Exclusive Interview: Mixed Striking Championship Matchmaker and Sports Attorney Greg Bloom
By Randy Jean
Mixed Striking Championship (MSC) is a Miami, Florida-based fight promotion that’s essentially bringing back the fighting style vs. fighting style theme to combat sports and distinguishing itself from Muay Thai or Glory style kickboxing by outfitting its combatants with a patented glove that is more compact than a traditional boxing glove and, similar to an MMA glove, does not cover the athlete’s fingers.
Unlike Glory or K-1, MSC also allows its fighters to throw elbow strikes, like those used in Muay Thai competition.
Just days out from its second live event, which will stream live on GFL from BankUnited Center in Miami, Greg Bloom, a lawyer by day and matchmaker for MSC by night, took the time to discuss MSC’s unique combat sports product, the “EVO” glove, ways athletes and entertainers can protect themselves both in and outside the ring and the chances of MSC dethroning MMA as the premier martial arts combat sport.
Randy Jean: You played in integral part in the creation of MSC, but before all of that you are a lawyer first. You also used to work in Wall Street. Walk us through the journey of how all of that came about.
Greg Bloom: I initially worked in Wall Street for 10 years, prior to going back to law school. Then when I was in law school, I was approach by a professional boxer who needed some assistance with a contract which, from there, I ended up managing this fighter.
It was basically a snowball effect because, before I was even done with law school, I was representing about 15 different fighters between boxing and MMA. So the natural progression for me, while I was studying law, was to eventually practice and work in sports and entertainment law.
One of my clients was Wayne Bermudez, who’s the founder of MSC. I started off as his attorney, and then was welcomed aboard to help steer the company and as a matchmaker as well.
RJ: So how is your relationship with Wayne Bermudez?
GB: Great! He’s a great guy who has an extensive background in MMA and it’s a great concept that he’s created. I’m just excited to be a part of it.
RJ: As a lawyer, what legal issues do you to tend to deal with when it comes to athletes and entertainers on a daily basis?
GB: Everything from negotiating their agreements with managers or promoters to endorsements and sponsorship deals. Whether it’s second business entities or real estate issues, I try my best to help them out the best I can.
RJ: I was looking at the MSC Facebook page and I noticed the slogan “ No Tap outs, Just Knockouts.” Why do you feel like it’s important for MSC to stand out in this manner from its competitors?
GB: I think right now there’s a lot of saturation in the MMA market. You’re starting to see other types of combat sports come out of the forefront. A lot of the Glory fights and Lion Fights as well as boxing are making a big comeback on free TV. So it’s important that MSC becomes a home for those martial artists who don’t necessarily want to get involved in MMA, but dedicate a lot of time to developing their craft in the standing striking arts.
RJ: Do you think MSC, which is essentially its own sport because of its unique rule set, as well as a promotion, can dethrone MMA and become the new king of the mountain of combat sports?
GB: I mean it’ll take time, like everything else. But it’s definitely picking up steam and gaining more fans by the day. We’re trying to get as active in putting out as much events as we can. I think in due time it’ll rival any other combat sport out there. We just need time to create stars and grow.
RJ: The concussion issues we’ve seen in the NFL bring athlete safety to mind What is MSC doing different to protect its stars?
GB: We have a patented glove called the “EVO” glove. It’s an 8 to 10 oz. glove, depending on the weight class of any particular matchup. We do everything we can to ensure the safety of the fighters.
In any fight, though, athletes can get injured. We do everything we can from standing 8 counts to having capable officials presiding over the action.
RJ: I actually had notes on the Evo glove. Do you think this glove alone allows MSC to stand out?
GB: I do. It’s a unique glove that allows for a comfortable fit, which allows for fewer injuries in the hand. It covers the thumb and the finger tips aren’t close to the edge of the glove, which limits eye pokes. It’s also a great glove for hitting bags and what not. We believe the glove can stand out on its own and make a marketplace for itself in the combat sports world.
RJ: You usually give seminars to young athletes and entertainers who are coming up. What are some lessons you always share with them?
GB: Don’t believe everything they tell you. If they promise you something, then get it in writing and always make sure you have an escape clause just in case the plan doesn’t fall through. Because once you sign an agreement and they don’t perform on it, then you’re stuck. Also, always get yourself a great attorney.
RJ: Speaking of contracts, will we see you in Dez Bryant’s corner negotiating a new contract with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys?
GB: (Laughs) Hey, if you can give him my number, I would love to help!