The emotional highs and lows associated with MMA are, more often than not, par for the course. In some instances, however, the turbulence along the way becomes so insufferable that the operation may be instructed to punch the eject button—as was the case for a portion of California Fighting Championship while Oscar Martinez, CFC’s promoter and matchmaker, assembled his third event—CFC 3: Chaos, which was expected to feature youth boxing, submission-only grappling, and MMA at the amateur and professional ranks.
Leading into the September 8th showdown in Sonora, California, there were enough professional “fighters” who fell from CFC 3’s bout sheet to comprise an entire card. Despite a nonstop flood of setbacks, Martinez continued his attempt to cast a collection of professional level MMA until CSAC (California State Athletic Commission), two days before CFC 3’s weigh-ins, refused to accept anymore last-minute edits to the lineup. When news that the commission shut down the pro half of the card reached Martinez, he powered up a live stream on his Facebook page (link here) to provide details to his loyal patrons about what transpired:
“From the bottom of my heart, I apologize for what happened. I can sit here and blame a lot of motherfuckers, and this isn’t going to be a good pep talk for anybody because, through the matchmaking process, I’ve realized that in MMA there’s a lot of guys with shitty ass records, like pathetically shitty ass records, that believe they’re worth gold.”
As a fighter himself under the pseudonym “Superman,” the head honcho of the up-and-coming organization was willing to leap tall buildings in a single bound in order to keep every segment of CFC 3 in tact. With a limited number of positions available to professional prizefighters throughout the region, it was refreshing to hear that—even after Martinez suffered fourteen different stabs wounds to the back from competitors who disappeared in the blink of an eye—CFC is still open to the idea of hosting pro MMA, though there will be strict stipulations moving forward:
Martinez announced, “First of all, if we continue to try to have pro shows, which I can pretty much guarantee you that we will, I’m going to set up a basic pay structure. If you don’t like it, you’ll know up front, and we won’t have to deal with you. If you ask us for a fight, take the fight. Don’t ask for a fight just so you can get on the poster and be little Mr. Cool on Facebook.”
Future contracts will clearly state the division, payday, and name of the opponent, but the fine print will include a fit of public shaming from Martinez when the decision is made to flight—instead of fight.
“I will call you a bitch, straight up. I don’t care what weight class you’re in—bigger or smaller. I don’t care if you have a perfect record or a tarnished record. If you ask for a fight and then pull the fuck out of it without being hurt, you are a bitch—a straight bitch.”
Fast Forward to Fight Day…
Right up until the doors to the Mother Lode Fairgrounds opened, there would be no calm to the storm of trying to form CFC 3. The hefty list of amateurs disappeared to a handful of names at weigh-ins, grappling and boxing exhibitions were in jeopardy, but CFC 3 wouldn’t go down without giving fans a fight. For a summary of CFC 3: Chaos, a recap is available at norcalmixedmartialarts.com (link here).
While the wounds were still fresh, Martinez cut to the heart of the matter with a post on Facebook (link here) in CFC 3’s recent wake, sharing a final tally of who poisoned the opportunity for his promotion to operate smoothly and simultaneously acknowledged the team supporting his vision of furthering MMA’s expansion in Northern California.
“Good Morning!!!!! Here we are in the aftermath of CFC 3 Chaos. It could not in a million years have had a more fitting name!!!!! We had a total of 19 BITCHES pull out. Three didn’t even show up to weigh-ins: Chris Snyder, Anthony Green, and Andres Oviedo (who just happened to block me on Facebook). But with the help of non-scared, true warriors—true fighters—we were able to take a disastrous evening and put on a show. My gratitude and my debt to these guys will never be able to be repaid, and I guarantee this will go down in the Athletic Commission’s history as a WTF evening….I want to thank everyone that attended and participated, starting with the best announcer in the business: Jim Cooley; the best lead inspector: Brandy Hoskins; the best helpers: Rob McQueary and Richard Rigmaden; the best cage supervisor: Hope Martinez (thank you and I’m very proud of you). All the participants: Ryan Firinaiu, Kacey Joe Sanders, Idrees Wasi, Mason Fowler, James Porter, Cody Sons, Phaathit Phaysaleum, Jacob Eckstein, Ben Hill, and Robert Holson; the best non-sanctioned referee, and a man I respect 100%, Tom Theofanopoulos; the true champs Michael Humphrey and Regino Prieto. Thank you all so very much from the bottom of my heart….”
Fact of the matter is: If the athletes claiming to study all the facets of martial arts continue to ignore one of the most fundamental aspects—honor, promoters, such as Martinez, won’t jump through the necessary hoops or dig deep into their own pocketbooks to offer a place for professionals, amateurs, or otherwise to mix-it-up.