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Some Managers, Agents Lose Backstage Pass

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ncordless

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Managers and agents are fast becoming an endangered species backstage at UFC and WEC events.

Zuffa, the company that owns and operates both promotions, has notified select fighter representatives that they will no longer receive credentials from the promotion to sit with their clients backstage on fight night.

The reasoning behind the UFC’s decision varies according to the source. Some say the move is yet another strike in a campaign to separate fighters from their business representatives. Others say Zuffa is making a reasonable attempt to control unnecessary backstage traffic and lighten overcrowded dressing rooms of freeloaders.

The latter explanation loses traction, however, when the promotion has not enacted a blanket policy across the board, which brings into question if the move is more personal than procedural.

Of five separate fighter representatives and their firms that spoke to Sherdog.com, two said they were told that credentials would no longer be doled out to them shortly after UFC 94 on Jan. 31. These firms were also denied backstage access in person at UFC Fight Night 17, UFC 95 and UFC 96, as well as WEC 39, which took place March 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Both reps said Zuffa would give no reason for the change in policy when asked over the phone and in person.

“You don’t ask questions of them. You know how that goes,” said one manager, who, like multiple fighter representatives interviewed, would only speak on the condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.

Zuffa’s public relations department did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment on the promotion’s sudden shift in policy after eight years.

Outraged managers and agents said the silent treatment speaks to a greater issue that Zuffa is trying to keep hidden behind closed locker room doors.

“They’re divisively trying to split management and fighters,” said one representative. “They’re trying to de-power the managers and agents to create a wedge between them. They give locker room bonuses and say, ‘This is from Dana [White] and the UFC -- nobody else.’ They’re telling fighters they can go directly to them. They’re telling fighters they’ll be doing sponsorships themselves in the near future that will put the managers and agents out of business. They’re trying to minimize the managers’ and agents’ role in the fighter’s life so they can better control salaries.”

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Post #1   4/1/09 12:14:54PM   

Dragonscale

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Good. Managers and agents do the best to **** stuff up all in the name of money.

I'm glad ufc is "keeping it real"

Post #2   4/1/09 12:46:39PM   

Aether

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Posted by Dragonscale


Good. Managers and agents do the best to **** stuff up all in the name of money.

I'm glad ufc is "keeping it real"



Managers and agents generally do the best that they can to make their client as much money as possible, I don't see how you can construe that as a bad thing. The other option is largely powerless fighters negotiating contracts with a virtual monopoly on an individual level.

Post #3   4/1/09 12:51:13PM   

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This is an interesting article.. at first your thinking booooo ufc, stop trying control every aspect of this sport and stop trying to establish so much power over everyone that you deal with, that they're afraid to give their names when they disagree with what you're doing.

When you get to the end of the article, I kinda stop feeling sorry for the managers and agents tho... It sounds like the managers and agents were both taking a cut of the undisclosed bonuses that the ufc management doles out after a fight.... and now they cant. More money for the fighters, less money for the agents and managers, I'm not against that. How many times have we seen management be the reason for a fighter's misfortunes? Fedor probably would've been in the ufc by now had it not been for finklestein's demands... Vera wouldnt've been on such a layoff had it not been for his manager. Had it not been for cox, sylvia would still be in mma and probably title contention with the ufc (he definitely fell in love with his jab, but in the vera and nog fight, he showed that he was back to his old self)... and randy wouldnt have been convinced that the best thing for him to do for his career and legacy was star in the scorpion king 2.

I have no doubt that there are some outstanding managers out there who want to do nothing but support the hell out of their fighters and help them achieve all the success they deserve... and its sad because these managers do deserve to be backstage with their fighters. The reality is that there are other managers out there who have their eyes set on the money... who want to maximize their fighter's salaries so they can maximize their own and who will send their fighters to their biggest pay day rather than move their fighter's in a direction which is best for their career. These guys are like a poison to the sport and should be excluded from the prefight activities that all fighters go through before they fight.

What I hope will happen from this is that the atmosphere backstage during an event will be nothing but fight prep and nothing but mma. To eliminate any taste of business in that atmosphere I think is a good thing... fighting is pure, business taints that. I'm thinking about it this way... do the fighters need their managers and agents backstage before a fight? You dont see managers and agents in the locker room before a hockey game or a basketball game... you might seem them on occasion for whatever reason, but you dont see them there often because they're not needed. Prefight is a time for the sport, not the business.


EDIT: 500 posts !!!

Last edited 4/1/09 1:00PM server time by wapttn
Edit note/reason: n/a

Post #4   4/1/09 12:58:41PM   

prozacnation1978

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talk about taking charge

Post #5   4/1/09 1:00:09PM   

grappler0000

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Posted by wapttn

This is an interesting article.. at first your thinking booooo ufc, stop trying control every aspect of this sport and stop trying to establish so much power over everyone that you deal with, that they're afraid to give their names when they disagree with what you're doing.

When you get to the end of the article, I kinda stop feeling sorry for the managers and agents tho... It sounds like the managers and agents were both taking a cut of the undisclosed bonuses that the ufc management doles out after a fight.... and now they cant. More money for the fighters, less money for the agents and managers, I'm not against that. How many times have we seen management be the reason for a fighter's misfortunes? Fedor probably would've been in the ufc by now had it not been for finklestein's demands... Vera wouldnt've been on such a layoff had it not been for his manager. Had it not been for cox, sylvia would still be in mma and probably title contention with the ufc (he definitely fell in love with his jab, but in the vera and nog fight, he showed that he was back to his old self)... and randy wouldnt have been convinced that the best thing for him to do for his career and legacy was star in the scorpion king 2.

I have no doubt that there are some outstanding managers out there who want to do nothing but support the hell out of their fighters and help them achieve all the success they deserve... and its sad because these managers do deserve to be backstage with their fighters. The reality is that there are other managers out there who have their eyes set on the money... who want to maximize their fighter's salaries so they can maximize their own and who will send their fighters to their biggest pay day rather than move their fighter's in a direction which is best for their career. These guys are like a poison to the sport and should be excluded from the prefight activities that all fighters go through before they fight.

What I hope will happen from this is that the atmosphere backstage during an event will be nothing but fight prep and nothing but mma. To eliminate any taste of business in that atmosphere I think is a good thing... fighting is pure, business taints that. I'm thinking about it this way... do the fighters need their managers and agents backstage before a fight? You dont see managers and agents in the locker room before a hockey game or a basketball game... you might seem them on occasion for whatever reason, but you dont see them there often because they're not needed. Prefight is a time for the sport, not the business.




I agree...it's not like they're asking fighters to sign anything without their manager there, so I have no problem with this.

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Post #6   4/1/09 1:40:02PM   

Darnok

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We really don't know the whole story, especially since it came from the highly biased anti UFC Sherdog. It could easily be the case that some of the fighters have said it is too distracting to have my manager around, please don't let them in.

Post #7   4/1/09 2:02:30PM   

Darnok

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This is Dana's response to the article. Starts at the 4.30 mark.

He did also mention that a lot of the fighters don't want their managers back their.

Linky Linky

Post #8   4/1/09 4:45:23PM   

Red-Dragon

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This is a good thing IMO. Agents and there so called hunger to get their client the bast pay (which is obvious because they are on a percentage) are the reason that wages in soccer have grown so high. this means that ticket prices have gone up pricing normal folk out of the market. You are talking around £60 per ticket per match for Premier league football now and that for a man and 2 kids every week is just too much for 2 hrs entertainment. With travel and food thats £250 a game.

Post #9   4/1/09 5:36:51PM