Check out the VIP party gallery on the occasion of Fight Channel World’s break into the US market! (PHOTO/VIDEO)
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This Wednesday in the famous Hollywood W Hotel, a grand VIP red carpet party was held on the occasion of the signing of the agreement between the Croatian Fight Channel Group and American production company Hoplite Entertainment. All for the purpose of spreading the Croatian brand on the American market!
The hosts of this gala party were Fight Channel owner and FFC President, Mr. Orsat Zovko and Mr. Jon Smith, Hoplite Entertainment CEO and a new strategic partner of the Fight Channel Group. Hoplite Entertainment Company will provide full support in the sense of production when it comes to the FFC events that are to take place next year in the USA.
Some of the most wanted red carpet stars on this event were famous ring announcer Michael Buffer and former Ufc heavyweight and now Bellator star – Cheick Kongo.
“After big success in Europe last couple of years, we made huge success with Fight Channel and then with the FFC, with live events. I think this is really natural step. With my friend and business partner Jon Smith I found a great combination and we are starting to do something together in the US. The first reactions are more than good and I think that the American audience will see FFC events very soon.”
“My core business is production and TV but I am involved in fighting business for 15 years. Almost 20 years. I think those two combinations already gave big results and I’m trying to bring our success from Europe to the US. With the help of Hoplite and my partner Jon Smith I think I will make it. Our first and base relationship is that we are friends. For almost ten years. And we never did something together. We discussed it last year and both of us decided it is time to do something together, but it must be big! So this will be big!”
Smith: I told Orsat we need to bring FFC to America right now!
Jon Smith claims the same.
“I’ve known Orsat for ten years. My wife and him are really good friends. This was actually how we met. I went to bunch of Orsat’s fights. We actually never talked business, which is kind of ironic. And then a couple of years ago we started going to bunch of his events. I was like, why are you not doing this in the US? And he’s like, well I’m going to, but you know, in like five years, six years… And I was like, no, no, no, no. We need to bring it to America like right now! Because Americans love good fights. We love underdog stories. Orsat’s league will bring fighters from Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Belgium, all over the world. So the idea was I can take somebody that’s a good friend of mine and say, look, bring your promotion into the US and hopefully we can make a lot of noise,” said Hoplite CEO Jon Smith.
“What’s unique about Orsat’s league is all these fighters have a ton of heart. You watch these guys come out there and, as stereotypical as it sounds, it’s not about the money as much as these guys saying they want to fight in this promotion because the production quality is amazing. We have almost 300 people inside of this lounge party here in the US. It was minimally advertised, it was invite only. People are watching highlights on a big screen tonight of guys who went in that ring to literally just bang. These guys are giving it all and again the uniqueness is that you still have that show and that championship as well as that camaraderie. After these guys have just beaten the hell out of each other, they are hugging in the ring, they are high-fiving… And that’s something that’s really cool to see because at the end of the day there is still a level or respect for one another when they leave the ring.“
Buffer: Zovko will give the American audience what it wants
As previously mentioned, one of the biggest stars of this VIP party was famous ring announcer Michael Buffer who already participated in Fight Channel Group’s project in Zagreb, Croatia.
“The first time I worked for Fight Channel Group in Zagreb, Croatia, was in 2003. We did an event over there in MMA. Then a couple of more since that and the last one was three years ago. Fantastic turnout. MMA is really popular and the K-1 rules really have a big following. Orsat has the Fight channel, it’s very successful in Europe and he is going to bring it here and team up with some producers and production companies here in America and bring the public what they wanna see. There’s a great fan base out there for MMA, especially along with the UFC. UFC has a great audience, but there is a hungry fan base that wants to see more and more. Fight Channel Group can provide that.”
“Every time I worked in Zagreb and in Croatia, it’s almost like being with family. And his relationship with his fighters is just a pleasant thing to watch. After 35 years of doing announcing for different events, I’ve seen some things that are like, oh my gosh. I hate to see people get treated like that. In this case, it’s always good relationship with fighters and managers. I think that really makes for good entertainment, to have guys that come in that are athletic, who want to compete and who want to be a part of something that’s growing and getting bigger and bigger. That’s what Fight Channel Group provides.”
Buffer also noticed a difference between similar projects and FFC.
“To say it’s a cut above… There’s an element of a love of the sport. There’s business and people that treat televised sports like business. Let’s make special production, let’s have fancy light and all that. And when somebody comes in like Orsat, who started right at the bottom and out of a little room in Zagreb and just watched it grow… It’s great to see somebody that has that love and that passion to bring really good events and good competition. I’m glad I’ve been a part of three or four events in Europe for him. I hope to see more here. Whether I work or not, I’ll be there!”