Over the past month, the Chi-townMMAniacs’ Facebook page has been hit with many pictures. One of the most common, recurring ones we were tagged in was for Flawless MMA Fighting Championships. What? Who? That’s what I said! For over three years, Chi-townMMAniacs has been bringing you local Mixed Martial Arts fight information, photos, and results – so you can understand why I initially felt surprised and out of the loop that I was unaware of them or their event. I asked around and it took a little bit of digging because, as you can imagine, most people didn’t really know who these new players are. Here’s what you need to know.
I got in contact with Seng Sthisakd (Flawless MMA’s Business Development Manager). Of course I had to ask who Flawless MMA was and what they were about. Seng’s response was first and foremost a response I haven’t heard in a while. “Flawless isn’t about us (Seng and David). it’s about the show and the fighters. We’re not trying to get famous. Our job is to make the show and the fighters famous.”
Flawless MMA will be the only feeder event for the Sengoku Global who will be coming to the states soon to promote their new line up of professional mixed martial arts events. Sengoku had notable Japanese MMA stars, and boasted countless stars from the U.S. as well as from other countries. Seng told me that he has had a great deal of chatter in Chicago since they said that Flawless was putting on a show. He told me frankly that he felt that most people were making Flawless “bigger than what it is” and they are under no illusion that they are the UFC. In fact, Seng said that he was just fortunate that he was charged with an opportunity from the CEO of Sengoku Global to put on a show here in Chicago and wants to put on the best show that he can.
When I asked why he chose Chicago, he had a simple answer. “David is based out of Chicago.” When we began to discuss the MMA scene in Chicago, I was expecting to hear him sugar coat and play to the MMA community in Chicago. I was pleased that he spoke frankly and gave me real information and opinions. As someone who had managed fighters in Japan and Europe and now looking to work here in the United States, Seng offered an unbiased opinion of Chicago’s MMA scene. Seng said from a “tourist” perspective that it looks like there is structure, but in reality there isn’t any structure at all. Some promoters here in Chicago don’t work with each other and feel like they “own the fans”. He asked me to print this and said that there are promoters out there that agree with me and “any promoter that gets offended can piss off.” In fact, the second Flawless event was scheduled for Japan, but some of the promoters here have made them “more determined” to bring it back to Chicago.
When asked about the fighters here in Chicago, Seng said, “There are a lot of good fighters here. No real way of telling how good they are.” He is referring to the fact that the fighters have a hard time getting real matches here. He then explained that some managers are hand picking fights that their fighter would most certainly win versus taking on a more challenging opponent. Seng went on to tell me about the challenges that David has had making matches for Flawless.
David’s matchmaking is pretty straight forward; he is going to look for fighters who are not on a losing streak. If they have a recent loss, he is looking to see who they lost to and why. David wants to put on great fights and is not going to bend to managers dictating who fights on their show. Seng is very proud of that. Just like any other business, Flawless has a budget. I’m under the impression that with Flawless being a feeder, you’re going to get paid the standard pay for their event with the hopes of making bigger pay checks in the Sengoku Global shows if you get selected.
So what’s the bottom line here? Seng and David are working hard under the watchful eye of Sengoku Global. They don’t want to look bad to the bigger entity so they will definitely be looking to make some big noise at their first event here in Chicago.
I am curious to see what Flawless MMA can deliver. After years of watching the sport grow in Illinois from two or three shows a month to having four or five events on a single day, I can’t imagine that one promotion can change the landscape. In fact Seng said, “Don't want to change the game here, but we want to support the fans and fighters. Our job’s to making the show and fighters famous.”
Thanks to Seng Sthisakd for taking time to talk to me and until next time.
We will see you at the fights.