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  • Writer's pictureCombat Sports Report

Royal Promotions looks to take over Albuquerque

Updated: May 3

Albuquerque, NM - Any promoter will tell you first hand, the week of your event is chaos. Inbound calls and messages don't seem to stop until the bell rings. Despite his cellphone remaining in a constant state of vibration, Royal Promotions Co-Owner Isaiah Garcia took some time out of his incredibly busy day to speak with Combat Sports Report. Learn more about the new organization in town as Royal Promotions looks to take over Albuquerque! Check out the Q&A!

Royal Promotions stage
Q&A With Isaiah Garcia of Royal Promotions

Q: Who is behind this event? Obviously the CS/R audience has seen you at the Phoenix Invitational, but could you speak on your partner a little bit?

A: Yeah, so it's myself and my main business partner is Damon Altamorano. He's wrestled his whole life. He's done Jiu-Jitsu. He's getting ready to do MMA. He trains with Jon Jones on that fight team. So very well represented and known within the MMA and Jiu Jitsu Community. Then the third person is my wife Savannah. She's kind of the Operations Manager. Making sure that Damon and I are getting all of our stuff done. Savannah is really doing a lot of the behind the scenes work, but as far as The Upfront, it's me and Damon.

Q: How did this get started? Was this your idea or Damon's idea? How did it work?

A: Damon and I trained together at Dark Haven and my wife and I have been talking about starting promotion like this for a long time. Just because there's nothing in New Mexico really. Outside of like fight to win, which comes so infrequent, that it's not really reliable. There's nothing on a regular basis for local athletes to be represented. Me and Savannah were kind of talking about at the gym. I was letting people know that it was something I was interested in doing and Damon was there! And he was like: "oh man, I have I had that same idea and then we kind of bounced some ideas back and forth off of each other, he had a lot of he brings a lot of strength to the table. We train at the same gym. Went to high school together known him a long time. We trust each other. I was like, what's this? Why don't we go and combine forces and go in on this together? And then I kind of just started from there.

Q: Just from an outsider's perspective, this feels a little bit stronger than your typical independent grappling promotion. A lot of the time it's kind of fly by the seat of your pants. You never really know what's going on behind the scenes, but it seems like you have a solid team around you and you're running it a lot more like a business. So could you kind of speak on your goals for the brand moving forward?

A: Yeah, definitely. Our goal is to compete with some of the the top promotions or "show companies" like #Fight2Win or even like #Polaris I want to have the same production quality, the same professionalism, as a #Fight2Win to win or a #Polaris or even a #FloGrappling, like #WhosNumberOne events. So our that's our goal initially, for the first couple of events. To highlight local #NewMexico athletes. That's our goal.

I'm not I'm not really trying to focus on getting a lot of guys from out of state. In the beginning we want to give like the local Grapplers and MMA fighters in New Mexico. A place where they can showcase all their talents because I think we have a really good Jiu-Jitsu and MMA scene here now. There's a lot of crossover in-between that. Once there's a proof of concept and people from other states start to see that the professionalism and the level of quality that we're putting into the event... Like you said we're running it like like a business! I think that will eventually attract outsiders, but the initial goal is just to focus on the on the home scene.

Grapplers on stage at a Royal Promotions show

Q: You had touched on that you wanted the production quality to be up there with a FloGrappling, with a Polaris, with those top tier Productions. So do you see your digital content as the product as opposed to the tournament or is it a little bit of both?

A: I think it'll be a little bit of both. So we have 4K cameras, filming the event for multiple angles. We definitely want to like pump out a lot of content to grow our brand, especially our social media presence afterwards. Right now, the initial push was kind of rough because we don't have any video content because we haven't had an event yet. After the initial event, I want to pump out a lot of content. I want to make it a big brand, like something that people know. But there's also, there is the tournament side as well. So, it'd be like a mixture of both.

Royal Promotions looks to take over Albuquerque

Q: From a competitor's standpoint. What is something you can expect heading into Royal promotions?

A: I compete very frequently. Damon competes a lot. So we've been around. We planned to experience both sides. We wanted to give the competitors all the things that we would want from a promotion.

So first is everybody likes to get everybody likes to get paid. There's a lot of tournaments, you go and spend a couple hundred dollars to compete at a NAGA, or like a Grappling Industries for the weekend for nothing really. I mean, you get experience, that's always worth something, but nobody's really getting paid. So our main goal was to For the competitors is to come in with low registration fees. We only charge $50 for the brackets for them to get in. Low registration fees compared to a lot of other competitions. We wanted to offer them cash prizes. So the first event we're only doing white and blue belts. So, it's because there's not a lot of experience with them and it's the first event, there's not a huge cash prize. Going forward we will have cash prizes in the range of $1000-$1500. I think that's something that is becoming a little bit more common, but for a long time with your main names, NAGA or Grappling Industries or even as you start going up, ADCC or IBJJF unless you're at the very top level, you're never getting paid for Jiu Jitsu. So I think it'll be cool to give Grapplers a spot to make a little bit of money.

Second thing is, being able to go back and watch your matches. So ADCC they have the camera set up but you have to have a FloGrappling subscription. We're going to record all the matches in 5K. We're gonna have them uploaded on YouTube, everything's going to be free on there. I think it will be cool for the competitors to be able to go back and watch their matches in high quality.

Finally, I think a really good rule set. We're just going at it with #SubONly a lot promotions have had success with it. We're kind of sticking to it. It can be at a very entertaining rule set it's submission only trying to incentivize people to be aggressive and hunt for subs.

Theater full of people in New Mexico

Q: It seems like you guys are putting a lot of thought into the actual experience of the competitor, but from a spectators standpoint, why is Royal promotions the thing to do this Friday night in town?

A: think it's going to be great because we have top of the line, sound, lighting, camera equipment, all that stuff. We've got a big stage where all the Grapplers are to be on and we made it a big goal of ours. Especially for the first event, to bring in as many as many gyms as possible. I tried not to stack the card one way with a bunch of guys from from #DarkHaven or a bunch of women from #SmartJitz. We have every major school, in the area, even the Rio Rancho area is represented at this tournament. If you're in the Jiu-Jitsu Community, there's you're going to be somebody who's competing on that card you know.

We also made it a goal to bring a lot of like exciting Grapplers. I know almost everybody on the card personally I've trained as them at one point or another just for my time doing Jiu Jitsu. So I know that we tried to target the most exciting Grapplers at that skill level that we could find. I think it'll make for a very exciting show.

Grapplers on a stage

Q: Is there anything you want to get out there? Doors open, First match, any Frequently Asked Questions?

A: Doors open at 5:00pm, the event's going to start at 6:00pm. We're going to open up with a super fight right away then we're just going to go through rounds. This it's an eight-person tournament on each side we're going to do the round of eight or a quarterfinals for men and women. We're going to run a super fight in between that and the semifinals. We're going to run the semi-finals for men and women in-between that and the finals. We'll run another super fight and then we'll get into the finals. Then we're going to close out the night with two high level and exciting, super fights. So that's kind of the structure that we have going forward.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to get out there? Now's your time, what would you like people to know about Royal?

A: Yeah, I I just really want people to know that this is going to be the next big thing in Albuquerque in New Mexico's, grappling scene. I think it's going to be one of the next big things just in overall grappling. We've already run a test show, we've run tests with the lights and all that, it's going to surpass the a lot of people's expectations. I think we're going to have a really big name. Big production value and it's going to pay off as long as the proof of concept is there after the first show.



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