Shamrock FC has been a tremendous feeder promotion for the biggest organizations in mixed martial arts. With MMA mainstay Jesse Finney at the helm, things are always moving forward. Next year, the company will have another full schedule, but there are some additional big plans on the horizon.
“We have 13 [events] on the book for next year, and we’re trying to expand into one or two other cities as well,” Finney told Combat Press. “We won’t know that until November of this year. We’ve got our TV deal, and it’s going well. We will be in 130 million homes. We’ve got our deal with FloCombat for our live events. We’re going over 20 years now, and we’re just cranking away. Things are great.”
Shamrock FC has television partners such as NBC Sports and Oceans 7, as well as the aforementioned streaming capabilities through FloCombat, which can be used with Roku, Apple TV 4 and all mobile platforms. The 13 shows in 2019 will all be in Missouri — either in Kansas City or St. Louis — and further expansion is expected in 2020.
“My goal is to get into the Colorado market, and other markets would be Chicago and the Cincinnati-Louisville area,” said Finney. “With our ratings, we’ve almost doubled our viewership in one year. We went from 50 million to 100 million. We just picked up Atlanta. We picked up Philadelphia. Those are major markets. When we’re done, it’s going to be 24 shows. Do I think it’s going to be 24 in 2019? No. Do I think it’s going to be 24 in 2020? Yes. It will basically be a show every other week, and we’ll bounce between four or five cities.”
The promotion’s next event takes place on Saturday night in Kansas City. Shamrock FC 310 features one of the promotion’s top prospects to date. That’s saying a lot for a group that has already sent future champions into both the UFC and Bellator.
“Our next show is October 13th, and Johnny Eblen is the main event on that card,” Finney said. “I think he’s the top talent on our roster right now. He’s a [middleweight] who wrestled at [the University of Missouri]. We got Michael Chandler his first professional fight. We got Tyron Woodley his first professional fight. And, I’ll tell you, Johnny Eblen is right on those guys’ levels. He really is. He’s down at [American Top Team] in Florida, and he’s the next superstar to come out of Mizzou. He’s probably meaner than both of those guys. He’s violent. He’s got a tough task ahead of him, and we’ll see where he’s going to go, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the UFC or Bellator by this time next year.”
In addition to the monthly shows, such as the one taking place this weekend, Shamrock FC also holds its annual fundraiser in November, dubbed “Guns and Hoses,” which benefits firefighters. Last year, the event raised $700,000 from one show. In addition, the company also has a deal with Bellator.
“Our champions will receive a four-fight contract into Bellator, and we’ll keep that for next year as well,” Finney explained. “I mean, until [Bellator President] Scott Coker decides to leave Bellator, or something like that — I’ve been with Scott for many years, and I will always be with Scott, so we’ll keep that going. Things are really good on that front. We have given those guys some stars, and Johnny Eblen is that next star. He’s it, man. He’s the real deal.”
Fans can tune in tomorrow night to see Eblen in action at Shamrock FC 310. Big things are happening. The promotion is expanding, and, as always, great fights are to be had with a lot of up-and-comers out to stake their claim.