Exclusive Interview with Cage Contender promoter John Ferguson

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SevereMMA.com: For fans who have never attended a Cage Contender event, what seperates you from the other organisations?

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John Ferguson: In my opinion it is the overall entertainment and value for money that we achieve. Simply put, we give the fans who after all are our customers what they want, high octane meaningful fights in a great venue at a price that represents massive value for money. There are tickets from as little as 30 quid so that anyone can come and enjoy what we do.

It must be working because we get around 3000 to our events now which shows the continued demand for what we do!

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SevereMMA.com: Cage Contender is teaming up with the MMA league to do a “TUF” style Fight Night event, can you elaborate on this?

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John Ferguson: It’s important that we support the sport from the ground up. We have always followed what Mark Leonard and his team at the league do and I see at as a massive part of MMA in Ireland.

The idea is that the first and second place finishers in each league section will face off in a fight night. We have arranged  a film crew that will be following the league all year and producing a documentary on grass roots MMA in Ireland.

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SevereMMA.com: Cage Contender events have been airing via tape delay on Setanta Sports in the UK & Ireland, Will this deal continue into 2012 and are there any plans for Live TV?

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John Ferguson: We have a great working relationship with Setanta and that will continue throughout Season 3.

For us a massive requirement of our deal for 2012 was shelf space and free to air no pay coverage. We will be continuing with tape delay but will be broadcasting more episodes by splitting up the fights. There will be a prelim show aired a few days before the main event show, then the main event show will go out plus some CCExtra shows too. When we add these together with our FanZone programme it means we will be broadcasting over 21 separate episodes in 2012, many on a free to air basis. They will all be repeated at least once which means Cage Contender will have a minimum of 42 TV broadcasts in Ireland alone.

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SevereMMA.com: You recently announced that a number of UFC veterans have been signed to Cage Contender, and that Champion Cathal ‘The Punisher’ Pendred (9-2-1) will face Chris ‘The Westside Strangler’ Brennan (19-13-1). Any other matchups you would like to reveal?

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John Ferguson: This fight has been postponed due to Cathal being injured, there will be a full announcement in regards to replacements etc soon.

But I can confirm that international grappling wizard Gunnar Nelson will be making his return to the Cage Contender octagon at this event!

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SevereMMA.com: Cage Contender is planning a big 2012, what are you going to do differently than in previous years?

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John Ferguson: We are changing and tightening up some procedures within our own business. We made a few mistakes in 2011 that I never want to see repeated. We always put the fighters first and mistakes that hamper this cannot and will not be tolerated.

From a fans point of view they will see alot more of Cage Contender on TV and we will have much more fan interaction too.

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SevereMMA.com: I hear Cage Contender are adding ‘Fight Night’ bonuses in 2012, do you think this will improve the fights and make fighters less likely to “lay and pray”?

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John Ferguson: We will see soon I guess!! We took the decision really to ad some more chances for fighters to earn extra money at CC.

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SevereMMA.com: Anything else you would like to add?

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John Ferguson: I would just like to wish everyone a Merry Xmas and thank them for their support, it means alot to us and we do appreciate it

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SevereMMA.com: Thanks to John Ferguson for taking the time to do this interview!

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The next Cage Contender event takes place in Dublin, Ireland on the 25th February 2012. Details can be found here and you can buy your ticket here!

Owner/Editor of SevereMMA.com. Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.