The UFC is pretty lucky that no one in the mainstream media really gives a crap about what’s going on right now between their management and fighter management. Funny enough, if the UFC really exploded and big outlets started pumping stories about the sketchy stuff that goes down to a legion of people who really cared, there’d be some pretty big repercussions.
But that’s not the case. As awesome as it is, mixed martial arts is still a niche sport and it’s hard to get fight results from any large outlets, let alone details on backroom dealings. Still, the latest shove from UFC brass (a follow up to the blacklisting of several more companies and a 100k flat fee to even be allowed to sponsor a fighter) has even some of the Dana apologists shaking their heads:
The most recent controversy came to light when managers were reportedly warned that if their fighters appeared in EA Sports’ upcoming MMA video game, they would never fight in the UFC again. The UFC and game developer THQ recently released UFC: Undisputed for the PS3 and Xbox, which has since gone platinum.
In the leadup to Undisputed’s release, the UFC threatened to cut rising star Jon Fitch, and his teammates, when he refused to sign over lifetime video game portrayal rights, for free, to the UFC. Fitch and the Fertitta’s eventually came to an agreement and the fighter returned to the roster, appearing on the untelevised undercard on his next scheduled fight.
The unclarified rumor regarding this is the blacklist would apply to fighters outside the UFC as well. Two years ago it seemed like Mark Cuban was going to open a huge can of worms by trying to legally challenge the UFC using the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, but he backed off on that. I’d love to know why, Mark, if you’re not too busy arguing about your HDNet advertisements.
At the time I was relieved that line of action ended, but at this point I’m suddenly wondering if I’m writing a blog that’s partially dedicated to promoting evil cocksuckers. Maybe we do need someone to come in and set some rules to protect fighters from the UFC’s Mao-esque … although if it was the American government they’d probably fuck it up or try to attach a 5 million dollar amendment for the perverted arts.
(Link via MMA Payout, who also note that the UFC tried the same ‘work with them and you’ll never work with us’ tactics when the IFL was starting up.)