The Best of New England MMA…No Boundary Ranks #4!
By Tim O’Connor, New England Mixed Martial Arts (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Malden, MA) – Continuing our series of ranking the New England-based MMA promotions today we look at the #4 ranked promotion, No Boundary.
#7. International Combat Entertainment (I.C.E)
#6. Global Fight League
#5. United States Fight League
Owner(s): Frederic Belleton
Matchmaker: Matt Peterson
Venue(s):The Jungle Plex (Plymouth, MA)
Professionalism: Fred Belleton’s initial foray into the world of promoting Mixed Martial Arts was quite impressive as his experience as a top-notch fighter in New England and abroad served him well in making No Boundary a “must see” event. He and Matchmaker Matt Peterson did their homework in researching the needs of the local MMA fan and did a masterful job of filling each and every one of those needs. All of the fighters were very well treated and Matt could be seen in plain sight signing checks so no one walked out empty handed…except David Woodby, but that issue has already been well chronicled. The Jungle Plex provided fighters to expansive rooms, complete with water, rolling mats, and stretching machines, to warm up in and those rooms were equipped with windows so fans could see their favorite fighters before and after their matches. Matt is also owner and co-host of the New England Fights Podcast and did a great job of making sure his fighters were accessible to the media and constantly sent out Press Releases updating media and fans alike on changes to the card. No Boundary also did a nice job of highlighting their fighters on the No Boundary website and provided each fighter a nice “Profile” fans could easily click to and learn about each fighter. During the event a fighter, Michael Mulligan, was not allowed to fight by Doctor’s orders and the No Boundary crew was quick to bring Mulligan and his opponent, Jason Dolloff, into the cage to inform the fans that the fight would not be taking place and why. Overall No Boundary runs a tight, professional ship.
Professionalism Grade: B+
Treatment of Fighters: Only two fighters had a discrepancy with No Boundary, relating to the length of rounds and the use of knees and elbows, but no one voiced a single concern during the pre-event fighters meeting (which I attended) so the issues might have stemmed more from the fighter’s losing performances than actual contractual misunderstandings. Fighters were treated to a nice warm-up area, featured in pre-event press, and then welcomed into the cage to a video montage that served as a great calling card for No Boundary. No Boundary also went out of the way to bring fans a look at a fighter who could be the next true force at Light Heavyweight, 2-time NCAA Wrestling National Champion Phil Davis (a native of Pennsylvnia and current Lionheart Fighter). As stated all fighters were paid on time and every fighter coming from out of the state were afforded a nice, clean hotel room.
Treatment of Fighters Grade:B
Fan Experience: The fan experience No Boundary afforded was top notch. The Jungle Plex featured a well run beer garden, hard liquor was also available; site lines were great as No Boundary brought in temporary bleachers so fans paying for General Admission seats could see over the fans in floor seats. The event was presented inside a cage and featured a large movie theatre-style screen for the pre-event video montage, introductions, and replays. The No Boundary Ring Announcer was great, kept the show moving, and handled the typical miscues and minor foibles with aplomb. The audio and lighting for the event were requisite (albeit some fans complained about the choice of Techno-pop music during the intermission - Belleton is a native Frenchmen, great wine and poor taste in music is what the French are known for!) and the Jungle Plex kept the concession lines moving. There were some issues with when the “doors” for the event were actually open and fans purchasing walk-up tickets were mixing in with fans holding pre-purchased tickets which created a log-jam at the front door area (where the concession stand was also located). Poor parking and long bathroom lines also earned a downgrade here. Finally, fans were also treated to NEW UFC and WEC stars to mix and mingle with, Nate “The Rock” Quarry, Patrick Cote, Pat Shultz, Josh “The Fluke” Grispi, and Mike Dolce were all on hand to witness the action and greet fans!
Fan Experience: B-
Venue(s):The Jungle Plex created some issues (parking and bathrooms), but overall proved to be a very nice venue for No Boundary. The Jungle Plex was easy to find, just off of Route 3 in Plymouth, MA; and provided great site-lines for all fans. Security for the event was great, none of the fans were rauckus or untoward, and ushers were everywhere helping fans find their correct seats. The Jungle Plex provided plenty of great concession choices (steak tips at an MMA event…YES!) and the beer garden concept worked to perfection. I thought allowing fans to take sneak peaks at their favorite fighters warming up was great and brought fans into the action, and the fighters were all hanging around the Jungle Plex after the event so autographs and pictures were abundant. No Boundary will need to sort out the entrance area (where to buy tickets and maybe a separate entrance for fans holding pre-purchased tickets) if they wish to return to the Jungle Plex, but the layout of the cage and seating was perfect.
Venue Grade: B+
History: This was No Boundary’s very first show so they’re creating a history as they go. The brand may be the place where fans can someday say, “I saw champ Phil Davis make his pro debut at No Boundary”, so I’d say No Boundary is off to a great start. No Boundary also saw Chip Pollard, an exciting young fighter out of the Cape Cod Fighting Alliance, make his pro debut and treated fans to a potential “Fight-Of-The-Year” candidate as Justin Homsey battled Aguilano Brandao in a 145lb. clash. No Boundary has added its mark to the New England MMA scene in a big way!
If you couldn’t tell I really loved this event. Each match was exciting and the Jungle Plex offered up some new ideas to MMA presentation. The opening video montage really got the blood flowing and set a nice tempo for the night. Speaking of tempo the show was very well timed, did not run long, and had fans back on Route 3 prior to midnight. I enjoyed the intimacy of the venue and how accessible fighters were, so fans should be looking to support No Boundary in 2009. Some minor adjustments need to be made, but the basics are there for a strong promotion that pushes the envelope in MMA marketing and No Boundary is willing to take risks in introducing fans to new talent. As its name states, No Boundary’s future truly knows no boundary!
Still to come New England MMA ranks:
Check back on Tuesday for the fifth installment of the “New England MMA Promotion Ranks”!