Promotions and the Use of Exclusive Fighter Agreements in MMA
Promotions use exclusive fighter agreements to carefully and comprehensively describe the rights and responsibilities of fighters under contract with the organization. Generally, these exclusive agreements address key business conditions a promotion wishes to clearly define in the event the conditions are not met. Promotions are big businesses and the sophistication of their business agreements reflect this reality.
MMA business is no longer based on a handshake. In fact, in many instances, the exclusive fighter agreement is just one of several a promotion will use. Bout agreements and standard fighter contracts governed by state athletic commissions and/or other governing bodies are also used to strictly define the roles of the parties, the term of the business agreement, the scope of the deal (which can be very broad) and the consequences for breach. Following are just some of the key provisions one could expect to find in an exclusive fighter agreement:
Nick 'The Goat' Thompson Moving Up To 185
Six months ago, Nick “The Goat” Thompson thought he was a fighter with a law degree. But when fights stopped coming in the last half of 2008, he wondered if he was the opposite.
“I’ve got this $100,000 degree, I’ve been paying on that, and I can’t find any fights,” said Thompson. “It doesn’t really matter how good you are if you can’t find fights. The law was looking a lot more attractive an option.”
Time Warner Possibly Dropping MMA-friendly HDNet
Time Warner and HDNet have reached an impasse in coming to terms on a new carriage agreement and the result is the possible dropping of the high definition channel effective May 31st. The drop would affect the more than 1 million HDNet subscribers through TW nationwide. This would be a sizable chunk of the 15 million subscriber base for HDNet.
HDNet Co-founder Mark Cuban spoke with MMA Fanhouse and held out hope for a resolution:
“We are still in discussions,” Cuban said via e-mail. “The best thing fans can do is call their local Time Warner general manager and tell them that. They love HDNet and would be upset if its taken off.”
MMA regulation coming to Indiana
The state of Indiana appears to be headed toward full regulation for the sport of mixed martial arts. Senate Bill 160 was drafted primarily by Sen. Dennis Kruse of Auburn. It has been ratified, and regulation for MMA will take effect on the first day of July.
According to mmafacts.com, MMA is currently regulated in 32 states. A bill to add Hawaii to the list has passed that state’s legislature and is scheduled to go into effect later this year.
There are seven remaining states that do not regulate the sport.
They are: New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Connecticut. However, in the case of Connecticut, the Mohegan Sun casino is on an Indian reservation and has run MMA shows.
There are also five states that have no athletic commission for MMA or boxing. Those are Alaska, Alabama, Wyoming, South Dakota and Maine.
Full regulation is a move those in the sport feel is necessary.
Lyoto Machida and the Revenge of Karate
Saturday, Lyoto Machida may well wind up finishing what Minoki Ichihara started.
Ichihara, if not the pioneering karateka to step into a mixed-rules ring, was certainly the first to do it for the benefit of a television satellite truck. An elite daido juku fighter in Japan -- a hybrid of judo and kyokushin karate -- Ichihara admitted himself in the 16-man draw of the second Ultimate Fighting Championship in March 1994.
CORRECTION: Leopoldo Charged for Possession of Marijuana
In a Feb. 17, 2009, article titled "Update: Leopoldo Arrested for Methamphetamine," Sherdog reported that UFC veteran Kimo Leopoldo had been arrested "for two felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of stolen property." The article stated that "Leopoldo tested positive for methamphetamine at the Tustin Police Department station" and that "a search of the fighter's car" produced "a baggie containing 'a small amount' of the drug." Sherdog's reporting on the matter was based upon a diligent and thorough investigation consistent with the highest journalistic standards, and the referenced information was obtained directly from police sources named in the story. However, Sherdog has since been advised that the information provided to Sherdog by those sources may have been erroneous. Sherdog is now informed that Leopoldo did not test positive for methamphetamine. Sherdog is also now informed that although methamphetamine was found in the car, Leopoldo was not the owner of the vehicle. Accordingly, Leopoldo has been charged only with possession of marijuana.
American Top Team Camp Report
The top athletes at American Top Team continue to grow and get big fights each and every day. From Thiago Alves taking his shot at Georges St. Pierre at UFC 100 for the UFC welterweight title, to Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante fighting Tatsuya Kawajiri in Dream later this month, the Florida based American Top Team produces some of the best talent in the mixed martial arts world.
Beyond the names already mentioned, the team also boasts a slew of talented fighters that will likely be hitting the main stage of the UFC, Strikeforce, or another organization very soon.
Rising from the Slums
In Brazil, where an estimated 50 million people live in favelas, or slums, it’s common for a child to dream of changing his or her life through sports.
In years past, kids have aspired to follow in the footsteps of soccer idols like Romário and Ronaldo, both of whom were born in the Rio de Janeiro favelas. Nowadays, the popularity of mixed martial arts in Brazil and the growth of its international market have attracted more athletes from these poor communities who aim to become the next Wanderlei Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira or Anderson Silva.
*one of the best reads in a long time*
Cung Le Not Ready To Ditch Real Fighting
Cung Le may be on his way to movie stardom, but he still wants to get in the cage.
This year, the Strikeforce middleweight champion will have four movies in the can. Fighting, with Channing Tatum, was released last month. Pandorum, with co-star Dennis Quaid, is due Sept. 4. Video game adaptation Tekken is undergoing final touches. True Legend, with legendary fight coordinator Woo Ping, is in production.
Between takes, he sneaks in workouts, trying to stay in shape for an eventual return to the cage.
Gabe Ruediger Returns, Leaving Past Behind
Heading into 2009, former WEC lightweight champion Gabe “Godzilla” Ruediger was on a downslide.
After a controversial stint on “The Ultimate Fighter 5,” bad tidings with his former team and a neck injury forced him on a rollercoaster ride of wins and losses.
Shawn Thompkins Suggests Rift With Wanderlei
Xtreme Couture coach Shawn Tompkins appears to have had something of a fall-out with Wanderlei Silva, judging by recent comments.
"With Wanderlei and I, we've worked together before -- we worked together with the Keith Jardine fight," Tompkins told MMA FanHouse. "We're great friends, I just think we have different ideas on what a training schedule should be.
Tompkins suggested that Silva had a more relaxed approach to training than was required, prompting to the two to part ways.
Affliction's Tom Atencio on MMA fight with UFC's Dana White: "Let's do it"
On June 27, at an Ultimate Chaos event in Mississippi, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio (1-0) will make his second appearance as a professional mixed-martial-arts fighter.
During a recent press conference for the event, Atencio seemed to hint he wanted to fight UFC President Dana White sometime in the future.
On Friday's edition of MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), Atencio left no doubts. He's ready to fight White, and he thinks it would be "huge" for both fight executives.
Wanderlei Silva expresses surprising desire to train with former rival
A Brazilian rivalry dating back to 2005 may be nearing it’s end in the near future, at least according to one of the feud participants.
Wanderlei Silva and Ricardo Arona are age old enemies who first met up at PRIDE Final Conflict 2005 in the semi-final of PRIDE’s middleweight grand prix. Arona surprised many when he handed the dominant middleweight champion his first defeat in over five years at the weight class by controlling Silva from the top position for the majority of the contest en route to a decision victory. Arona yelled in the face of the PRIDE champion from the top position at the bout’s conclusion to add insult to injury, and add fuel to the fire of the rivalry.
Lift The Ban Watch: South Carolina Votes Today
Currently MMA is legal in 37 states, but as soon as today that number could grow to 38. South Carolina could be next in line, and a vote on legalizing MMA in the state is set for a vote in the state legislature today. The state currently bans MMA in the state with the exception of the US Marines Training Facility at Parris Island.
A Blood Called Shooto
Nearly 25 years ago, Japanese professional wrestler Satoru Sayama -- better known as the original Tiger Mask -- had an idea about fighting, the seed of Shooto.
The first-ever amateur Shooto event was held in 1986, while 1989 marked the first-ever occasion of “professional Shooting.” All mixed martial arts observers know of Greek Pankration -- and the more modern tradition of Brazilian vale tudo -- but Shooto has the longest lineage of any single combat sports entity in contemporary MMA. Fittingly, that lineage will be celebrated this Sunday in Tokyo, when leading Shooto promoter Sustain stages its 20th anniversary event.
“Shooto” is an intriguing concept, its definition varying depending on who you ask. Although Sayama left the world of Shooto in 1986, his original vision is adhered to by authorities who view Shooto not as an organization but as an international sport unto itself, with its own system and rules, taking place from Japan to Australia to Brazil to Belgium and beyond.
For some MMA fans, following Shooto is proof of fanaticism about the sport and, for others, an unfathomable hobby for MMA elitists. One thing that is readily clear, however, is that those who are passionate about Shooto have an intensity about it that is completely incongruous with how most people celebrate other MMA entities. Even in the heyday of UFC-versus-Pride debacles, debates raged over extrinsic qualities of aesthetic production values, roster quality and fighter purses.