The Beginning Of The End, Don King Entering MMA
A once critic of MMA and boxing promoter Don King is partnering with Wall Street “Bad Boy” Ross Mandell of RHM Productions to try their hand in mixed martial arts, according to MMAJunkie.
The group plans to launch first with a realty/documentary series and follow that with a actual event consisting of male and female fighters. King’s longtime ties to HBO might play into the groups plan’s of distributing their product.
Don King’s news media advisor, Robert Weneck:
“[King] has been retained as a senior adviser to a Wall Street group that wanted to invest in mixed martial arts … [Mandell] put together people from London, from New York, lots of major companies. It’s a very credible list. They all wanted to invest in light of the growth of mixed martial arts.
“I said, ‘Well, I’ve represented Don King for 15 years as his news media adviser. Let’s get the pioneer of boxing, that understands how to do events, knows all the arenas, knows HBO, knows Showtime, knows all the sports people, and it will save you a lot of time and money.'”
“Don has always been tracking (MMA) and keeping up because it’s part of what he does … The thing is, it was just a nice opportunity. … It would give people an opportunity to participate in a company that could have a potential phenomenal growth and get the proper people together to help these guys.”
“I grew up with karate and judo and all that, but we never had stars. We never had events. Now, look at it. What was it, at the MGM (Grand Garden Arena) in January? [The UFC] grossed $110 million. I think 1.4 million people hit pay-per-view for $55 an event. It’s huge.”