Combat Vision MMA spoke to Wolfpack MMA fighter and Golden Ticket Fight Promotions matchmaker Dan “Pork Chop” Cassell and conducted a Q&A interview. Dan’s professional MMA record is (2-2-1)
Could you tell our readers about Golden Ticket Fight Promotions and how you got involved with the promotion.
“Even though our first show wasn’t until September 2015, Golden Ticket Promotions goes back to late 2014. Sounds like a bit of a sob story. But, my Dad was unemployed, he had tried various routes to get him back into employment, but for one reason or another whether it was misfortune or down to physical capabilities caused by a broken back 15 years ago things didn’t work out”
“Following a successful winning streak in my fighting career, my Dad was showing more and more interest in MMA and had declared that he wanted to put on an event that would help other Midlands fighters grow without having to travel around the country like I had been doing. I thought with my contacts within the sport and my experience of what makes a show good and what makes it bad, we could make this work. We hosted Golden Ticket Fight Night – ONE in September 2015 and many well-respected people within the UK MMA community still describe it as the BEST first show that they had ever been to!”
You are the matchmaker for Golden Ticket Fight Promotions. Could you tell us about the process of making fights happen and any inside knowledge with what you look for in fighters when putting a fight together.
“Yeah in June 2016 I made a decision to step down from all hands on deck with the show production and organization. I work full time and my fight career was taking a bit of abuse due to just being too busy all of the time. I decided that my passion was just to matchmake alongside my own fighting and in came long time friend Guy Mumford to take the reins and some stress off me. Since then, the show has gone from strength to strength”
“I believe I have an eye for a good fight. If I can’t attend, I watch most fights on the domestic UK shows that most people haven’t heard of. The UK MMA scene at the moment is a real hotbed of talent. There are some future UFC champions in the UK amateur ranks at the moment. I think keeping on top of the local and domestic fight scene gives you a huge advantage when matching fights. The key things I look for in a fighter is that they are working hard, have a good team behind them. But, most importantly that they are genuine.
Do you think being a fighter yourself, gives you an added edge when it comes to making fights.
“Yes, I think it does give me the edge. I have a lot of mutual respect with the fighters I put forward to fight on the show and I believe that’s because they know, I understand the process of what they are going through for 8 – 10 weeks from the moment they are matched, to the moment they step in the cage and fight their hearts out.
Any fighter I ever match normally has had a bad experience of some sort on a previous show. Nine times out of ten the circumstances are caused by a promoter/matchmaker that has never walked the walk themselves. A lot of fighters that I have had on the card in the past, present and near future have a good working relationship with me”
“I train with or help with sparring rounds with a lot of the guys. I feel it is only going to help them perform better come fight night. The fighter experience is the most important thing for me personally. I know how I like to be treated throughout the process and I try to treat everybody in the same manner. I believe that goes a long way in this sport”
Has there been a fight past or present that you have put together that you are most excited about.
“My Favourite ever GTFP fight has to be Jake Constantinou vs Louis Glismann. If you ever get 20 mins spare check that fight out, you won’t be disappointed. Both guys are tough as nails and gave it their all, I have nothing but respect for them. I am glad to say Louis will be returning for the next show, watch out for his fight announcement”
“There’s nothing more frustrating than putting together a fight that is excellently matched in terms of levels and experience for one guy to get injured two weeks out. For that reason, I try not to look forward to the fights too much until they happen. If I have to pick a fight of the night for GTFP6 I would say it has got Creighton vs Garry wrote all over it. Both guys are awesome, they are tougher than old boots and theirs championship gold on the line! Also, watch out for Jones VS O`Brien and Tolley vs Mcnally, two examples of what Amateur UK MMA has to offer”