CROWLEY INSPIRES FLEMING STUDENTS
At 16 Cody Crowley snuck down to ringside at a UFC show to pitch an idea to Dana White about doing a show on him.
Crowley explained he was going to be a world champion boxer one day and it might be interesting to chronicle his career. White posed for a photo with Crowley and said, “Come back and see me in 10 years and let’s talk.”
That’s how Crowley remembers it.
Two weeks ago, Crowley met with the former owner of UFC at the UFC Performance Centre in Las Vegas as part of the lead-up to Crowley’s debut on UFC Fight Pass on Saturday at the Memorial Centre.
The combat sport subscription service will livestream Homecoming V: Going Global, a boxing card headlined by Crowley’s defence of his Canadian Professional Boxing Council superwelterweight title against Montreal’s Mein Hussain.
“Cody has a story that is pretty remarkable in that he is trying to do it all on his own with his team,” said Crowley Sullivan, vice-president and general manager of UFC Fight Pass. “He has not gone to any of the big-time promoters. He’s charted a path on his own. That was the first thing that jumped out at me.”
Then Sullivan met Crowley and was shown a decade-old photo of Crowley and White together at ringside and that’s when things really picked up.
“The photo is great because both of them looked like allAmerican kids, especially Cody and he’s Canadian,” Sullivan said. “You look at that photo and you can’t help but be drawn to the idea that here is a potential star especially from the look of him arm-in-arm with Dana.”
Sullivan was impressed by Crowley’s authenticity, humble origins and his commitment.
“It all became obvious to me this was an opportunity to work with someone who has an opportunity and a real potential to be a star,” said Sullivan.
White saw the same potential, Sullivan said.
“Dana told Cody that what we did with GSP (George St. Pierre) and how Canada got behind him, there is potential for Canada to get behind you in the same way,” Sullivan said.
None of that would matter if they weren’t also convinced Crowley could fight.
“He checks all the boxes with regards to the potential magic and speak and star ability but we did our homework on him as a fighter,” said Sullivan. “We’re bullish on him as a fighter and that has to be part of why we’d go down a path like this.”
While UFC events are usually held in larger cities and venues than Peterborough, Sullivan says, “From our perspective there is nothing small about this. There is nothing small about Cody Crowley. There is nothing small about Peterborough. We’re excited about the ability to showcase a big-time event on what we are proud to know as a big-time platform.
“We’re excited about partnering not just with Cody Crowley and his team but his hometown and his entire community which is backing him. There’s nothing small about any of that.”
UFC Fight Pass launched six years ago primarily to give UFC fans access to preliminary bouts on its pay-per-view shows. A recent agreement with ESPN to broadcast preliminary bouts created a need for content for UFC Fight Pass.
Sullivan said they decided to expand to boxing and other combat sports. Sullivan said they’ve done a dozen boxing shows so far. They’ve partnered with boxing promoters including Roy Jones Jr., former HBO executive Lou DiBella and Murphy’s Boxing. Crowley’s CCC Promotions is their newest partner.
“Our subscriber base touches countries all over the world and Canada is a strong market for us,” Sullivan said.
Good tickets remain available for the fight at the PMC box office. A public weigh-in will be held Friday at The Venue with doors opening at 6 p.m.
Pro boxer Cody Crowley poses for photos after speaking to students from Fleming College’s Community Integration Through Co-operative Education program at the Sutherland Campus on Wednesday. Crowley, who fights Saturday night at the Memorial Centre, talked about healthy routines and fitness for mental health awareness. Read more about Crowley on page
Cody Crowley and former UFC owner Dana White were reunited earlier this month at the UFC Performance Centre in Las Vegas.