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Cage VS Cons


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Has anyone seen this new MMA event Cage vs. Cons debuting in LA on Saturday May 21, 2011? I was just forwarded it and pretty entertained as it seems like a movie become reality but could be cool on many levels from the fights to the non-profit aspect. Danny Trejo and Tinny Lister will host the event as well.

Cage vs. Cons is a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company that hosts fan-pleasing events pitting nothing-to-lose ex-convicts against hard-hitting police officers, prison guards, firefighters, teachers, Marines and other members of the military and law enforcement.

The unique concept generates instant rivalries, mouth-dropping storylines, and identifiable heroes and villains for the fans to root for or against—all combining to create fights that overflow with a savage energy unmatched in the MMA world.

Unlike more corporate MMA companies, Cage vs. Cons is steeped in street credibility. Its co-founder, Michael Lynch, is an ex-con who spent, five years in California Youth Authority and six years in prison before reinventing himself as the entrepreneurial force behind Felony Fights and Cage vs. Cons. With his prison connections, Lynch is able to attract the best fighters once they are released from custody.

And there’s more to a Cage vs. Cons event than Pro. MMA fights. A world-class hip-hop music festival kicks off the entertainment, featuring such cutting-edge artists as Too Short, the Dogg Pound, E40, Psycho Realm, Killah Priest from Wu Tang Clan, Shabazz the Disciple and Big Twins from Mobb Deep.

Cage vs. Cons events, which are sanctioned by the state, can be seen in person, on pay-per-view, On Demand, mobile devices, and live on the Web. The fights are also available on DVD.

Ending the Cycle of Crime

Cage vs. Cons gives a portion of its proceeds to the Flores Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that serves the children of disadvantaged communities. Its mission is to “engage and encourage the disenfranchised, turning violence into learning and trading anger for hope.”

Flores Foundation

The Mural Dedicated to Rogelio Flores, the inspiration for the Flores Foundation.

As cities like Los Angeles struggle with overwhelming budget deficits and program cuts, Flores Foundation will be there to meet the needs of the area's underserved youth, many living in juvenile detention centers, inner city neighborhoods and shelters, by offering them an opportunity to succeed and become constructive members of society.

The foundation will be overseen by Daniel Laughlin and Martin Flores of Los Angeles Youth Opportunity Movement (LAYOM), both of whom are keenly aware of the needs of these children and how to fulfill them.

Martin Flores has over 17 years of community-based experience working with families. He currently serves as a board member for the Legal Aid Foundation. Daniel Laughlin has 18 years of community leadership experience. He is the founder of the Countrywide Wake Up It Ain't No Game Conference.

With extensive experience in gang intervention, probation case management, anger management, employment services and community development, Laughlin and Flores will help reintegrate our youth into the community and assist them in achieving a productive, crime-free life.

Flores Foundation instructors and program coordinators will work out of community centers in economically disadvantaged areas of Los Angeles, getting children off the street and into a safe environment where strong values and learning are fostered. Over time, we hope to build our own facilities so we can reach even further into the community.

The foundation will be funded in part by profits from CAGE VS CONS in which professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters battle ex-convicts who have chosen the rigor and discipline of positive competition over their former lifestyles. Further building on the popularity of MMA, the foundation hopes to use this rigorous sport to teach strength and self-discipline to program participants. We also plan to offer music, art and culinary classes that will enrich their lives.

Please support Flores Foundation as we aim to engage and encourage the disenfranchised, turning violence into learning and trading anger for hope.

The Team Behind Cage vs. Cons

About Founder Michael Lynch: At 16, Michael Lynch was sent to the California Youth Authority for a residential robbery. There, his anger led to several stabbings, adding three years to his original two-year term.

Once out, he became a gun and drugs dealer, a career that promptly put him in prison for six years, beginning in 1998. During his incarceration, Lynch honed entrepreneurial skills by trafficking in contraband in the unforgiving marketplace of prison. He even was able to form truces between traditionally warring prison gangs, selling inmates on the idea that no business gets down when the convicts were on lock down for fighting. Read the full bio here.

About Co-Founder Danny "Zodiak" Laughlin: Danny "Zodiak" Laughlin is one of the top producers and promoters of underground hip-hop music in the United States and the driving force behind the world-class hip-hop festivals at Cage vs. Cons. Co-founder of Cage vs. Cons events, Laughlin produced a different hip-hop song and music video to accompany each of the evening’s 10 matches.

In 2005, he teamed up with ex-convict Michael Lynch to start Felony Fights, producing the hip-hop soundtracks and music videos featured on the best-selling DVD series. Read the full bio here.

About Erick Tran: Erick Tran, a Hollywood executive, is producing and directing a documentary film on the Cage vs. Cons story. Throughout his career, Tran has produced content for some of the largest Hollywood studios and advertising agencies in the United States.

Tran has 15 years of experience in television primetime production on shows that include “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill” and “The Good Family.” And he heads Ideal Media Entertainment , a full-service multi-media production company based in Burbank. Read the full bio here.

About George Horioka: George Horioka is the founder CEO and founder of Xsura, a company that sells the antioxidant drink Ziing through relationship marketing. Xsura was the first sponsor of Cage vs. Cons. Ziing supplies the body with a full day’s supply of antioxidants.

Horioka, who grew up in a working-class neighborhood east of Los Angeles, has launched several multi-million dollar businesses, including what became one of the nation’s most profitable janitorial companies, a security services firm that sold for millions of dollars to the largest company in the industry, and a franchising business that was named the 6th-best franchising company in the U.S.—tied with McDonald’s. Read the full bio here.

About Richard Pintal: Richard Pintal, who serves as legal counsel for Cage vs. Cons, is a leading entertainment attorney based in Los Angeles and has appeared regularly in the national print and broadcast media. With an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from Loyola Marymount University, Pintal also practices criminal, contract and business law.

About Mark Zigner: Mark Zigner is an international businessman based in Newport Beach, Calif. who has specialized in rare modern and antique jewelry for the more than 20 years. He’s also a philanthropist, giving to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Best Buddies of California. Zigner coordinates the charity work done by Cage vs. Cons, including its donations to the Flores Foundation, which provides skills and job training for at-risk youth.

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I haven't heard about this promotion before, but to be honest I am not sure I am that keen on the idea. I remember seeing a few bouts from 'Felony Fights' and it left a pretty bad taste in my mouth.

To me one of the good things about MMA is that, barring the odd incident (Diaz brothers and Mayhem Miller for example ... Or recent nonsense with Michael Bisping) fighters tend to exhibit a lot of mutual respect. The sport is filled with really honorable, top class guys like George St. Pierre and Rich Franklin who make great role models for kids.

I think the future for MMA as a combat sport is for it to gradually gain even more mainstream acceptance. I'd like to see MMA fighters be recognised as dedicated sportspeople who are pursuing a dynamic sporting profession .... Not as Tank Abbot style brawlers who have 'stepped off the bar-stool and into the Octagon' (which is still how some newspapers and commentators seem to regard "cage fighters").

So when I read that 'Cage vs Cons' is hoping to have "ready made" storylines pitting "nothing to lose" ex-cons against cops etc. And talk of 'heroes' and 'villains' etc. I worry that this is straying into the realm of bad taste and cartoon good guys and bad guys. They're all athletes, it's a sport, IMO it's exciting enough as is. I also wonder if this type of event could potentially lead to image problems for MMA lobbyists trying to gain permission to hold events in various states / countries and so on...

Just my take on it though - your mileage may vary.

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