I did a quick Q&A session with Sven Bean the promoter of Ring of Fire; he has the top show in the Midwest in my opinion and also a lot of great fighters on his show. Bruce Hoyer: How did you get started in MMA?
Sven Bean: I was a fighter first, but already in my thirties with a successful business.After a serious snowboard injury ended my fight career (shattered wrist) I turned to promoting as a way to stay in the game.
BH: When did you start Ring of Fire?
SB: March of 2000 was the first show, but I started the company in 1999.
BH: Are a majority of your shows held in Colorado?
SB: Yes, but we have held shows in Nebraska, Wisconsin, and also just started ROF Europe based in Belgrade, Serbia.
BH: Who are some of the big names that have come out of the ROF?
SB: Duane Ludwig, Pete Spratt, Mike Nickels, Alvin Robinson, to name a few. But as far as fighters who have fought for me the list is long.. Diego Sanchez first pro fight was on ROF. Joe Stevenson, Marcus Davis, Carlos Condit, etc all stopped through ROF on the way up.
BH: Being one of the top organizations in the Midwest, what do you feel sets your promotion apart from the others?
SB: None of the other shows have Sven BOOGIE Bean..LOL.. I think that my show has a solid history, and after seven years I have the show down pat. I am still passionate about the fights and seem to mix good business sense with knowledge of the industry to produce quality events. I am still a fan and always think “would I want to see that fight?” and the answer is always yes.
BH: You recently switched from a ring to a cage why?
SB: I switched to full MMA format (from both K-1 rules and MMA on the card) as well, and the cage is more associated with MMA. I took a poll after the last event and the fans like the cage better by a large margin.
BH: When signing a fighter what do you look for?
SB: Raw Talent, Work ethic, and marketability. Also they have to know how to dance. They don’t call me Boogie for nothing. LOL. The talent pool for MMA grows every day, and there is an abundance of young, very talented fighters. I am always looking for something that makes them stand out from the crowd.
BH: How many people did you have at your last show?
SB: Over 4000, which was decent as we were going head to head with a majorCollege football game just down the road. The previous two events this yearhad 5000 +. I hope to exceeed that number for December.
BH: How did the last show go?
SB: Very well. Great fights, good crowd, and no real drama behind the scenes. I was very pleased.
BH: Your next event headliner is Rob McDonald Vs. Elliot Marshall tell us about the fight?
SB: I have a few other Super Fights that will really pop as well, but that fight will be for the 205 championship. I Think it is a good match in styles and should be a great technical ground war.
BH: What do you have planned next?
SB: Leaving to Vegas to go watch the UFC and cheer on ROF vet Leonard Garcia.
BH: We spoke for a little bit this weekend and you mention that big things are happening for ROF, care to let us in?
SB: mums the word. sorry.
BH: Now the hard questions. What do you like better, ho-hos or twinkies?
SB: Ding Dongs.
BH: Toilet paper or buday?
SB: Here in America TP, when in Japan, buday all the way.
BH: Christina or Brittney?
SB: Neither. Take Jessica Simspon, Jessica Alba, Shakira, Halle Berry, and Jennifer Lopez. Throw in a little Pink for attitude. Shake well, and you have my girl. Oh yeah, except she should be Asian. I guess the right answer is: my wife.