As I arrived in Kansas City, I was greeted by Travis Crall, founder of the Elite Fight League. The trio masterminding the EFL consists of Travis Crall, Bryan Stevenson, and Shawn Ricks. They all bring distinct aspects to their equation for success. In our thirty-minute ride to Independence, we discussed the goals Travis and his partners have for the EFL.
When we arrived in Independence, we took a tour of Bryan’s SUPER FIGHT GYM. I capitalized the letters on purpose, folks. This gym has everything from traditional martial arts and weapons to MMA and massage. While we were there, I had the chance to check out the fi ght cage. This cage was enormous. Most rings or cages I see are about the size of a guest bedroom in your house. This cage was comparable to the one found in the WEC. I couldn’t wait for the fi ghts the next night.
At weigh-in the night before the fight, I checked out all the fighters (from a coaches point of view – don’t get any funny ideas). Most of the fighters were in great fighting shape. This told me I was in store for some great fights.
Shawn Ricks, my official tour guide and a super awesome guy, picked me up and we headed to help set up for the night’s fights. He’s more the PR person for the EFL. The venue could seat around 2,000 people, and the layout was nice. The lighting/production crew was huge, as if I were at a WEC or UFC event. They had robotic cameras and a computer setup like you would find on the deck of the Starship Enterprise. I could not wait for the fights to start.
Now for the fun! Everything went off without a hitch. The matchmaking was great, the fights were exciting, and the crowd was off the hook! I even had the opportunity to address the crowd, and it was so loud I could barely hear myself speak. I got so caught up in the crowd’s energy that I swear I started to sound like Mean Gene Okerlund back in the days of the World Wrestling Federation. At intermission, fans were still lined up to get in. The place was standing room only. It was well worth the trip.
If you are ever near Independence, Missouri, make sure to find out if the Elite Fight League is holding an event. It will be one of the most exciting events you will ever experience. I give it two thumbs and two big toes up. I am looking forward to going back in May to watch their next fight card.
Finally, look out for a light heavyweight by the name of Michael Smalley. I expect to see great things from this monster. “