Fighter Salaries: A Fair Share of Revenues (Part 4)
Meeting Fighter Interests
Unfortunately, for the fighters and the public that love to loathe the UFC, a lack of information and the problematic complexities of a definitive revenue splitting scheme means that they may have no other choice than to cooperate with the UFC and trust that Dana White “takes care of his guys”.
Most are going to scoff at this idea, especially after having read Fight! Magazine’s latest interview with Roger Huerta. Yet, it appears as though a confluence of events is currently taking shape to help guarantee that Dana White begins taking better care of his fighters.
I see the emergence of legitimate competition, Zuffa mis-steps such as the merchandising contract and Randy Couture incident, in addition to the evident success and continued growth of the MMA industry all putting pressure on Zuffa to bend its standard operating procedures in favour of the fighters.
Lee Murray/Securitas raid Being Made Into Movie
The story of former UFC and Cage Rage middleweight Lee Murray and his participation in Britain's biggest bank heist will be made into a movie.
"Breaking The Bank," will be the first film produced under the new partnership between Time Inc. and production companies The Collective and XYZ Films. The deal will turn articles out of Time Inc. publications such as Sports Illustrated, Time and Fortune into features and documentaries.
Murray was featured in a story by L. Jon Wertheim on the April 14 issue of Sports Illustrated.
On February 22, 2006, Murray took part in a robbery for £53,116,760 (or approximately $92.5 million US) at a Securitas Depot in Kent, England. Murray escaped with the money, but would be arrested four months later in Morocco.
Texas Court Grants Zuffa LLC Motion
of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), has been informed by the Texas Court of Appeals that it has granted Zuffa’s Motion to Compel Randy Couture to arbitrate in the District of Nevada, thereby staying all further action by HDNet against Zuffa in the state of Texas.
Specifically, the Court of Appeals found that the lower court had engaged in “a clear abuse of discretion” by permitting HDNet to litigate claims relating to Mr. Couture’s contract in Texas, rather than in Nevada, where Zuffa is presently pressing a breach of contract action against Mr. Couture.
Upon learning of the court’s decision, Zuffa’s Las Vegas counsel, Donald J. Campbell, Esq., explained the significance of the ruling:
“The practical effect of the Court’s decision is to allow Zuffa to continue its prosecution of claims against Mr. Couture in the Arbitration presently underway here in Nevada without any regard to the flaccid claims of HDNet and its management. Based upon evidence uncovered during the interrogation of Mr. Couture during his deposition, we have every confidence that Mr. Couture will be held accountable for the serious and ongoing breaches of his contractual obligations to Zuffa.”
The successful appeal to the Texas Court of Appeals was achieved by Mr. Barry F. McNeil, Esq. and his partners at the Texas law firm Haynes Boone, LLP.
Ortiz Still a Free Agent
The drama surrounding the next home for embattled light heavyweight superstar Tito Ortiz continues to unfold as Affliction has still not signed the fighter, according to company COO Michael Cohen, who spoke to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
I guess its not so official
alifornia State Athletic Commission on MMA
"The California State Athletic Commission takes a lot of heat for its handling of MMA affairs, on every topic from fighter licensing to drug testing."
They talk about strikes to the back of the head, point scoring in MMA, etc etc. I am surprised by his competency. I figured CSAC was full of people who ignored MMA.
Affliction Lands Horodecki
In a move that strengthens its roster outside the heavyweight division, the upstart Affliction promotion on Wednesday announced the signing of former International Fight League poster boy Chris Horodecki (Pictures). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The once-beaten 20-year-old Canadian will make his promotional debut at Affliction “Day of Reckoning” on Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. An opponent has yet to be named. Horodecki (12-1) last competed in April, when he earned a unanimous decision victory against World Championship Fighting veteran Nate Lamotte (Pictures) at an IFL show in East Rutherford, N.J. ...
No-Show Ortiz: Let the Games Begin
Tito Ortiz (Pictures) knows it’s all about the timing.
Which is why most of the fight community tuned in to a news conference Wednesday in Las Vegas for the Oct. 11 Affliction 2 "Day of Reckoning" only to hear that the fighter would not only not be attending, but also that he has not yet been signed by the promotion.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to endorse Bad Boy MMA Apparel
Bad Boy Brands announced today that they have signed a multi-year sponsorship & endorsement agreement with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. The new relationship between Bad Boy and Shogun includes product endorsement, advertising, promotion, personal appearances, product design involvement and even a line of Shogun “signature” fight apparel, The most noticeable aspect of the relationship will be when Shogun dons the legendary Bad Boy “Sungão,” the original Vale Tudo fight shorts as he represents Bad Boy on the international MMA stage.
Bad Boy has been involved with MMA since the early nineties, sponsoring such legendary fighters
as Rickson Gracie, Wallid Ismael, Vitor Belfort and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira!. Bad Boy
currently offers a full line of premium MMA gear and clothing online and at specialty fight retailers. “Shogun’s ultra aggressive fighting style demands fight apparel of the highest quality and performance
attributes” commented Robin Offner, CEO of Bad Boy. “We’ve developed our new line of Bad Boy Pro Series products specifically for Shogun’s style of fighting”. ”I’ve known and respected Bad Boy apparel for years in Brazil”, said Shogun. “I’m excited to be a part of the Bad Boy team and I will do my best to represent them well”.
Fighter Salaries: A Fair Share of Revenues (Part 3)
Narrowing In On Better Revenue Sharing
We’ve already acknowledged the fact that the information isn’t available to make an absolutely precise definition of fair. As a result of this we’re forced to use what we have at our disposal. Let’s look at what we know:
* 75% of Zuffa’s revenue is event-related (i.e., PPV buys, live gates).
* The remaining 25% of Zuffa revenue comes from their SpikeTV deal, sponsorships, and merchandise sales.
* Zuffa is likely to maintain an EBITDA margin in the mid-30s in the foreseeable future.
* Estimated Zuffa revenues for 2008 are expected to be $250 million (according to Lorenzo Fertitta).
* Base salary payouts average out to 10% of event-related revenue.
CSAC: Aleks Emelianenko Will Never Fight In USA Again
California State Athletic Commission Official Bill Douglas was a guest recently on the Figure Four Daily radio show that airs on The Wrestling Observer and Mr. Douglas shed a little light on the controversay surrounding the reasoning behind Aleksander Emelianenko being removed from his scheduled bout with Paul Buentello at Affliction's debut show on July 19th.
MM-Eh: Horodecki Up for Grabs
It appears that a feeding frenzy has begun to circle around 20-year-old wunderkind Chris Horodecki now that he has officially become a free agent.
Jeff Clark, one half of Horodecki’s North County Fight Club management team, says his client was released from his International Fight League contract last week at the fighter’s request, clearing a path for prospective promoters to voice their interest in the young striker.
"Kid" Yamamoto Has Surgery - Out For The Year
Sports Navigator is reporting that Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto was recently diagnosed with a complete ligament tear not a partial tear as originally suspected.
Surgery was required and performed successfully yesterday and Yamamoto should make a full recovery, but will be out of action for the rest of this year.
Yamamoto is currently riding a fourteen fight win streak which includes big wins over Jeff Curren, Royler Gracie and Caol Uno, but the 5'4" dynamo hasn't competed since New Years Eve and will now have to go through well over a year of inactivity before his next fight.
Winky Wright Criticizes Boxing Politics, Praises UFC
Concerns are growing that Mixed Martial Arts fighting is on the way to surpassing professional boxing in popularity (if it hasn’t already) with Elite XC on network TV CBS, The Ultimate Fighter series on Spike, etc. etc. Add Winky Wright to the list to those lauding the UFC’s business plan and questioning the decision-makers in boxing.
In a wide-ranging interview with Danny Flexen in the July 25th Boxing News weekly magazine of London (State Of The Game with Danny Flexen), Wright voiced plenty of logical sentiments which the boxing powers-that-be had better begin to heed, and fast. Among them told by Wright to Flexen:
“When I was coming up, more top fighters fought each other. They all wanted to prove they were the best in their weight class, not in the WBA, the IBF, but the best, period. But now the promoters and the networks get in the way and we’re losing a lot of fans because of it. The promoters milk the prospects, they don’t match them against top fighters. The networks allow too many easy fights.”
New Athletic Commission Chairwoman Could Be Key to MMA in NY
After the UFC’s lobbying efforts failed to get MMA legalized in New York, Zuffa’s Marc Ratner vowed not to give up so easily. Not long afterwards, Melvina Lathan was named as the new chairwoman for the New York State Athletic Commission, and guess what? She seems friendly to the UFC’s cause, despite being a “boxing purist” according to a recent Newsday article:
Royce Gracie On Fighting Ken Shamrock Again
Our friends over at DreamFighters.com were recently granted a quick interview with MMA Legend Royce Gracie. It would appear that Gracie still has it out for Ken Shamrock. Some things never change.
Gracie On The Possibility Of Fighting Ken Shamrock A Third Time:
"I have no interest in fighting him. I have nothing to settle with him. I beat him in less then a minute the first time and the second time he held me down for 30 minutes and still I was the one attempting submissions. And then he landed one punch, which did not KO me, and he held again for 5 minutes. Then declared himself a winner because he did not lose. To me when a guy is 50 lbs. heavier then me and he holds me down, that is not a winner. So I have nothing to prove by fighting him again. And I don't need the money that bad. Maybe he does."
Fighter Salaries: A Fair Share of Revenues (Part 1)
Without a doubt the most contentious of all the fighter salary issues, determining a fair share of revenues for the fighters is no easy task. I’ve thought about the direction that I wanted to take this piece for some weeks and it has occurred to me that the best format for something such as this is to just put everything on the table and try to make some sense of it.
There really is no other place to start than defining the word fair; and, in this case it’s a matter of multiple perspectives. Without a doubt, primary consideration must to be given to the opinions and viewpoints of both the promoters (and their organizations) and the fighters - they are the main actors. However, secondary consideration needs to be given towards creating a revenue sharing scheme that is fair to the sport and fair in the eyes of the fans.
It has been reported that the Fertitta brothers dumped close to $40 million of their own wealth into the UFC from 2001 until 2005 (the time before the company began to see a profit). From their point of view and that of other owners and promoters, those that take the financial risks ought to determine the amount of financial rewards they’re entitled to.