with this card because we have the Seattle Card 2 weeks before and the Centenne Show 3 weeks after. The fair show is going to draw a huge huge huge crowd seeing that it is the first ever MMA show at the state fair, so I want it to be action packed so it doesn’t disappoint, ya never know who is going to be main event, might just be a HUGE name coming out of a BIG promotion (wink wink).

W.S.: Anything else going on at 221 Industries we should know about?

C.S.: Excited for the summer, got some awesome Interns coming to work for us, along with my awesome staff that as of late has totally just stepped up and knocked it outta the park. We just keep landing knockout blows, landing big sponsors, outta state shows, the fair, and July 11th, we will do our first ever Motocross Freestyle show, expanding the 221 brand more and more into the Extreme Sports market. Our sponsors are awesome, our fans are awesome, and the support of Montana has made us a national brand, so I am very humbled to be in the position we are!

Video – Watch Kayla Green vs Sonya Mae Wilson from ICF 13

Originally posted on Wombat Sports:

Courtesy Burnt Imaes/Ryan Hall

Courtesy Burnt Imaes/Ryan Hall

Over the coming days, we will be posting video of the fights on the historic Intense Championship Fighting all female card in Great Falls, MT this past Friday. 

Thanks to ICF and 221 Industries for gaining us access and letting us post the video.


In the first of three amateur bouts, Kayla Green and Sonya Mae Wilson fought tooth and nail to the end of the fight, sparking what would be the “Fight of the Night”. Both fighters left it all in the cage as both were exhausted as the final bell rang.

Green would win what was her MMA debut, handing Wilson her first loss.

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