I’ve always said that what the UFC lacks in freedom it makes up for in security. So long as you keep winning, you’ll keep fighting. You don’t have to worry about them going out of business, you don’t have to worry about a lack of shows or opponents. There’s no situation like in Affliction where you get a three fight contract and only get one fight (if you’re lucky) before ending up in limbo. Sure, in the UFC you’re subject to the whims of Dana White and they have you in a stranglehold legally speaking, but just think of that as a really tight hug!
The main point here is that fighters have to realize the shortcomings of signing with smaller organizations. After so many have tried to use their fighter pool like a flotation device after sinking, it’s log overdue that MMA agents would start asking for clauses to prevent their guys from being iced and sold off in exchange for debt relief. Here’s Paulo Filho’s agent trying to work one kind of solution:
Rumours that he would sign for upstart MMA promotion Bellator Fighting Championships have come to naught; Guimaraes says the contracts are too restrictive.
“The contract of Bellator is cruel,” he said. “It is a new event and we opted not to put Paulao there, because they did not want to put a clause in the contract that, if the guy is not fighting for four months, the contract loses its validity.
“We were just victims of this in EliteXC, which was bought out and left athletes at its mercy and without fighting for a good while.”
I don’t see anyone getting very far with this request though … if Paulo Filho gets this kind of clause then everyone else will be asking for it and all of a sudden you have a situation where you could be losing fighters left and right via a loophole. For some reason I don’t think there’s going to be many organizations lining up to open that floodgate just to sign a dude who just flamed out hardcore on television a few months ago.