If you ask Bill Idol about his new mixed martial arts organization, he’ll tell you that it’s “Fight Club meets a night club.”
Idol plans to launch the American Mixed Martial Organization (AMMO) Fight League on Nov. 19 with its inaugural card, titled “Locked and Loaded,” at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Idol is making his initial foray into MMA after spending more than 20 years in the music industry, where he booked musical acts for night clubs and large venues across the northeastern United States.
But Idol is not a neophyte to martial arts, as he boasts experience with training in boxing and Kempo karate, as well as Brazilian jiu-jitsu under the Gracie family. It was when Idol attended a seminar by UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie that he got the idea to start his own MMA organization. AMMO Fight League will feature both professional and amateur fights, as well as fights with both male and female fighters.
“I’m currently discussing weight classes with my matchmakers, and we’re looking for talented up-and-coming fighters,” Idol said. “We’ll have titles as well, but not right off the bat. Our champions will have to sign an agreement with us to come back and defend their titles.”
Fighters who sign with AMMO Fight League will still be free to fight for other organizations. AMMO is definitely not a one-man show, either. Joining Idol in helping to run the organization is head matchmaker Kim Sturdivant, the top-ranked Master Worlds Grappling Champion and a former fighter. Jason Franklin will serve as AMMO’s Chief Operating Officer, Saravanan Kanagaraj will be Chief Financial Officer and Matt Roy will serve as Production Coordinator.
“I’m not a one-man company who’s making all the decisions,” Idol said. “AMMO won’t be like that. The success of an organization depends on assembling a pool of talent.”
Idol obtained his promoter’s license in Massachusetts and said the toughest part of getting AMMO Fight League off the ground “was a lot of red tape and barriers I had to go through. But when I set my mind to something, no one can stop me.”
Idol received support for starting AMMO Fight League from the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission and local politicians, and Idol had to submit statements of his net worth and other documentation and paperwork to get AMMO up and running.
“I had to convince them it would be beneficial to have a new promotion,” Idol said. AMMO Fight League joins other well-known regional MMA organizations in the northeastern United States, including CES MMA, Cage Fury Fighting Championships and Shogun Fights in Maryland.
Idol plans for AMMO’s inaugural event on Nov. 19 to be its only fight card in 2016, but he expects to put on additional cards every quarter in 2017. While he will welcome fighters from all over the United States and the world to AMMO, Idol’s initial focus will be scouring the East Coast and New England areas for talent.
“I have a good relationship with the local schools through the grappling tournaments I helped promote,” Idol said. “My intent is to create a platform for amateur fighters to advance and to give existing pro fighters a new option.”
Besides putting on entertaining fights, Idol wants to combine his background with promoting music shows to bring entertainment to AMMO in the form of lighting and sound effects and musical performances. But even if Idol is pulling out all the stops for his new organization, he is keeping his expectations modest. At least at the beginning.
“I’m not looking to be a premier organization,” Idol said. “I just want to help fighters because they may not have a big-enough name for some of these regional promotions.”
If AMMO Fight League ends up joining other organizations like Titan Fighting Championship, Invicta FC and Resurrection Fighting Alliance in developing fighters who then sign with the UFC, Bellator or World Series of Fighting, Idol will be just fine with that too.
“I can say I helped them get there,” he said.
Fighters who are interested in competing for AMMO Fight League can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.