Premier FC is a mixed martial arts promotion based in the Northern United States. They have hosted some amazing fights that have included bouts with both UFC and WEC veterans as well as several other prominent names in the mma community. They are starting to make waves in the fight scene and are led by something we rarely see in a President/Owner of a promotion. Premier FC is on the rise with a female at the helm, which is rarity in this business. She is doing an amazing job as well and is proving that she more than deserves to be in the position she is in. Recently we were able to catch up with Mrs. Karyn Wesch to get a few words with her:
Can you tell everyone a little bit about Premier FC?
Wesch: Premier Fighting Championship started at the end of 2009. It took my business partner at the time, (Jason Franklin) and I about a year to work out all the kinks. In that process the Massachusetts State athletic Commission was in the process of sanctioning the state. I spent MANY grueling hours weekly at the commisions office in Boston. I am from CT so this was a HUGE task but learning as much as I could about this aspect of the business seemed to drive my passion for the sport even more. The commission officially took over in March of 2010 and we had our first show in July of that year. What an amazing show and feeling it was to have MMA right here in Western Mass. I think we have had some bumps along the way and have learned alot. The one thing I feel we can pride ourselves on is that we are honest, know how to say we may need some help on some aspects and that we are never giving up on this amazing sport and all we can do in it. Ive always been big on constuctive critisism. Tell me how to make it better and I will work on it. I think we have done a great job with communicating with all the other promotions as well as fight teams. We look to continue to grow those relationships for years to come.
Where do you see Premier FC going and what are your goals with the promotion?
Wesch: I see us going far in this field. I have a HUGE passion for this business. To watch a man or woman train as hard as I see these people train, to watch them cut weight and then step into that cage to fight for a dream they have is such an honor to me. Anyone in this business knows that its like a HUGE family. Not everyone always gets along and there are always the black sheeps that we have to watch out for…. but overall…. its an industry different then so many others. These people are VERY humble people and they are not just in it for themselves, they are a team and my goal for Premier thus forward is to push that ideal. To grow a team of fighters that we can promote and shine into, what we say alot about UFC fighters, house hold names. To be able to see some of these fighters do a job that they love, get paid for it, and take care of there families with.
What has been your favorite fight so far out of the 8 events Premier FC has hosted?
Wesch: There is really not one paticular fight that I can say was my favorate over another.. I can say that I have a favorate fightcard that was like a dream come true for me and wont forget for the rest of my life.!! Premier FC 7 was the biggest fightcard Ive done so far!! I have UFC vets, WEC vets, Strikeforce and M1 vets on 1 card!! It was AMAZING for me cause I normally travel LONG distances just to see 1 fighter on another promoters card but I was able to have it right here in my own yard.!! I learned alot of lessons out of that fight. Some good, Some bad….. Nonetheless…. It was a proud moment for me as a Promoter, an MMA fan and a friend to some of these guys that was an honor to have fight for me.
As a woman what was it that made you want to get into the mma community, especially over a promotion?
Wesch: A man…. LOL… No… joking.. My husband had a great love for the UFC. We went to a fight together and he wanted to find a nitch in the sport. About 7 years ago we started Need2bleed Fightwear. Being his baby… the business took off very quickly and I kinda tagged along. I started meeting fighters, then sponsoring fighters with him. I found myself at different gyms quite a few times a week AMAZED that what I thought was such a barbarrick showcase of “boys will be boys” game was actually a sport. Then I realized that these guys were athletes. To maintain the level of commitment to be a fighter is not less then it takes to be an olympic athlete. After about 2 years, I went in a little bit of a different direction as my husband was very involved with need2bleed, I wanted to really get into the business side. I studied managing and the business aspect, behind the scences stuff that most MMA fans have NO CLUE exists. I found myself managing, then co-promoting for another company, then starting my own business with friend and business partner at the time Jason Franklin.
Being a woman in control of an mma promotion is a rarity. How do you see yourself not only as different but just as good as the men in mma, if not better than some of them in the same position?
Wesch: I know as a woman, I am probubly precieved as alittle different then your normal Promoter or matchmaker. I dont see myself as any better or worse because I wear a skirt. I have worked VERY hard in this business and took EVERY rung of every step of the MMA ladder with careful responsibility and didnt move to the next until I felt Ive done everything I can to be an asset to that spot. I learn EVERYDAY what to do and not to do… but that is a process that happends everyday. My matchmaker and business partner Jason Franklin retired a few months ago. He has taught me amazing things about being a great matchmaker. Although I miss him as he has gone back to training fighters, I take what he has taught me and I feel with the tools from him and other amazing people in this sport, I can be a successful in whatever direction Premier FC pulls toward. YES… I am now the licensed Promoter and Matchmaker of Premier FC. My last card was my first alone and was, from what I see, a great success.
Premier FC 9 will take place on May 20th, what can we expect out of this event?
Wesch: This is the 2nd round of the Premier FC Challenge “battle to the belt”. I try not to judge (out loud) about how other promoters or promotions do their belt systems. I remember watching boxing when I was growing up and when I saw a belt around someones waist I thought… WOW… they must be the best!! In amateur MMA the fighters stay amateur for such a little amount of time, its difficult to see who is the best and who deserves a title shot. I wish amatuers would stay amateur longer as ALOT make the jump to pro so quick and it REALLY hinders them as they need so much more cage time to do so! There perminant record stays with them their whole career. (There amateur record goes when they turn pro.) This was the only way I felt it would be fair to be able to find our belt holder. Its been alittle bit of a struggle but I think I have worked out alot of the kinks. I have had alot of people say … “it wont work… the fighters are never loyal enough as amateurs”. I beg to differ on that. I feel I have been honest from day 1 with fighters and I think they will be just as good to me when it comes to completing what they have started. The location is AMAZING!!! The Log Cabin is such a beautiful building with a view to match!! The first 3 tournament dates are on Sundays in the middle of the day with the finals being on a Friday night. We will be belting our champions at the finals. I look forward to seeing everyone there on May 20th as its you all that help us keep bringing MMA home!!
For tickets you can go to www.thepremierfc.com . Needed to throw that in there.
Thank you for the time, what can we expect from Premier FC moving forward in 2012?
Wesch: I think the most important goal I have in moving forward in 2012 is consistancy. I want to continue to bring good fights to good venues. I want to keep growing and giving these fighters a good place to showcase their talents and to give them the cage time and opportunities to be able to grow to any personal level each individual fighter has.
I’d also like to give a special thanks to our sponsors
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By: DJ Mackie