559 Fights takes fighters from backyard brawls to prime-time

559 Fights takes fighters from backyard brawls to prime-time

VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Packing the Visalia Convention Center is a far cry from where 559 Fights got their start.

559 Fights CEO Jeremy Luchau can clearly remember what was going through his mind when he came up with the idea for 559 Fights.

“I was working at Tachi Palace,” Luchau said, “and Tachi Palace fights were at such a high level at the time that there wasn’t a lot of local talent that could come in and compete.”

Luchau says he and his friends started thinking of ways to develop local talent and help them compete at the higher level that was seen at Tachi. “We started out small and just decided to create an amateur show.”

According to Luchau the early days of 559 Fights served as not only an opportunity for up-and-coming talent but also for audiences to get a worthwhile show. “We were kind of like the prelims to the pay-per-view, we would put on fights, and then after the fights, everyone would stay and watch the UFC pay-per-views on the big screen,” Luchau said.

Luchau says the early days had their struggles and helped give him some much-needed perspective. “In the beginning, we were a mess…everything you would expect from a show at the fairgrounds.” Luchau said, “I think all the bumps early on in the road were valuable lessons and I still learn lessons.”

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Getting through the bumps in the road was worth it for Luchau who says that what he’s helped build is a successful local promotion with fighters in mind.

“It’s been a long and brilliant process – I can say now that 559 Fights is a full-fledged developmental model,” Luchau says. He also says 559 Fights gives fighters not only their first opportunities to fight, but also learn about signing contracts, getting medicals done, showing up to interviews on time, and more.

As part of the developmental model, Luchau says he’s proud to be able to partner with A1 Combat to bring a cross-promotional, 2-day event to the Visalia Convention Center. May 24 will feature a 559 Fights card and May 25 will feature an A1 Combat card that Luchau says will be great for audiences and athletes.

“It really gives people a chance to see the amateur show,” Luchau said, “and it also gives the amateur guys a look at what’s beyond 559 Fights, you know we’re not the end all be all in the valley.”

Luchau says his journey with 559 Fights has been humbling and helped him grow, as he hopes 559 Fights will grow as well.

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