Follow MMA Nation on Twitter: @MMANation
On MMA Nation on 106.7 The Fan (CBS Radio) this past Sunday, we caught up with The King of the Four Rounders, Eric "Butterbean" Esch. One of the top partners involved in launching the Moosin MMA project, Esch (or Bean) is looking to put their second show together in the fall in Chicago, one that could potentially host Kimbo Slice and Mariusz Pudzianowski squaring off against one another.
As the second event is being prepared, Esch notably went after Moosin's main attraction in Pudzianowski, insulting his ability and questioning his future. We decided to talk to Esch to understand the motivation behind the comment. In the process, we found out Esch talked with James Toney about competing with Moosin and wanted a fight for Toney with UFC washout Houston Alexander, thinks Kimbo Slice might be very willing to sign with Moosin and talks the future of female fights in the upstart, lighter-side-of-MMA show.
You can hear the entire interview by pressing play. Excepts below:
Esch on how he thought their first event went:
The first show went really well. Every fight was exciting. I'm not going to talk about other promoters, but I have yet to see a pay-per-view show where every fight is exciting. Every one of our fights was exciting and fun to watch.
On the criticisms of the first event, particularly the commentating:
After our first show with announcers, I agree that they do need a little work. But the main reason people watch the fights are to see the fights themselves. They can turn the volume down if they don't like the announcers. They were at least knowledgeable about the fights. They did get a little annoying at times I'll admit, but I think you'll see a better show our next go around. We have some changes to make. The next show will be in October or November. That's what we're aiming for. Our partners are in Korea right now lining things up. We should have more news on the second show within the next couple weeks.
On Mariusz Pudzianowski:
I'm not trying to bash any of the fighters that we have but I'm shooting for someone other than Pudzianowski. If he got serious with us and with his training, I'd be OK with him. He really needs to work on his stand up. He throws arm punches. I'm not trying to knock him, but if he reached his potential with the power that he has, he'd be unstoppable. In the fight with Tim Sylvia, he kicked him in the first round and broke his foot. His kicking ability is phenomenal. His ground game needs a lot of work, but his stand up needs a LOT of work. He needs to work with a real boxer to show him how to throw a real punch. I've seen the guy he's training with now and I'm not happy with it. A true boxing coach could teach him how to punch, and within a month it could become natural. I mean, it's not a boxing match, its MMA, but you have to have some stand up to be successful. You have to know how to knock the other guy out. As big and as strong as he is, nobody should be able to stand in there with him. But he hits like a girl. He should have knocked Sylvia out. Noting against Sylvia, but he should have knocked Tim out.
On the recent Moosin press release in which he slammed Pudzianowski:
I'm not sure if they released that to get me to change my mind on him and support him. Like I said, if he did what he needs to do to improve, I would love to have him on the next card. I would love to. He'd be great in Chicago. I'd even love to have him on the under card. But until he improves his stand up skills, I don't know. I don't think his skills are where they need to be.
On Kimbo Slice fighting for Moosin:
I don't think Kimbo would demand a lot of money because he really hasn't proven himself. The UFC dumped him so he's gonna be grasping at whatever he can get. Kimbo is very marketable. He and Pudzianowski would be a great fight. Especially if Pudzianowski learned to fight. But yeah, we definitely have the backing to put on the fight. Like I said there's five partners involved with Moosin, and it all works out really well. It depends on what he does at American Top Team. I'm not even sure if he's still down there. Ricardo Liborio showed him a lot of great stuff, I'm sure. He did look better in his last fight. But it takes time. I've been fighting MMA for six years and I've still got so much more to learn. You have to be really good in one aspect to do well. We'd love to have Pudzianowski long term but he has to start listening to us. With Kimbo, it'd be the same thing.
On the potential of him ever fighting Mariusz Pudzianowski in Moosin:
I've done a lot shows outside of Moosin where I promoted the event and fought in it, and it's just too difficult to do that. And I don't think Pudzianowski would want to fight me. To be honest, I think I would knock him out. I can't believe Tim didn't knock him out.
On whether the second Moosin event will feature women fighters; his thoughts on James Toney fighting for the UFC:
We're just putting the whole thing together right now. It's possible, but it's not something we want on every card. If we could put something together that is an exciting fight, sure. I've heard a lot of people say our event was just full of freak show fights, but it's not. It's fun to watch. Everybody likes to watch fun fights. You want to see a freak show fight, watch James Toney. Now that's gonna be a freak show. With out a doubt [Toney is going to get destroyed by Randy Couture].
We actually talked to Toney about fighting with us. We were gonna put him in with somebody who would stand and bang with him. A Houston Alexander fight would be a phenomenal fight. It'd be fair. I don't know why it wouldn't be a successful fight on pay-per-view.
On Dave Batista entering MMA:
Batista would be marketable fighter. And he does have a ground game. Everybody looks at professional wrestling as just sees it as adult entertainment, but in order to compete in that, you have to know all the moves. He does know wrestling. If he was matched up with the right type of people, he could be successful.
On his own fighting career in the future:
I'm slowing down on fighting. I'm not doing as many. I've had over 200 fights, so it's time to slow down. I'm just focusing on promoting fights now. I might fight one or two more times, but my main goal is to put everything that I've learned over the last 20 years into promoting.