ICF CEO Cory Smith is ready to take on another big show at Centene Statium in Great Falls Friday as he will bring in fighters from Canada and the West Coast in to fight the best Montana has to offer.
We talk to Smith on the eve of the fights to talk about the card and the current serge of popularity among fighters from Montana.
MTCage: This is your first card after the deal with DirecTV. Any added pressure going in?
Cory Smith: Tons of pressure, this is what we have been working towards since day 1, so we are trying make this the most perfect show we have ever done! Its just crazy anyone can watch it for free anywhere in the country.
MTCage: You were going to do a team format, but things have since changed. What struggles did you have booking the card this time around?
Smith: The Team format ended up getting ruined do some major injuries and fight commission snafue’s, but we still grabbed some good Canada fighters, and brought in some awesome talent from the West Coast.
MTC: We have seen a lot of Montana fighters get exposure this year with Leo Bracier’s appearance on The Ultimate Fighter and Tim Welch on “Fight Master”. Both had their starts at ICF. Do you feel that Montana fighters are getting more respect on the national scene?
Smith: Yes I do. I think Montana is getting put on the map with these guys jumping into the national spot light on the big promotions. There isn’t a better remodel and all around great fighter than Tim Welch, I’m so proud of that kid moving up the ranks and taking on the biggest and baddest talent in the MMA world, it really gives Montana MMA a good name when he is our Face.
MTC: There are ten fights on the card. Any certain fights we should watch out for?
Smith: A lot of good fights, the one that jumps out at me is Andy Petek vs Kip Romas. 2 4-0 HVY weights that love to brawl, Ive seen Andy fight in person twice, and the guys is just an animal, he goes across the cage looking to destroy his opponent and overwhelm him with his power. From the Film ive seen of Kip, its the same thing, just a guy that meets you in the center and handles business, this will be such an exciting fight. The 135lb belt fight between Luis Caranzza vs Sean O’Malley will be fireworks, both guys 4-0, young up in coming, looking to get that first belt.
MTC: The stadium events are bigger than the arena cards. How is it to be back at Centene Stadium for this one?
Smith: Feels great to be back at the Stadium, the Arena shows are awesome cause of all the lights and sound you can do, and its more of a controlled setting, but the atsmophere of the stadium is like no other, under the lights, the smell of the grass, the clean Montana Air, its just a great experience, by far my favorite show of the year.
MTC: Anything you want to add?
Smith: Just want to thank our sponsors, and hope to see a lot of the ICF Fans that have supported us since the beginning, because this show we are all in, we worked really hard to get to this point, and my awesome staff has put in their time and deserve this national exposure. Just a small town guy from Montana that started with 4 t-shirt designs, now has a national tv show, I’m very excited! I’m a lucky guy to be in this position I am, and be surrounded by the family & friends god has chosen for me.
- Leo Bercier VS John Heath
- Andy Petek VS Kip Romas
- Sean Peters VS Taylor Roberts
- Joe McMillen VS Adam Imhoff
- Luis F. Carranza VS Sean O’Malley
- Myles Dean Mazurkiewicz VS Don Johnson
- Tommy Daniels VS Toby Bender
- Kieth Lavendure VS Jon Sinclair
- Austin Conway VS Terry Standingrock
- Brenden Martin VS Arna Mara