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Cut Throat Business Tactics 101

The great thing about MMA news is that eventually, all truths come to light. A story will change 50 times over the course of it’s development, but in the end you get to know what happened if you know where to look. Case in point: a few weeks ago we were wondering where the fuck Andrei Arlovski was. Well, now we know: Zuffa’s benched him until he signs a new contract.

For those not familiar with the UFC’s brand of contract negotiation, let’s revisit Cut Throat Business Tactics 101. You sign a guy to a two year, four fight contract. That guy fights three times in 14 months. Now is the time that you want this fighter to re-sign with you.

But geez whiz, why now? This guy still has a fight left on his contract! Why don’t we wait till his contract is over before renegotiating? Because this is fucking ‘Cut Throat Business 101′, not ‘I Wanna Be Your Best Friend Forever Business 101′. If you wait until the contract is over, you have to compete with other promoters to re-sign your guy. But if you’ve got 8 months left on his contract, you can bench him until he re-signs with you. No new contract? Then he doesn’t see the light of day until his current contract is up.

This all serves a few purposes: You no longer have to compete with other promotions for the fighter’s services. This keeps prices low. If a fighter waits long enough for his contract to expire, the lack of exposure has probably done a number on his popularity too. This also lowers the price he can get. Finally, if a guy really doesn’t want to re-sign with you, you can stuff him in a dark match with a professional blanket to make him look bad on the way out. That’s always a good old fashioned ‘Fuck You’ to throw in at the end of a business relationship.

Now some people may call that evil, but others just prefer to call it ‘smart business’.

  • jeff aka whaledog

    FYI, we discussed this at length in the last Fight Opinion Radio podcast. None of us likes the tactic, but this is exactly what you would expect the UFC to do in this situation. They use their leverage to the maximum extent possible based on their contracts.

  • Rollo the Cat

    This is exactly why we need a strong competitor to the UFC to give leverage to the fighter.

  • John

    I’d do it if I was the president of the UFC but atleast id do it with a smile.

  • Erin

    It is evil (well, at least not nice) but it’s also smart business. One doesn’t exclude the other.

  • el feo

    Arlovski v Nogueira?
    UFC 78 needs another (a ? ) big fight.
    What are all of Arlovski’s sponsors, who are numerous and pay him a goodly amount to print their establishment names on his fight shorts, thinking about this? They’re getting no exposure at this time.
    I tend to think, however, that once this all gets settled, whether Arlovski resigns with UFC or is so mad at all this he takes an offer from Elite, Cuban, or whoever, is that he’ll want to fight a lot next year to make up for it. The universe tends to balance itself out that way.

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