The Money Man Behind ImpactFC

While the MMA landscape in Australia has been in the formative stages for quite some time, the recent success of the UFC with their 110 card has lead to a move for a larger domestic presence.  With the recent announcement of the ImpactFC promotion, there looks to be an Aussie-based company trying to fill that vacuum.

I recently received word on the money man behind the operation. Sources indicated that his interest was piqued by the large gate done by the UFC with their 110 card. That card did 17,831 attendees to Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia, for a reported $2.5 million gate, according MMAJunkie.

Sources indicated to me that the money man was a large concert promoter Down Under. After a little further digging into the roots, I was able to find that the group spearheading these new MMA efforts Down Under appear to be the Andrew McManus Presents company and its head, Andrew McManus.

The group handling the travel and accommodations for the ImpactFC (Impact Travel International) shows happens to share its’ location with the headquarters for Andrew McManus Presents.

McManus has made his name in the music field:

Andrew’s initiation into the music industry began as the manager of the iconic live music venue – elina’s, in Sydney, Australia, where he met and then managed the internationally phenomenally successful rock band “Divinyls” for eight years, before the group disbanded in 1997.

In 1995 Andrew formed the International Touring Company (ITC) in Brisbane, Australia, touring such acts as KISS, Roger Daltrey, Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow, George Benson, Paul Rodgers, Tony Bennett, Culture Club, Julio Iglesias, Sammy Hagar, Suzi Quatro, Air Supply, Inner Circle, Alice Cooper…….In 2001 Abigroup absorbed ITC completely and Andrew departed to establish Andrew McManus Presents Pty Ltd (AMP).

It was during this time period that McManus et al established the touring group that ran under the name of World Wrestling All-Stars, which looks to closely resemble the gameplan for ImpactFC. The WWA promotion was built around taking stars from the defunct WCW and ECW promotions and using their name value to runs shows in international markets that were under-served. In looking at the talent roster for the upcoming ImpactFC, they seem to be going this route, with the three cards rife with former UFC and Pride talent that may not be at an elite level currently but still garner some name recognition. Take a look at the upcoming cards to see this strategy:

July 3rd – Perth:
– Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs. Jeremy May
– Ricco Rodriguez vs. Brad Morris
– Jeff Monson vs. Jim Yorke
– Paulo Filho vs. John Kolosci
– Paul Daley vs. TBA

July 10th – Brisbane:
– Josh Barnett vs. Geronimo Dos Santos
– Carlos Newton vs. Brian Ebersole
– Karo Parisyan vs. Luis Dutra Jr.
– Jeff Monson vs. Bira Lima
– Paulo Filho vs. Keith Johnson

July 18th – Sydney:
– Ken Shamrock vs. Pedro Rizzo
– Jeff Monson vs. Ricco Rodriguez
– Murilo Bustamante vs. Jesse Taylor
– Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Joaquim Ferreira
– Paulo Filho vs. Denis Kang

The WWA started off with a tour mainly in Australia but later did tours of the UK and mainland Europe. This may be a viable option for Impact as well. The UFC did a large gate in the UFC 110 show, but Aussie shows look to be something that will be done on an irregular basis as Zuffa plants its’ flag in other international markets. With the UFC possibly only doing an annual or semi-annual show, Impact is most likely looking to fill the void in Oz. There may also be other overseas opportunities for ImpactFC. The last time that the UK hosted a UFC show was at UFC 105 in November of 2009. The paucity of cards has been due to the UFC UK division focusing on other international efforts in Germany, Australia and Abu Dhabi. That means seven months without a UFC card and with nothing on the horizon for the summer it looks like it may be Fall before the UK hosts another major UFC card. Impact may look to fill this void, and having talent like Paul Daley on the roster would be a means to this end. Pick up a couple of name UK guys like Al-Turk, James Thompson, Tom Kong Watson…add in a few of the guys they are using on these Aussie shows and you have a Cage Rage-ish type show that might have some appeal for UK audiences.

McManus and company will serve as the logistics, production, and connections guy that will be needed for liftoff in the Aussie market. Through his years promoting music in the market, he has the needed contacts with venues, print media, and television folks to make sure that the event gets traction. Bitetti Combat vet Tom Huggins as been brought in to serve as the MMA man who handle the matchmaking and MMA-specific moves for the company. Huggins will also serve as a point man for the Brazil market, which ImpactFC will look to run a show in if the initial shows in Oz go well.

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One Response to The Money Man Behind ImpactFC

  1. Pingback: Is Andrew McManus the money man behind ImpactFC in Australia? | FightOpinion.com – Your Global Connection to the Fight Industry.

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