It was a goal of ICF President Cory Smith to bring his product to the masses and with the tv show’s debut Saturday, it will bring more exposure to Montana’s rising talent in the MMA community.
We talked to Smith about the ICF TV debut and the upcoming ICF card.
MTCage: You stated in your last interview that this was a goal you had since the inception of ICF. What does it feel like to be on the verge of your first TV broadcast?
Cory Smith: Just feels good, pretty nerve racking knowing the whole country is going to be able to watch our show for free on an actual network, but at the end of the day, I’m very blessed with the adventure I have traveled so far, the support I have in my hometown really make things easier, I have the best family in the world, so they keep me sane. I’m nervous and excited. I’m hoping this opens some doors to bigger opportunities down the road.
Smith: I watched the show the other night, and our producer Rory Schulte did an awesome job! He is so talented, he works great under pressure, I know that the production is in good hands at all times when Rory is on the job, it really does look good.
The atmosphere alone makes the show awesome, the cage on home plate with the stadium lights in the background, just an all around great show. Rory and I have talked, and there is always room for improvement, with bigger budgets we can solve the little hiccups that we have here and there, but we are both perfectionist so even 10 years down the road, we will find little things that we can improve.
The thing about this show is we did a lot of behind the scenes footage that will hopefully make the 2 hour Special that begins airing in 3 weeks, but it shows the craziness that no one else sees, the fighters cutting weight, the locker room drama, production meetings, the fighters flying in late at night, the ring girls without any make up on hanging out at the hotel, just the real life of what happens in an MMA Promotion, the fans show up and the bell rings, the 2 guys fight, and there is a winner & loser, but the 3 months leading up to that bell ringing, a lot a lot a lot happens, it’ll be fun for people to see that.
MTC: What kind of launch parties are going on for the television debut?
Smith: Ya know, The Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas was interested in doing a big launch party, we were working with them for a few weeks on details of that, but I decided I wanted to spend this first National show in my hometown of Great Falls, MT at a local Sports Bar that has supported me since day one. Have a few beers with my friends and family and enjoy the show, usually I’m out of town at a venue for a party during the CBS airings, but I’m gonna lay low on this one. Rory will be having a party in LA with his friends, and I’m sure some of the fighters will be gathered at locations, but I’ll be at the Sting Sports Bar enjoying the show.
MTC: We are also looking for another event in the coming months. Do we have any details yet?
Smith: Yes we do. We were going to wait till December and do a show in Arizona possibly, but with the TV show airing, and some other things we are working on out on the West Coast, we decided to do a November 15th show in Great Falls, at the Four Seasons Arena, Headlined by Bellator’s Tim Welch, who is a Great Falls Native. We will also have Frank Ramsey back after his injury, and Leo Bercier, these 3 haven’t been on the same card since ICF 1, when we packed the Arena for our first ever show, I’m beyond stoked for this show to happen, its gonna be a special night that’s for sure.
MTC: What are your expectations going into 2014? What do you hope to achieve?
Smith: Hoping 2014 is our year, we are working on deal out on the West Coast that will really change things for us if we can land the deal, and we will continue to entertain offers from TV networks, hoping to land “That Deal” that makes everyone just jump up and down, its within reach now, I’m gonna keep working my butt off until we land something huge huge.
MTC: Anything else you want to add?
Smith: Just a big thank you to the ICF and 221 Fans, the support has been so overwhelming, We are truly blessed to be on this adventure with all of you. My staff is the best staff in the world, wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them, I always tell them before a show, I bought the car, you guys need to drive it, and they do, they just represent the 221 & ICF brand so professionally.
Also, a big thank you to our Sponsors, these people step up every show and make it possible to bring in these big names from around the country to entertain Montana, its been so fun getting to know these people and their families, becoming friends more than business associates. I don’t know where we will be this time next year, on top of the world, or not in existence, but either way, those people will be there to support 221 Industries. Last but not least, to my investors, thank you for taking a chance on a 26 year old with a dream,