John Kavanagh, the SBG Ireland head coach has announced a return of his promotion, Euro Fight Night (EFN). The promotion returns after a six year absence.
The big talking point is a light heavyweight 4 or 8 man tournament which is due to take place in Manchester on October 19th. The winner is guaranteed a multi fight contract with Bellator.
“I started a fight series in 2013,” Kavanagh told Ariel Helwani on ESPN. “I ran my first one in September 2013. I had done them years and years ago, then got back into it in 2013. I thought I would do a few and it just never happened for one reason or another.
“Its called Euro Fight Night (EFN). Euro Fight Night 2, six years later, will be on October in Manchester in the UK. So I’m dabbling my toes back in promotion again.”
Kavanagh then explains why he is excited about the promotion.
“I’m excited that we have a couple of really good partnerships with it. I think most exciting of all is that we are going to do a tournament on the night. With the winner getting a multi fight deal with Bellator. I think this is pretty cool.”
The tournament as yet has not been confirmed for numbers, however Kavanagh has said he already has a few fighters interested. The weight class will be 205lbs division.
“We looked out for exciting up and coming pro’s, five fights or less.” He said.
“Over the years, nobody has really had a defined path to get to the big shows, whether that be UFC, Bellator or ONE FC. (I want) something where you can make a career out of fighting.
“There are a lot of good UK based shows but the pay is such that you can’t make a living off it. That’s why we came up with trying to come over here (U.S) to get on the big shows. But there’s not really a defined way? Do you win ten fights? Do you have to be loud on social media? Do you have to know somebody? Do you have to be in the right gym?
“So that’s why I actually got back into this. I had this opportunity to offer a multi fight deal with Bellator as the prize, that made it worthwhile then. Made it exciting.
“I actually picked a weight class I have nobody in, so it won’t be anybody from my gym that gets it. Picking local UK guys. We already have four, it might turn into a an eight man tournament, which would be very cool.”
Kavanagh the added that there will be an opportunity for amateur fighters too.
“(The tournament) will be supported by a big amateur under card and if it goes well then we will be looking at between four and eight shows in 2020. So it’s going to be an interesting project.”
It seems the plan for the tournament will be for it to conclude on the one night.
“The idea would be to kinda do what Invicta do with their eight women tournament. One round then a regular fight, so at most you’re not going more than five rounds.
“A lot of guys we have selected for 205, most haven’t got out the first round, they are big hitters. I think they will be quite quick fights. Then you know, to go through an eight man tournament, pick up injuries, it’s tough but that’s the kind of resilience we want to see in somebody before they go to a big show, to see if they are ready for that kind of level.”
“So I hope, whoever wins, they know they have a secure contract with Bellator, got good money over the next twelve months of fighting. They are welcome to come over and train with me, they have access to my gym, I can offer them support. Make them a bit of a star.”
Kavanagh believes that the Bellator contract will be what separates EFN from other UK based promotions.
“We’re not suggesting to get to the big show, some shows are like, ‘you become the champion, you might get into whatever show.’ This is a definite, you are getting a contract on the night.
“You win the tournament, you’re a Bellator fighter!”