One of the (few) awesome individuals to get back to our request for an insight into the mind and experiences of the matchmaker was Rob McCrum, matchmaker for Scottish Fighting Challenge as well as being a regular referee, organiser of this year’s BJJ Scottish Nationals, main man of Kilmarnock’s Lycans MMA team and a wee bit hilarious on twitter – give him a follow @StaffieBJJS for regular amusement.
Anyways, lets see what he had to say…
How did you become a matchmaker?
I kind of fell into it by accident. I was asked to help out on the 2nd SFC I think, checking wraps etc and ended up helping out getting a few short notice replacements due to pull outs. I had loads of guys contact detail through fighting and running my team. I then worked on the later shows and moved on to work with Vision as the official matchmaker. Now i’m one of the owners of SFC as well as the matchmaker.
What do you consider the biggest challenge of matchmaking?
It can be a very frustrating job. I guess a lot of people would say pull outs but that doesn’t really bother me. Shit happens, I suppose being an ex fighter makes me more understanding.
What I can’t get is people going on about their records and ranking at Amateur level. Thats just mental. I get it for pros who may be close to getting their big break. Delusional pros are also a nightmare. Guys asking me to help them pad their records etc can fuck off.
You can have 2 guys wanting a fight, put them together and it’s 50/50 who will win. That has the makings of a great fight on the show but guaranteed 1 of the guys doesn’t want a 50/50 fight. He’s looking for a fight more in his favour. Thats frustrating. Some guys are just studs and will fight anyone, they’re a matchmakers dream.
What makes good matchmaking in your eyes?
Obviously having an eye for good fights, Its not all about matching weights and records, sometimes guys records can look bad, but you need to look who they have fought, same with say a 10-0 guy, he might have fought nobody.
So knowing the scene is very important, watching guys on other shows, speaking to coaches, managers, judges, listening to fans and media. Your basically looking to give the customer what they want.
Which fight card that you’ve booked are you most proud of?
Probably the Vision shows at the Kelvin Hall, (can’t separate them) big shows with a decent budget to play with and great fights. Quite a few of those guys that fought on them will end up on the biggest stage.
5. If you could book one fight, from the whole history of MMA, taking away money, managers, injuries and having a handy time machine… what would it be?
Sakuraba v Rickson
6. What’s the best story you’ve got from being a matchmaker? You can change the names to protect the guilty if you like…
So much unbelievable stuff goes on. Its hard to pick one without this turning into a novel. One very average pro asked me to match him with a guy who was somthing like 4-32. I asked him why he would even want that? His reply was “because Dana told me to” and he was 100% serious hahaha. Some people are mental.
As usual, we’d like to thank Rob for taking the time to speak to us, and we’d urge you to take advantage of his hard work in booking the next SFC show, SFC 7: Tear Up which takes place in the Albert Halls, Stirling on September 1st by purchasing some tickets which are available here.
Alternatively, if you’re a fan or practitioner of grappling, the BJJ Scottish Winter Nationals have been announced for 19th October (NoGi) and 7th December (Gi) at Glasgow Caledonian University. We’ll keep you posted as and when tickets for competitors and spectators go in sale.
The fight card for SFC 7 currently stands like this, but I’m reliably informed that a few more tasty bouts are still to be added to the bill.
SFC 7: Tear Up
1st September, Albert Halls, Stirling
Shaun Taylor (Lycans) v Graham Armstrong (Mataleon) WW
Jamie Nolan (Mataleon) v Alan Philpott (Next Gen N Ireland) FW
Brian Hyslop (DNFT) v Andy Young (Next Gen N Ireland) flyW
Graham Black (Lycans) v Paul Patrick (Shooters) 73kg B class
Barry McHugh (DNFT/Griphouse) v John Black (SCS) 70kgs
Gordon Price (Lycans) v Keiran Conner (Spartans) 73kgs
Peter Mcafferty (Chimera) v Rafal Zelazny (Integrity) 62kgs
Dave Mcgowan (Viper) v Dave Mcdonald (SHS) 70kgs
Scott Malone (Shooters) v Mark Andrews (Nxt Gen N Ireland ) 62kgs
Ross Black (Lycans) v Tambo Law (SMAC) 77kgs
Chris Morton v Dean Kryton 77kgs
Craig Stewart (Grip) v Ross Cooper (Team Parente) 95kgs
Owen Longrigg (Lycans) v Jack Demarco (Team Parente) 70kgs