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

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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.

View original

Video – Watch Emily Corso vs. Lynnell House from ICF 13

Originally posted on Wombat Sports:

Courtesy Burnt Images/Ryan Hall

Courtesy Burnt Images/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.

Emily Corso made her long awaited pro debut this past Friday, taking on Canadian pro fighter Lynnell House.

Corso (9-1 amateur) had finished in all of her wins, while House (2-1 pro) is looking to recover from her first pro loss.

Some controversy happened at the end of the fight, when the referee jumped in to stop the fight, thinking there was a tap when both fighters deny there was one.

Corso would pick up the technical submission win and since she was able to come out of the fight mostly unscathed, would face Ariel Beck later that night (which will be posted later this…

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ICF MMA Gains Miller Lite as Major Sponsor

Miller Lite 4C logoIntense Championship Fighting keeps rolling as  it has gained a major new sponsor on the heels of its All Female card next week.

The promotion announced Wednesday Miller Lite will grace the ICF cage from now on.  The 160 year old beer brand has a long history of sponsoring sporting events and teams, which includes NASCAR’s Penske Racing and NFL teams the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens. Miller also sponsored “The Ultimate Fighter” season 11.

The sponsor joins Rock Star Energy drink as two of the nationally recognized brands to sponsor ICF.

ICF 13, which will feature an all female card, will commence May 16th at the Four Season’s Arena in Great Falls, MT. Tickets are still on sale at Cody’s Cars, Big Sky Harley, Scheels, Sting Sports Bar, Alias Smith & Jones Pawn, and the Four Season’s box office . Tickets will be $15 dollars until Monday, May 5th, then they will go to $20.

For VIP tickets and tables go here.

ICF in Talks with Major Beer Sponsor; Reality Show in the Works

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As Intense Championship Fighting continues to expand it’s brand in 2014, CEO Cory Smith is always looking for opportunities.

After the successful launch of MMA’s first ever beer, Submission Ale, the promotion is close to signing a deal with a major beer brand according to Smith. This would be the second national recognized brands to sign with the company, joining Rockstar Energy Drink. The promotion is starting to gain a foothold in the North American market and is looking to expand it’s card in 2014.

Smith also told us that a reality show is in the works. ICF already has a tv deal in place with DirecTV.  ICF has helped develop several talented fighters who appeared on “The Ultimate Fighter” and “Bellator: Fight Master”.

Both of these revelations comes on the heels of the promotion’s first ever all female card May 16th at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls, MT. The main event will features InvictaFC star Cassie Robb taking on Oregon’s Liz McCarthy. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased at 221Industries.com or several local businesses.