MMA is a game full of strong personalities. Half the fighters out there might be idiots but the brains behind the operations are usually sharp and contentious. So imagine my surprise when I wake up to find a press release from a collection of the top MMA agents in my mailbox … agents who hate eachother’s guts and who’s interaction is typically limited to sniping at eachother on internet forums and websites. Ken Pavia, Monte Cox, Ed Soares, Bob Cook, Cesar Gracie and more put the following warning together:
Whether or not these contracts are legally transferable is a matter of law. What is not at issue however is Showtime’s disclaimer that the assets are being sold “as-is, where-is basis, without recourse, warranty or guarantee of any kind.” We intend to fight the lawful ability to transfer these assets, and as we believe these are personal services contracts, we do not believe there is an obligation to perform if transferred. With pooled resources we are prepared to fight this issue.
The unity of this effort is unprecedented and the message that is being sent is clear. Absent significant pre-established negotiated terms, do not bid on these contracts unless you are prepared to fight the challenge to their legality. It is our intention to honor our commitment to Pro Elite, but if Pro Elite is not able to perform in accordance with the contractual terms, the fighters should be granted unrestricted free agency with the unfettered ability to enter the marketplace.
If ProElite’s attempt to block Showtime’s asset auction wasn’t enough to drive away potential buyers, this release says things loud and clear: buy these fighter contracts and you’re basically buying yourself a few dozen lawsuits. At this point, Showtime basically has a better chance of making money off melamine tainted food from China than most of ProElite’s assets.