MLW's Filthy Island seems like a bit of a parody, but Dominic Garrini wants to deliver on what UFC didn't.
When UFC promoted "Fight Island," it was heavily circled by imagery of a cage on a beach, implying that MMA fights would be outdoors. Outdoor fights are no new thing in MMA, but it just didn't happen that way when it came time for things to happen, many people didn't like the ol' bait and switch. MLW's Dominic Garrini was one of them
"I will never forget being so upset in those initial Fight Island promos and teasers that the UFC put out, the Octagon’s out there on the beach, and you’re like, ‘Okay, this is going to be awesome. They’re going to fight on the beach.’ You’re like, ‘This is going to look so cool.’ Even I talked with, I think (Tony) Deppen about it—him and I got into a Twitter thread about it—about how it’s going to be cool, but it’s going to be terrible for the fighters. It’s going to be so hot out. Then I turn on the prelims and they’re in an arena. I was like, ‘Wait, what?’ Then it was like, holy shit. They sold such a fake bill of goods to sell these pay-per-views and everybody bought it. I was like, ‘Ugh.' That was how they sold it. I’m telling you, there’s not a single idea behind that marketing department that didn’t put that picture out on, I think it was Wednesday of the week of the fights and didn’t say, ‘This is how we’re going to sell this pay-per-view, no matter what.’. They were going to do a good number of buys just based on the strength of the card. But, like, the amount of curiosity buys they got, I’m sure, on ESPN+ just for, “Is this really happening on an island? Are they really doing this on a beach?” Then of course it’s like, “Aw.” Was definitely a high number."
MLW's Filthy Island is satire in name and some build, but is going to have serious, no ropes wrestling as popularized by Bloodsport in recent years. However, they want to provide an environment as advertised.
"I think that Court and I had talked at that point and we were kinda like, ‘We don’t want to sell a fake bill of goods. This show needs to be outdoors and it needs to have that authentic island feel.’ So, like if anything you could say about the Fight Island UFC stuff, that’s the problem with it. Everything that goes along with the Fight Island stuff in the UFC has been awesome, all the Conor McGregor coming to the Octagon and Khabib coming to the arena, it looks so cool. Especially with how everything is so sequestered right now with COVID. Seeing Conor roll up to Etihad Arena in the fucking Rolls-Royce was so cool. So, it’s like, taking bits and pieces of that next to the actual aesthetics of the island," Garrini told Fightful.
Garrini spoke highly of the production and graphics that Major League Wrestling has, saying that their vision was brought forth, and the world will be able to see it on February 17.
"I think one thing that MLW does so well, is that they have such a good graphics team and they have a team that works so hard on making the show look beautiful. So, I think that was definitely a slam dunk for that. I know that Tom and I had talked about the Filth Island idea along with Court and we really liked the idea of it, and then it kind of worked all together with the idea of how we brought Kevin (Ku) in, how I was lost in Brazil and I found Kevin in the jungle. So, it almost worked even better with all that," said Garrini
You can see MLW's Filthy Island on Wednesday, February 17, 2020 on Youtube, beINSports, DAZN, and several other platforms. Our full interview with Garrini is at the top of the page.