I am going to be using this blog space to share lots of stuff with you all and I’ll open it up to the rest of the staff here at 247 FC as well, but to start things off, there’s something that needs to be done.
Well where do I start? There were so many people… like a ridiculous amount of people, that took time and energy away from their families, away from their busy lives, to help to make Steeltown Throwdown such an amazingly successful first event for 247 Fighting Championships.
There were so many unsung heroes that it is almost hard to name them all. But I am going to try, regardless.
The Leadership Team – 247 FC
Now, everyone loves coming to the shows, but there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes that almost nobody knows about. I have to tell you, I have a real gem in Liam Morris, 247 FC’s Matchmaker. He took on the most difficult role with a mountain to climb and just kept plugging away. Kept churning. He’s a beast. The perfect partner in crime.
Jim Mooney has been along for the long haul. We’ve been MMA buddies for about 10 years now and he’s been the guy that has always been by my side. We’ve shared our dreams and he’s always been there to help do whatever he can to make my dreams happen. In addition to his role with 247 Fighting Championships, he’s taken over and re-birthed the podcast, along with Luke Payson, MMA Fancast, and its amazing to see.
Brian Smith, my brother in law, man, we’ve been through some stuff together. It’s great to see him excelling in everything now… mostly thanks to his woman who finally got that kid focused! One of the smartest dudes I know and I’m so excited to have him as a part of this team.
The Volunteers and Slightly Paid
A cage and trailer for the cage were bought for 247 FC, but now we had to go pick it up and load it up. I could not have been more proud of my son, Austin Middleton, for his hard work, as the two of us loaded the entire cage and all components into the trailer ourselves.
Special thanks to Reed Pirain, who drove out to Altoona with me in a 3/4 ton truck when my 1/2 ton truck couldn’t do the job (I’m pretty sure I’m getting harassed by that by him for the rest of my life).
So, this cage was bought but we had never put it together before. 2 weeks before 247 FC’s debut event, we got a team of guys together on March 22nd and Printscape Arena let us do a mock setup. We were limited with time so we got the cage up but not the catwalk or lighting tresses.
Jim Mooney, Brian Smith, Jesse Acton, Stan Drutis, Steve Polombine and I got as much set up and understood as possible in preparation for the debut event for 247 Fighting Championships. I am so thankful for those guys!
The set up team arrived at 7PM on Friday night at Printscape Arena. This was the beginning of a very, very tough night. We had 5 no-shows that were supposed to help setup. So we only had half the crew we were expecting. Jim, Jesse, Brian, Steve and I were there at 7, Jake Slinger joined shortly after, and Stan had a kid with a medical issue so he wasn’t able to be there… until he did show up to help at 2AM! He stayed until the crew left at 4AM! So awesome.
So figuring out the catwalk and lighting tresses was a nightmare. Never having put them together before, it was a bunch of trial and error until it was all figured out and assembled at 4AM.
There was still a ton of setting up to do and the crew was back at it at noon. Tear down ended around 1:30 or so.
This was a tremendous amount of work and we were so fortunate to have some awesome guys stick around to help teardown for 247 FC. Matt Sadowski and a group of guys from Morgantown that came up and helped work the show and helped tear down as well. Jermaine Moye, Travis Cowles and Tony Terradillas… thank you guys so much, you are lifesavers! Also big thank you to Rich Dixon, who oversaw the balcony security duty all night!
Thanks to Dan Altieri, Bill Harmon and Matthew Lucas for pitching in significantly. I know that I am leaving people off of here, that makes me the worst person ever. But I really do appreciate everyone!
Bubba Snider handled the play by play like the true professional that he is.
Concessions was planned and prepared by Tania Hellmann and Denise Middleton. Tania ran concession on fight night and Denise ran admissions. Tania oversaw an absolutely amazing team of Jen Mooney, Paige Hoban, Brenda Holt, Fawndessa Evanick, Monica Craig, and Paige Lubold. Denise worked admission with Shannon Berti, who kept her commitment to help even though she was not feeling well at all (you’re the best!).
Jennifer Finnell sang the national anthem. What a beautiful and amazing voice! She killed it!
Michele Kennell, you are awesome and I would love to have you continue to get shots for us! I’ll have a better plan for the July card if you are willing to do photography again for 247 FC!
And what can I say about Cody Sabol? This guy is one of the most talented human beings I know and is a star. I am so excited seeing his career take off and honored for him to be a part of 247 Fighting Championships, he is becoming more and more famous every day. If you haven’t yet, check out his IG.
The Hired Hands
We had a lot of help to do all of the things that we needed to do to make 247 FC the promotion we want it to be. The awesome promo videos were created by Fighting Chance Video Production. If case you haven’t seen them, check them out here. Domenic Porcari and his team are amazing, the hardest working group you could have.
Cut N’ Run Studios and Jordan McMillan took care of the video production for Steeltown Throwdown. They did a great job and we’ll continue to get better!
DJ Jack Millz took care of the DJ’ing. 247 FC and Steeltown Throwdown was his first MMA event and we look forward to making the next show something amazing!
We had a last minute ring girl cancellation and were so thrilled that Crystal Williams stepped up on short notice for both the weigh ins and fight night. Thank you Crystal!
Robert Craig had oversight over security and did a great job for 247 FC. We look forward to Robert continuing that role!
Drew Shannon is 247 Fighting Championship’s amazing ring announcer. Luke Payson did a fantastic job on the livestream with Bubba and with the in-cage interviews.
Printscape Arena is an excellent venue for 247FC and the people there are amazing to work with. Cody Skraitz and Zach Branovan are top notch guys.
The Fighters and Coaches – 247 FC
Then there are the fighters. Khama, you know how much you mean to me and 247 Fighting Championships. Ethan, great to see you get a big W and also get punched really hard :-). Brett, you showed a lot of heart. Tre, I am so excited to see you again and so is Dominique (she better be there next time). Adam, great win, we’ll get our act together next time. Alan, you have so much potential I am excited to see you fight when you aren’t feeling terrible. Rob, you’ll have more chances, it’s a journey and you should enjoy it.
For our blue corner fighters – Joey, you are a warrior and proved yourself big time. Elijah, thank you for punching Ethan really hard and we’d love to have you back. Dustin, class act, great win, would love to have you back at 247 Fighting Championships as well!
To the great group of WNY MMA and Fitness fighters, thank you! Jake, you showed true determination and grit after a really tough first round for you. Jamie, thanks for hyping your fight and for an awesome performance, Derrick you looked great in there even in a loss. Pat, that was a really impressive wrestling performance from someone who calls that his weakness. You all are welcome back at 247 Fighting Championships.
Coaches – you guys are all awesome and did a great job. Mike Wilkins, you’re a beast, keep investing in the younger guys. Mark, it was great getting to know you better. Mike Dub, thanks for filling out the entire blue side of our Ammy card. I am still mad at you that I see your face every time I hear Lady Gaga “Shallow”.
I could not be more appreciative of the financial support that we received. Ken Sinagra is fully committed to Pittsburgh MMA. Seriously, this guy is the real deal. Fighters, coaches, fans… give this guy your business. He is a big reason why I was in the financial position to be able to start 247 FC – because I started investing with him 10 years ago and he is a wealth creator!
Legacy Remodeling and Jeff Moeslein have been amazing. So amazing that since they became a sponsor, they have also hired me to join the staff at Legacy. So I am only extremely biased when I say that Legacy Remodeling is the ONLY place you should even consider for your home projects, including windows, doors, siding, roofs, kitchens and bathrooms. Thanks for partnering with 247 FC!
Crossfit Mayview is such a great sponsor for 247 FC, they have a family environment and are so encouraging. BJ Boering is fantastic and runs a great gym! Chris Worstell of Applied Valuation Services is an amazing and generous man and a great friend.
Promark is a Cincinnati based company that just opened an office in Pittsburgh, they provide HR services to organizations to include outplacement, career management, executive coaching and leadership development services. Bill Harmon is the guy you want to talk to. He’s also an amazing guy and a valued sponsor of 247 Fighting Championships!
Remembered Roots is a great, new local business in the South Hills of Pittsburgh providing gravesite care and historical research. They do fantastic work and really help you to honor the loved ones that are no longer with us. Contact them this Memorial Day to honor your loved ones.
You are all a part of something special. We are just starting and I can’t wait to see how God continues to work in 247 FC!