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Interview with President Kelly Perdew

In 2004, Kelly Perdew earned himself a high-ranking job in one of Donald Trump's companies when he became the winner on the second season of NBC's The Apprentice. With his current position as President of, Perdew will utilize his boundless experience in the business world as he intends to boost's efforts towards "empowering the fight community."

Perdew spoke with to explain what the website is all about and talk about the recent announcement that the company will stream live fights starting with Icon Sport: Epic. What are your goals with

Perdew: Our tagline is "empowering the fight community" And our objective is to provide tools for fans, fighters, and organizations involved with mixed martial arts so that they can do all the stuff they need to do. Fans want to interact with fighters, see what they are thinking, see how they're training, hear them if they are talking smack, hear them if they are giving good advice, whatever it might be. Fighters obviously want to promote themselves. If they don't have a match, or they need to find managers, they need to find promoters, they need to find fights, our website allows them to show their videos, their fight records, interviews, their blogging, training tips, you name it, it allows for all that to occur . And then the organizations in mixed martial arts range all the way from media entities, like you guys, all the way through to promoters, managers.

Speaking of the promoter piece, Icon Sport, after having their big fight in Hawaii on March 31st, and we are going to stream that event live [on] Anyone out there who wants to watch that, all they have to do is register [on] And they can watch the live feed. The Trigg-Lawler fight, Mayhem is fighting. It's a great card. Will you be televising all the fights?

Perdew: Yep, we should have the full lineup ? barring any technical difficulties- knock on wood. Anyone who's logged in will be able to watch all 12 fights. How did this deal come about with Icon Sport?

Perdew: We reached out through our relationships in the industry and talked to all the different promoters and made it clear we're about empowering the fight community. Anyone out there and all your readers can contact us about streaming their event live. There are some technical limitations. Just have to make sure that that works. Figure out timing, scheduling. There are a lot people out there who have never seen a mixed martial arts fight and don't want to pay 39.99, or a PPV number or whatever it may be. And certainly to see one live with such compelling fighters as Icon putting on the 31st. It's a great opportunity to introduce people to mixed martial arts. You're giving away this event for free. How will you be generating revenue? Will you be charging in the future?

Perdew: Certainly we'll have an advertising model. We have advertisements on Someday in the future, we'll probably have pay-per-view on demand on the website, after the live free streaming for this Icon Sport event. Maybe a couple days later, a week later, we'll allow for an all card viewing. Obviously they'll be some exciting fights. Maybe they'll be others that aren't so exciting. But the ones that are exciting impact all of them. We like to make them available. Every fighter out there has got family and friends. If they miss the live event, they can pay a nominal charge to watch it whenever they want. Have you spoken to other promoters?

Perdew: Yeah, absolutely, we're talking to a whole bunch of them right now. I don't want to talk about them until I announce them. started off similar to a myspace. And now with the videos it appears to be a cross between myspace and youtube.

Perdew: I was the president of a company It basically is an amateur sports portal. It enable teams, like: little leagues, bowling leagues, you name it, to build their websites online and it currently has over 3.1 million amateur sports teams from all over the world using that site. I'm applying similar principles here to the mixed martial arts community, basic set of tools that are kind of a combination of myspace and youtube. How did you go from working for Trump to getting involved with ProElite?

Perdew: After I left the Trump organization last year, I was really looking for something with a significant amount of growth, potential to it, and was something I'm passionate about. I have a military background, I did Judo as a kid, Tae Kwon Do while I was in the army, at West Point I boxed and wrestled and then of course the close quarters combat. I've always had a significant respect for all the martial arts. As I've gotten to know and see all these fighters, they were all Olympic-quality athletes: phenomenal individuals with a significant amount of discipline. It was really interesting to me. Of course, I watched TUF. And I got to see some of those personalities. And I thought, "you know what, there are thousands of fighters out there, why don't we create a platform that enabled all those fighters to be showcased. Not just the 4 or 5 [fighters] somebody picked to be on TV." Were you happy with the first EliteXC event?

Perdew: The EliteXC show on Showtime went great. The feedback was phenomenal. The fights were exciting. It was kinda unfortunate what occurred in the main bout. I think the fight that really stole the show was Gina Carano vs. Julie Kedzie. They were lion hearts out there, completely respectful. Sent a great representation of everything that was great about the sport. What are your general thoughts on the current mixed martial arts scene?

Perdew: It's definitely a fragmented marketplace. In every weight class, there's 5 or 10 or 15 world champions walking around. It can get confusing. For the coherence of the sport and the strength of the sport, eventually there needs to be a ranking system, where everybody kinda knows what rank you are. It's not just one guy saying "hey, I'm gonna have these two guys fight, and that's going to be the champion."

One of our objectives is to move mixed martial arts into an Olympic sport, and for us to do that, there needs to be a condensed, unified scheme for doing this. The UFC does not appear to want to work with any company it doesn't own. Do you realistically see them working with you?

Perdew: I don't know what they're going to do. We're totally open to working with anybody. In fact, there are a lot of fights that on the undercard of those pay-per-view events for the UFC. And I've love to, if Dana would allow it for us to stream some of those live. The cards that nobody sees, it gives the fighters exposure, and the fans definitely want to see it, and the technology exists, I don't know why they wouldn't allow us to do it. Other brands are. I think it's going to be an interesting 18-24 months, as everything unfolds. Do you have anything else you would like to mention?

Perdew: Absolutely. One of the ways that we keep making ProElite better is by getting feedback from users. My fan site on ProElite is And anybody who's on there can private message me, or smack me, we got a function there where you can talk smack to somebody, and let me know you like and what they don't like about the site. Or what they'd like to see. Constructive feedback would be great. Because we're doing constant iterations every week we bring something new and adjusting. It's really about helping the fans, fighters, and the organizations. will stream the March 31st IconSport: Epic live from Honolulu Hawaii for free beginning 1:30am ET (early Sunday morning).

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