Campbell McLaren is a rational thinker, but he’s almost very optimistic.
The Combate Americas CEO certainly isn’t new to the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). McLaren is the co-creator of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). His vision was to make the promotion more of a spectacle. Today, the UFC has never been bigger.
Campbell McLaren made waves when he became the CEO of the first Hispanic MMA sports and media franchise. Combate Americas has busted down the doors for MMA to thrive in Latin America. Speaking with MMANews.com’s very own Tim Thompson, McLaren said he is happy with the success the promotion has garnered so far:
“(We’re) laying out the schedule for the rest of the year for Azteca America and plotting our takeover of Latin America (laughs). We’ve done exceptionally well in Mexico since the launch last month and I’m happy to say we are doing something like four times the ratings that the UFC does on TV in Mexico. So, all good and Combate has grown quickly. Quite frankly, we’re very far ahead of schedule. I didn’t except to be moving into Latin America as quickly as we did, but we did a great deal with ESPN and of course with (Azteca) TV.”
While the UFC continues to grow, McLaren believes the promotion’s group of fans are well established. He said Combate Americas is trying to bring in people who have heard of MMA, but have distanced themselves from the sport for whatever reason.
“We’re attracting a whole new group to the sport. I think that UFC fans will definitely like Combate and we’re on Fight Pass and I get great feedback from UFC fans. But I think there’s a whole group of people that have heard of MMA and heard of the UFC, but have really tuned in. And I think our place is to open up this new generation of fans and attract them to the sport.”
As for the two other big named promotions, Bellator and World Series of Fighting, McLaren didn’t hold back his feelings.
“I jokingly said about Bellator and the World Series of Fighting, Bellator is the retirement home of the UFC, and it is, and World Series of Fighting is like the guys who got expelled from UFC high school. And I like the World Series of Fighting. When I criticized other fight organizations, I made fun of Bellator like that, I’m not knocking the fighters. I respect every fighter. When I knock Bellator, I’m knocking the management.”
Plenty of more topics were discussed including the release of John Castaneda. McLaren got heated when talking about the situation and blasted someone in Castaneda’s camp. You don’t want to miss how this one ends.
Check our full interview with Campbell McLaren below: