The final post-event interview I did after the recent ICF: TurfwaR event was with ICF Promoter, Steve Stanton. As usual, Steve put on a great show and took some time out from his busy evening to talk with me after the event. Stanton’s next show will be ICF: Breakout, April 11th at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH. A number of FightTicker.com members will be fighting on that card - you can find the full fight card here.
Check after the jump for the interview.
FightTicker: How’d you feel about the event tonight?
Steve Stanton: It went good, went good. Had a good crowd show up. We’re really promoting the April 11th show, but I love Turfway, it’s my home. We’re really excited to get to US Bank Arena, that’s what we’re really focusing on right now.
FT: Obviously you’ve got some good fighters in your stable – Jeremy Pender had a big win tonight and he’s making his pro debut on April 11th. Another of your fighters, Victor O’Donnell, was in the crowd tonight, he’s fighting Shonie Carter on the 11th, multiple former UFC guys lined up for your guys to face – how are you feeling going into it?
Stanton: It’s – I can’t even believe it’s my card sometimes. [Laughs]. I get on my website and start looking at all the fighters that are going to be out there, and I’m like, “Man, that’s crazy.” I think it’s good for the Cincinnati/Northern KY area. For a promoter, a small guy like me, to take a chance – I just hope the people come out and support fighters – we all need your [the public’s] help.
FT: You’re opening up 6,500 seats for the event – what kind of sales are you expecting?
Stanton: We plan on selling it out, man. That’s the thing, we’re not going there to do 3,000-4,000, we want 6,500.
FT: This is a huge show for the ICF and a huge show for the area. What do you think it’s going to do for the ICF and mma in the area?
Stanton: First of all, I just want to take care of these fighters and get them good fights and help their careers, because it’s about the fighters and that’s where a lot of promoters fall by the wayside. Without them [the fighters], we’re nothing. You can have the best lights, the best sound, the best cage, and spend the most money on advertising, but without the fighters and fans, we’re nothing – and that’s my main concern, taking care of the fighters and making the fans happy. I think it’ll help – anywhere I go – if I go to the US Bank Arena and sell out, that will help us with the other venues [where the ICF hosts shows] so it will be good for everybody.
FT: Jami Miller was supposed to fight tonight and her opponent backed out, but you’ve got Tiffany Johnson booked to fight her on the 11th – what do you think about this fight?
Stanton: She’s [Johnson] willing to take it, she signed and she’s in and it’s a done deal. Nobody even knows about that fight [on the official card], I’m just going to toss that one in on the card as a surprise for everybody. These girls are good, and fun to watch.
FT: How soon after the April 11th show do you think you’ll be back at US Bank Arena?
Stanton: August. Then we’re going to do a big charity event with Hooters and UFCW Local 1099, we just landed them as our title sponsor. They’re a big union, a big sponsor. We’re looking at a couple different charities. We’ve got a lot of big stuff coming up.
Rich Franklin and Jens "Lil Evil" Pulver will also be on hand at ICF: Breakout to meet the fans and watch the show. I'll be there live-blogging for FightTicker.com. It's going to be a great show - a lot of tough fighters and lot of good match-ups.
You can find the ICF's website here and MySpace page here.
(Originally posted on FightTicker)