Back in August, veteran combat sports promoter Keith Veltre announced the formation of new mixed-martial-arts promotion, iKON Fighting Federation (iKON), in association of Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions (RJJ Boxing).
Launching a new business during a pandemic may not have been under ideal conditions, but four successful events were promoted, establishing iKON as a potential force within the MMA industry in 2021. One show was held in Biloxi, Mississippi, the other three in San Carlos, Mexico. Each was streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports. To sign up for UFC FIGHT PASS, please visit www.ufcfightpass.com.
Veltre also announced the hiring of Dean Toole, who is the founder and CEO of Island Fights, as iKON’s matchmaker.
Having flyweight Bella “Lady” Mir fight on two iKON events immediately put the new promotion on the combat sports map. She is the 17-year-old daughter of MMA living legend Frank Mir, arguably the greatest heavyweight fighter in MMA history.
Key to iKON’s success was the partnership it developed with Mexican promoter De La O Promotions, which co-promoted three shows at Marinaterra Hotel & Spa Event Center in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico.
Here’s a breakdown of the four iKON events held in 2020:
iKON 1, September 24, Biloxi Civic Center in Biloxi, Mississippi
IKON’s inaugural show was on a hybrid MMA/boxing show with RJJ Boxing. Veteran lightweight Khasan “Back Wolf” Ashkabov’s presence in the main event immediately gave iKON 1 instant credibility. Ashkabov (21-2-0) used a rear naked choke to submit Cliff “The Goblin” Wright in the second round.
In the co-featured event, Las Vegas middleweight Johnny “The Paradox” Parsons (5-2-0) upset local favorite Tyler “Zombie” Hill (10-5-0), registering an opening round technical knockout on punches. Middleweight Allan St. Gelais won his pro debut with a second-round stoppage of Ravon “Big Shot” Baxter.
iKON 2, October 22, Marinaterra Hotel & Spa Event Center in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
The main event matched Mexican featherweight Alejandro “Toro” Flores (18-3-0) and Andy Golden Boy” Perez (10-9-0). Flores won a 3-round unanimous decision. iKON 2 was part of a day-night doubleheader with RJJ Boxing.
The iKON 2 spotlight, however, was on the co-featured, in which Mir made her professional debut against Danielle Wynn. Mir kicked-off her pro career with a unanimous decision win over Wynn. Parsons (6-2-0) improved to 2-0 in iKON competition, using his advantage in striking to stop Juan Raymon Grano Medina (6-5-0) round two.
iKON 3, November 20, Marinaterra Hotel & Spa Event Center
The iKON 3 main event matched two of Mexico’s top-rated featherweights, 21-year-old Alexander “El Pato” Martinez (11-4-1) and Daniel “Danger” Vega (12-3-1), in which Martinez took a decision.
Bantamweight Luis “Lazy Boy” Rodriguez (12-2-0) knocked out Paul “El Tierno” Marquez Moreno (6-6-0) in the first round of the co-feature. Lightweight Marco Elpidio (11-3-0) won a unanimous decision over Oziel Rodriguez Lopez (10-4-1).
iKON 4, December 11, Marinaterra Hotel & Spa Event Center
Mir headlined her first show in only her second pro fight. She recorded her first win by submission, locking in a rear naked choke on Alma Cespedes (0-2) in the opening round of iKON 4.
Mexican lightweight prospect Daniel “Golden Boy” Zellhuber improved his record to 10-0-0, punching out Alexander Barahona (13-4-0) in the opening round of the co-featured event. Undefeated Paraguayan lightweight Alex Martinez upped his pro record to 7-0-0 by submitting Christopher “Anaconda” Ramirez (7-3-0) via a guillotine choke in round one.