Interviews

Published on August 30th, 2019 | by Percy Crawford

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Empire Fighting Championship Puts On All- Female Card To Benefit Battered Women Shelter In Mississippi!

Empire Fighting Championship sets the stage for the women to show off their skills in their inaugural all-women’s show!

On August 31st, Empire Fighting Championship will set a milestone for the company as they are set to stage their first all-women’s card. They organization has put on 2 successful shows in its first year of operation and they are expecting “Ladies of War” to be one of the best shows to date. “Ladies of War” will feature, grappling, mixed martial arts as well as combat Jiu Jitsu. The opening grappling match will feature two 13-year old’s; Jaidyn Guirola vs. Augusta Shaw. The event will benefit the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence in Biloxi, Mississippi.

I caught up with, Empire Fighting Championship CEO, Kristian Guirola, who explains the purpose of an all-female card, bringing women in from all over the country and his high expectations for the event!

How long have you had, Empire Fighting Championships?

Kristian Guirola: Man, we just started, Empire this year. Our first show was in March and then we had another show in June and this Saturday night will be our third event we are putting on.

Do you focus solely on the gulf coast or are you venturing out to other areas?

Kristian Guirola: We’re looking to really try to expand in the near future. This card is really kind of helping us with that with it being all women and we have women coming in from Las Vegas, Texas and South Florida. All of them coming from pretty legit camps. That was one of our focal points besides just giving the women a pedestal to do their thing all by themselves without any guys on the card.

Sometimes the pick of the litter with females can be limited. Was it difficult putting together this, “Ladies of War” for that reason or did you have a steady influx of females wanting to compete?

Kristian Guirola: Man, I tell you what, at first, a lot of people told me, “Man, it’s going to be almost impossible to put an all-women’s card together. There’s just not enough women.” There is truth to it, but most of the women that I reached out to… and some of them from the very beginning reached out to me. As soon as they seen it was an all-women’s card, they were like, ‘Yes! I want to do that. Please get me on that card.” So, instead of it being like me trying to reach out, because there are so many promotions out nowadays. Instead of me reaching out, I had a lot of them reaching out to me, so it was kind of the opposite. It wasn’t easy to match because I did have to bring a number of them in from out of state as opposed to the guys where you’ve got a thousand fighters within a hundred mile radius. With the women it was a lot different as far as having to bring them in from all places. That made it a little more difficult, but for the most part it was kind of easier because they were all really excited to be on an all-women’s card.

I don’t know if it is because they had to prove their worth to show they belonged or convince people that they could compete at a high level, but the women usually tend to deliver some great fights. I’m sure that’s what you are expecting.

Kristian Guirola: Absolutely! I really expect that everybody is going to be super impressed. Everybody will be saying, “Wow, these women really came to throw down.” I got some really good and really experienced women. They come from some really experienced camps. We have Xtreme Couture and American Top Team and I think it’s really going to be a hell of a show. And probably put most of the guy shows that are sometimes a little bit watered, I think it’s really going to put them on blast.

From what I read; this isn’t just mixed martial arts. I understand there will be some grappling as well.

Kristian Guirola: Yeah! We’re going to open the card with a couple of grappling matches. We are going to open the card with two very young girls. One of them is actually my daughter, Jaidyn. She’s competing against another girl from Port City MMA. It’s going to be a really exciting card. These girls come to throw down and it’s going to be super intense. And then we have two other grappling matches and we actually have two combat Jiu Jitsu matches on the card as well. It will be pretty cool. I know on previous events we had some combat Jiu Jitsu matches and didn’t really know how it would take with the public. I think once they seen how it would play out and one of them slapped the hell out of the other one, it was kind of like, “Wow, this is pretty cool. This is pretty bad ass.”

How old is your daughter?

Kristian Guirola: She’s 13-years old. Both girls are 13-years old. They just became teenagers. Both of them are fairly small for their age, so a lot of times people will think they are younger. But they both have been competing in grappling for 4 or 5 years now. They have collected belts in different organizations and they are far more experienced than a lot of people realize that don’t have basic knowledge of grappling.

You will be promoter and dad on the same night. Do you still get the jitters watching her compete or are you accustomed to it now?

Kristian Guirola: I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to it now. She’s been on pretty big stages before. She really enjoys the spotlight. As opposed to grappling tournaments where it’s just you and the person and they have 6 or 7 other matches going on at the same time. She loves the walking out aspect and all eyes on her. She loves the spotlight, so I love it for her.

Reading through some of the comments on EFC Facebook page, some people aren’t deep enough to understand that you can put on a fight card for a non-violent cause. Especially when the non-violent cause is for domestic violence victims and battered women. This all-women’s card empowers them and not demean women or promote any sort of violence.

Kristian Guirola: Yeah absolutely! I try to respond to some of the comments and a lot of them I just have the people controlling our social media to just delete them because they are ridiculous and negative. But, “The Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence Shelter” help out women of domestic violence, they also help out rape victims and abused children. They gave a lot of reach and they do a lot for the community, especially in the local area. Us fighting for them, it’s not fighting because we are advocating violence; especially domestically. We really don’t see mixed martial arts as violent. It’s a sport that we have, and we have elite athletes that train and this is what they do. This is what they love to do. It’s not a husband beating up a wife. It’s two women who have trained and agreed to fight for the fans and for themselves and it’s an opportunity to do what they love.

This event may encourage a person who has been domestically abused to want to train in martial arts.

Kristian Guirola: Yes, sir absolutely!

What would you consider a successful card? What’s the goal for Saturday night?

Kristian Guirola: I think if they all make weight, come to fight and put on a good show. Which I know that they are, so I’m not too concerned about it. I know most of these women, I’ve watched most of these women fight before ever agreeing to putting them on the card or I know their coaches personally. So, the main goal is to have a good show. Hopefully we can have an injury free show with no major injuries. But yeah, just that they come and do their thing. They all coming because they love to do this.

Before I let you go, are there any sponsors you would like to thank?

Kristian Guirola: Yeah, I would like to thank, Robby Ellis. He owns, “NeoLife Physical Therapy and Wellness. He’s in D’Iberville, Mississippi. He’s also opening up a new location in Gulfport, Mississippi. I’d really like to thank him. He’s always got our back. Jumping Joe’s Inflatables, they are pretty big here on the Gulf Coast. They have all of the party needs. And Still Nutrition. They are a brand-new nutrition company. They are putting out great products. They are doing a lot for a lot of local athletes and local promotions. And anybody else. There are a lot of people that helped us come together to put, Empire shows on; My Nerdy Neighbor Inc. and Performance Auto Upholstery and Glass. We’re new to this, but we already have other local shows trying to copy stuff that we’re doing, so I feel like we are definitely taking the right steps.

Tickets are still available at Buy MMA Tickets Empire Fighting Championship – Ladies of War, Biloxi, Mississippi


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