Steven Gaugler, CEO of Crossroads Promotions, LLC founded the event promotion & marketing company based out of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in 2016. Gaugler, a former amateur MMA fighter, appeared on the scene after recognizing a major void in the MMA marketplace. Gaugler, who fought for Combat in the Cage in the early 2000’s had to travel to New Jersey where the sport was sanctioned in order to compete. After watching the sport cultivate over the last decade, Gaugler recognized that the small regional shows which appeared as the sport began to resurge in the late 2000’s had begun to disappear. He understood the impact that had on local amateur and debut professional fighters who were testing the waters. It meant long commutes to compete with little to no support from a hometown crowd. He became committed to creating a local stage for these up & coming athletes to test their skills with the support of their family, friends, & teammates.
Fran Evans, CEO of Locked in the Cage (LITC), got his start in combat sports as an amateur boxer and wrestler from the streets of Kensington in Philadelphia. With over 75 amateur boxing fights, Fran transitioned into MMA in 2004 on the advice of his good friend Eddie Alvarez. Fran went on to rack up nine amateur fights, and has competed in both muay thai and grappling tournaments in various parts of the country. Fran captured his first professional victory under Bellator Fighting Championships in October 2010, and currently holds a professional record of 1-0. While fighting, Fran gained experience on the business side of MMA by co-promoting MMA events with a Philadelphia MMA promotional brand in the mid-late 2000’s known as Combat in the Cage. Fran’s passion the business side of the sport grew stronger, and LITC was born shortly after. The first LITC show was held on November 20, 2009, and drew an astonishing 2800 fans in attendance. LITC went on to promote 15 consecutive MMA shows between 2009-2013. Eventually, Evans took a break from the MMA promoting business after recognizing that the Philadelphia marketplace had become saturated with competition.
In early 2016 a non-profit group reached out to Gaugler about putting together an event to bring attention to their fundraising efforts to raise money for Homes For Our Troops, another non-profit group that builds special adaptive homes for wounded combat veterans. The veteran that they were raising funds for was Army Corporal Kevin McCloskey who, prior to his injury, had competed in MMA in the Army’s 101st Airborne. Gaugler read Kevin McCloskey’s biography & recognized that Kevin had wrestled at Philadelphia’s Northeast Catholic High School alongside Locked in the Cage CEO Francis Evans, Jr. & the UFC’s #1 lightweight contender Eddie Alvarez. Gaugler immediately contacted Evans & the 2 companies joined forces to promote the event. The event took place on Saturday April 2, 2016 to a sold out crowd at The Orchards Ballroom in Chambersburg, PA. As a result of the overwhelming success of the event, Gaugler & Evans immediately decided that their alliance would continue. Gaugler’s Crossroads Promotions, LLC is primarily responsible for the promotional & marketing aspect of the business while Evan’s Locked In The Cage, LLC coordinates the live events.