Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

October 4, 2012

MMA forced out of Kokomo?

Colosseum Combat no longer allowed to host mixed martial arts show at event center

Kokomo — Colosseum Combat owner Mark Slater said his mixed martial arts show has been forced out of the Ivy Tech Kokomo Event Center, likely leaving him no choice but to move the show to another city.

Just two days after his most recent event, he received an email Tuesday from an Ivy Tech Kokomo region official that said, “The Chancellor is now concerned with a College building being used for MMA [or anything similar] events. He would like the use of Ivy Tech facilities to take a different direction than these types of events.”

The news caught Slater off guard. It’s hard to understand what prompted it, he said.

Slater has held 12 events at that building in the past 2 1/2 years, and nothing has ever gone wrong, he said.

“We haven’t had any violence in the crowds,” he said. “We haven’t had any fights. There was never any property destroyed. We keep it family-friendly.”

Ivy Tech Kokomo Region Chancellor Steve Daily said that’s not entirely true.

He said Slater was a great client, always respectful and mindful of the college.

“The audience he attracts isn’t always as respectful,” Daily said.

Following events, there was often trash everywhere and damage to painted walls and wood trim and hundreds of cigarette butts laying around, Daily said.

The chancellor said Ivy Tech just spent $1 million renovating the event center. The college uses it for classroom space and for statewide conferences.

“We need to keep it looking good,” Daily said.

Slater said he offered to help the maintenance staff clean up after events, and he denied there being any property damage.

The college had considered bumping Slater’s damage deposit up to $5,000, but decided, instead, to ask him to find another venue, Daily said.

Slater said there are no other venues in Kokomo big enough for his shows, which attract more than 1,000 people. He will likely be forced to move his show to another city, like Indianapolis or Fort Wayne. He was trying to avoid that, he said.

“I could move my show to Indianapolis and make more money, but I’m trying to have something here in my hometown,” he said. “This is my reward.”

He’s worried about the economic impact it will have on the city, too.

Slater said he holds multiple shows a year, and they bring in at least 800 people from outside the area.

People all over the state come in for the fights. He recently sold four VIP tickets to people from Wisconsin. The Quality Inn fills up with fighters and audience members. Many eat at local restaurants and fill their gas tanks up at local gas stations, he said.

Slater said his each of his shows likely pumps at least $120,000 into the local economy.

Daily said he doesn’t want to hurt the economy. He said Ivy Tech has a track record of supporting economic development.

But he has to worry about his college, he said.

“I have to look out for my business,” the chancellor said. “I’m making sure we have the proper space and the proper environment to educate men and women in the community.”

Slater said he feels like some people in the area are just biased against the sport. He said he’s never even seen Daily at one of his events.

“It’s not barbaric,” he said. “I’m not pulling these fighters out of bars. These are real athletes. Three guys are from the Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV.”

He said businessmen and women, ministers, families with children and even his grandparents attend the shows.

Slater said his is considered the premiere MMA show in Indiana, and only three other people are licensed to hold the kind of shows he does. They’re in Terre Haute, Valparaiso and Indianapolis.

Slater received an outpouring of support from people on Facebook, who’ve said they would flood the college with complaints about the decision.

“They see what the event brings to Kokomo,” Slater said.

The fight to keep his show in Kokomo is not over yet, Slater said.

“It’s a fight I may lose, but I won’t back down,” he said. “They’re going to hear about it until I’m out of breath.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS - KT082314 - Gaming revenues - PIC 1 Gaming revenues rush over border as Illinois expands slots INDIANAPOLIS – Beer and barbecue aren’t the only draws to Daddy-O’s Bar & Grill in the small town of Paris, Illinois, 15 miles from the Indiana border. The prospect of winning pulls in customers, as well.Since the neighborhood bar installed five vide

    August 23, 2014 4 Photos

  • U.S. 31 lane closure Monday The Indiana Department of Transportation will close the northbound right lane of U.S. 31 from the S.R. 931 flyover bridge at mile marker 156.0 north one-half mile to the 156.5 mile marker on Monday. Construction activities will begin at 7:30 a.m. The

    August 23, 2014

  • Camper rally 01 Dozens visit Peru for first vintage camper rally PERU — Mike Blackowiak said he’s used to creating some buzz when he pulls into a campground. But, then again, turning heads is one of the perks of owning an old-school 1963 Cree camper like his. “New campers — yeah, they’re nice, but you pull into a

    August 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Floodgate trouble drops Lake Shafer by 20 inches A malfunction at a northern Indiana reservoir's dam has dropped the popular lake nearly 20 inches below its normal water level.

    August 22, 2014

  • Serena Youth Center seeking donations to furnish house The Serena Youth Center is looking for area businesses, churches and individuals to help furnish the center for the young women who will be living there. Kokomo’s first center for young women, ages 18 to 25, will soon open its doors, and the house on

    August 22, 2014

  • Water Color Class 06 Visual arts classes inspire adults to be creative Editor's note: This is one of several stories that will be published Sunday about how various groups are sharing their artistic talents with others. Eighty-six-year-old Dixie Bennett walked around her makeshift classroom inside Artworks Gallery Thurs

    August 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Driver in Thursday crash cited for six traffic violations Kokomo police gave the driver of the jeep involved in Thursday afternoon’s crash on North Ohio Street six citations, including driving with a suspended driver’s license.

    August 22, 2014

  • 8 inches of overnight rain floods part of Indiana INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Heavy rains that dumped more than half a foot of rain overnight in some places triggered widespread flooding Friday in some central and northern Indiana counties. State police closed a section of Interstate 69 in both directions

    August 22, 2014

  • Purdue Security Video Purdue posts disputed video of photographer online

    Purdue University has posted online a surveillance video that college newspaper editors say shows a staff photographer being roughed up by police near where a student had been fatally shot and stabbed. Purdue posted the vi

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sobriety checkpoints planned for today in Kokomo The Howard County Sheriff Department announced deputies will conduct a multi-jurisdictional enforcement checkpoint targeting impaired drivers in Howard County today. Officers from the Kokomo Police Department and troopers from the Indiana State Polic

    August 22, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.