Combat promoters come and go – a few stay, but rarely do we see anything groundbreaking. Enter MFC: The Marshall Fighting Championship.
FIGHT SPORTS has covered MFC before, and also published articles on Lethwei.
Those familiar with the national sport of Myanmar, will undoubtedly know who Dave Leduc is. What they might not know is the fact that he is the President of the first ever 100% crypto based combat sports promotion.
FIGHT SPORTS caught up with Dave during his busy schedule, and asked him what it is all about, and Dave actually, jokingly, wanted to help me with the headline for the interview and said:
Move over UFC: Joe Rogan’s dog has it’s own promotion now, or
Move over UFC: Rogan’s dog is taking over the world.
FIGHT SPORTS: I’m here with Dave Leduc – the king of Lethwei, AND the President of Marshall Fighting Championship. How’s it going Dave?
Leduc: I’m good, thanks for having me.
FIGHT SPORTS: Awesome.
You must be busy these days, as you’ve recently become the president of a new combat sports promotion – the first of its kind. Can you explain to our readers what it’s all about please?
Leduc: Yeah, well, yes it has been a crazy two months, ’cause it was announced two months ago the start of MFC, so Marshall Fighting Championship. And it’s been moving fast, you know match making, getting a venue, getting everyone on board, like sponsors.
I haven’t slept a lot – I went to bed at like 5 am every day for the last couple of months, ha ha. And it’s not looking any better, because now we’re leaving in two weeks for Slovakia.
For those of you who don’t know what the MFC is, well first of all I became an ambassador for Marshall Inu. Marshall Inu is a crypto currency on the Ethereum Blockchain and it really went on a massive power bullying run. For those of you who are not familiar with crypto currency, it is very rare that we see this kind of success.
So it started as a joke. Marshall is the name of the dog of Joe Rogan, Marshall Rogan, and somebody said “well let’s make a coin called Marshall Rogan Inu“. So it started as a joke, but then people started buying it (the meme coin) , and a lot of fight fans really got into it, and it went to multi million dollar evaluation, which is also very rare, and it went all the way up to, ahhhh, I think it was at the time of UFC 272, it went all the way up to 200 million dollars. So almost a quarter of a million for a joke, a coin. So at that time it wasn’t really a joke anymore. It was actually a coin supporting fighters, which nobody else is doing. You know there is a big need, a big controversy about fighter salaries, and uhhmm, it’s basically, the fans want to be involved in giving back to the fighters you know, because you can only buy the pay-per-view and that’s the extent of the help you can give. So this coin is, one part is investment for people, and again it’s not a financial advice, you know, you have to do your own research, but people see it as an investment as one part, but the other part is that a small percentage goes into a wallet, and that wallet is, you know, being distributed, and used to give sponsorships to fighters. So overall Marshall Inu in it’s six months of life, that it has, gave over 5 million US dollars to fight fans.
So this was fairly new to me: I was only just getting into crypto, I, ahh, obviously love crypto, because, ahh, I think people call me like ahhh, a libertarian, because I like the least amount of government control over my life. And we all know over the last couple of years, we’ve had a massive amount of overreach, in our lives, in our liberties, and in our bodies, you know we were being told what to do for whatever reason. So I like crypto currencies since we get some power back in our, you know financial well-being, you know obviously it’s also volatile. There’s a lot of inflation but I feel that we can be more aware of what’s happening, you know, ’cause it’s inevitable that we are going to see a global virtual currency, and some people are going to wake up and think what on earth just happened. My money is not working, I need to go into crypto currency.
The thing is we’re already doing this with credit cards you know, like some coffee shops are starting to refuse cash, you know money – they only accept credit cards. So we’re going there and that’s why I like crypto and why I’ve accepted to become an ambassador, and you know to deepen my knowledge about crypto.
You know Larsenator I have to, ha ha, there’s three types of people in this world: there’s people that makes things happen, you know being part of the movement, they try to help, they pioneer, and they’re on the wave. There’s the second type of people who WANT’S things to happen, for example crypto. You know there’s people reading this: they’ve heard about this coin, and they’re are like “ahh I don’t want this: it’s too risky and complicated. I just want to go to work, and I go home and I watch the TV and that’s it. Whatever happens, happens.” You know they’ve heard about crypto, maybe their friends or somebody from their family is into crypto. So they’re watching.
Then you have the third kind of people who are not lucky enough to have friends or family that told them about what’s happening in the world. You know they’re just going to be oblivious, and one day they are going to wake up and be like “What the heck just happened?!”. You don’t want to be the third type of people and also not the second type, because you might miss something, opportunities you know. I know people who made massive amounts of wealth on crypto currencies, and obviously everybody reading this are at least, you know, interested in MFC or interested in crypto currencies, and at least they’re are more aware and more ready for when the governments around the world tell us “Now you have to open a crypto wallet”, “Now you have to do this”, they are going to be a point where they are going to force virtual currency upon us, so that’s why we are here, that’s why we are talking about MFC, and why I’m talking about MFC and Marshall Inu.
So Marshall Inu is at a point now, where we need to do something to go up to the next level. And the next logical step was to transfer the virtual world into the physical world. So we’ve basically said, we’re already helping fighters, you know we’re giving money to fighters, around, you know different promotions, UFC, ONE Championship, LFA, you name it, so many. Why not do it on our own fighters, and control the narrative. So that’s where I pitched the idea of MFC, Marshall Fighting Championship and everybody loved it.
And this was only two months ago. And we’re so close, and what’s so crazy about this is, it’s a 100% powered by Marshall Inu. So it is the native crypto currency of the promotion: salaries are paid in an MRI, Marshall Rogan Inu – so MRI is the token. All payments are transacted in the native currency. So it’s really putting a utility on the token, and, uhmm, that’s where we’re at. I’m very excited right now – I’m very exciting to be pioneering this space.
FIGHT SPORTS: wow. That sounds like a couple of crazy and busy months, ha ha. So I know that you’ve already got an entire show planned next week in Slovakia. Can you tell our readers about the event please?
Leduc: yes, absolutely. So we have, you know, I’m very proud of that, you know I’ve always been a pioneer for small sports, you know Lethwei saved my life, and I’m trying to give back to the country of Myanmar, so you know, ahh, it was a crazy life a couple of years back, from 2016 when I won the belt to, you know, when I was going fighting in Japan, you know pioneering Lethwei in Tokyo, which is like the Mecca of martial arts, you know with K-1, and uhhmm and everything, so I was very happy to fight there. Many milestones over the years: fighting in the US – the first ever world championship, Lethwei fighting in the US. So now I’m in a little pod because I have my son, just born a couple of months ago, and uhmm, so I will not be fighting in the cage at this event, but I’m happy to be promoting it.
We have the first ever world championship Lethwei fight outside of Myanmar, in Europe, and it’s going to be a main event at MFC 1: Michal Kosik of Slovakia against Daniel Lariviere from Canada – two undefeated Lethwei guys. Kosik is the native guy, the younger, and he is hungry, he is undefeated in his last couple of fights, which were under Lethwei rules, and he’s been active in Europe, fighting Polish guys and neighboring countries under Lethwei rules. He is solid. And, ahmm, Dan Lariviere is a veteran MMA fighter, and he is also undefeated, ahh, I think a couple of months ago, only tow months ago, he fought in London in bare knuckle Muay Thai, and also won the belt there, so he’s undefeated in Lethwei, won the belt in bare knuckle Muay Thai, and the guy is SOLID: crazy headbutts in his last fight, you know in the clinch, so that’s going to be, I really think it’s going to be fireworks.
So first ever MFC: I wanted to be able to do a world championship fight. You know usually you have to wait, you know you have to wait before you can put on a belt, but because both these guys are already very active, we were able to make it happen. It’s going to be sanctioned by the WLF, the World Lethwei Federation.
We actually have a fellow Danish, ahhh, the president of the WLF, is from Denmark, from Copenhagen, Andi Egeberg, and he is going to be flying from Copenhagen to Slovakia to be the one presenting the belt to the winner.
The co-main event is Cole Ferrel from the USA, who’s 10 and 1 in MMA, against a Serbian fighter named Dragan Pešić, who’s a tough guy, so it’s going to be a good fight with Serbia against the USA under MMA rules. There’s another Lethwei fight on the card, and the rest are MMA fights, so it’s going to be real exciting.
Yeah so we have a big card, and it’s going to be in Brezno, Slovakia, and, ahhhh, it’s going to be free to watch for everybody. So we’ve made it a community gift. We are going to give a gift to the, ahhhmm, the crypto world – everybody can watch: you don’t have to hack anything, you don’t have to pay for a pay-per-view. We’re saying that, you know what: you’ve helped us go to a multi million dollar valuation, so now let’s give a gift to the community – so you’re just going to be able to watch it live on YouTube on October 29th. And, if I may also add, we are going to do something, which I think is going to pioneer the world of MMA, sooo, and combat sports: we already did it a couple of months ago when we started giving the bonus. The community can vote for the crypto bonus – so we are starting to give bonus and many many thousands of dollars to fighters. We gave it to Gilbert Burns, ahhhmm, gave a bonus there, so sometimes they don’t get chosen for a bonus, you know they make a real war. It’s going to be nice to give more money, because MMA is the most underpaid sport when it comes to, ahhhh, soccer, football, hockey. So MRI is fighting for fighters, and we are going to do something which has never been done before: we are going to set up, we are going to give the fighters the QR-code: they can put it on their shorts, they can print it on their back, they can have it on their story on Instagram. They are going to have their own code attached to a crypto wallet, and if fight fans like what they see, they appreciate the war and think “this fight was the fight of the century for me”, they can give the fighters a bonus, and that, I think, is going to be something that is going to be done around the world. ‘Cause imagine, in the UFC for example, there’s a fight that goes viral, or you know that time, Dana White always said that the fight that shaped the UFC was the Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar fight, at the Ultimate Fighter 1 finale. So for example this fight, you know people started watching it – it went viral. So imagine if these two guys had a crypto wallet and the code, you could have seen a Dubai sheik or a Saudi or somebody wealthy who said “I like this fight, I want to give them a bonus.” They were all bloody and, you know, they WERE hurting the next day. So you know, they could have got thousands, probably millions of dollars, you don’t know, we don’t know how crazy fans are. You know people around the world want’s to support the fighters, and we can see that, we know that, because look at the run we’ve had with MRI, so, ahmmm, I’m excited about this, let’s call it a ‘donation box’ – a tip box for fighters.
FIGHT SPORTS: that is awesome. Sounds like a real exciting first event. So is that the only event you’ve got in the books right now, or do you actually have a road map for the future?
Leduc: yes sir. Aahh, we have Slovakia now, which is a historic event and nobody is ever going to be able to take that away from us, you know that we set up the first ever crypto based promotion. The second one is going to be, I think, in January in Columbia in the home town of Pablo Escobar. So this is going to be fun to see this place. There’s a lot of good fighters in Latin America, and afterwards we’re looking to go to Argentina. Then we are looking at going to the States, maybe Wyoming, where I had my Lethwei fight, ahhh, Miami so we have a lot of stuff happening. 2023 is going to be a big year for sure.
FIGHT SPORTS: wow, that sounds fantastic: sounds like we have a new major player in the combat sports promotion industry.
Dave I think we’ve covered it all by now, is there anything you’d like to add?
Leduc: I’d like to say thank you to everybody for the support we’ve had, you know crazy sponsors, giving support, you know WANTING to be a part of this, and you know like I said I’m a big crypto proponent and in taking the power back and I’m just happy that we are now able to merge the virtual world, you know the crypto world and the physical world together. It’s something which is very dear to my heart. I like making history, because that’s something that’s fun, because we’re not here for a long time, let’s remove barriers, let’s make it exciting, you know MFC is all about trying something new, and ahhhh, making it different, and, you know hosting a good show so we’re excited, and again I want to thank you.
You can watch the fights live on YouTube around the world from Slovakia on October 29th – you can go and vote on social media. We are going to set up so you can go follow a fighter and be able to see how to give the bonus. Because at the end of the fight, at the end of the event, I’m going to receive a text with the winner of the bonus voted by the community, you know so basically we are taking the power back, but we are also giving the power to the community. MFC belongs to the world, belongs to the community, so it belongs to the fight fans. So you can have the power to decide who wins the bonus, who, you know who gets another fight, you know we’re going to be giving the fans match-ups to decide from. I want the community to be involved, and they are really responsive. I’d like to thank you and thanks for having me on FIGHT SPORTS, and I’m going right back to building this event because I am, I have a lot of respect now for fight promoters, it’s a big thing, so thank you Chatri Sityodtong and Dana White, it’s a big thing to make it to that height, to make it to main stream, like they’ve done, you know they’ve really gained my respect and admiration. Being a promoter is not an easy task: you deal with fighter injuries, venue problems, ahhhhmm, but we’re doing it – everything’s going well, and uhhmm, we’ll see everybody on October 29th.