If you stay covering combat sports for a decade, then two, or more, it's interesting, you might be thinking that surely you've seen it all.
But no, combat sports continues to conjure up new situations, present new wrinkles, that you didn't see coming.
The August 22 fight card from Thailand, for example, which featured an MMA bout between a super-heavyweight and middleweight, two bare-knuckle fights with head butts allowed and handicap match, two smaller guys versus one big dude, I hadn't seen such a collection of scraps in one place. All streaming for your viewing pleasure on CamSoda, an “adult entertainment” webcam platform.
The organizers sent out a press release, which alerted me that the event would be free to watch and streamed at fightcircus.com. I didn't watch the affair, but I remained curious, because to me, the presentation of such a production, on such a platform, made clear what a brand new world we are living in. No, I don't expect the larger boxing promoters to start offering content on adult sites, but to summarily dismiss this pairing reflexively isn't wise.
The release related to me that “Fight Circus is the spiritual successor to CamSoda Legends, the webcam platform's first foray into the fight world in 2018 with a mixed martial arts card headlined by former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez. The event was the first time fans were able to directly interact with fighters in real-time, giving them the ability to determine bonus money and provide extra incentive for the fighters as they watched on the livestream.”
To satisfy my curiosity, I sent some questions, top CamSoda VP Daryn Parker.
Q) I'm not familiar with CamSoda. Could you tell people what CamSoda is, how it was conceived and inform people who are not aware about the structure of the business?
A) CamSoda is a live streaming platform focused on mobile first, ease of use, and primarily used for adult cams. It was conceived with the rise of social and adult tubes to help models build their own brands and to protect them from pirated content on tube sites. Being a technology focused company, we focus on ease of use, speed, and real-time communications. We have been working to expand the platform and have had comedy shows, fights, cooking and fitness training.
Q) Tell us about you, please, how you got into this business, some info on your path to where you are today?
A) We have been involved with the adult internet since 1998. One of our partners is Icey Mike Imber, known as Kimbo Slice's friend and manager. We all train MMA and have a love for the sport. With that in mind and with our connections and experience on the web, we found this to be an excellent fit for our lifestyle and demographics.
Q) This is an “interesting” mashup—adult entertainment, and combat sports. Maybe it's not weird, maybe it makes perfect sense. Can you tell readers who thought that presenting a fight card on this platform would be good for business, and how the deal came together?
A) We have long time experience with adult entertainment and the fight game. We launched Kimbo Slice's career on SublimeDirectory.com in 2005. Adult entertainment has a young male demographic of 18-45+ which overlaps perfectly with MMA. Things have become too standardized and too repetitive, people always hanker for the glory days of the first UFC and the mythical days of the colosseum. With everyone locked down at home due to COVID, we found some great partners with good ideas for exciting events that can provide the most entertaining fight card in the world right now.
Q) So, how did the second ever fight card presented by you go? What were the highlights, for you?
A) Well it went off like a rocket. We are just getting our feet wet with the mixed matches. The female lethwei 9 limbs fight (punches, elbows, kicks, knees and head-butts) had super tough women fighting through pain and showing their determination and will. The male vs female grappling match was a great battle with a surprise submission! The 2-on-1 was exciting and unorthodox with an encore round which has never been seen before in the sport! The kicks only fight could have only been improved by adding the karate kid to it! Overall it was a resounding success!
Q) I was told that in the first event, it was the first time “fans were able to directly interact with fighters in real-time, giving them the ability to determine bonus money and provide extra incentive for the fighters as they watched on the livestream.” Was that element available this time?
A) 100%. Users tipped to their pick of fighter throughout the individual fights. We issued out thousands in bonuses for those chosen.
Q) Moving forward, what are plans for more combat sport coverage?
A) We have a long list of interesting ideas that have been presented on MMA forums and by our users. We are looking to put another fight card together for November.
Q) What have you learned about the combat sport business to this point, and the similarities and differences in fight sports and “adult entertainment?”
A) The demographics are very similar, and people are just looking to be entertained!