20 Questions With Terry Trebilcock
So, after what seemed like forever, I was finally able to get some time to sit down with King Of The Cage owner and president, Terry Trebilcock. Terry told me I could meet up with him at the 24 Hour Fitness and do the interview while he worked out at 11:30 PM. Well, we got there and I was denied a visitors/guess pass by the girl (Vanessa) at the front desk. Seriously, I could not go in to stand next to him while he was on the treadmill and hold my tape recorder for 15 minutes. Anyway, we had to leave the premises to do the interview, so we sat outside in what had to be 30 degrees and I read off the questions that you, the fans, had for Terry….
ML: Why are fighters required to do ticket sales? (From Pitman)
TT: Fighters are not required to do ticket sales. Fighters have a better ability to come up through the ranks if they create a value around themselves and build a bigger fan base. Without building a bigger fan base, there’s no draw for a fighter. Fighter’s coming up on the under card are required to do ticket sales just as Matt Hughes was required to sell tickets when he fought for Monte Cox, Pat Miletich was required to sell tickets when he fought for Monte Cox, and Jeremy Horn was required to sell tickets. Sean Sherk was on a 50/50 ticket split with Monte Cox for the show, where he worked strictly off of 50% of ticket sales.
People who have a knock against fighters selling tickets, have never run a show that’s made money, or really developed any talent. If they believe that’s not the way it works, it’s absolutely the way it works. All of the top guys in the world have done it. I could go through every top guy in the world… Tim Sylvia sold tickets in his home town, Pat Miletich sold tickets in the Quad Cities. When they fight in their home town and they’re a big draw in their home town, it’s their way of making more money, than if they were to fight somewhere else on the road. Friends and family want to come and watch them fight. If they do well and perform well, they build themselves into a bigger star and create a bigger fan base, and when they go and fight internationally or on the road for King Of The Cage, they get seen on pay-per-view and develop a bigger fan base.
Mike Tyson, made the kind of money he made, because he put asses in the seats and people bought the pay-per-view. The reason people knew him was because people spent millions of dollars to brand his name, but he fought an awful lot of rounds for $100 a round coming up. It doesn’t matter how good of a fighter you are, if you can’t put asses in the seats and you can’t make a definite increase in pay-per-view buy, then it’s a small entertainment value at that point. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is.
ML: When is King Of The Cage coming to New Jersey? (From ChampionCraft)
TT: King Of The Cage is coming to New Jersey probably in late 2008. We just did an EliteXC show there, and we have a few fighters that fight in the northeast. That’s really the only part of the country that KOTC hasn’t been at this point. We’ve had a license there twice, but just haven’t used it. But plans are somewhere around late ’08.
ML: Will KOTC use another song other than Let The Bodies Hit The Floor? (From Elwoppo5)
TT: KOTC doesn’t use that song at all. Getting ready for the show to start, the DJ tends to use it as a que to get people/fighters in line for the show to start. Once King Of The Cage starts, we play all of our own music. KOTC owns 53 different tracks such as Beatdown and several other tracks for individual fighters that they own outright and exclusively. And that’s what you’ll hear during King Of The Cage shows.
Any other song usually runs eight to fifteen thousand dollars to be played on television, and since most of the King Of The Cage fights will at sometime be on TV somewhere in the world, if not just the US, we play the music that we own. Otherwise you pay huge licensing fees for that.
ML: Why can’t fighters pick their own entrance music? (From Elwoppo5)
TT: On the average, it’s about eight to twelve thousand dollars per show to use that kind of music. If we use that, then they want separate video and DVD rights, then the license expires in three years, and if the fight turned out to be a great fight, you have to pay again for a licensing fee. One song over a five year period could easily run twenty to thirty thousand dollars.
ML: Does King Of The Cage have any plans to include amateur fights or amateur divisions to future shows? (From Journal)
TT: Yes. On the under cards we’re considering running amateur fights and considering running the amateur nationals. We’re running a test in Michigan on February 22nd to have an amateur under card on the fights. We’ll still continue to be all pro fights, with six or eight pro fights on a card, but we might increase and have four or five amateur fights on the under card. With King OF The Cage you get bonus fights. Most shows you get eight to ten fights, but with King Of The cage, you get twelve to fifteen, sometimes even more.
ML: With Pro-Elite being the new owner of King Of The Cage, what kind of new experiences can the fans expect in 2008? (From Tennessee17)
TT: You can expect to see bigger funding in King Of The Cage. But you’d also expect to see the Showtime show look a lot more like King Of The Cage. If it’s sharp enough to take the successful model of King Of The Cage and use the platform of Showtime to expand the fan base and to expand the exposure of King Of The Cage, we’ll continue to be the second most successful promotion in the world.
ML: Does King Of The Cage have any plans on holding any live events in the Southeastern US? (From Tennessee17)
TT: Yes. We’ll be in Greenville, Mississippi on May 17th at Harlow’s Casino. We will also run a fight in Florida later in this year.
ML: What is the status on Krazy Horse? (From KOTC_FAN)
TT: Krazy Horse is day to day at any given moment. We’ll know a lot more in the next few weeks. He has three court appearances between now and February 15th He and his girlfriend have a unique relationship, they like to get it on and take turns having each other arrested. If they can’t get that straight or worked out, he won’t be seeing much TV time in the near future. If he does, and we can get him training, he’ll be back at the top at 155 in no time.
ML: What about Tony Bonello? (From KOTC_FAN)
TT: Bonello may fight on pay-per-view in April against one of the top five 205 pounders in the world. That should be announced in the next couple of weeks.
ML: When will the King Of The Cage Light-Heavyweight title be decided now that it is vacant? (From KOTC_FAN)
TT: We’ll see who rises to the top in that division right now. You have a few guys like Brian Harper who’s stepping up. Once we get two or three fights at 205 and we figure out who the top contenders are, they will probably end up meeting sometime in October or November for the title.
ML: Will King Of The Cage use Pro-Elite fighters? (From Turtlelo)
TT: Yes, and vice versa. We use several of their fighters right now and they use several of ours.
ML: Will we see King Of The Cage in Toronto this year? (From Triple B)
TT: We’re trying. We’d love to do Casino Rama, but they haven’t accepted it yet. The Indian casino is the only possibility of doing something right now as Ontario still considers the sport illegal. So it would have to happen on an Indian reservation. The only reservation in the province that is big enough to hold a King Of The Cage event is Casino Rama, and we have gone back and forth with them with negotiations, trying to get in there. They haven’t said no, they haven’t said yes, but we’re not giving up.
ML: Is there still a relationship between King Of The Cage and Gladiator Challenge? (From Turtlelo)
TT: Yes, we own all of the best footage of Gladiator Challenge. Enough said.
ML: When is your next event in the Inland Empire? (From Cssltx)
TT: March 27th at San Manuel Casino.
ML: Why was there only six fights at the Premier show at San Manuel as opposed to the 20 King Of The Cage would normally have at Soboba? (From Barnofthenakeddead)
TT: The difference between the cards is that we didn’t bring a lot of the less experienced fighters in that are just getting started off. San Manuel wanted to hold a shorter show that was about two and a half hours long, so we decided to put on seven to ten top level fights, which would normally be our main card. We eliminated the under card for San Manuel shows and putting on fights that everyone wants to see.
ML: Will you please run a show in central Illinois as opposed to Rockford? (From Sven)
TT: Funny you asked that. We just had an offer to put on a show in central Illinois today. Ask me again in a couple of weeks and I might have some very good news for you.
ML: What about Pennsylvania? (From GBWskills)
TT: My guess is probably early next year.
ML: When is Thomas Denny going to fight next? (From Slevin6Zer0)
TT: Thomas Denny is tentatively scheduled to fight Thomas Kenney in EliteXC on Showtime on March 22nd. Don’t miss it!
ML: Are we going to see King Of The Cage on TV as opposed to pay-per-view? (From DrSatanDracula)
TT: King Of The Cage is in negotiations with two separate TV channels right now. We chose not to pay to be on TV, but to get paid to get on TV. It held us off TV a little bit longer, but I’m pretty confident that by the end of this year, we’ll have a weekly TV show. After all, we own all of the footage of the top guys in the sport.
ML: What’s it going to take for a smaller organization to sign a big UFC name once his contract expires? (From Pulpfiction)
TT: Usually if their contract expires, it means the UFC chose not to renew them. King Of The Cage doesn’t usually go after the UFC’s fighters. We put out top guys and have top guys fighting for us presently. The last I looked at a list of the top guys in the UFC, they had a better record in the UFC than they did in King Of The Cage. I looked at the Quinton Jackson’s, and the Ricco Rodriguez’, and the Dwayne Ludwig’s and the Diego Sanchez’, and the Joe Stevenson’s, I mean I could get a list and go on and on. But I took the top ten guys that came to my head real quick and I said what’s their record in the UFC? I added them all up then I added up their King Of The Cage records and I realized, if the competition is so great in the UFC, why is their winning percentage higher in the UFC than it was in King Of The Cage.
I guess we have all B level fighters, huh? Our B level fighters sure perform well in the UFC. They won’t give them credit until they’re on national TV but they become an A+ level fighter the day they sign the UFC contract? I don’t buy it. They were always A+ level fighters, because that’s what King Of The Cage produces.
ML: Why is there two different King Of The Cage (Canada/USA)? (From Groo)
TT: Canada is a licensed deal of the United States. It’s basically the same company, but Ken Kupsch licenses the rights to Canada. He also has the ability to air the shows that we shoot around the world in Canada. Footage that is shot in Canada, King Of The Cage Corporate owns for the rest of the world.
ML: Is King Of The Cage a fighter farm for EliteXC? (From paindisher)
TT: I don’t see us being a fighter farm. I see all of the top guys from EliteXC coming from King Of The Cage. I see the companies trading fighters back and forth and having a little bit more resources on their EliteXC shows, to bring some international fighters in to show how great our fighters truly are.
ML: Will we ever see King Of The Cage live on TV as opposed to a month later on PPV? (From Paindisher)
TT: Up until a year and a half ago, no one was able to put a show on live TV and be able to turn a profit. The UFC went a ridiculous amount of money in the hole trying to make this successful. King Of The Cage continues to run at a profitable level. If we are able to get the TV deal, which I believe we will by the end of the year, we will continue to brand our company and move forward with a regular TV platform, which will allow us to run a show live on pay-per-view.
The first nine pay-per-views I did were live, and those ran back in 2003 and 2004. We realized that the buys were not that much stronger if we ran the shows three or four weeks delayed. But the cost of not having two satellite trucks out there for $60,000 to $70,000 a show, the fan bases weren’t paying that much more to see it live as they were to see it delayed by a few weeks. As soon as it makes financial sense, we’d be glad to do it.
Well, that’s it. Thanks to Terry for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer the questions for the fans! And yes, I know, there are 23 questions, not 20.
Until next time…