CROW­LEY IN­SPIRES FLEM­ING STU­DENTS

The Peterborough Examiner - - LOCAL - MIKE DAVIES mike.davies @pe­ter­bor­ough­daily.com

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.

CLIF­FORD SKARSTEDT EX­AM­INER

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

EMILY WIL­SON SPE­CIAL TO THE EX­AM­INER

Cody Crow­ley and former UFC owner Dana White were re­united ear­lier this month at the UFC Per­for­mance Cen­tre in Las Ve­gas.

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