What investors are being told about the UFCs finances (Part 2)
The second of three articles looking at the UFC's finances. In part two, John S. Nash uses reports from various financial service companies to examine the UFC's debt.
For an in-depth look at the UFC's revenue see our previous article: Earning will be examined next week in part 3.
To get a better understanding of the UFC's debt load, Bloody Elbow analyzed all the available published materials from Moody's, Standard & Poor's, Deutsche Bank, and Prospect News and consulted with a team of financial professionals to evaluate the reports.
None of the documents reported on the UFC's liabilities before 2005, so we are forced to start our debt history with that year.
Lawsuit lifts veil on WSOF internal issues, alleges financial problems, NAC violations
A new lawsuit alleges dire financial straits, violation of NAC rules and a dispute over international licensing rights at the World Series of Fighting. Paul Gift has the details.
WSOF Asia, an LLC whose ownership includes "prominent individuals and entities" in China and Hong Kong, filed a lawsuit in Las Vegas federal court on Monday against MMAWC, the controlling company of the World Series of Fighting (WSOF), and other individuals including CEO Carlos Silva, matchmaker Ali Abdel Aziz and member Bruce Deifik. The lawsuit paints a picture of significant internal strife in the past year along with claims of defamation, breach of contract, dire financial straits and violations of the Nevada Athletic Commission's (NAC) code for MMA promoters.
Wanderlei Silva files motion to dismiss lawsuit, says Belfort test evidence of UFC cheating
Attorneys for Wanderlei Silva have filed a motion to dismiss the UFC's lawsuit against the renowned MMA fighter with the Clark County, Nevada District Court on Friday, October 3, 2015. The motion claims that the UFC's suit is an attempt "to chill Silva's free speech" and "public participation" as well as send a message to other fighters, and that Silva comments about "cheating" and "fight-fixing" received additional credibility with Vitor Belfort's recently revealed lab results.
The UFC filed a complaint of "Intentional Misconduct" against Silva on July 29th for comments he had published on Facebook referring to "fight fixing" in the UFC and comparing the promotion to professional wrestling.
Silva's counsel, Terry A. Coffing of the firm Marquis Aurbach Coffing, argues that the complaint should be dismissed because it fails to show damages from his comments or prove his comments were false, and that the UFC's true motivation behind filing the suit is to silence his client.
A Sketchy Drug Test Didn’t Stop Vitor Belfort From Fighting At UFC 152
Just more than 24 hours ahead of their Memorial Day fight this year, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman stepped up to his opponent, Vitor Belfort, in public, ready to accuse him of cheating.
At a weigh-in inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Belfort, 38, disrobed to boos. A densely muscled frame had helped him savage foes as far back as 1996, when at the age of 19 he debuted in mixed martial arts by bouncing super-heavyweight John Hess’s head off the canvas like a basketball to score a 12-second victory. From that day forward, people were drawn to his athleticism, his dynamic finishing ability, and his physique, the latter of which would be augmented over the years with performance-enhancing drugs.
It's almost 3 years ago to the day since Vitor Belfort stepped up on short notice to fight Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 152 in Toronto. Belfort nearly submitted Jones with an armbar in the 1st round, then proceeded to get shellacked until he tapped out to an Americana in round 4.
Belfort has been the subject of heavy scrutiny and multiple controversies concerning his TRT use and drug testing results, and we have another chapter to add to the book. In a special investigation penned by Josh Gross and published on Deadspin, Belfort had actually tested positive for elevated testosterone in the state of Nevada just under three weeks before fight night in Ontario.
Josh Thomson might be retired right now if not for Scott Coker's Bellator vision
Thomson was only making $5,000 per fight in sponsorship money with the Reebok tiered, tenure structure. He said that three sponsors alone are paying him more than $35,000 for his Bellator debut and there are more to come. Thomson also said he was making up to $90,000 in sponsors per fight during his run as one of the best lightweights in the UFC and Strikeforce.
"I had no intentions of testing the waters in the free-market until I heard that we were about to lock down a sponsorship deal," Thomson said. "They took away our sponsors. That was the only deal."
Nick Diaz fined $165,000, suspended five years by NSAC for UFC 183 positive drug test
After a protracted hearing that featured plenty of boring legalese from both sides, Diaz, 32, was fined $165,000 (33-percent of his $500,000 purse) and suspended for five years for what amounts to his third positive drug test in Nevada. The first came after a submission win over Takanori Gomi in 2007, followed by another in defeat to Carlos Condit in 2012.
note: 5 years, god damn son, thats like prison time almost
Demetrious Johnson's Xbox sponsorship in limbo in UFC's Reebok era
At a recent media event in downtown LA, Johnson told MMAFighting.com essentially, that his Xbox sponsorship is in limbo.
"I'm still in touch with them," Johnson said. "If any opportunities come up, then if I fit that role I'll be reached out. Other than that, it's just not there."
The problem with maintaining outside sponsorships in the Reebok era is that the sponsor's big payoff came when their brand was displayed on television. While fighters can still do things like personal appearances outside of fight week, the sponsorship loses value if there aren't hundreds of thousands of people watching.
"All the sponsors out there, they're looking for that prime-time spot, that's what they're paying for," Johnson said. "So if any, Bad Boy, Hayabusa, whatever's out there, they're looking for that prime spot. Of course they can do stuff outside the Octagon, but they're going to make their big money inside the Octagon, that's where they get the most viewers."
UFC 191 Structured Reebok Sposorship Payout Totals $192,500
Demetrious Johnson: $40,000
John Dodson: $30,000
21 bouts and above (1)
Frank Mir: $20,000
16 to 20 bouts (3)
Andrei Arlovski: $15,000
Anthony Johnson: $15,000
Ross Pearson: $15,000
11 to 15 bouts (1)
Joe Riggs: $10,000
6 to 10 bouts (4)
Jessica Andrade: $5,000
John Lineker: $5,000
Jimi Manuwa: $5,000
Francisco Rivera: $5,000
1 to 5 bouts (11)
Corey Anderson: $2,500
Jan Blachowicz: $2,500
Alex Chambers: $2,500
Clay Collard: $2,500
Paul Felder: $2,500
Nazareno Malegarie: $2,500
Raquel Pennington: $2,500
Joaquim Silva: $2,500
Ron Stallings: $2,500
Tiago Trator: $2,500
Paige VanZant: $2,500
Average fighter structured sponsorship payout: $8,750
Justin Wren has returned from the Congo, but his fight for the Pygmies has just begun
Justin Wren stroked his prodigious beard, scratched the dry, red skin on his arm and squinted.
"It's kind of crazy we're here," he said. "All that green."
The ivy-covered coffee shop patio about two miles from the campus of UCLA brought Wren back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And, more specifically, the vision he had that led him to the African nation in the first place.
Four years ago, Wren was an MMA fighter struggling with addiction and depression, looking for something else of value in his life. During a spiritual retreat, he found it even if he didn't know where it was.
Wife: Ronda Rousey dating hubby while UFC investigates him for domestic violence
Looks like Ronda Rousey's personal life just became a lot more public. Over the past couple weeks, rumors have been cropping up around the internet that the UFC's biggest star and 135 lb champ has been dating one of the promotion's current persona non grata. The man in question? Current UFC heavyweight Travis Browne, who is under investigation by the UFC after his wife publicly accused him of domestic violence back in July.