Later this week Triple-A-MMA will host their tenth event as the show titled “Genesis” will be held inside the Pat McKernan Event Center in Albuquerque’s South Valley. The parent company Orthrus Promotions has played roles in several other promotions in the local fight game including partnering with Holmes Boxing for their boxing events north of Santa Fe and the experience in the fight game may have just delivered the best local promotional video I can recall watching in the past several years.
The fight scene in New Mexico is not what it used to be and success is defined marginally different from what it was just four to five years ago. New Mexico’s MMA scene used to be full of intrigue and buzz; if it wasn’t the Jackson’s MMA Series featuring fighters like Julie Kedzie, Joey Villasenor, Diego Brandao, and Michelle Waterson it was Martin Singleterry’s Evolution Combat Sports event featuring the world’s top ranked female competitors and a brother vs. brother bout; it was King of the Cage featuring significant regional titles held by Tim Means, Angelo Sanchez, Donald Sanchez, and Frank Baca; it was a WEC event that featured Carlos Condit and “OX” Wheeler.
We used to have marquee names in the fight game competing that attracted crowds wherever they went. “OX” Wheeler brought crowds to Mescalero, the Jackson’s MMA gym had a number of fighters that brought in droves of fans to the JMMAS, and King of the Cage seemingly had every local star from the North in Isaac Vallie-Flagg, Josh Montoya, Quinn Mulhern, and Angelo Sanchez and the South in Donald Sanchez, Abel Cullum, and an emerging Ray Borg.
Buzz was rampant all over the state for MMA shows and in the last several years, for more reasons than I can write about in a single article the fight scene seemed to dim down and lose much of the illustrious intrigue it once had. That is why when Triple-A-MMA released their promotional video for “Genesis” featuring Andres Quintana versus Thomas Soto for their first event promotional title I was both thrown off guard and impressed simultaneously.
I believe it is worth noting that I haven’t been Triple-A-MMA’s biggest supporter and in fact, I have been very critical of some of their past promoting tactics and attempts at hyping their shows. However, it slowly has dawned upon me that the promotion in my opinion has been improving seemingly every show at creating buzz for their fights in a very intriguing manner.
The promo video stars the main eventers Quintana and Soto as they were interviewed together in the cage at the most recent Triple-A-MMA event. Quintana, the local of Roswell will be the fan favorite Saturday night and he will bring his own support crowd regardless of whether or not he is part of the promotional videos; it is Soto, that shines in the video and as the foreigner (Soto is from Texas) he has the hardest job of the two during the lead-up for this fight to pump up the show. If Soto brings fans from his hometown area it will not be significant in size in comparison to the locals featured on the card and considering the show is still of a small nature being a mostly local promotion, Soto’s best chances of getting people in the seats is to hype up the local fan base.
In the video, Soto and Quintana stand in the cage with the Triple-A-MMA announcer between them and Promoter J.R. Rodriguez holding the title watching over the scene.
Soto starts with “I’m a strategy guy, alright, but here’s one thing I like doing, I like pushing my opponent to his limit and breaking him.” Soto delivered the line with a calm and confident demeanor and through that simple statement … shots fired.
The video turned to Quintana as “The Bullet” quipped back, “Everyone comes with the same gameplan, they don’t want to stand up and strike with me, all they’re going to do is try and take me down and lay on me. And that’s not going to happen, hasn’t happened yet.. and it won’t.” The shy, quiet Quintana answered the shots with one of his own as he barked back in a Diaz Brother rendition of “fighters don’t want to stand with me, just wrestle” statement.
It gets better. Quintana lets Soto know that he is coming into his high elevation in New Mexico and to answer his remark of being broken by Soto he responds with “I’ve never been broken, nobody breaks me”, to which leads to arguably Soto’s best line of the video, “You want to strike with me? Dude, I’m gonna bop you. I’m gonna bop you hard. I promise.”
Soto delivered the line with a smirk on his face looking directly at the much taller Quintana. It is arguably the best trash talk we have had in New Mexico in quite a while and in an area that features good drama but sees fighters act very cordial in front of the camera, the back-and-forth was a relatively fresh breath of interesting air.
The trash talk doesn’t stop there.
“If you make it past the first round I’d be impressed”, was the next line from Soto in the video and arguably the boldest. Quintana (7-1) has been on an absolute terror as of late rattling off seven straight victories all of which have come via stoppages due to strikes.
One of Lutrell’s MMA’s standout fighters, Quintana may have gotten in the last and most significant quote of the video to end it as he said, “You see all my seven wins in a row… all KO, that’s it.” With a nice grin to end it, the hype video delivered the goods in the form of a natural and organic feud between the two fighters about to compete for the first ever Triple-A-MMA Title.
This kind of promotion creates buzz. Often the fight scene is filled with too much of the same, every interview a fighter gives his opponent credit and tells us they are training real hard for a war to entertain the fans. This time, the hype is behind a fighter in Soto who is polished with his mic skills and another fighter in Quintana who has the reputation and record to gloat over.
If Triple-A-MMA knows the kind of intrigue they can capture with this type of fight promotion it would be in their best interest and in fact, the interest of promotions, gyms, and fighters all over the state to get some experience on the mic to deliver what the fans want to hear instead of what the fans have been hearing for years.
This is after all, the ticket selling business.