Jesse Finney, CEO and founder of Shamrock FC, said he firmly believes that his promotion is entrenched as the third best MMA organization in the United States.
Finney laid out multiple reasons for his assertion, but he also said he won’t get complacent. Shamrock FC has been a staple of the Midwest fight scene for two decades, but Finney also listed multiple facets he’d like to improve regarding his promotion.
“I truly feel 100 percent that we are the No. 3 organization in the U.S.,” Finney told MMASucka.
He cited the promotion’s relationship with Bellator as a key reason. If a Shamrock FC fighter wins a title and successfully defends it once, they’re guaranteed a spot on Bellator’s roster.
“If you look at our relationship with Bellator, no one can guarantee a contract into Bellator except us,” Finney said.
He also said that he thinks that Shamrock has the best event production of any AAA-level MMA organization. In addition, Finney stated that his promotion has its 2019 schedule lined up, is in nearly 120 million homes due to its television deal, and had its 300th show in December.
Finney said Shamrock’s biggest competitors within the country are Titan FC and Legacy Fighting Alliance. He said he feels his promotion’s long-term stability puts him ahead of his two main competitors, but tries to implement what they do right in his own strategy.
“I try to watch LFA and Titan as much as possible because they do a nice job,” he said. “I want to know my competition.”
Some may wonder where Invicta comes into the equation. For Finney, it doesn’t–in a good way. He compared the relationship between Shamrock and Invicta to apples and oranges, citing his and Invicta president and founder Shannon Knapp’s friendship. Finney said both are Midwest promotions, but one focuses on male MMA fights while Invicta features all women’s MMA. The two complement the Midwest fight scene.
Finney isn’t worried about losing his perceived No. 3-slot. In fact, he said he feels “very secure.”
However, that doesn’t mean there’s not room for improvement.
One key aspect of the promotional game Finney plans to work on is Shamrock’s social media presence. As of Jan. 8, the promotion has a middling 1,817 Twitter followers.
“If there’s one thing we are going to do [in 2018], it’ll be our social media presence,” Finney said.
Shamrock is also changing up how it will run its shows this year and beyond.
“Our motto this year is quality, not quantity,” Finney said.
Shamrock FC will put on five less shows in 2018, but the organization hopes to stack cards with bigger names.
Finney said he plans to sign more fighters located outside of the Midwest in order to improve the promotion’s brand awareness.
While he intends to sign more fighters with big names such as UFC veterans, Finney also said he wants to push the envelope with having his own fighters move on to Bellator or the UFC. That, in turn, will aid brand recognition.
Lastly, Finney has a message for fans who are unfamiliar with his promotion:
“We’ve been in the sport for 20 years. Check out the other AAA organizations out there and support them, then come and support us. Give us your honest feedback. Please reach out to me on Twitter and Facebook and give me your honest feedback and let me know what you think and what we need to work on. We’re here to improve.”